GAC seeks new Executive Director as Michelle Benjamin is moving on to BC Arts Council

Gabriola Arts Council

Press Release

Wednesday, November 27 2019

The Gabriola Arts Council has begun its search for a new executive director after it announced that Michelle Benjamin is leaving the role in the new year. 

Michelle, who started with GAC in 2012 as a part-time administrator, became the full-time Executive Director in 2014, and has led the organization through a period of change and growth. 

 “The past eight years at GAC have been rich and fulfilling,” she says. “I have been privileged to serve our members, Gabriola’s extraordinary artists, and this beautiful community. I am proud of what we—directors and staff, both past and present—have accomplished.”

She has accepted a job as Program Officer with the BC Arts Council. Michelle and her wife, Maggie Mooney—a registered clinical counsellor with a private practice on Gabriola—will be moving to Victoria early in the new year. 

Maggie will be commuting to Gabriola on a weekly basis to continue working with local clients. 

“While this new job is an exciting opportunity that promises to be interesting and rewarding, it is difficult beyond words to be leaving GAC and Gabriola,” says Benjamin. 

“Not only this incredible organization, but also many dear friends, and this community that we adore and have been embraced by for these past ten years.”

Likewise, her impact on the organization and the community beyond has been huge.

“What we have accomplished at GAC over the last several years under Michelle’s leadership has fundamentally improved this island,” says GAC president Charlie Cheffins. 

“Enriching cultural events, valuable community spaces, essential arts-based programming, and working tirelessly in support of a stronger, healthier community—this is just part of the value that Michelle has brought.”

Replacing Michelle’s skill and experience will be a challenge, but Charlie says it’s a tribute to her work that the opportunity is likely to attract a strong pool of candidates. “She’s leaving GAC as a healthy, stable organization,” he says. “The Hiring Committee has already launched the process to find a replacement, and the future is bright.”

GAC is planning a farewell tribute for Michelle and Maggie in the new year, with details to be confirmed.

“We will miss Michelle, and we wish her and Maggie only the best on their new adventure,” Charlie says. “And we’ll look forward to working with her in her new role.”