Hello dear friends, artists, and art lovers

This note is to share some news with you about me and the Arts Council. I will be moving on from GAC early in the new year, leaving this job that I have loved for the past eight years.

In February I will be starting an exciting new job at the BC Arts Council, and so will be moving to Victoria. This is good news for me and Maggie—we’re looking forward to living in Victoria where we’ll be closer to our daughter and other family. At the same time, we are heartbroken about leaving Gabriola. (The good news for us: we’re not selling our house. We’ll be back.)

I’ve had the immense honour and privilege of serving this community and Gabriola’s artists for the past eight years. I’ve learned so much, been enriched by all that we have created together, had the pleasure of working with so many talented and dedicated team members and board directors, and risen with enthusiasm to numerous challenges. I’ve learned what community means, and truly understood and seen firsthand how arts and culture supports health and wellbeing. I hope to be able to continue to support this work in my new role in Victoria.

I couldn’t be more proud of what we as an organization have accomplished together, and I have immense gratitude for the support I’ve received over the years, in so many different forms. I’m always moved by how Gabriolans show up—whether it’s for an arts or cultural event, when we need volunteers or financial support, and when we make a call for membership renewal or ask for feedback and advice. You’re always there, and I appreciate it.

The GAC board is already working on a transition plan, and I have great confidence in what they will do. It’s a fine time for this kind of change at the Arts Council—the organization is stable, the board is strong, the future is bright.

I’ll be around the island for another couple of months, and hope to have numerous opportunities to see many of you in person.

Thanks for having been part of this journey with me.

With respect and gratitude,

Michelle

p.s. Some say it is customary to give a gift to someone when they leave a job or move away. If that’s the case, and if you’re inclined to honour my departure in some way, then there’s only one thing I want. There could be no greater gift for me than to know that the GAC and Gabriola community is stepping up their support for the Arts Council through a financial donation. Raising funds is the most challenging part of this job, and the most essential. Ongoing, stable financial support is the key to GAC’s success, and will make the work ahead for the new leader more manageable. This is the moment to sign up to be a monthly donor, and truly—any amount is appreciated and valuable. Already a monthly donor? Please take this opportunity to add another $5, $10, or $50 to your contribution. I can’t say enough about how those regular deposits into the bank account provide a level of security and stability, especially in the cash-lean cycles. You already have my extreme gratitude. A collection of new monthly donors will be icing on the cake.

Click here to sign up to be a monthly donor via Canada Helps, or to update your monthly donation. Note that you can also set up a monthly donation directly through Coastal Community Credit Union. Any teller will be able to help you.

Click here to make a one-time donation online.

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