A longtime member of the Red Deer Arts Council board, who stepped back from the board to focus on her health in September, has passed away.
Diane Hermary passed away this past Thursday following a “long-endured journey with cancer,” the Red Deer Arts Council said in an Instagram post early Saturday morning.
“We are heartbroken that the disease she fought bravely for many years finally took its toll,” the post said.
“But she overcame nonetheless, living in joy, full of love and with vigour. If there was a dance-floor, she was on it, enjoying herself to the fullest.
“We know many of you knew and worked with Diane along the journey, and we wish to express our sincerest condolences at this announcement of loss.”
She was 54 years old when she passed away at the Red Deer Hospice.
Originally hailing from Southern Ontario, Hermary moved to Alberta in 1994 and then to Red Deer in 1996.
According to her bio on the Red Deer Arts Council website, she was involved in the arts and culture scene from an early age, through writing short stories and painting on rocks as a child.
Later in life, she planned to go to journalism school, but when that didn’t pan out she promptly set up shop at local farmers markets and craft shows, selling paintings and other small items.
After her move to Red Deer, she partnered with two other like-minded women and helped co-found the downtown retail shop housewarmings – a local shop specializing in local artist consignment and imported global artist discovery.
Hermary was on the executive board of the Red Deer Arts Council for the last eight years – she spent one year off-board, but served as recording secretary. She had been involved in the council’s predecessor, the Red Deer and District Allied Arts Council, for another six.
“Sending our condolences to her family and to our amazing Arts community. She was a force in this community,” Tourism Red Deer tweeted Saturday morning.