2016 Arts and Culture Finalists Bios

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Finalist Arts and Culture: Richard Hardy, École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges / University of Ottawa

Richard Hardy is a gifted musician with a passion for giving back to his community. From 2009-2015 Richard attended Béatrice-Desloges high school and got his musical start playing the baritone saxophone in grade 7 band. By grade 10, he was a member of the senior band and of the jazz ensemble. In grade 11, he became the director of the jazz ensemble after their teacher transferred schools. Now in his first year of university as a music student at the University of Ottawa Richard continues to be the director of the jazz ensemble at his former high school, using his connections to bring in professional musicians to host clinics in fun ways. He signs up the ensemble for trips, competitions and concerts, and has been doing so since he took over in his grade 11 year. Now he plays baritone saxophone in the wind orchestra and in the jazz band, sings in the Calixa-Lavallée choir, and in a new Barbershop quartet, and had the lead role in a student-directed musical at the University of Ottawa. “ It has been extremely rewarding to teach the next generations who will be following in my footsteps, and to offer them the same opportunities that I had when I was in their place” says Hardy of his time giving back. “ He really sees possibilities instead of problems and already thinks like a professional teacher; he wants “his” students to develop musically, learn jazz, and have the opportunity to participate in concerts and competitions” as his teachers remark. Richard Hardy

Quote: “It truly makes me feel like I’m giving back to the school that made me fall in love with music and ensure that more students can become as passionate as I am about what I do.”


Finalist Arts & Culture: Sarah Pledge Dickson, Canterbury High School

Sarah Pledge Dickson has been a dedicated member of the Canterbury School Community during her studies there.  She performed exceptionally well in her Grade 11 and 12 Outdoor Education classes, attaining a 94% average and persevering despite very challenging conditions, throwing herself wholeheartedly into every activity with the utmost enthusiasm.  In her final year of high school, Sarah took on the role of peer tutor for the class, training and guiding the younger students so that they, too, could have rewarding outdoor education experiences.  Sarah has successfully balanced a very busy schedule at Canterbury.  While participating as a member of the school’s music program and maintaining a high academic standing, she has also been a leader in many of the school’s events and extracurricular activities.  Sarah has served as Co-head of Music Council, Music Grade Rep, LINK Crew Member, Relay for Life Committee Member, Key Club Member, Spartan Leadership Camp Builder, and Board-wide Leadership Camp Delegate.  She has been dedicated to her music for much of her life and has contributed so much Canterbury’s Arts Program and is respected and admired by her peers and supervisors.

Sarah Pledge Dickson

Quote: “I realize just how much I want to know about the world and to help the people in it. I know my resilience will come in handy.”