Receiving an award meant someone saw promise in me.
August 2019 Edition     View this email in your web browser »


Discovering the power of theatre 

As the last act wrapped, Fiona Donnelly-Rheaume looked around the great hall of First Peoples House with tears in her eyes. “I still get choked up thinking about it,” she says, “Elder Vic Underwood, a residential school survivor, addressed the settler children as if no one else was in the room and thanked them for caring.”

As her final project in her applied theatre degree Fiona, under the mentorship of professor Phil Duchene, worked with Royal Oak Middle School students to perform the play No Stepping Back, during UVic’s IdeaFest. The play, written by  Dr. Warwick Dobson and Phil Duchene, aims to address the complex history of residential schools and their catastrophic effects on Indigenous communities, families and individuals.

“Seeing kids act out what happened at residential schools made the suffering and pain that Indigenous youth endured more real,” Fiona says.

Fiona's passion and hard work on projects like No Stepping Back didn’t go unnoticed. Her professors nominated her for the Muriel Conway Memorial Scholarship.

“Receiving donor support not only took some pressure off my family financially," Fiona explains, "It meant someone saw promise in me, and I can only hope to live up to that promise.” 

A birthday surprise 

On her 82nd birthday, Avis Rasmussen received a very special gift. Her family set up an endowment in her name to support students studying visual arts. "There is no better feeling than knowing I'm supporting future artists," Avis says, “It means so much to have that be part of my legacy."

Basketball changed my life

Growing up in Brazil, playing basketball and attending University was only a dream for Carlos Costa. But as fate would have it, that dream would come true thanks to the generosity of donors. "It overwhelms me that people are willing to support someone they have never met," Carlos says.   

Thank you for being a loyal and generous donor to the University of Victoria. The Donor Digest is a glimpse of what you made possible through your continued support as a Monthly Giving Club Member. Without you, these stories of hope and achievement wouldn't be possible.

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