Barb Nelson: Executive Director
Melanie Watts: Marketing Coordinator, Exhibitions Coordinator, Special Events Coordinator
Melanie is an Arts & Cultural Manager, graphic designer, and Community Arts Curator. She brings artists and audience together with emphasis on content, relevance and audience experience. She has a BFA from Emily Carr University and 8+ years of industry experience.
Bobbie Hammersley: Art Class Programmer, Pottery Studio Coordinator
Bobbie has degrees in Geography and Classics. She has worked in the environmental field, as a consultant and in the arts as an educator. She has a special interest in helping children develop a deeper connection to the natural world and endeavours to teach environmental stewardship to them.
Angela Hopkins: Pottery Studio Technician
Natalie Shykoluk: Office Administrator, Facility Rentals Coordinator
Lesley Tannen: Art Rental Coordinator
Board of Directors
Melissa is an Investment Funds Advisor with Manulife Securities and has been passionate about helping her clients achieve their financial goals for over the last 14 years. She holds her Personal Financial Planning designation and has a background in retail banking, lending, investments, retirement and estate planning and likes to ensure her members leave with a clear understanding of their financial situation and what steps are required to achieve their goals. She is a long term resident of Semiahmoo Peninsula and has had the opportunity to volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada for 2 years as a Sparks Leader teaching and mentoring youth and most recently has volunteered with PowerPlay Strategies through their PowerPlay Young Entrepreneurs program to teach youth about financial literacy. Melissa is a life time music and art lover. She enjoys photography, reading, writing, painting, singing and is currently learning to play the guitar.
Laurel is a post-secondary educator, community-based visual artist, registered nurse, and non-profit agency leader. She has spent the better part of the last twenty years in a variety of teaching, administration, community development, and intermodal artistic practice roles. Her educational background includes an MA in Art Education and experience in teaching art, as well as a practicing artist in multi-media photo-based and community-based art making (the focus of her MA thesis). Her current study is the area of community cultural development, community-based arts facilitation and expressive arts in creativity, health promotion and transformation. Her experience with community and cultural development has been developed through her role as Executive Director at Semiahmoo Family Place and with Girl Guides of Canada. She is currently on Faculty at Kwantlen Polytechnic University where she teaches in the blended (hybrid) BSN-PB program. Her scholarship focuses on embodied, arts-informed and technology-enhanced learning.
Barbara has been a proud resident of White Rock since 1984. She is a passionate supporter as well as a practitioner of the arts. Barbara worked for many years as a musician, performing both in BC and most of the other provinces. At the present time she is the Principal of the Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts: North Poplar Campus. Barbara is now ready to bring her passion to her own community. She is known to be a person of vision who can bring others along to collaborate to make those visions a reality.
Heather-Jane Robertson relocated from Ottawa to BC five years ago, and she has been an enthusiastic resident of White Rock for the last two years. Her professional career involved several different roles advocating for better policy choices for advancing public education. She has been integrally involved at senior levels in multiple national organizations, including the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Campaign 2000, the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, and many other public interest initiatives. She is the author of three very successful books and dozens of articles. As a public speaker, she has addressed audiences from Nunavut to Melbourne. Heather-jane has participated in amateur theatre for many years – most recently with the White Rock Players – and is happily pursuing her creative interest through various visual media and techniques.
Sandy has resided in Crescent Beach for 9 years, and enjoys the relaxed lifestyle, the beach, her 2 chocolate labs, and friendly village neighbourhoods. She is involved in the Community as a member of the Crescent Beach Property Owners Association, serves on committees, is a Block Watch captain, and recently involved in organizing an Emergency Preparedness event at Alexandra Park. Sandy is currently working as a Finance & Accounting Consultant. She has held various roles in finance and accounting, systems analyst and administration, software implementation projects, and payroll management in both the mining and food industries. Before her career in finance, she worked with children as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, and a daycare supervisor. Many of Sandy’s hobbies focus on the arts. She enjoys sewing, quilting, and costume design, assisting with costumes for the 2018 NWSS musical Crazy for You. She also creates mosaic tiles, stained glass, and designs dried and silk flowers. Working in ceramics for almost 3 years led to Sandy’s membership in the Semiahmoo Potters Society, and Fraser Valley Potters Guild. She is currently SPS Treasurer, Sales Committee Chair, and volunteers as a SSR&AC pottery studio monitor.
Daphne has been a local business owner for over 20 years and a potter for over 30 years. She is currently the Vice-President of the Semiahmoo Potters Society. Daphne has many years of volunteering especially in the school system which included opening a new school in Edmonton.
Pat has always had a passion for all forms of creativity, for communication media and for people. She has worked in community television, commercial printing, magazine publishing and built a successful editorial and corporate photography business in Vancouver. Having an artist mother and executive father, the dynamic tension between the arts and business has been a constant in her life, and she enjoys the interplay. Pat is currently building a small practice that will incorporate elements of art therapy and creative play with companionship for people with Alzheimer’s. The personal, social and global healing power of the arts are particular passions, along with building connections between disparate communities of people and outreach to the marginalized.