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‘Arts are just as important for communities’

Wendy Clement, treasurer of the Nechako Community Arts Council on putting down roots in Vanderhoof

Wendy Clement has been an active member of the arts scene in Vanderhoof and is always looking for ways to further its creative impact in the society.

Clement, who hails from northern Ontario, moved with her husband and five children to Vanderhoof in 2009. Since then she has been an integral part of the Nechako Community Arts Council as its treasurer. Clement worked at the College of New Caledonia from where she retired two years ago.

“We ended up putting down some roots and have been gotten quite involved with this community probably will probably will stay here,” she says. Now a grandmother, Clement recalls how her young family moved to British Columbia 33-years-ago after living for 10 years in Europe.

They moved around quite a bit around the province before calling Vanderhoof home.

So what made them stay? “We have our grandchildren in Fraser Lake, of course,” she says, adding, “but what I love about Vanderhoof is that for a small community it offers so much.”

“Young people have so many opportunities, sports and other activities that lot of bigger communities don’t have. I love that energy and love the fact that the arts are well represented.”

Even though Clement says she is not an artist ( I do mess around with paints but I would not call myself an artist) she and her husband are both “art appreciators.” Clement’s husband Tom is the Chair of the Nechako Community Arts Council.

“We have always believed that the arts are just important for communities, ” she says.

“When I say the arts, I mean music and theater and dance and performing arts, all kinds of arts.”

According to her, Vanderhoof is rich in arts. “I mean, it has so many opportunities to be involved with,” she says while sharing an experience of her own. Clement went on stage for the first time this year as part of the theatre group.

“I’ve always worked with the community theater as a backstage kind of person, producing or helping with costumes and this year I pushed myself onto the stage and realized that is a lot of fun.”

In her downtime she enjoys participating in dance, yoga and has recently taken on a new activity – pickleball.

Clements is also involved with the good neighbors committee here in town, which is working towards eliminating racism and says the volunteering in the community is impressive.

“The thing about Vanderhoof, which has always made me feel so happy to live here and to be a part of this community, is that it is such a giving community,” she says.

“When there is any kind of emergency or crisis or somebody is struggling, this community comes together in a huge wave to support and I think that’s really important.”

About the Author: Binny Paul

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