After 13 and a half years at the helm of the Whistler Arts Council (WAC), executive director Doti Niedermayer is leaving.
Niedermayer oversaw the arts council during the 2010 Winter Olympics and Cultural Olympiad, and steered it through the growth of programming and WAC staffing numbers, bringing in innovations like last year’s pop-up gallery at the Westin.
She leaves for a new role as manager of cultural development for the District of West Vancouver in mid-February.
“As I told the board and the staff, I’ve put everything I have into being at the arts council. It just consumed me and became my complete passion. I am so embedded in Whistler — I ski, I’m a mountain girl,” she says.
“I’ve had such a run, from a little organization that had no staff, to where we are today with 20 staff.
“We’ve been given so many opportunities over the years — the Olympics, Millennium Place (recently renamed the Maury Young Arts Centre) — and the community has grown and cultural tourism has grown. We’ve had a great municipal council and partners in the community.”
Niedermayer says that until she’d arrived at the WAC, she hadn’t been in a job for longer than four years. She describes Whistler as a get-it-done kind of place. “This job kept changing and being a new challenge. I kept having to step it up and learn something new; it’s been fantastic,” Niedermayer says.
“I want to say how much this job has given to me, my career and my personal life. I have never lived in community that is so tight and works so well together... it’s unique. It breaks my heart to leave because it’s the job I’ve loved the most.”
For more, including a look at the year ahead for the Whistler Arts Council, pick up Pique Newsmagazine on Thursday, Jan. 7, or visit www.piquenewsmagazine.com.