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Gail (left) and Susana Rutherford present School of Performing Arts student Luke Ignace with the inaugural bursary from The Erica Rutherford Memorial Fund, held by The Confederation Centre of the Arts FoundationLuke Ignace is the first recipient of The Erica Rutherford Memorial Bursary awarded by Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. Ignace is a first-year student with the Holland College School of Performing Arts (SoPA), a partnership with Confederation Centre.

To ensure continuing post-secondary students in any manner of artistic training could receive support, Erica Rutherford’s family created an endowment fund in her memory last spring through The Confederation Centre of the Arts Foundation. A native of Prince Edward Island, Erica embraced all manners of the arts as a visual artist, actor, filmmaker, teacher and writer.

Family members Gail and Susana Rutherford were present at the recent year-end School of Performing Arts Showcase at The Mack to present the first bursary to Ignace, who was also performing that night. “Erica always took time to encourage and mentor younger artists throughout her career,” said Susana. 

Gail said, “It is delightful that the first award went to a student of the theatre program, as Erica spent so many of her early years in theatre and continued her interest in stage and film throughout her career.”

Ignace is a dedicated theatre student who entered the program as an international student from the Bahamas. Answering the question of what it means to have diversity in the arts in his bursary submission, he stated, “Diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment, and embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.”

Donations to support future recipients are eligible for up to dollar for dollar matching as The Confederation Centre of the Arts Foundation has pre-qualified for Canadian Heritage’s Endowment Incentive Program. If interested in making a donation contact Wraychel Horne, foundation director at 628-6137 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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