Brent Matterson

Bursary winners announced

Four students receive bursaries from Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society

At the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre’s 16th Birthday Bash celebration, society president Sigrid-Ann Thors announced the 2017 bursary winners to an audience of more than 670.

The four recipients of this year’s $1,000 bursaries are Brent Matterson, Megan Van Den Maagdenberg and Sophia Friesen of Vernon, and Ariel Klim of Coldstream. Families of this year’s recipients were invited and recognized with the announcement.

“It is just as rewarding for us to be able to support students such as these as they pursue careers in the performing arts,” says Jim Harding, executive director of the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. “This year’s recipients are worthy candidates and we wish them all the best.”

Enrolled in his second year of a bachelor’s of music degree at the University of Calgary, Matterson is majoring in composition with classical guitar. He looks forward to inspiring others “to see the joys of music and to harness the transformative power that music has on everyone.” He has achieved the Dean’s List with a GPA of 3.9; received the Don Wright Award in Practical Instrumental Arranging; and an invitation to the University of Calgary Scholars Academy.

Attending Capilano University in Vancouver, Van Den Maagdenberg successfully auditioned for the two-year classical music diploma program that will provide “an avenue to multiple careers in the arts such as composition, teaching, music criticism and music publishing.” Following completion of the program, she hopes to transfer into music therapy. Music “has always been her passion” and she is dedicated to teaching others and expanding her knowledge as a composer.

Friesen began her studies this fall at the University of Victoria in pursuit of a bachelor’s of music degree. In her second year, she hopes to enter the performance stream of the program. She aspires to be a professional vocalist and voice teacher. With a foundation in singing, dancing and acting, she “loves performing and bringing joy to others.” As a student at W.L. Seaton, she performed with the 27th Street Theatre company production of Anne of Green Gables, Oliver!, and The Secret in the Wings.

Klim is back at the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria for her second year with a focus on musical theatre. She has appeared in a number of local productions with 27th Street Theatre and Charity Van Gameren’s Lights of Broadway. She “feels lucky to be surrounded by theatre, from laughing in the green room with the cast to standing in the spotlight.” Klim was also the Performing Arts Centre’s summer student in 2017.

Each year, the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society makes bursaries available to Vernon and area Grade 12 students entering a university, college, technical school, or a recognized apprenticeship program as well as second or third year students majoring in performing arts or performing arts management programs.

Bursaries are made possible by the generous donations of the Performing Arts Centre patrons in the form of tips and gratuities at the coat check, bar, and concession. Specified donations by sponsors and individual donors are also welcome.

The number and amount of the Society’s bursaries depends on the quality of applications and these donations. The board of directors, at its discretion, may also top-up funding from the society’s resources. This year, the society was able to increase the bursary amounts to $1,000 for each student.

Application details and deadline for next year’s Bursary Program will be announced in the Spring of 2018.


Megan Van Den Maagdenberg

Sophia Friesen

Ariel Klim

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