Richmond Community Foundation scholarships awarded to 39 Richmond students

A McNair secondary grad is able to pursue her dreams of theatre production after being awarded the Richmond Community Foundation’s largest scholarship.

Olivia Reid-Friesen, a University of Victoria fine arts student, was awarded the $5,000 Phyllis Taylor Scholarship.

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In September, she will start a work-study program in the costume shop at the university’s theatre.

“Thanks to Phyllis Taylor, I am living out my dreams of studying and working in theatre,” said Reid-Friesen. “I am thrilled to continue my studies in stage management and costume construction come fall.

“With this scholarship, I am able to continue doing what I love, serving my community and I am immensely grateful for that opportunity.”

The scholarship was established for performing arts students in 2004 after Phyllis Taylor, a pianist and established Richmond music teacher, passed away.

The foundation received 135 applications from students seeking financial assistance, the largest number of applicants in the foundation’s history.

Of the 41 scholarships awarded for 2019, 39 were given to Richmond high school students, totalling $24,400.

While the scholarships help students pay their tuition fees and cover the costs of course materials, they also help to verify a student’s community contributions, which can help with entry into specialty or post-graduate programs.

Each year, the foundation also awards the Ethel Tibbits Scholarship, which is given to a Richmond woman pursuing higher education to help support her family. This year’s winner was Shyann Boyer, of the Richmond Colts Young Parent program.

According to Julie Halfnights, who chairs the foundation’s scholarship committee, it was “a challenge” to choose who would be awarded the Tibbets scholarship.

“This was similar to last year and indicated the need for more funds for mature students,” added Halfnights.

For information on how create or donate to a scholarship fund, visit

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