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North Okanagan Arts Council announces new president

Barbara Keith is taking over the reins from Jeanne Byron who served over 5 years on the board
Barbara Keith has been announced as the new board president for the Arts Council of the North Okanagan. The Arts Council announced the change in leadership Wednesday, March 15, 2023. (Arts Council of the North Okanagan/Facebook)

The Arts Council of the North Okanagan has a new leader at the helm.

Barbara Keith will serve as the Arts Council’s new board president, according to an announcement after the Arts Council’s latest annual general meeting.

The position was left vacant by the departure of president Jeanne Byron, who served over five years on the Arts Council’s board, achieving many milestones and accomplishments in a tenure that was largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keith has been involved in the local arts community for more than 15 years. During that time, she served on both the Powerhouse board of directors and the Arts Council’s board as human resources chair and vice president. During her time at the Powerhouse Theatre, she was the marketing director and administrative producer on several plays.

Keith is passionate about supporting the arts and believes they play a vital role in enhancing the cultural fabric of the community.

“I am honoured to have been chosen to lead the Arts Council of the North Okanagan,” said Keith. “The Arts Council’s role in supporting arts and culture is not just about promoting performances and exhibits. It’s about creating a cultural environment that fosters creativity, education, and community engagement.”

Also getting a promotion is Noah MacLeod, owner of Local Losers art supply shop and music venue in downtown Vernon, who becomes the Arts Council’s vice president. The Arts Council calls it a “great achievement” for young MacLeod, and a testament to his commitment to the arts community.

“Working as a director on the board of the (Arts Council) this past year has been a wonderful experience for me,” said MacLeod. “I am extremely excited to step into this new position, and I look forward to working more closely with Barb to support our members, and the Vernon arts community as a whole.”

The Arts Council tasks itself with promoting and supporting the diverse forms of artistic and cultural experience in the community. Its members work to organize events and programs that engage residents of Greater Vernon. The organization’s mission is to ensure that the arts are recognized as a vital part of the community’s identity and are accessible to everyone.

For more information on the Arts Council, visit

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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