Julie Ann Elizabeth O’Rourke was one of those rare people who loved life and could make you love yours, was pre-eminently successful as a scholar and an artist, provided deep insight into any challenge of the heart and brought together diverse friends and family in the name of perennial celebration, all at once.
Julie had a deep love of travel and adventure. She hiked in Thailand, dived at the Great Barrier Reef, surfed in Portugal, jogged in Central Park and moved amid the artistic community of Paris. She would frequently admonish her friends, “Don’t talk about doing something — do it”. Her friends were both numerous and diverse, and she was equally at ease at an academic discussion in a fancy restaurant or a random gathering in rural Ontario. The common thread was her very deep love of people; she had a peculiar way of seeing right through a person, and usually liking what she saw. For Julie, there was never any question that her friends and family would be compatible, and she never missed an opportunity to bring the people she loved together.
After a three year battle with a rare cancer called adenoid cystic carcinoma, Julie passed away in March of 2011. That her love of life and people and adventure never diminished through that fight, in spite of extraordinary pain and persistent bad news, is testament to a strength of character far beyond extraordinary. Two months prior, she had celebrated her thirtieth birthday.
In her honour, the successful candidate will receive $1000 from the Julie O’Rourke Memorial Scholarship fund in September of each year. The deadline for applications to be postmarked to VHS is September 15. There are five requirements in the application process.
- Schooling: You must provide proof that you have been accepted, or provisionally accepted, to a program in fine arts at the post secondary level.
- Portfolio: You must provide us with digital photographs (or videos, if your medium involves movement) of some of your work, in any medium.
- Personal Sketch: Tell us about your dreams, loves, and hopes. We also want to know about your artistic goals.
- Free Form: Tell us your best story. Keep it short. It should be about you, but it doesn’t need to be entirely true, although it can be.
- Application Form: PDF Scholarship Form