A local cultural icon who was crucial to the formation of the Touchstones Museum of Art and History has received a special citation from the city.
Stephanie Fischer, described by Mayor Deb Kozak as “a true friend” of Nelson during a presentation speech, was honoured for her extensive accomplishments at the city’s annual reception Monday at the Prestige Lakeside Resort.
“With her tenacity, hard work, dedication and passion, Stephanie has firmly fought for Nelson’s cultural sector in any and all forums, be they municipal, regional, provincial or national,” the mayor said.
Fischer, an architect who received her professional degree in West Berlin, lived in the former East Germany where she worked as a project manager developing a Community Cultural Centre before immigrating to Canada..
In 1995, Fischer and her partner, Ian Johnston, moved to Nelson and together founded a ceramic arts production business that showed in over 150 museum shops and galleries across North America.
While running this business, Fischer became involved in creating the vision for a space to replace the Mildred Erb Gallery, a less than two hundred square foot room in the basement of the Nelson Museum. Seven years into the process Fischer was hired by the Museum Society to oversee the project.
“Thanks to her enthusiasm, ability to inspire, and her voracious search for any and all public funding, the Touchstones Museum of Art and History became a reality (in 2006),” said Kozak.
Kozak added that Fischer is also a passionate advocate for maintaining local heritage, acting as project consultant for the Chamber of Commerce’s restoration of Nelson’s historic Canadian Pacific Railway Station.