DAC awards 2019 Anne Laurier Scholarships to four local students

September 20, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

The annual Anne Laurier Scholarship  awards administered by the Dufferin Arts Council (DAC) have been given this year to four students. 

These scholarships are awarded as a one-time sum of $2,500 to exceptional students in the field of the arts, namely visual, musical or performing arts. 

In a press release, DAC’s Nanci Malik described Anne Laurier as a passionate supporter of the arts who “spent much of her lifetime, applying her considerable talent and creative energy to raising funds for worthy causes, including the Toronto Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.”

In particular, Ms. Laurier was proud of having established a permanent fund to support talented students, planning to pursue a career in the arts. Since 1998, the DAC’s Endowment Fund has awarded over $100,000 in post-secondary scholarships to accomplished youth. 

In recognition of her role and to keep her spirit and vision alive, the Dufferin Arts Council renamed the Endowment Fund the ‘Anne Laurier Scholarship Fund.’ These awards are available to students who are residents of Dufferin County, graduating high school this year and preparing to attend an accredited university or college.”

Darcey Baker, is a well-known songbird and violinist in this neighbourhood, for anyone who has been to a Theatre Orangeville Young Company production in the last couple of years. She has appeared in many concerts over the last number of years as well. 

Primarily home-schooled, she completed, while attending Centre Dufferin District High School, Grade 12 with a 93% – 97% average. She has earned First Class Honours in Grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music Voice and Theory. 

She studied Opera with Mark DuBois for some years and was named the Most Promising Musician at the 2017 Orangeville and District Music Festival.

Darcy is a vocalist, violinist, dancer, actress, visual artist (line drawings) and a special effects makeup artist.

We caught up with Darcy by telephone at Randolph School for the Arts in Toronto, where she is in her first of “a three-year program in two years,” as she told the Citizen. “The Randolph is an all year round, non-stop school. We get Christmas and a reading week every once in a while. There’s no time for anything else.” 

We wanted to know what it is like at Randolph.

“We study how to act by watching many great actors, many series; how they do it. I think great acting is a [matter of ] opinion. Who’s speaking.”

She admires actors from the very old school, “Fred Astaire, Adele, as well as newer and up-and-coming – there are some great actors. And just a generation ago, Idina Menzel and others.”

What she wants for herself? “I want to be on the stage and sharing my joy in acting with others. Theatre is a thrill. I love everything, just everything about it. After college, I’ll look for an agent.”

She commented, “So far, it’s great; the environment is super-great. The teachers are so nice and supportive and knowledgeable.”

Darcy explained how the studies have begun, the historical films, “already what came before Broadway. There was burlesque and vaudeville. We’ve done some songs; this is music theatre and my focus has been musical theatre. Randolph is a school of musical theatre.”

She had high praise for the new musicals, “They are wonderful in the past 10 years – Hamilton and, most recently, I love Beatlejuice. It looks fantastic. It’s on Broadway right now.”

In addition to this scholarship, Darcy received the Headwaters $1,000 annual scholarship and has been nominated for Orangeville’s Arts and Culture Award as Student Artist of the Year.

“I am very honoured to have been nominated,” she said, “It means a lot. And with the scholarships, obviously it’s very expensive to be living in the city and that means a lot too.”

While we were not able to contact the other three winners, the Citizen is pleased announce who they are. 

Bianca Nam, a student of Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School, where she was on the school’s honour roll three times. She has plans to pursue a career in drawing and painting “as a traditional artist using acrylic based paint to create realistic images of people, places and objects.”

Bianca has completed a work experience program at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. There “she assisted in program and material development with younger students. In 2018 Bianca won a design competition sponsored by the Town of Caledon’s Accessibility Committee to design a logo to be presented to businesses that were most accessible to people with disabilities and special needs. Bianca will attend the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting.”

Emily Gilbart’s interest lies in music therapy. 

A student of Westside Secondary School, Emily graduated grade 12 in 2019 with honours and an average of 92.3%. She “plays guitar, trombone, piano and she sings. She was a finalist in the Canadian Song-writing Competition and one of six finalists chosen to perform at the TD Jazz Festival in Toronto.” 

It was while Emily volunteered to sing and play her guitar for residents at the Shelburne Residence nursing home that she learned about the impact music can have on the mind, when she saw how her music was benefiting the mood of many of the residents. 

From this, she has been inspired to learn more about music therapy. Emily will attend Wilfrid Laurier University in the Bachelor of Music in Community Music program.

Britten Woolley attended Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School. “She will be following a cross-disciplinary Life Studies program. Apart from art, Britten’s interests include dance and track and field, specifically long jump and triple jump. Britten won a contest to design a panel for a playground for Orangeville’s Bravery Park that will recognize Canadian soldiers. 

“On four occasions Britten was awarded the Highest Average in Visual Art and in Grades 11 and 12 was selected as the Most Valued Female Athlete on the Track and Field Team. Britten will attend the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto in the Bachelor of Art program.”

Congratulations to the four winners of the Anne Laurier Scholarships.

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