City of Powell River councillor CaroleAnn Leishman grew up as a competitive figure skater and coached for a number of years. After graduating in theatre arts at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she worked in television, film, commercials and theatre. She is a founding member of the Far Off Broadway Theatre Company, teaches dance classes at Laszlo Tamasik Dance Academy and is a municipal director on Powell River Regional District’s board. Leishman is also an architectural designer, project manager and certified builder.
Can you talk about your many artistic pursuits?
I have always related more to the arts than anything else. I grew up drawing and painting, writing fiction, figure skating, dancing, acting, singing and playing music. If it is a creative art, I have probably dabbled in it.
Which ones are you most passionate about and why?
My heart is in the performing arts, having studied theatre arts in Los Angeles, directing musicals and other stage productions and many ice shows as a professional skating coach. I teach dance classes at Laszlo Tamasik Dance Academy and have an adult dance troupe called the Kit Kat Showgirlz. I’m still artistic director of Far Off Broadway Theatre Company but we have been on hiatus since I became immersed in local government. I hope to kick-start that again soon.
What artistic accomplishments are you most proud of?
The large scale musicals I’ve been able to produce in Powell River, like Chicago and The Sound of Music, have been my proudest achievements, proving what is possible in a small town and giving opportunities to youth and adults that show them what they are capable of and set the tone for the rest of their lives.
You’re playing in the Townsite Jazz Festival Alumni Band, how’s the practising going?
It is awesome and hilarious. Paul Cummings is one of the most patient band leaders I’ve ever worked with. I played tenor saxophone in high school jazz band with great musicians like Walter Martella and many others. I hated practising at home because my instrument was so heavy to lug back and forth. I rented a smaller alto sax and quite amazingly it is all coming back to me. I am by no means a good sax player but I’m hitting most of the notes. It’s great being able to take part in this event that will be a fabulous addition to our annual roster of festivals in this talented community of ours. Who knows, maybe I will continue with the sax playing? As long as my neighbours don’t mind.
Leishman and the Brooks Secondary School/Max Cameron Secondary School Almuni Jazz Band will perform in Dwight Hall at Townsite Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 7. For more information, go to townsitejazz.com.