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Applications open for Ernie Gare Scholarship

The $3,000 goes to graduating student-athletes
Grace Goodwin was among 2022 recipients of the Ernie Gare Scholarship. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by the Ernie Gare Scholarship board

Did you know that Canada’s first and longest running athletic scholarship started right here in Nelson almost 60 years ago?

Since 1964, over 200 student-athletes from School District 8 in Nelson and the surrounding areas of British Columbia have been awarded the Ernie Gare Scholarship.

As athletic director at then Notre Dame University, Ernie Gare founded the scholarship — the first of its kind in Canada — to acknowledge and support local students who demonstrated the very best in athletics, academic, leadership, and integrity.

After Ernie’s passing from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease) at the age of 52, family, friends and business leaders in Nelson were determined to continue on with and grow the Ernie Gare Scholarship, in honour of Ernie’s impact and legacy. The scholarship also honours Ernie’s wife Cathy, who passed away on March 17 and had taken on a major role in continuing the award’s legacy.

Recently a new generation of volunteer board members, made up of Ernie’s grandchildren, have taken over the great honour of continuing this tradition. The Ernie Gare Scholarship Board understands today’s barriers in furthering education between rising tuition costs, cost of living increases, and soaring inflation rates. Starting with 2022 recipients and into the future, they have voted to raise the amount awarded each year to $3,000 to each deserving recipient of the scholarship.

Every calendar year, the Ernie Gare Scholarship allocates at least two $3,000 scholarships to deserving Grade 12 graduating student-athletes from Nelson’s L.V. Rogers Secondary, Mt. Sentinel Secondary, Kaslo’s J.V. Humphries and Salmo Secondary School.

The Ernie Gare Scholarship values equity, diversity and inclusion and encourages all student-athletes to apply. Ernie Gare believed young people were our most important resource and he dedicated his life to this mantra and vision. The Ernie Gare Scholarship welcomes applicants who take pride in and prioritize their education as well as their athletics.

For over five decades, successful recipients have been supported with their post-secondary endeavours in academic institutions across Canada to the tune of over $300,000. Today, the Ernie Gare Scholarship is one of the longest-standing and most prestigious scholarships in British Columbia.

We encourage athletes to apply on our website at

To help support current and future Nelson and area graduating student-athletes, donations can also be made at