Keelan Murtagh is the new executive director at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. He has previously worked for Silver Star Mountain Resort and Kal Tire.

Keelan Murtagh is the new executive director at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. He has previously worked for Silver Star Mountain Resort and Kal Tire.

New director in the house

Keelan Murtagh is the executive director at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre

Keelan Murtagh has joined a successful act.

Since taking up duties as executive director at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, he’s been impressed with the seasoned veterans working behind the scenes in the office and at the ticket counter.

“The team is fantastic and I’m learning from them so I have the foundation here,” he said, adding that he also appreciates the guidance of the volunteer board.

“Their philosophy is very good.”

Murtagh largely credits the smooth transition on his predecessors — the centre’s first executive director, Michael Cade, and the recently retired Pamela Burns Resch.

“Pamela and Michael set this place up very well and left me in good hands.”

Unlike Cade and Burns Resch who were based in the arts, Murtagh brings a new perspective to the theatre.

The Ontario-born Murtagh came to B.C. in 2002 and along with operating his own marketing company, he worked at Kal Tire’s retail store in Rossland for five years.

He was most recently the events manager at Silver Star Mountain Resort.

For him, the job at the performing arts centre was a natural progression of his career.

“The non-profit side really attracted me. It’s nice to be involved with the community that supports us so much,” he said.

“It’s about making a difference.”

But Murtagh isn’t completely unfamiliar with the pressures of performers or ensuring that the show will go on. In secondary school, he played the piano and  cello.

No major changes are anticipated at the performing arts centre, but he hopes his time at Kal Tire can be put to use.

“I want to promote the patronage experience — everyone (staff) being friendly and happy,” he said.

“I want people to feel like they were taken care of.”