2023 Mark & Dorothy Danzker Scholarship for Excellence Recipients

The Danzker family was a fixture in Winnipeg with a long-standing reputation for contributing to the community’s well-being. Mark Danzker established a fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba during his lifetime. The Mark and Dorothy Danzker Perpetual Trust was created in partnership with the Jewish Foundation to continue his legacy when he passed away. Lawrence Cohen, a well-established stockbroker, and family friend became co-executor of the estate and helped allocate funds to organizations in need throughout the Winnipeg community.

One such organization was Folklorama, which was brought to Mr. Cohen’s attention by David Cohen, a board member of Folklorama (no relation). Shortly after, the creation of the Mark & Dorothy Danzker Scholarship for Excellence took place. Fast forward over twenty years, and $144,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 129 students.

Pictured from Left to Right:
Top Row: Demetrios Karvelas, Kyle Kyrzyk, Fund Executor Lawrence Cohen, Nicolas Tamayo, Donovan Martin
Bottom Row: Rachel Stewart, Angelina Cotroneo, Kimberly Urquilla
Not pictured: Emily Leskiw

Congratulations to the following eight individuals who will receive the 2023 post-secondary scholarship of $1,000 each:

Angelina Cotroneo: passionate advocate for culture, inclusivity, and diversity. Throughout her life, she has actively participated in many cultural activities that have fostered her love for not only her Italian heritage but also sparked her interest in other cultures and religions around the world. Angelina is currently studying at the University of Manitoba, majoring in Religion, with hopes to one day enter the Faculty of Law.

Demetrios Karvelas: an active member of the Greek community of Winnipeg. He has been involved with his Greek dance programs for as long as he can remember. Currently, Demetrios is a student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, about to enter his final year.

Kyle Kyrzyk: became involved with Winnipeg’s Scottish community in 2010, volunteering with his family at the Pavilion of Scotland. He discovered his passion for Scottish Pipe Bands there, leading him to join the Lord Selkirk RFM Pipe Band in 2012 as a snare drummer. As Kyle begins University, he has committed to continue teaching drumming with the youth band and will join the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band to expand his connection to his Scottish culture.

Emily Leskiw: was the 2022 Youth Ambassador of the Ukraine Kyiv Pavilion. This was a great experience for her as she loves sharing her culture with others and showcasing the importance of embracing her culture. Emily graduated with Honours from St. Mary’s Academy and was accepted with direct entry into the Asper School of Business. She is entering into the final year of her degree with a major in Finance and Marketing.

Donovan Martin: is a second-year environmental science major at Ottawa’s Carleton University. He served as the 2019 Youth Ambassador for Folklorama’s Caribbean Pavilion and the 2020-2021 Youth Ambassador General for Folklorama. He and his co-AGs shared the position for the longest time in the Festival’s history.

Rachel Stewart: an exceptional young adult with a multicultural background. It ranges from European to Asian to South American cultures. Because Rachel has a multicultural background, she has done many things to learn about her culture and make connections with her community. Rachel is now going into her third year of University and will be attending Université de Montréal in the fall, continuing her studies in science.

Nicholas Tamayo: has been on stage since before he was born and has been a part of the Filipino youth group Magdaragat for over ten years. He has spent his entire life with the group, cultivating his craft and sharing his cultural heritage with other youths at various cultural events, including the Folklorama Festival. He was chosen as the Ambassador General for Folklorama’s 2022 Festival and served with dedication, giving his all to fulfill that role. Nicolas is currently attending his 3rd year at the University of Manitoba, hoping to enter into the Asper School of Business and finish with a degree in Accounting.

Kimberly Urquilla: was born in San Salvador, El Salvador on July 25, 2000. During her childhood, she was always involved in academic activities that provided her with a strong knowledge of her country’s history, traditions, identity, and culture; thus, she was always conscious about her role as a Salvadorean, until everything changed when she decided to move to Canada to continue her education. Kimberly was recently accepted at the University of Winnipeg and will be studying computer science.

Folklorama would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to all eight scholarship recipients. Your unwavering commitment to sharing your cultural heritage and promoting diversity is inspiring.

Thank you to Lawrence Cohen and the Jewish Foundation for their remarkable support in giving youth a chance to succeed.

Folklorama would also like to extend a thank you to the 2023 scholarship selection jury members: Véronique Demers, Emiliano Galera, Delvinder Kaur, and Carol Matsumoto.

The 2024 Mark & Dorothy Danzker Scholarship for Excellence opens February 1st, 2024.