Sculptures enhance permanent legacy of former UBC student

Student’s father creates bronze deer in memory of his son

Two bronze deer now grace the grounds of UBC’s Okanagan campus, a gift that will forever stand as a legacy to former undergraduate student River Sidley.

River died suddenly in 2014 and received a posthumous bachelor of science in June 2015.

The artwork, “Pair of Deer” was created by River’s father David, a sculptor from Rossland, B.C. The family, grateful for the experience their son had at the university, donated the bronze sculptures as a way of commemorating River’s memory.

“In appreciation of UBC Okanagan, and in honour of River, I decided to install these sculptures on the campus,” said David Sidley, in a press release.

“Hopefully, they will be enjoyed for years to come and remind people of my son who probably would have made a name for himself here as well.”

The bronzes, which were conceived in Rossland at the artist’s studio and then cast in Kelowna, were installed in the campus courtyard in time for June’s convocation celebrations.

“UBC Okanagan gratefully welcomes David Sidley’s beautiful artwork to the campus,” said UBC Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buszard, in a press release.

“The sculpture is a moving tribute from a parent to his departed son. River felt at home on this campus and we were honoured to choose a prominent location for the work as a reflection of the Sidley family’s embrace of our learning community.”

“His important work adds breadth to our collection and resonates well with existing outdoor artworks on campus,” said Susan Belton, curator of UBC Okanagan’s Public Art Collection.

River was studying at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre at the time of his passing, leading the Sidley family to endow the River Timothy Sidley Memorial Award in 2015. The award supports a UBC Okanagan student who shares River’s love for marine biology and who is pursuing additional studies at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre.

River’s mother Louise, who received her Masters of Fine Arts from UBC in 2010, says her son had found his life passion at Bamfield and through the award in River’s name the family wishes to honour his life.

“We wanted to carry on River’s potential, and it’s been really meaningful for us because we’ve been able to see the recipients, and we have formed relationships with new students. That’s been very energizing for us,” said Louise. “UBC has been incredibly supportive of us as a family trying to grow and to learn, and it’s nice to keep our connection to the campus with this scholarship and the deer.”

The family ties with UBC are deep and the Sidleys were filled with pride when River’s sister Sage graduated from UBC Okanagan campus in 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The family is now in the process of establishing a second award at UBC Vancouver to further honour their son’s memory and support even more UBC students.

“I think our relationship with UBC has helped our whole family deal with our loss because of the legacy we’re able to leave behind,” Louise said.

The deer were installed into the university’s courtyard, a spot where students and faculty gather for occasions throughout the year. The artwork was officially unveiled on June 16.

Just Posted

RCMP hunt for suspect in West Kelowna bank robbery

Suspect used a note and fled bank Saturday with an undisclosed amount of cash

Community Leader Awards: Shelley Pacholok

The Kelowna Capital News honours those who give back in the community

International Arts Festival returns to Kelowna

Living Things is a month-long festival with live performances by artists from around the world

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Kelowna Art Gallery members’ exhibition offers variety of media

Encounters will be held from Dec. 2 to Feb. 3

B.C. wine industry fights for interprovincial trade in Supreme Court

Gerard Comeau likely never thought he would end up in the Supreme… Continue reading

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Site C decision coming Monday morning

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

PIGS bring Pink Floyd sound to Kelowna

Victoria band pays tribute to iconic British band on Feb. 10 at Mary Irwin Theatre

Letter: Another flagger dies; when will you slow down?

You have all seen our signs, trucks and my favorite our cones. Why don’t you slow down?

Kelowna-developed technology to be unveiled at Summerhill

Kelowna winery and tech company introduces new technology for phone or tablet

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Most Read