Muskoka Mosaic: An all encompassing love of the arts
Introducing Jan Jacklin
/ Mandi Hargrave
Jan Jacklin juggles many hats from her personal to professional life and does so with great enthusiasm.
HUNTSVILLE – Jan Jacklin is a woman of many hats; wife, mother, businesswoman, actor and producer. And happily, she wears them all.
Born in England, Jacklin first moved to Canada when she was still under the age of one. By the age of 10 her family had moved back to their homeland, but it didn’t take long for them to return to Canada.
“I was raised in a very British environment,” said Jacklin. “My parents still had very thick Yorkshire accents, I actually still have an accent.”
You wouldn’t know it upon first meeting her, but get Jacklin around a bunch of other Brits and her English roots shine through.
“It just comes,” she said with a laugh.
Having those roots is what made her connection to her husband Steven, so comfortable when they initially met. He too was born in England, still has his accent and embraces kippers for breakfast and Yorkshire pudding.
They met in their early twenties as members of a theatre group in Toronto. Passionate about the arts, the two worked together on numerous plays.
“He finally got the nerve to ask me out and I thought, ‘ok, that’s kinda cool,’ and a year later we were married,” she said. “I basically married my best friend, we have so much in common.”
They have three children, Charlie, Adam and Jessica, who were all raised with music and drama.
Two of her children have gone into the arts, one for music, the other for visual arts, while the third is a child and youth worker who embraces the arts as a teaching tool.
“Our kids were raised very much in an all arts embracing environment,” said Jacklin. “The arts are very important.”
Theatre has always been engrained in Jacklin’s inner being from an early age. She wanted to pursue the arts in her post secondary education, but was encouraged to choose something more practical.
“It’s always been in me,” said Jacklin. “There’s always something in you from when you’re very young and we can’t always do it at the beginning.”
While the arts were always important in the Jacklin home, the couple no longer had the time to be involved in productions but still attended shows when possible while raising their children.
That all changed in 2010 when they moved from Oakville to Huntsville. With a cottage in Novar the two never really stepped foot in Huntsville during their time away from city life, that is until their friends purchased a home here.
“We came into town and just fell in love with it,” said Jacklin. “It felt like home.”
At the time Jacklin was a real estate agent and began looking at homes in the area. She found the perfect little English-style home on Florence Street.
Life as they knew it changed. She and her husband said goodbye to a lifestyle that was making Jacklin feel jaded and embraced all that Huntsville has to offer.
While living in Oakville she wasn’t involved in anything community-oriented and within two months of moving north, she was part of a theatre company.
“Huntsville was ready for me,” she said. “It opened its doors and I’ve made all sorts of friends … I just opened myself up.”
She’s the producer for the Huntsville Community Theatre Company and is involved with Transition Huntsville, an environmental group focused on sustainability.
While Jacklin works upwards of 80 hours a week, she said it doesn’t feel like work.
“Do not give up on a dream,” said Jacklin. “It’s never too late.”
Thank you to Lori Sild for recommending Jacklin. If there is someone in the community you would like to recommend contact Mandi Hargrave at 705-789-5541 ext. 285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.