As the West Kootenay Grads of 2020 prepare to leave the comforts of high school and their homes to carve out new trails and head into a world that will look very different than the one they lived in before.
You are the class that will be remembered that has sacrificed some of your best high school days to protect your health, and the health of others. We praise you for your actions and leadership during this difficult time, and The Nelson Daily and The Daily Dose commend you and admire your strengths.
You will forever be remembered as the students that had the most challenging Grade 12 year of any on record and you persevered through adversity. Your adventure raft awaits you so don’t forget your paddle.
Always be authentic to your word, and don’t be afraid to jump in at the deep end. We wish you all nothing but the best in your future endeavours, congratulations!
West Kootenay Grad Alumni messages in order brought to you by:
Tom Haukaas is an emerging artist from Nelson BC, and he has truly mastered his craft after learning painting in art classes at LV Rogers Secondary High School while working and recreating in the Kootenay’s.
His medium is acrylic paint on canvas, and depicts elements of local landscapes near and dear to him, in a combination of realistic and abstract styles.
Sydney Black is second generation Nelsonite and pioneers her influence as a passionate ambassador for the arts and culture of the region.
With more than eight years at the helm of her production company, Black Productions, she has presented 8 full-scale Broadway musicals at the Capitol Theatre (Chicago, Cabaret, Hedwig, Rock of Ages, Steel Magnolias, Grease, Mamma Mia, Chess and 2020's upcoming Little Shop of Horrors, and if she secures funding and a venue, get ready for an all female cast of The Tempest planned for 2021).
Along with Black Productions, Sydney holds the Executive Director title at the Nelson and District Arts Council, and under her direction the council has revitalized their focus on artist support in the community and produces the successful and highly anticipated Nelson International Mural Festival, which will be going virtual August 14-16th 2020.
Shawn Hook AKA Shawn Hlookoff is a two-time platinum recording artist and producer, and started writing and recording his own music after completing a music composition course at Mount Sentinel Secondary School where he mastered playing the piano and trombone in a jazz combo and jazz big band under the guidance and mentorship of Rick Lingard.
After enrolling in the prestigious Audio Engineering Program at The Art Institute of Vancouver, Shawn has found global pop music success and has signed record deals with major US recording labels and has an exclusive license under EMI Music Canada.
Dryden Hunt is a professional ice hockey player who is currently playing in the Florida Panthers organization of the National Hockey League.
Dryden has played for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BC Hockey League and Major Midget with the Kootenay Ice on a local level before going on to have an exceptional career in the Western Hockey League.
Dryden scored 58 goals, added 58 assists, to capture WHL Player of the Year in 2016 and helped lead the Moose Jaw Warriors into the second round of the playoffs.
Dryden then signed an NHL entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers, which is pretty good for the Kootenay hockey star passed over in the WHL Bantam Draft and twice in the NHL Draft.
Sean Denison, who helped the L.V. Rogers Bombers and Trafalgar Totems capture Provincial Championships in Grade 10 and Grade 9, respectively, and finish fourth at the BC High School AAA Boys Basketball Championships in 2003, is a former Canadian Men's National Basketball Team member and played professionally in Europe for 12 years.
And its not just athletics that he has excelled in. Sean has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Santa Clara University in California and since retiring from professional basketball and graduating from University, he has obtained a Permaculture Design Certificateand practices and studies regenerative agriculture on his family farm near Enderby BC, called Honey Berry Haven.
Congratulations to this year’s West Kootenay Grads of 2020, a year to remember, we wish you all the best!