Honouring a deep dedication to the arts

Dave Stephen, founding president of the Chilliwack Arts and Cultural Centre Society, was recognized for his dedication to the arts

From left

From left

What better way to honour the man who brought so much life to the community with his love for arts and culture, than to do it with art itself.

Dave Stephen, founding president of the Chilliwack Arts and Cultural Centre Society, was recognized for his great dedication to the arts and culture community in Chilliwack with the reveal of a stunning watercolour portrait painted in his honour.

Stephen, friends, and Chilliwack Arts and Cultural Centre Society board members joined together on July 25 to celebrate all the incredible ways that he has helped the society achieve its greatness.

The portrait was painted by J. Elaine Unrau, and though crafted with watercolour paint, has so many fine details that it must be seen in the main foyer of the centre in person to fully appreciate the mastery of it.

Over the years, Stephen has had immense devotion in ensuring that Chilliwack’s arts and culture community thrives. A long-time member of the Chilliwack Players Guild, Stephens served in a number of executive positions on the guild’s board, as well as taking over as president of the Chilliwack Community Arts Council when they needed some strong direction.

He did an exceptional job of providing leadership to those organizations, and was a natural choice to serve on a committee that would look into the future of culture in our community. It was no surprise when Stephens stepped to the plate and helped the planning of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre by joining the Cultural Centre Advisory Planning Committee, when asked by then Mayor Clint Hames.

Once transitioned from an advisory committee to a formal society, Stephen was an obvious pick to take on the role of charter president.

“Dave undertook so much of the society’s initial heavy lifting” says the artistic and managing director, Michael Cade. “From negotiating the management, operating, and maintenance agreement with the City of Chilliwack, to partnership agreements with the Chilliwack Community Arts Council, Chilliwack Visual Artists Association, and Chilliwack Academy of Music, Dave was there. So much of the way the Chilliwack Cultural Centre operates comes from the work Dave contributed over his nine very hands-on years with the organization.”

Stephen’s most recent involvement has been participating as a member on the board of directors for the Chilliwack Arts and Cultural Centre Society. When his term came to an end, the people of the arts and culture community knew that his time and dedication needed to be celebrated.