The Kamloops and District Labour Council (KDLC) Presents Five $1,000 Bursaries

The Kamloops and District Labour Council (KDLC) presents five (5) $1,000 (one thousand dollar) – one is the Jack Kerssen bursary in a trades field of study) and the Cynthia Friedman bursary (to women in S.T.E.M or trades study) to students who are members or relatives of members of unions that are affiliated to, and in good standing with, the KDLC.

Jack Kerssens Memorial Bursary

For students in a Skilled Trades program

Jack Kerssans 1925 – 2013

Jack emigrated to Canada in 1953 from Holland.  Early on he found employment in the forest industry as a logger.  When Jack started working at the Canoe Saw Mill near Salmon Arm, it was here where he nurtured an interest in employee rights and advocated for his fellow workers in the trades. Soon he became a business agent for the International Woodworkers Association (IWA) and then was elected President of the Union.  After his retirement in 1989, he was appointed as an arbitrator for the Employment Insurance Board of Referees and also served on the B.C. Assessment Board.  Jack loved volunteering and was a 30 year member (lifetime) with the Kamloops District Labour Council. He was also very involved with the Child Development Center, YMCA , Community Futures the Credit Union and most dear to his heart was The Kamloops Hospice House. This bursary is in memory of a strong a man of strong character, always willing to lend a hand and offer advice to others.

Cynthia Friedman Memorial Bursary

For women in a S.T.E.M or Trades program

Cynthia Friedman 1971 – 2018

Cindy’s distinguished academic career included awards for teaching, research and service and many publications.  She was recognized for her commitment to social and environmental justice. She appreciated the respect of her peers in the scientific community but was most proud of her role in mentoring and inspiring students. Cindy was an active member of the Kamloops & District Labour Council and the TRU Faculty Association and advocated tenaciously for workers’ rights. She strongly believed that scientists have a duty to effect change through public engagement, an undertaking she embraced fearlessly throughout her life.

Bill Ferguson Memorial Bursary

For students in Environmental or Natural Resource Sciences

Bill Ferguson 1929 – 2021

Bill was a staunch socialist and had principles second to none in defending workers rights, peace, disarmament, and social justice.  Bill worked for the city of Kamloops, then became a business agent and was a founding member of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). He loved the working class and fought for them relentlessly. In 1982 he returned to work for the City until his retirement in 1994. After retirement he continued attending union and Labour Council meetings and was awarded a lifetime membership.  He was a founding member of the Kamloops Peace Council, often a spokesperson at the annual Walk for Peace, and always a participant. Until his last breath, Bill still had hope we could make a better world for the next generation. Bill left a legacy for working people, not just in Kamloops, but across this country.

Two General Bursaries

For students in any field of study (academic or skilled trades)

Who is eligible?

  1. Members or relatives of members, of unions affiliated to and in good standing with, the KDLC.
    • Definition of a relative: a spouse of same or opposite sex, parent, child, including step-child or foster child, brother, sister, grandchild, niece, or nephew.
  2. Applicants must be registered in a full-time or part-time post-secondary program at a PUBLIC education institution.

All of the following information MUST be included in your submission to the KDLC Bursary Committee.

Previous Recipients

2023 Recipients

  1. Devvriti Sethi – CUPE 900 (Bill Ferguson Bursary)
  2. Jade Cutting – CUPE 4879 (Jack Kerssan Bursary)
  3. Blythe Paetkau – TRUFA (Cynthia Friedman Bursary)
  4. Ahmed Sheikh – CUPE 4879 (General)
  5. Carolyn Colling – TRUFA (General)

2021 Recipients

  1. Mya Watson – BCGEU (Bill Ferguson Bursary)
    Daughter of Mike Watson
  2. Bradley Schmidt – IBEW 993 (Jack Kerssan Bursary)
    Son of Darryl Schmidt
  3. Navin Jain – CUPE 4879 (General Award)
  4. Elissa Ony CUPE 3500 (Cynthia Friedman Bursary)
    Daughter of Christine Ony

2020 Recipients

  1. Dana Bach – CUPE 4879
  2. Calvin Heise – TRUFA
  3. Cindy Ozouf – CUPE 4879
  4. Kira Schmidt – IBEW 993 (Cindy Ross Friedman Memorial Bursary)

2019 Recipients

  1. Chris Ward – CUPE 4879
  2. Grace Heuse – TRUFA
  3. Jarrett Larsen – TRUFA
  4. Jack Kerssens Bursary – Seija Brown – TRUFA/CUPE 900
  5. Cindy Friedman Bursary – Mya Watson – BCGEU

202x Bursary Information

  1. Application form
  2. Transcript of your grade standing
  3. Confirmation of your enrollment in a PUBLIC education institution in current year. If you are waiting for enrollment confirmation, please send a letter stating you are waiting for the confirmation and if you are chosen for a bursary, the confirmation will have to be shown before you will receive the bursary.
  4. A double-spaced typed essay of 750-1000 words on the following topic. This essay shall be the basis for awarding the bursary.

Please submit all of the above information to the address below before April 21, 2023 at 5 pm. The Committee will ONLY accept Bursary applications by mail to:

Bursary Committee
Kamloops and District Labour Council
Kamloops, BC
V2C 5K9

2023 Bursary Essay Question

How has the labour movement promoted awareness surrounding truth and reconciliation in Canadian workplaces?