The Village of Burns Lake Council includes five members that will serve to the end of the current term in 2018.
Mayor Chris Beach:
Mayor Chris Beach was born and raised in Burns Lake where his family has lived for five generations. Along with his wife Dooseon and son Aiden, he enjoys the many recreational and cultural opportunities the Lakes District has to offer. He graduated with a Double Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from the University of Victoria, and wrote his Master’s Thesis on the history of the Ootsa Lake Settlements that were flooded out by the Alcan Kemano Project in the 1950s.
Mayor Beach served three years as Councillor before winning a by-election in 2016 to become Mayor. During his term he hopes to promote Economic Development, infrastructure replacement, and First Nations partnerships. He takes great pride in representing his community to the rest of the Province, and he is happy to live amongst its welcoming people and pristine environment.
Councillor Kelly Holliday:
Councillor Holliday is the owner and operator of an award winning fashion boutique in Burns Lake that specializes in Canadian made apparel. She has been in operation since the spring of 2010, and she has enjoyed being a part of the local business community for many years. Prior to that, Councillor Holliday worked in marketing for Vista Radio, which gave her a close relationship with the business community in the North and inspired her to start a business of her own.
She has been heavily involved in many local organizations, including the local Fall Fair Society, the Rotary Club, and she has served as the president of the local Chamber of Commerce for two terms. She loves her community and enjoys finding ways to get involved and give back.
Councillor Holliday ran for Council to make a difference for the business community, and she is hoping to find ways to increase retail activity in Burns Lake and inspire citizens to do more of their shopping locally. Her goal is to help define “who we are and what we stand for as a community” to attract new residents, new business and new industry. She is very proud of the community, and feels that it is time for the rest of the world know what Burns Lake has to offer.
Councillor Holliday has lived in Burns Lake for fifteen years, and enjoys spending time with her three boys. When she isn’t working, she loves to spend time on the shores of Babine Lake. When asked what has made her stay in Burns Lake, she always replies “It’s the people!”
Councillor John Illes:
Councillor John Illes is in his third term on council; he is actively involved in his Church group and has a strong interest in economic development.
Councillor Illes first arrived in Burns Lake in 1992 for a four month job with the Ministry of Forests. He ended up falling in love with Burns Lake, as well as falling in love with his wife April. Councillor Illes was married in Burns Lake in 1996; he and his wife have two children. Councillor Illes is a collector of coins, books, and comic books and he also dabbles in the game of Chess as well as board games. Many people don’t know that he enjoys crocheting blankets for his family members. Councillor Illes began his career fighting fires in 1986, and has held various jobs ranging from government positions, accounting, as well as working in the hotel industry.
Councillor Illes is passionate about Burns Lake, and personally would like to aid in developing Burns Lake both in size and economic activity, this goal is so important to him that he has gone as far as to read the Municipal Cultural Planning Handbook to inspire himself. He credits Burns Lake for having “the best people that always come together in a pinch”. His belief is that the Village of Burns Lake needs to expand its boundaries in order to provide services to rural areas, and to bring all the individuals that call Burns Lake home together as a cohesive unit.
Councillor Michael Riis-Christianson:
Michael Riis-Christianson has been a resident of the Lakes District for nearly 40 years, and lived in Burns Lake proper since 2006. Although trained as a journalist (something he still dabbles in occasionally), he has also operated his own business and worked for all three levels of government.
Michael has a long history of volunteerism in the community, having served on more than a dozen organizations since returning to the Lakes District in 1991. A founding member of Burns Lake Community Forest Ltd., the Lakes District Film Appreciation Society (Beacon Theatre), and Burns Lake Citizens on Patrol, he is currently a member of the Burns Lake Public Library’s board of trustees and treasurer of the North Central Library Federation.
Michael first served on village council in the early 1990s, and was elected again in 2016. During the coming two years, he hopes to play a role in developing Burns Lake’s mid-term timber supply mitigation strategy, and see the village address its infrastructure deficit.
Councillor Susan Schienbein:
Susan Schienbein was elected to Council in November 2014. This will be her fourth term on Council although work outside of Burns Lake in another local government necessitated a resignation part-way through her third term. Councillor Schienbein couldn’t be happier to be back in Burns Lake with her husband and two grown children. After working away in more than four different communities in the last six years, Susan is glad to be home.
Susan’s family moved to Burns Lake in 1967. Susan was active in service as a child and was part of the Burns Lake Service Club – a student volunteer group – what started the Citizen of the Year Award. Growing up with a volunteer extraordinaire for a Mom instilled a strong sense of volunteering. Councillor Schienbein has volunteered for numerous organizations and projects in the community and is focused on organizations that reduce poverty and promote a healthier community.
At the provincial level Susan volunteers with Patients as Partners and is a Director at Large for the BC Women’s Liberal Commission. Councillor Schienbein recently graduated from Royal Roads University with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication and has been providing volunteer communication consulting to a number of small non-profits.