Opterus Valerie Ann Arts Award

June 14, 2024

Opterus is providing two scholarship awards for young women, between the ages of 18-26 and enrolled/will enrol at a Canadian post-secondary institution, who are pursuing a STEM or Arts educational path. The awards are inspired by Founder, Janet Hawkins’ mother, Dr. Helen McKilligin, and sister, Valerie Ann Hawkins.

‘Valerie lived with ovarian cancer for 5 years but passed away in February 2019. She was in New York during 9/11 doing what she loved as a member of the cast of Rag Time on Broadway. I believe her cancer made her one more victim of that day. She was an incredible actor and a brilliant director. She was a part of so many productions, Les Miserables – the North American tour, Romeo and Juliet in Stratford, Anne of Green Gables in PEI and one of my favorites, Star Mites, an off-Broadway production in NYC, just to name a few. She graduated from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and received the Lorne Greene Award for outstanding achievement in the practical and performing aspects of theatre while at Queen’s. She also loved to rock and roll and sang in a local band in Stratford Ontario. And man, did she sing. We lived in California when I was 4 and she was 6. We shared a bedroom and she sang me to sleep, always Blue Spanish Eyes. She did it almost every night because she knew it made me happy. When she passed my best friend said of her; “I’ve been thinking of that idea that consciousness is like radio waves and our bodies are just a tuner. I’m thinking the cosmos just had this incredible musical source returned to it and some lucky body will get the chance to tune into sometime in the future.” I hope this award can go to someone who might be able to tune into her frequency. Valerie Ann Hawkins was my sister. The Valerie Ann Arts Award is dedicated to her memory.’

How to Apply

  • All applicants must be a woman between the ages of 18-26.
  • All applications must be pursuing an education in the Arts at an accredited Canadian university or college.

Example programs: Painting, Economics, BA in Psychology, History, Business, etc.

  • Question 1 (maximum 275 words): Think about a time in your life when you achieved something you are proud of. Tell us about it and why you are proud to have accomplished this. 
  • Question 2 (maximum 275 words): Tell us something about yourself that you would not typically be asked about on a scholarship application. What differentiates you from your peers that is never asked in typical scholarship applications? 
  • Question 3 (maximum 275 words): What do you plan to study within the ARTS field? Why do you want to study this? 
  • Question 4 (maximum 275 words): How would winning this scholarship help you achieve your goals?

If you have any questions regarding the Opterus Rebel with a Cause Awards, please email application@scholarshipscanada.com with “Opterus Awards” in the subject line.