Chris Harrington Memorial Bursary 2020 – Awarded to Liam Sturgess

Chris Harrington

Chris Harrington (1990-2018) was a footballer, a sound engineer, a creative DJ, a husband, a brother, a son, and much more. He overflowed with patience, love, kindness and a desire to make the world a better place. 

Chris was a graduate of the 2011 Sound Engineering program at the Nimbus School of Recording & Media. He loved his time at the school and applied all the skills he gained throughout his vibrant career. The Chris Harrington scholarship award has been created to honour his memory and to support another aspiring sound engineer in the pursuit of their career. 

Liam Sturgess 2020 Recipient

“I developed a passion for music through the excellent band and musical theatre programs at my high school, lead by Meghan McGuinness-Gill and Michael Toth. Over those years, I picked up a handful of instruments and honed my onstage persona and performance skills. As I moved into university, I found that the business degree I was pursuing was no replacement for the joy I felt making and sharing music.

This lead to me founding Four Destinations Records, a label that would allow me and my friends to justify spending so much time on music, and ideally beginning to create job opportunities from it. I continued to write and record new music, becoming more and more fascinated the deeper I went with experimenting with home recording.

In 2015, I completed the Advanced Arts and Entertainment Management program at Capilano University, through which I worked at Studio Cloud 30 (a boutique music academy and recording studio) and then opened up my first commercial recording studio in West Vancouver, then moving to our second location in North Vancouver in 2017.

For four years, I had the honour of working with hundreds of musicians new and seasoned, producing indie albums and leading a team of music instructors. Then, in early 2019, I made the difficult decision to end that chapter of my life to allow me to gather my strength and focus on battling depression and anxiety that had be a companion to me since 2013. Shortly afterwards, my mom, Connie Sturgess, passed away from a long battle with cancer.

This was a huge turning point for me, as several long-term challenges had reached their conclusion, each with painful consequences. But of course, the most necessary changes are often the hardest, and my mom was an excellent role model in terms of seeing the beauty and opportunity in every situation. Her biggest lesson was to have faith in the people around you, and allow them the opportunity to be there for you. I learned that this is the best way to enable yourself to be ready and able to help others when that time comes, too. But more than anything, I knew it was time to revisit my plan and find my people again.

This was ripe ground to plant a new seed, and I decided to apply to Nimbus School of Recording and Media. Since then, I’ve had profound moments both personally and creatively that have allowed me to confidently say that I am a musician, and I have never been in such close contact with so many likeminded people.

We’re each fighting a battle, and I learn more about the history of this community more each day. I was honoured to be selected by Chris Harrington’s family to receive his memorial bursary. I understand the pain of losing a family member too soon, and how important it is to ensure their legacy lives on in the vein of what they stood for. I learned from Garth Futcher that Chris was a student of his, and what a kind, committed person he was. To reach the point in my education at Nimbus where I’ve been called on to step up and honour Chris is a blessing.”