About Ruth Harcort

Ruth was an actress, a teacher, a milner, a mentor, a sister and friend. She was a vital and active member of the local Arts Community until her passing in April of last year. She was also a founder of VOS Theatre (formerly Victorian Operetta Society). Her passion for all things creative was infectious and motivating. We started with the intention of doing one Gilbert and Sullivan production but it was so incredibly successful that we did another, and another, and here we are today 25 Seasons later still producing quality theatre with a focus on the aspects of community arts endeauvours that were important to Ruth: inclusion, ingenuity, generosity of spirit and commitment to the project and the team.

In her honour the Board of Directors of VOS Theatre has created the Ruth Harocort Memorial Scholarship. Each year at least one student in Northumberland County will be awarded $1000.00 to be used to offset the cost of post-secondary education. This student will be selected by our scholarship committee based on their application and an interview.

The Scholarship

The Scholarship will be awarded to a student from Northumberland County who is continuing their education at a post secondary institution. The Committee will select a candidate who has shown dedication to the arts (theatre, music, fine art) and exemplifies the characteristics that Ruth valued. Proof of enrollment in a post secondary institution must be presented to the Committee Chair prior to the presentation of the award.

How to Donate

Donations may be made by mailing a cheque to VOS THEATRE PO Box 274, Cobourg, ON K9A 4K8 (please mark memo line Ruth Harcort Scholarship). Please include your name and address and a receipt will be forwarded to you.

Donate Online

How to Apply

Download the Application Here

Download and fill out the file above. Follow the instructions in the application file.

The deadline for applications is June 5, 2024.

  • References are NOT required to be postmarked or signed - electronic documents will be accepted.
  • Email submissions in PDF format will be accepted at theatre@vostheatre.com

Previous Winners

2023 Scholarship Winner

The 2023 Ruth Harcort Scholarship recipient is Bria Chalovich.

Bria has contributed to our community as a singer, actress and behind the scenes volunteer throughout her young life. The scholarship goes to a deserving graduating high school student each year who demonstrates a commitment to the performing arts and will be attending a post-secondary institution. More info on Ruth Harcort can be found on our website: www.vostheatre.com Congratulations Bria and good luck with your future endeavours.

2022 Scholarship Winner

The 2022 Ruth Harcort Scholarship recipient is Aidanha Howells.

Aidhana has been part of the VOS since first joining the cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 2015. She will be studying at the University of Ottawa this year, and we wish her all the best!

2021 Scholarship Winner

The 2021 Ruth Harcort Scholarship recipient is Zoe Fingas.

A graduate of Trinity College School in Port Hope, Zoe has been involved with the arts through band, theatre and choirs, both in her school and in the community. A member of Trinity United Church in Cobourg, she continued her involvement with the choir and the weekly music on zoom throughout the pandemic. Zoe has also been a keen member of Lajeunesse Choir in Cobourg, performing both concerts and musicals.

Zoe will attend the University of Waterloo.

2020 Scholarship Winner

The 2020 Ruth Harcort Scholarship recipient is Rileigh Stapleton.

Rileigh has been involved with the dramatic arts from a young age. As a student at Trinity College School, she participated in several plays and musicals, including the role of Patsy in the 2016 production of Spamalot. Rileigh was also a member of the VOS production of White Christmas in 2016.

Rileigh will attend the Humber College to study Kinesiology.

2019 Scholarship Winner

The 2019 Ruth Harcort Scholarship recipient is Juliette Sinott.

A graduate of St Mary Secondary School in Cobourg, strong demonstrated the key characteristics of inclusion, ingenuity, commitment and generosity of spirit. Her passion for the arts was evident and her artistic experiences have had a profound impact in her life. Her desire to share those experiences with those around her is inspiring. She has been involved with school bands, musical theatre performances, and most of all the harp. She has regularly volunteered her time playing at the Northumberland Palliative Care Clinic.

Juliette will attend the University of Ottawa to study a combined Bachelor and Music and Mathematics degree.

2018 Scholarship Winner

The recipient of the 2018 Ruth Harcort Scholarship is Kieva Earle.

In her own words, "The Arts have made me who I am today". We, as a scholarship selection committee found this statement to be extremely accurate, and very representative of the qualities for which the award was founded. An active performer since a young age, Kieva has been involved in numerous musicals and choirs. However it is how Kieva approaches music and the arts that has made her this years choice. The contributions that Kieva has made in her own life are in direct alignment with the values near and dear to Ruth. Leadership, generosity of spirit and encouragement in a positive environment for learning' have been demonstrated in everything she has touched.

We wish Kieva continued success as she enters Bishops University this fall in the Music and Secondary Education program.

Congratulations Kieva

2017 Scholarship Winner

The recipient of the 2017 Ruth Harcort Scholarship is Stephanie Koomen.

Stephanie represents each characteristic defined by this award, inclusion, ingenuity, generosity of spirit and commitment to the project and team.

Stephanie has been involved with many forms of the arts her entire life, piano, dance, choreography and theatre to name a few. However, it is how Stephanie has applied the qualities important to Ruth in each of her endeavours that makes her such an outstanding choice, and this year’s selection.

We wish Stephanie all the best as she continues her education this fall at St. Lawrence College in the Musical Theatre – Performance.

Congratulations Stephanie

2016 Scholarship Winner

The recipient of the 2016 Ruth Harcort Memorial Scholarship is Noah Lefrancois. Noah has been involved with music and fascinated with musical instruments since he was in public school. He became a member of the Cobourg Concert Band in Grade 7 and was called upon by the west high school while he was still in public school to join their jazz band. He was also in his high school band.

But Noah did not win this scholarship because he plays 12 instruments (yes folks, 12!) and participated in a number of bands. He won it because he is an example of how involvement in the arts can enrich all aspects of your life and prepare you for the future.

Noah, who is attending McGill University in the fall to study physics will be playing for their football team The Redmen. He credits working with the Concert Band and learning leadership skills from section leaders for helping him to be a better football Captain. He told the selection committee that in working with these musicians taught him life skills he is able to apply because he was treated as a peer. His involvement made him a better section leader in his high school bands, on a better captain n the football field and a more relaxed human because he had music in his life which became not only a creative outlet but a stress-free way in which to express himself.

Noah Lefrancois is an athlete, an exceptional student and a musician who believes in sharing his love and knowledge of music so that it can benefit others. He believes in mentoring the way he was mentored himself. He displayed and communicated commitment, ingenuity, generosity of spirit and VOS is proud to award him with the Ruth Harcort Scholarship.

2015 Scholarship Winner

The winner of the 1st Annual Ruth Harcort Scholarship is Michelle Clark. Michelle is a graduate of the I.B. program at Cobourg Collegiate and has been involved in dance at the Premier Dance Studio for several years. Her hard work and dedication to her craft was reflected so well in her application and interview. In her final year, as part of her requirement for the I.B. program, Michelle shared her love of dance with students in a special needs program at her school. She described the response of one of the students to the dance program and we could all sense the ghost of Ruth leaning over Michelle’s shoulder and saying to her well done. The arts should be shared and enjoyed by all but this can only be accomplished when taught by someone who loves her craft deeply.