News Local

Dressler bursaries presented to area students

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today


A new bursary was added this year to the four which have been given out annually to area high school students from the Marie Dressler Foundation and Vintage Film Festival over the past 25 years.

Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier identified this award as the new Canada 150 Bill Patchett Devotion to Community Award, recognizing Patchett’s hard work for so many fundraising initiates over the years and being co-founder of the Marie Dressler Foundation, supporting the museum, the United Way, NHH construction initiative and Rotary.

The mayor announced that the first winner of the award is Mackenzie Earle.

During Saturday’s ceremony, Brocanier described Earle as a St. Mary Catholic Secondary School graduate who will attend Queen’s University in the fall. She has used her musical skills on the piano to support both the community and her school.

“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Earle said, naming her mother and brother as the chief motivators in her pursing and enjoying piano.

Delphine Patchett was on hand to pass along congratulations to Earle.

The other bursary winners were Carter Holmes who is majoring in drama at the University of Toronto this year after graduating from Campbellford District High School; Morgan Murray, a St. Mary graduate heading to U of T as well; Stephanie Koomen going to St. Lawrence College in Kingston after graduating from Cobourg Collegiate Institute; and Kyler Tonkin who is going to Queen’s and St. Lawrence College after graduating from East Northumberland Secondary School in Brighton.

All of the students have participated in the arts in various ways through their school years including Murray who writes screen plays, Holmes who has preformed at Westben, Koomen who has acted with 4th Line Theatre and Tonkin who has “helped younger children enjoy the arts,” according to a media release.

All of them noted their early interest in pursuing this area of interest and thanked teachers, parents and mentors for helping them stay on this path.

The bursaries and award are each worth $1,500, noted a press release.

The next Vintage Film Festival will be held Oct. 13 to 15 at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope. To celebrate Canada 150, each film will feature a Canadian actor or director. Program details and ticket information can be found at

The Foundation also operates the newly opened Marie Dressler Museum, located Marie Dressler House, which celebrates the life and achievements of the Cobourg-born Hollywood star of stage and screen. More details are available at