The tales of success that originated from Oak Bay High shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the school. And just a few of those stories will be highlighted this week when 10 former fine arts instructors and students will be the first inducted into the Distinguished Fine Arts Alumni.
“We thought that with moving to the new school next year we wanted to preserve a little history but also look ahead to what could happen in a new space with a new fine arts wing and theatre area as well as visual art area,” said Jeff Weaver, director of bands at Oak Bay High.
And after more than 80 years of turning out graduates from the fine arts disciplines, the list of distinguished alumni is an impressive one.
The former Oak Bay students being honoured Thursday include world-renowned First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers; former Gulr Canada Resources CEO and ardent supporter of the Oak Bay band program Dick Auchinleck; Royal Canadian Artist Academy member Joe Average; CBC composer and member of the Order of Canada John Beckwith; Greater Victoria School District dance program founder Alana Charlton; local musician Tobin Stokes; and former teachers who were an inspiration to so many students Bevan Bigalky, Colin Campbell Eileen Cooper and Dave Dunnet.
We join the school and community in honouring the talent and dedication of these first distinguished alumni who have given so much to the community and its children. And we are confident that these 10 are just the first of what will be many deserving alumni to be recognized.
It is through the efforts of these alumni — not bricks and mortar — that the real foundation of the new Oak Bay High will be built.