PuSh Profiles is a series where you can get to know the names and faces of the people that make this festival so great.
* Who are you/ what do you do?
I’m Christianne Wilhelmson, currently the Executive Director at Georgia Strait Alliance, a regional marine conservation organization. I have a Masters degree in zoology from UBC – I had intended to pursue an academic research career. Luckily, I came to my senses. 😉
* How long have you been involved with the PuSh Festival?
I’ve been officially involved in PuSh since July when I joined the board but I’ve been attending Festival since it started as a presentation between Rumble and Touchstone.
* How or why did you get involved with PuSh?
After taking part in so many festivals, I felt like I wanted to bring my experience in the charitable sector to PuSh so I could be part of making the Festival better known and stronger. I love sharing stories about PuSh and the shows in the Festival via social media and to my friends – most of who are not in the arts sector – many who would go to more theatre if someone they trusted suggested a show here and there.
* What is your favourite memory of PuSh?
Bringing our nephew – then about 10 – to Best Before. We have taken him to many plays since he was about 5, but this one brought together theatre and gaming, and he couldn’t have been happier with the experience. And he enjoyed the experience beyond the gaming part, which was great to see.
* Which PuSh shows/ experiences have stayed with you?
The show that still resonates with me to this day is “That night follows day”, an all children’s cast who spoke the words that they hear adults saying to them. Nothing more powerful than hearing the loving, harsh, funny and horrible things we say to our children – usually without thinking of their impact.
* What shows/events are you looking forward to at this year’s festival?
King Lear, and the reason is one of my favourite movies is Ran, a Japanese movie based on King Lear. I remember being so emotionally moved by the story – as I had never been seeing it live, and in English – and those memories are with me still. I’m intrigued to see yet another interpretation of Lear and am hoping it will be as memorable a journey as Ran was so long ago.
* Outside of PuSh what do you do with your time?
My job takes up a lot of my time – not unusual when you work for a charity – but I also spend a lot of time at home, where my husband and I are working on renovations. Slowly but surely our house is becoming a home – and we love it – especially when we get to be outdoors gardening. I’m also an avid cook and baker, and that’s probably become the hobby that takes up most of my time. I just find it so relaxing after a day at my computer! We fill up whatever time we have left by hanging out with our nieces and nephew, who live in North Vancouver, and of course, seeing a lot of theatre, and other performing arts.
* What does ‘crossing the line’ mean to you?
It means entering into a new space, and having a different experience,one that is beyond the norm. We stay behind the line in most of our lives – obeying rules of all kind. When you cross the line, you’re opening yourself up for something new – could be exciting, could be uncomfortable, always is memorable.
The PuSh Festival acknowledges that it operates on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We are grateful to be gathered here and recognize our privileged place on these lands.