School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)

Stephen Heal Memorial Scholarship Fund

Steve Heal began his teaching career at age 20 in the Shuswap School District at Celista Elementary School. He moved to Bastion Elementary and Silver Creek Elementary, transferring into the secondary school level at Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous. 

Here he began his theatre teaching career, establishing a drama and stage craft program. After nine years in Sicamous, Shuswap Jr. Secondary beckoned, then Salmon Arm Senior Secondary. Until retirement in 2005, he taught almost every grade and subject during the course of his career. As a valued educator and denizen of the arts, Steve was highly respected in the community. 

Steve was nominated for the Theatre BC “Eric Hamber Award,” given to a person for outstanding contributions to community theatre in BC over a prolonged period. He was honoured by receiving this award posthumously in 2007. 

Born October 1948 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Steve died suddenly early March 9th, 2007, at home in Qualicum Beach. Steve is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Sandra, his son Andrew, daughter Jennifer, son-in-law Glen, and grandchildren Ana and Callum. Steve is also survived by sisters Alexandra and Jane (Peter), brothers Ted, Tom and Phillip (Sasha), as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and great friends. 

Steve taught in the Shuswap School District for 35 years before retiring in June 2005. For more than 25 of those years, Steve was a well-loved drama and musical theatre teacher. Steve staged at least four productions each year, some of which he wrote himself. He inspired many students to go on to study theatre in college. 

Steve was a founding member of the Shuswap Theatre Society, where he was involved in over 50 productions. He won several Theatre BC awards, including two Okanagan Zone awards for Best Actor and two for Best Director. Steve was also involved in several professional theatre productions. Steve and Sandra recently moved to Qualicum Beach where Steve was already a busy member of ECHO Players Theatre Group. Steve was a talented musician and visual artist. He loved spending time in his woodwork shop where he built beautiful furniture. Aside from family, theatre, golf, woodwork and travel, Steve loved playing hockey, reading, fly-fishing, photography and hiking around picking wild berries to make jams and jellies.

For a grade 12 student in School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) who demonstrates dedication and a positive attitude towards dramatic arts and pursuing a career in dramatic arts or in drama education. 

2023 Award – four scholarships of $1,000 each (one for each SD83 high school)