Here you can learn a little about the dedicated volunteers, who are currently serving on the Board Of Directors of the Kaslo Housing Society. At every AGM the opportunity presents itself for members of our lovely community to join our team, and – of course – there’s no level of experience and education, that is too much or too little or not relevant for the tasks at hand. This a place, where Kaslovians can help and work with fellow Kaslovians to realize the need of many, to obtain and maintain a secure, safe, comfortable and affordable place to call home.

Kathie Shaw Hanson – Chair

I am a born and raised Calgarian who recently, along with my husband was able to retire here in Kaslo.
Growing up I was lucky enough to have Grandparents and extended family in the Kootenays. My Father always made sure we had a great summer vacation and Kaslo became it was our family’s favourite vacation spot! So much so that I brought my future husband here on a “date” one weekend and he was as in love
with this little piece of heaven as I was.

We have four sons together and raised them through the ups and downs of the Alberta boom and bust economy. We saved against the” bust” times but it was never enough to sustain us through to the next “boom”, and living got very tight. We spent 3 years living in an unfinished, poorly insulated house in Northern Alberta where I learned many interesting life lessons. We were able to save enough money to put a down payment on a house and were fortunate to make enough money to be able to make the payments to the bank often skimping on groceries. In the hope of avoiding some of that stress I returned to school and became an Engineering Design & Drafting Technologist and worked in that field for many years.

I started volunteering at the VHKAS Thrift Store so that I could meet people and get out of the house. I soon met Wanda who told me of the need for new board members for the Housing Society and here I am.

I firmly believe that safe and affordable housing is a basic necessity and that the KHS is where I am able to help a great cause in my own small way.

Alexandra Halliday – Vice Chair/Webmaster

I was born and raised in Austria, with a lifelong interest in education and development. As a visually impaired individual unable to read from a chalk board, I became proficient in both writing and reading Braille shorthand in English and German. I used Braille shorthand throughout my high school years. While living in Europe, I helped develop coaching and training strategies suited to the needs of visual, auditory and tactile learners, utilizing Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques and Modeling.

I have worked extensively in early childhood education and development. I served with the Head Start program for early childhood education in Northern California, in policy development and with the home-based program. I successfully home schooled 3 of my children for 7 years and acted as their home facilitator throughout their Distance Education High school experience, as well as home schooling my youngest daughter, who is currently enrolled in the local Homelinks program.

I also have a lifelong interest in equity. In Utah, I was a member of JEDI women, an organization, which represented the values of Justice, Equality, Dignity and Independence for women of all walks of life. I acted as spokesperson to the State media.

My husband and I started, owned and operated a number of small businesses. I was an early leader in the creative utilization of on-line research and marketing with extensive experience in the creation of web sites and international in-house print publications. I am proficient in German and English.

I have worked as a legal secretary, as a trained care aide with people facing mental and physical challenges and the elderly, on a number of occasions in Europe and North America as a political campaign manager, and in Real Estate.

We made this beautiful and amazing community of Kaslo our new home in late 2016. We are all involved in community life. I am especially proud of our son and daughter’s training efforts and commitment to the community as active SAR volunteers.

Among other pre-Covid community activities, such as participation in our local Kuimba Choir, carpet bowling and English Country Dance, I attended our local Selkirk College to study Biology. My daughters and I are avid photographer and could not wish for a more breath-taking and naturally intriguing canvas for my work. I have completed and am in the process of completing a number of community photography projects.

This community is a well-spring of amazing, diverse and talented individuals, of opportunities for everyone, and surrounded by the most breath-taking bit of Alpine nature.

I joined the KHS Board, because I am saddened to see and experience the challenges faced by so many valuable individuals, who call Kaslo home and who contribute in so many ways of their time and talent to the wellness of this community, who simply need a safe, clean and affordable place to live. The loss of anyone, who has to leave this community due to lack of adequate and affordable housing is, indeed, a loss, that will be felt by the entire community in one way or another.

Erika Cizek – Secretary

Tara Lynne Clapp, PhD, RPP, MCIP – Treasurer

I first moved to Greater Kaslo in 1990, after my son was born. Our family came to the Kaslo area through skiing, as my parents started skiing in Meadow Creek with Alan and Brenda Drury when they first started Selkirk Wilderness Skiing. We fell in love with Kaslo and Kootenay Lake, and bought a summer place in 1985.

For a few years this was a summer place for me, then moved here again full time in 1996, but moved away for a job in 1999, and I became a landlord here, living in various trailers, tents and RVs in the summer.

I moved back again full time in 2011. I served as a Board member for the Kaslo Housing Society for three terms 2011-2017.

My biggest accomplishment as a Board Member was helping to recruit Erika Bird, Cloe Bayeur-Holland, and Christine Parton to the Board. Along with others, it is this group that really started to move the Society forward with fundraising and with determined and persistent housing option development.

I was able to serve KHS with planning and project development while not on the Board.

I am once again a summer person in Kaslo, as I am working in Prince George as a professor of planning. I am still very attached to Kaslo, as my dogs Shadow and Belle still live there.

I am excited to have the opportunity to serve KHS as a Board member again.

