Despite many events on hold, include the 19th Annual Birthday Bash celebration, the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre Society chose to proceed with its annual Bursary Program.
The three recipients of $1,000 bursaries are Rachel Glessing of Coldstream; and Shaughnessy O’Brien and Libby Wyse, both of Vernon. Families of each year’s recipients are traditionally invited and publicly recognized as part of pre-show ceremonies at the centre’s Birthday Bash each Fall which officially launches the Society’s annual SPOTLIGHT Season.
Each year, the society makes available bursaries to Vernon and area Grade 12 students entering, or currently enrolled in post-secondary performing arts or performing arts management programs, or a recognized apprenticeship program in the Performing Arts.
Bursaries are typically made possible from the generous donations by performing arts centre patrons, tips collected at the coat check and the bar and concession; also specified, tax deductible donations and memorial gifts by donors and sponsors throughout the year.
“Over this year, with the return of full public performances delayed, we are planning special initiatives to help replenish our Bursary Fund in time for 2021 bursaries,” VDPAC executive director Jim Harding said.
The Board of Directors’ Bursary Program Committee set 2020 bursaries at $1,000 each due to the continuing high cost of post-secondary programs, despite limitations from the pandemic.
Glessing, a graduate of Kalamalka Secondary, is a third year student at the University of Calgary having completed two years in a Bachelor of Arts (music) transferred to a Bachelor of Music in Fall 2020 and combined with her Bachelor of Science (biology). Glessing is majoring in Integrated Studies (composition, counterpoint, conducting, band instruction & musical history) with her main instrument being trombone, but also trained in piano and violin.
O’Brien, a graduate of W.L. Seaton Secondary and a second time recipient of a VDPAC bursary, is now in her third year in Bachelor of Fine Arts (drama) in a 12-14 member acting conservatory at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alta. Upon graduating in 2022, Shaughnessy plans to audition for professional theatre companies across Canada to pursue a career in live theatre, as well as acting for film and television.
Wyse (Libby) is enrolled in her second year in the Bachelor of Music (violin performance) program at the University of Victoria. Wyse has achieved her Grade 10 level in piano and violin from the Royal Conservatory of Music; worked as a violin teacher and practice coach with the Vernon Community Music School; and played as a solo and chamber musician with Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra.