The Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta’s Bryden Sparks Arts Family Fund was established following the sudden tragic death of 17-year old Bryden Sparks of Grande Prairie in 2005.
Today it helps support programs that provide young people with the opportunity to experience dance, music, art and any other fine arts related activity with a focus on aiding the development of local youth.
A creative young man with a penchant for music, an interest in digital animation and break dancing, Sparks made an impression on all who knew him.
His co-workers at the Grande Prairie Keg Steakhouse & Bar came together quickly after his passing to create the fund with the community foundation as a way to keep his memory alive and offer other young aspiring artists a chance to shine.
“Bryden liked to dance, played guitar and he used to love entertaining for children, which was pretty amazing. We thought it would be a neat way to keep his memory alive and keep things going for him and his family,” said Keith Curtis, manager of the Keg at the time.
The foundation’s Arts Family Fund, established in 1999, was already in place and providing community arts support. The decision was made to add the $10,000 raised by The Keg staff, The Grande Prairie Keg Steakhouse & Bar and The Keg Spirit Foundation to that specific fund and rename it in Bryden’s memory.
“We thought by putting Bryden’s name on it, we would be able to combine the money into a single fund. We’d have a higher return and be able to give back to the Arts Community more quickly,” said Curtis.
And give back it has.
In 2016 the purpose of the Bryden Sparks Arts Family Fund was updated to be able to reach more areas of the community that offer programs for local aspiring young artists.
In 2017, local organizations including Grande Prairie Live Theatre Society, HIV North Society, Elders Caring Shelter Society and the Grande Prairie Women’s Residence Association, received funding through the Bryden Sparks Arts Family Fund for programming specifically focused on the arts for youth.
Community Impact Grants are open for applications – more information and the link to apply here – https://www.buildingtomorrowtoday.com/community-impact-grants/