Wanda Ammon – Director

My husband and I moved to the Kootenay area, Shutty Bench, in 1975 and we’ve been living in this beautiful corner of BC ever since. From 1975 to 1995 we built up a successful mixed farm and tourist business, “Shutty Bench Lodge and Farm”. The work was 24 x 7 for 20 years; looking after farm animals, gardening, and serving our tourist guests. I’ve learned a lot about hard work and perseverance to reach your goal. After selling our farm, we moved to Kaslo, then moved back to Shutty Bench while our Kaslo house was renovated.

In 2006, we permanently moved back to Kaslo and loved every minute living in this beautiful village.

In 1996, I joined the Victorian Hospital of Kaslo Auxiliary Society and over the years have held various positions, from secretary to vice president, to volunteering in the thrift store. Currently I am serving as the VHKAS Treasurer. In the past I have also volunteered at the library, and I am currently still a member of the Kaslo Legion Auxiliary.

I cannot stress enough the importance of providing suitable, and, affordable housing to our citizens. People should not have to move for lack of housing, live in cars because they can’t afford a roof over their heads, or there is no housing available. As a member of the Kaslo Housing Society, I hope to work diligently with the other members to provide Kaslo citizens with suitable housing.

Erika Bird – Director

I grew up on Montreal Island, the next-to-youngest of 7 articulate siblings. Having something worthwhile to say and to speak your mind were encouraged. But I think one of the more important values I learned from my parents was listening. Plus how to make due with very little and find that both a challenge and an opportunity.

Growing up as an Anglo in Quebec in the 60s & 70s was as close to being a lesson in what it feels like to be a minority as any North American white person is likely to get. Never having felt “mainstream” has (perhaps ironically) helped me to stay committed to community volunteering.

I have a technical diploma in ceramics and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. I came to Kaslo in 1992 from Quebec because my husband got a forest tech job here (we met as tree planters.) We raised 3 kids in Kaslo – they are adults now and all doing fine. I work at the Pennywise and wear at least 4 hats there: proofreader, writer, graphic artist, client liaison…

I was 5 years on the board of the Kaslo and District Community Forest Board and have been on the Housing Society Board for several  years now, as Chair.

Kevin Flaherty – Director

I am pleased to be considered for the Board of the Housing Society.  The KHS has worked long and hard to get to the position it is in now and I want to help us move forward.
Myself and my partner Donna Gibbons moved to Kaslo in 2014/15.  We enjoy living and working here year round.

I like to think that I bring to the board experiences that shape my perspective on affordable housing:

– I lived in prairie railway stations with multiple siblings until I was a teenager, then lived in affordable, secure, well managed co-operative housing.  
– over the years we have owned a home or two but when we moved we benefited from a rise in housing prices as home owners/sellers.  I see this as historical luck, not good management on my part and that not everyone can do this.  
– for most of my life I have worked (paid and volunteer, including Boards) for non-profit organizations that provide community based solutions to community needs.
– I have benefited from a publicly supported education system that values and enables critical thought, rigorous research and creative innovation.
– I like to think that I used my 18 months working for the Kaslo Housing Society in 2018-19 as an opportunity to research and promote affordable housing solutions in the Kootenays and other small communities and that being on the Board of KHS  will help put this to good use.

I believe that affordable housing is a right and if the current trend towards a lack of affordability and availability in the region continues it will negatively influence what Kaslo looks like and lives like in the near future.   

For some reason I thought Kaslo would benefit from a coffee-priority establishment and so in early 2020 I started  Hummingbird Coffee Roastery on Front Street in the warm months and selling beans throughout the year.  It keeps me busy but not so busy that I can’t be actively involved in the KHS.

Thanks for the opportunity to be considered for the Board.

John Whittaker – Director

In 1900 my newly married grandparents left the Lancashire Mill town of Haslington and moved to Kaslo in Canada to start their new life. They bought land at the start of B Avenue, where they raised their four children, had a cherry orchard, and a cow. My grandmother lived on B until her death in 1965.

My father left Kaslo in 1930 for UBC where he studied Civil engineering and married Tesssie Sadlier-Brown of Kamloops. His career led him through the BC mining camps, to Europe as a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers, to the Fraser Valley floods, and then to Edmonton where he established an engineering consulting company.

I was born in Vancouver, attended school in Vancouver, Ottawa, and Edmonton, and attended college in Alberta, America, and England.

I have worked as a construction labourer for a variety of construction and home building companies, as a research engineer for the National Association of Homebuilders, as a structural engineer for my father, as a construction management consultant in England, an industrial engineering professor in Nova Scotia, and an industrial management consultant in India. In 1975 I was hired by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta to teach in the areas of economics, planning, and management. I stayed there for 30 years, retiring in 2005.

During those 30 year, in partnership with my wife, Nancy Gibson, we ran a management consulting firm and oversaw the growth and development of the nine children that we shared. Part of that growth and development was the annual family holiday to Kaslo. First camping holidays in an old school bus and then, from 1987, when we obtained access to Grandma’s retirement cottage on 2nd St. at B Avenue, to regular holiday residence.

Social housing has been a continuous preoccupation throughout my career. I was involved in neighbourhood organizations in the 1970s and this led to serving on the executive of ECOHH (the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness) and being a sometime volunteer for Habitat.

Retirement provided the opportunity for full time involvement in housing and, in partnership with Native Counselling Services of Alberta and some Government of Alberta grants, I developed and constructed seven three bedroom affordable housing units in Edmonton.

In 2019 I became a full time resident of Kaslo, and the Kaslo Housing Society seems a natural place for me to make a contribution.

David Cheatley – Director