The Nathan Alexander Bursary for young musicians returns for a second year with almost three times more funds.
Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can receive $1,500 through the bursary in 2020. The grant was created in memory of Duncan musician Nathan Alexander Arrowsmith, who died by suicide in July of 2018. Arrowsmith was a bassist and for many years played shows all over Vancouver Island with a number of different bands.
“[He] knew what it meant to be a young person struggling to afford an instrument or an opportunity to record an album,” said Jeremy Loewen, Arrowsmith’s former bandmate and the president of the Nathan Alexander Bursary Foundation.
Loewen emphasized that creating the bursary felt like the right way to pay it forward and continue his friend’s legacy in a positive way. He called it “an honour and a requirement” to help other musicians on the Island who are starting out, and to spread the word about the importance of men’s mental health.
In 2018, applications opened for passionate musicians between the ages of 10 and 25 to apply for the grant of $600. The winner was Victoria-based guitarist Austyn Marleau, who used the award to pay for guitar lessons at Long & McQuade.
A fundraiser held in June helped the foundation increase the bursary from $600 to $1,500 and Marleau’s award was topped up as well.
Applicants must have at least one year of experience playing their instrument of choice and must intend to perform live. The musicians don’t need to be in school or have any formal training. The bursary can be used to purchase equipment, music lessons or recording time. The deadline to apply is Dec. 15 and the winner will be announced Jan. 2.