Two local individuals have been honoured with scholarships in their names, a first by the ACT’s board of directors.
The newly named scholarship awards honour the legacies of Judith Bergthorson and Amy Wallace, who both passed away last year.
“This is the first time we’ve ever named a scholarship after anybody,” said Karen Pighin, communications manager at the ACT.
There are five $1,000 scholarships handed out each year by the ACT in the categories of music, dance, drama/technical theatre, visual and media arts and literary arts.
The theatre scholarship is now in the name of Wallace and the music one is in the name of Bergthorson.
Wallace was a resident of Port Coquitlam, but her early training was at the Peggy Peat School of Dance in Maple Ridge.
She was in the 2004 Arts Club production of SUDS at the ACT and was nominated for a Jesse Award for her role as Belle in the Stanley Theatre’s production of Beauty and the Beast.
She spent four seasons as Anne of Green Gables at the Charlottetown Festival. In 2012, she starred as Mabel in Pirates of Penzance at the Stratford Festival and as Sally in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Her last performance on stage was in 2014 as a soloist performing the music of Lerner and Lowe with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Bergthorson was the founder of the Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. In 2003, she moved to Maple Ridge after 25 years of teaching vocal, guitar and piano students in Stonewall Manitoba. It was here that she opened up the music academy with the goal of creating the best teaching faculty for an independent music school in the Lower Mainland. She was a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Western Board of Music and a member of the B.C. Registered Music Teachers Association.
“Judith Bergthorson left a huge legacy of involvement and support of the arts in this community and is dearly missed,” said Pighin
Over 450 people attended a memorial for her in February 2015, an example of the respect and appreciation she garnered in the community. The tribute, organized by her friends and supporters, had 40 performers on two stages at the ACT and featured famous opera singers, renowned classical and chamber musicians, contemporary pop, rock and bluegrass bands.
“Amy Wallace, who had this amazing career, left us very young and early. Her father’s been on our board for the last few years, it’s pretty special,” continued Pighin.
Investors Group, where Wallace’s father is a consultant, has added funding to her scholarship.
Any staff or board member can recommend a scholarship memorial to the board.
• Application information and forms can be found at www.theactmapleridge.org/community-giving/scholarships.
The deadline for applications is April 1.