Recognizing excellence in athletics and education for over 50 years.
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 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 Lou Gehrig's disease (commonly referred to as ALS) 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.
For over five decades, successful recipients have been supported with their post-secondary endeavours in academic institutions across Canada. And today, the Ernie Gare Scholarship is one of the longest-standing and most prestigious scholarships in British Columbia.Learn More and Apply
Ernie Gare’s life was lived with quiet purpose and example, and his wife Cathy, 6 children, 19 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren are very proud to grow and evolve his core mission - to provide deserving students with financial support to help them pursue their athletic and academic aspirations.
In 1964, the late Ernie Gare, who at the time was the Athletic Director at Notre Dame University in Nelson, BC had a strong belief and vision that individuals could further their post-secondary education by using their athletic abilities as a ‘means to an end’.
Ernie’s approach and formula was proven successful by both the members of the Canadian National Olympic Ski Team and the Nelson Senior Maple Leaf Hockey Club. For ten years under Ernie’s guidance, over 70 student-athletes graduated to successful academic careers.
Ernie Gare was inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998, as a result of earning the respect and admiration of people across the country for his generous contributions and improvements to the game of hockey, to sport and to academics.
In 1982, a year after his untimely death from Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) at the age of 52, a group of dedicated Nelson citizens, together with his wife Cathy, gathered with the singular purpose of maintaining the Ernie Gare Scholarship’s mission and commitments.
The success of the Scholarship is due to the ongoing support of the local community in Nelson and surrounding areas. The Gare family greatly appreciates the commitment and work of all volunteers and board members throughout the years, especially the Gare grandchildren.
Ernie Gare’s legacy lives on through the longstanding impact of his passion, commitment and dedication to family, sport, academics, and community.BC Hockey Hall of Fame
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. We encourage athletes of any sport to apply!
Since the early 1980’s, Nelson and area residents have volunteered and participated in many events that have benefited the Ernie Gare Scholarship. Annual fundraising events have included men’s and women’s golf tournaments, youth street hockey tournaments, family bike-a-thons, Celebrity dinners and auctions, mid-summer hockey games and social mixers.
In 1996, in conjunction with Hockey Canada, the Ernie Gare Scholarship was proud to Co-Sponsor the Air Canada Pacific Cup held in Nelson, BC - featuring the top 18U National Hockey Teams from Canada, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Recently, Ernie Gare’s grandchildren have organized an annual youth soccer tournament and skills clinic in his honour - The Gare Cup.
Ernie Gare believed that participation in sport helped in developing the ‘whole person’ and was instrumental in imparting valuable life lessons. If you are interested in continuing to support Ernie Gare’s legacy through volunteering to help at future upcoming events, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ernie Gare believed that participation in sport helped in developing the ‘whole person’ and was instrumental in imparting valuable life lessons.