Marie Dressler Foundation Honours Local Students

Kieva Earle, Graham Beer, Benjamin Hughes and Sydney Stewart

Congratulations to Northumberland students Graham Beer, Kieva Earle, and Ben Hughes who are recipients of “2018 Student Bursary Awards” and to Sydney Stewart who is the recipient of the “2018 Bill Patchett Devotion to Community Award”.

The Awards, each in the amount of $1,500.00 recognize excellence in academic achievement, personal achievement and volunteer contributions to the community. The “Bill Patchett Devotion to Community Award” recognizes one of the bursary winners who additionally has exhibited exceptional contributions to the community. Marie Dressler Foundation, a registered charity, has been awarding student bursaries for over 25 years to assist graduating students from across Northumberland County who are accepted for enrollment in full-time studies in performing and visual arts programs.

“The bursaries are made possible through the generosity of our volunteers, sponsors, donors and patrons of the annual Vintage Film Festival and our other fund-raising events” said Rick Miller, President and Chair of Marie Dressler Foundation.

Graham Beer as Executive Producer of Cobourg Media has focused his efforts on promoting and sharing current events in and around Cobourg. In fact, in many cases, Graham has “scooped” the traditional media sources with his “on the scene” reporting. Graham is the Prime Minister of Cobourg Collegiate Institute’s Student Council. He leads the school community and promotes a diversity of school events while he has been active in theatre productions, school sports teams, and many community service initiatives while achieving first class honours. Graham is enrolled in RTA Media Production at Ryerson University.

Kieva Earle has been an active performer in music theatre, notably as the lead Maria in the school’s production of “The Sound of Music” as well as impressive roles with Northumberland Players and set and stage design. Kieva is active in not only performing in choirs, and with SONG but also helping with the mentoring of younger members. She is also an accomplished athlete in many sports and is particularly successful in wrestling where she has achieved high standings at the provincial and national levels. Kieva is enrolled in Bishops University in Music and Secondary Education.

Benjamin Hughes is an accomplished musician and he has performed in major productions at his school, most notably in AIDA. He had one of his own written plays selected for a night show performance at his school, with him directing the production.
At East Northumberland Secondary School, as a BAM (Buddies and Mentors) leader, Benjamin provides support to incoming Grade 9 students as a mentor and positive role model and is considered a true leader. Benjamin is enrolled in Ryerson University for the Image Arts: Film Studies Program.

Sydney Stewart, recipient of the “2018 Bill Patchett Devotion to Community Award” is an accomplished young artist and volunteer elementary school art instructor. Sydney believes that the arts have a strong positive impact on mental health and plans to go into art therapy or teaching art as a career. At Cobourg Collegiate Institute, Sydney has achieved 100% in every visual arts course she has taken – a stunning achievement. Her artwork has been featured and rewarded in many art shows and competitions. Sydney is enrolled in Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario in Psychology and Visual Arts.

“This year is “Celebrate Marie Dressler 150”, honoring the 150th birthday of Cobourg-born Academy Award winner Marie Dressler”, added Miller. “Many entertaining events are planned over the next few months.” Refer to for details.

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