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Who We Are

Fernie and District Arts Council (FDAC) is a registered charity organization run by a volunteer board of directors. FDAC is committed to promoting arts and cultural opportunities in our community. 

Board of Directors:

  • Tara Higgins, Co-Chair

Tara has a strong interest in the arts being a visual artist and owner of a gallery. She is a strong believer in mentorship and peer collaboration and is always looking for opportunities to be a part of this.

  • Rivka Landsberg, Co-Chair

Rivka has many years of experience working for non-profits including Victoria Native Friendship Center and Touchstones Museum in Nelson. Rivka is a facilitator for teaching indigenous cultural safety training for San’yas. 

  • Laura Loewen, Treasurer

Laura is a fibre artist, retired nurse, mother of four, and a wife. She is passionate about working with traditional materials (sheep fleece, natural dye materials) as they help her feel grounded and always inspired, especially in this predominantly digital age.

  • Dave McBeath, Secretary

Dave is a long time supporter of the arts. He is a member of Fernie Pottery Guild. He has experience on boards including the Fernie Trails alliance, The Fernie Mountain Bike Club, the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club and The BC Medical Association.

  • Randal Macnair

Randal has been a resident of Fernie for 25 years. He has always been an active member of the community. Randal’s educational background is in Anthropology, Art History and Museum Studies and he has worked professionally in the museum and gallery field for over 12 years.

  • Jackie Impey

Jackie is an artist that is actively involved in the local art community, from working collaboratively on projects and being a working member of the Fernie Arts coop. She is a Social Worker with a background in child welfare and anthropology.

  • Niall Mckenna Jones

Niall has worked extensively in education and arts education from University level to high school and elementary including work with alternative education provision for young offenders and education for people additional learning needs.,

The FDAC Board meet on the second Thursday of the month. If you wish to bring forward a proposal or request please contact at least by the first Thursday of the month.

FDAC is managed by: 

Louise Ferguson, Executive Director

Louise Ferguson is the Executive Director for the Fernie & District Arts Council. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Arts University Bournemouth, England, specialising in Costume. Louise has previously worked in costume departments in the London theatre community, national Ballet, and gained experience in fashion history curation. Upon leaving England she worked at Walt Disney World, Florida in the largest costume department in the world. Her time in North America inspired her to travel resulting in her arrival in the Rocky Mountains where she gained experience in the tourism industry, business and galleries. All these combined experiences led her to her current role at The Arts Station.



Caroline Payne, Pottery Studio Manager

Caroline recently moved to Fernie from Nelson BC where she was finishing the ceramic studio program at Kootenay Studio Arts! She was introduced to pottery in 2018 while finishing up her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at The University of Victoria. Since then she has pursued all things clay and has found a specific interest in glaze science and technique. She was also able to start her small business Passion Fruit Pottery while in ceramic art school. She’s thrilled to be working at The Arts Station and is excited to help others grow their skills in ceramics in the process.



Alexandra Kozak, Community Arts & Marketing Coordinator

Alexandra moved to Fernie after receiving a bachelor’s degree in design with honours from the Alberta University of the Arts. Profoundly inspired by Fernie’s scenery & culture, she now operates her own fine art and illustration business. She exhibits at regional galleries including the Fernie Arts Co-op. She’s delighted to be a part of the Arts Station where she can use her unique perspective and skills such as animation to enhance Fernie’s thriving arts community.


Chelsea Howlett-Smith, Events & Programming Coordinator

Chelsea grew up on the South coast of Western Australia with parents who were makers and curators of fine art. With extensive experience in hospitality and tourism, Chelsea also owned and operated a Wedding Floristry business back in Australia. She has education in art history, photography and ceramics, she also enjoys creative writing & drawing. Chelsea is passionate about human connection through community & having lived in Fernie for over 5 years, is very excited to continue this journey with the Fernie Arts Station.