New Fort St. John school music room honours late trustee

Fort St. John's new elementary school will recognize the important work and legacy of a long-time trustee and supporter of the local arts.

The School District 60 board of education announced Monday that the music room at Anne Roberts Young School will be named after the late Heather Hannaford.

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Hannaford was a school trustee for nearly three decades, was a founding member of both the North Peace Potters’ Guild and the Fort St. John Community Arts Council, and was instrumental in helping to establish the North Peace Cultural Centre after two referendums. She died in December 2016.

Hannaford "was a great advocate for public education, supporting the arts in schools and our community," board chair Ida Campbell said in a statement.

"She was a very talented artist herself and was known provincial wide for her passion for keeping the fine arts in public education. Heather leaves a legacy of amazing work she did for schools in our district and community."

Hannaford was born in 1941 in Wales, and came to Canada in 1965. She found her way to the Peace region after getting a job driving a van for the Anglican Church, where one of the stops was the Hannaford Ranch. There, she met her future husband John, whom she married in 1966. 

Hannaford, along with Edna Adlard and Vonnie Dixon, established the first pottery studio in Taylor in 1968. Hannaford taught pottery at Northern Lights College in the early 1980s until the program was shut down.

Through her work as a trustee, Hannaford advocated for French immersion programs, sports, fine arts, project-based learning, combined classrooms, scholarships, and the Cameron Lake outdoor education site.

Hannaford also had a great love of music, and was adamant children should have some sort of musical education. She regularly attended and volunteered for the Performing Arts Festival and often helped the adjudicators with their notes on the performances.

It was this love of music that led to the creation of the Heather Hannaford Music Award, given annually to a student at North Peace Secondary School.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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