Back to top

Chart named winner of 2016 June Lythgoe Scholarship

AFI Board Member and local composer (far left) Doug Jamieson and AFI President Dianna Ducs presents Emma Chart with the 2016 June Lythgoe Scholarship. — Submitted photo

Emma Chart of Nelson has been chosen the winner of the 2016 June Lythgoe Scholarship.

Chart, who recently completed in the summer youth theatre production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, was chosen after the adjudication of a strong list of candidates.

"Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, and to have such an award available to cultivate young people’s musical aspirations is absolutely wonderful,” Chart said.

“I'm truly honoured to have been chosen for this year’s scholarship. It will be a tremendous help with continuing my studies in vocal performance.”

The June Lythgoe Music Scholarship Fund provides a semi-annual $1000 scholarship to further the studies of West Kootenay music students at a recognized post-secondary institution.

“This scholarship helped me get amazing instruction at The Canadian College of Performing Arts, where my studies made it possible to grow as a performer, build connections and feel confident going out in the world calling theatre my career,” said 2014 recipient Gabriel Macdonald.

June Lythgoe was someone passionately committed to furthering the opportunity for artistic excellence in Nelson. 

In the year 2000, when her daughter Shannon was the Volunteer Coordinator for the BC Festival of the Arts, June expressed her belief that “Nelson with its vibrant artistic community and spectacular natural beauty is the perfect place – a natural fit! – for a classical music festival.”

The Lythgoe family initiated a meeting at the Hume Hotel with a number of local folks intrinsically involved in the Nelson musical community. From that meeting, an organization was born.

A name was chosen that honoured the life and legacy of Amy Ferguson, a much loved music teacher and mentor in Nelson.

The goal of the Amy Ferguson Institute (AFI) is to further the vocal arts (both choral and solo) in the West Kootenays. From 2001 to 2004, AFI produced the Nelson Summer Songfest, a classical music festival, and a series of summer voice masterclasses featuring internationally renowned sopranos Nancy Argenta and Ingrid Attrot.

Since its inception,AFI – in conjunction with Nelson Community Opera (NCO) – mounted annual productions of opera and musical theatre, including two original local operas, KHAOS and Jorinda, along with many popular operas and musical theatre productions. 

To accomplish its goal of furthering the vocal arts, AFI knew that increasing educational opportunities for area youth was essential.

The June Lythgoe Scholarship was established to meet this goal.

The June Lythgoe Scholarship is timely since Chart is about to embark on studies at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatrein New York city. The alumni of this School are impressive: Gregory Peck, Joanne Woodward, Robert Duvalland a host of other luminaries in the theatre world.

Chart is “so excited to see what the future holds!"