Former Abbotsford city councillor Christine Caldwell died Feb. 5 following a brave fight with cancer.
She was 56.
"She was a strong, independent woman. It's tragic," said former mayor George Peary, who visited Caldwell just a few weeks ago in hospital. "She was a pretty solid lady. She loved this community."
Peary had known Caldwell for many years, as she was a student of his when he taught at W.J. Mouat.
Caldwell served one term on city council, from 2005-08, but it was her work with the arts for which she will be remembered most.
"She was an unabashed community promoter and especially an advocate for the arts," said Peary. "She worked tirelessly promoting the arts."
During her advocacy, the community and council were sometimes at odds over the Plan A proposal.
"She wanted to make sure arts and culture had a piece of the Plan A action. She wanted culture to be included," said Peary. "She was bound and determined to raise the profile of the arts in the community."
A Realtor for more than 20 years, Caldwell also served as president of the Abbotsford Arts Council and was a member of the Fraser Valley Watercolour Society.
"We were good friends," said artist Gwen Gregorig, vice president of the watercolour society, who visited Caldwell in her home less than two weeks ago.
"She was always helping people; the kindest, sweetest person I think I've ever known," said Gregorig.
"I knew it was coming. It's a very sad day. People really loved her. It's a really sad loss for the community."
- A Celebration of Life will be held Monday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. at Cascade Community Church, 35190 DeLair Rd., Abbotsford.