March 14, 2012 · 11:23 AM

This month I would like to reproduce an article I wrote in March 2007 as a tribute to Betty Durocher, who passed away last month.

She was the ultimate volunteer, especially in the arts.

This was her story as told in 2007.

Betty’s father and siblings were all musical and very involved with local arts and culture. Her extended family was also very active and talented. However, Betty’s children, as toddlers, asked that she not sing, only hum very softly. She probably had the only two children who argued as to who’s turn it was to practise the piano. She did take accordion lessons for several years, tried acting and tap dancing, but she was more comfortable off the stage than on.

Betty joined the Eagle Valley Arts Council in 1988 as secretary and held several positions for the next 16 years, and she chaired or volunteered at most of the Arts Council events, projects and member group activities.

She even ventured into acting in The Coffee Shop.

Not only did she belong to the local Arts Council, she was asked to represent the Eagle Valley Arts Council at meetings of the Thompson Okanagan Regional Arts Council (TONAC). As if this was not enough involvement for Betty, she served a six-year term as a director, which includes five years as secretary on the board of the Assembly of BC Arts Councils board.

She was the representative for arts councils in the Thompson-Okanagan Region. She retired from that position after she served the six-year term.

It is hard to believe that someone can put so much effort into the arts and represent Sicamous and the Okanagan in Victoria for so many years. A lot of these things went unnoticed by the general public, and even by the member groups of the Eagle Valley Arts Council. She travelled often and far to attend meetings, and was a worthy representative of our local arts council.

Her advice to other potential volunteers?

If new to the community, the best way to get to know people is to get involved in an organization.

Volunteering is a very rewarding experience, and Betty was thankful to her family and friends for giving her the opportunity to get involved so she could advocate for arts and culture.

Sicamous could not have asked for a more energetic arts volunteer and advocate and, she deserves our recognition for all the excellent work she did for over 16 years.

On behalf of all the people in the arts in Sicamous, thank you Betty. You will be missed.

For arts information, please contact Carla Krens at 250-836-4705 or