Catherine Keogan

Two for one at SFA show

Two talented women are job sharing the administrative co-ordinator position

The Sooke Fine Arts show, which draws a plethora of talented artists, has a team who work throughout the year to put on the massive event.

Among the hardworking bunch are dynamic duo, Britton Jacob-Schram and Catherine Keogan.

The two young women were hired in October to share the position of administrative co-ordinator. A position that requires a multitude of skills and knowledge.

Touching just the breadth of their position, the two women handle administrative work, write grants, respond to enquiries from sponsors and artists, do web design and provide support for the nearly 300 volunteers who put on the show.

“There’s no one hat to wear,” said Keogan. “There’s a lot to be done, and a lot of aspects of the show that need our help.”

Although the job can be demanding, with a workload that “rises and falls,” Keogan said it’s been a great experience.

“I love it, this is a wholly positive work environment and we are working towards a very positive goal.”

Keogan arrived in Sooke, along with Jacob-Schram, last October after living in Costa Rica.

Their relocation to Vancouver Island’s west coast was all thanks to a simple wish list, depicting their ideal homestead. Items on the list included mild weather, close to the ocean, close to a big city, but not in one, a strong community feel, and marvellous wildlife and nature.

And just as expected, Keogan is an artist in her own right, with her main medium being words. As an accomplished writer, Keogan has published a national best-seller on Costa Rican travel titled Pura Vida.

She is also trilingual, having a grasp on English, French and Spanish.

“They are more than what I was hoping to get in this office,” said show director, Sally Manning. “They are exceptionally talented.”

The two women were hired on an eight month contract, which Manning now hopes to extend.

“We really, really are working hard to keep them with us,” she said. “We’re more than thrilled to have them here with us, they are just a godsend.”

The Sooke Fine Arts show, which is in its 26th year, will take place at the SEAPARC Leisure Complex from July 28 to Aug.6.

The show features artists from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s Coastal Islands, and has approximately 8,000 annual visitors who attend.

This year, 1,335 arts works from 561 artists were submitted, which was narrowed down to about 275 pieces for the show.

For more information on tickets and the Sooke Fine Arts Show schedule, visit: www.sookefinearts.com