PRISMA names three fellows to its Class of 2022

PRISMA names three fellows to its Class of 2022

February 26, 2022

Powell River, BC – The Pacific Region International Summer Music Association (PRISMA) is pleased to announce the induction of three longtime volunteers – Lee Coulter and Michael and Liz Matthews – into the hall of PRISMA Fellows.

PRISMA has awarded fellowships to outstanding builders and supporters annually since 2019, with six previous inductees. The latest presentations were made at PRISMA’s Annual General Meeting, held in person on February 11 at the ARC Community Event Centre in Powell River.

“Fellowships are a wonderful way to become an ambassador on behalf of the organization, and are also the organization’s major means of recognition of signal contributions – of volunteerism and kindness and organizational talent,” explained PRISMA president Mike Robinson to those in attendance. “And all three of those categories are exemplified by Liz and Michael and Lee.”

Liz Matthews has served in a volunteer capacity at PRISMA since its early days, overseeing guest artist housing and travel in her role as transportation, lodging and housing coordinator.

“An enthusiast, a volunteer, and someone who cared about those who came to participate from the very start,” remarked Robinson.

Michael Matthews served as president of the PRISMA board from 2015 to 2018, bringing a focus on planning, a business-like protocol, and international intellectual scope. He also assisted in promoting a permanent staff amidst the shift from a working board to a governance board. He concluded his tenure on the board at the 2022 AGM.

“He oversaw that transition and that’s a major achievement for any board to undertake and it requires careful guardianship and hard, hard work to make it work,” said Robinson.

Matthews took the stage briefly to reflect on his tenure with PRISMA, calling it an honour and privilege.

“I think it really is an incredible organization that gives so much to the community and so much to the individuals involved – students, audience, organizers, volunteers,” he said.

Lee Coulter has been involved in various capacities on the board since 2013 – most notably as a volunteer general manager of PRISMA’s first two festivals, and once again in 2018. He also served as PRISMA’s treasurer from 2019-2021 before transitioning into the end of his tenure on the board at the 2022 AGM.

Robinson commended Coulter’s well-rounded skill set, from a mastery of Robert’s Rules of Order in the board room, to his administrative proficiency in the office, to a willingness to haul instruments backstage.

“A wonderful contribution and ten years of it,” said Robinson. “We thank you for what you’ve done for the organization.”

In his speech to attendees at the AGM, Coulter garnered laughter after expressing his relief about finally being able to put down the heavy instruments once and for all.

“I’m very proud of my involvement with PRISMA,” he added. “I would also like to thank all of the people who have worked so hard to make PRISMA the success that it is today, and I would equally want to thank you as supporters in one form or another for those of you who have volunteered, those of you who have donated so much during all of these years… I will miss the close association with so many of you but I leave knowing that PRISMA will continue to grow and flourish.”

Adds PRISMA artistic director, Arthur Arnold, “PRISMA would not exist without its volunteers, whether it’s at the board level or in any other capacity. Community engagement brings joy to many, not just to those directly involved. It’s the ripple effect that spreads the joy wide and far. And we need it more than ever.”

Photos by Arlan Smallwood – PRISMA Operations Manager