You know what, I love my job.
This job “crossed my path” in 2007 and, as I often say, at the time the organization needed me as much as I needed it.
Back in 2007 I was a stay at home mom with three young kids. I had been volunteering on the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music (KISSM) Board for a year, and was passionate about the mission of the organization and possibilities that I saw for music in Kamloops. When the position of Executive Director for the organization opened up, I leapt at the opportunity.
I grew up in Kamloops and playing clarinet in the band was a big part of my life in high school. I was fortunate to have two amazing music teachers during my high school career: Mr. Noakes at Sahali Junior Secondary School, and Mr. Dickens at Kam High. I was also lucky enough to have received an award from the Arts Legacy Fund to take private lessons. I took band for all 5 years of high school. I loved the concerts, the band sweaters, the band trips and the friends. These experiences shaped me and laid the foundation for my future work.
I didn't go onto study music after university, choosing instead to pursue a career in business, but I will never forget the important part that music played in my life during high school. Music challenged me, connected me with the community and provided a creative outlet that was good for my mental health. In 2007 when the role of Executive Director of KISSM crossed my path, I knew that I could leverage my experience in business with my passion for providing music programming for young musicians in Kamloops in order to make an impact on the lives of local youth.
When I took over as Executive Director of KISSM, things weren't going all that well for the organization. Enrollment was down, there were barriers that seemed impossible to overcome, and there were a few debts that needed to be paid. But, I happily took on the challenge realizing that I had nothing to lose and so much to gain.! Over the years, with the support of an amazing board of directors, dedicated co-workers and the entire community of Kamloops I have been able to rebuild KISSM, rebrand the organization to the Kamloops Music Collective and develop new and innovative programs that now serve young musicians in Kamloops year round.
In the early days of my career, when we served less than 200 kids per year I was able to remember most of the kids’ names. But now that we serve over 800 kids a year in multiple programs (and I'm a bit older!) it’s a bit trickier to remember all of their names. I may not be able to remember their names, but But I do remember their passion for music and their happy faces.
I love my job and feel lucky to be a part of an organization that has such a long and vibrant history in Kamloops!
KMC Executive Director