The Jason and Jane Louie Memorial Fund was established to honour and celebrate the memory two former Sir John A. MacDonald students; today, their memory remains alive throughout the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) community as a reminder of the importance of kindness and friendship.

The Jason and Jane Louie Memorial Fund at EducationMatters provided a grant to Sir John A. Macdonald School to revitalize their outdoor courtyard. With the funds provided, the space was transformed from a blank slate into a vibrant environment for the whole school to enjoy.

“It’s great talking with friends in this awesome environment,” says Alex, a student from the school.

The grant enabled staff at Sir John A. McDonald to supplement the bare picnic benches in the courtyard with four umbrellas, twelve chairs, four planters, and a memorial bench for Jason and Jane, all in bright, vibrant colours to make the courtyard an inviting, joyful space to learn, play, and relax.

It has become a popular lunch spot for students, and is frequently used as an outdoor classroom space throughout the rest of the day. In the morning, it serves as the setting for Indigenous smudging ceremonies for students who are interested in beginning their day with a traditional spiritual cleanse or blessing and deepening their connections to Indigenous culture. The rest of the day sees a variety of different activities happening, with all students benefiting from this newly refurbished space.

“I hope students take advantage of the courtyard with its extra seating and umbrellas at lunch as the Learning Commons and hallways are very crowded at lunch,” says Patti MacPhee, a teacher at the school.

The loss of Jason and Jane was a devastating blow for their family and community, but their memory lives on in their old school and continues to foster the values of kindness and friendship that they both embodied during their time at Sir John A. MacDonald.