Jan 1, 2024


Coach, player, friend, supporter, trailblazer. Joanne “Joey” Zabudsky was a program coordinator and studio technician in Langara’s Fine Arts department until her retirement in 2016. She shared with students her wealth of expertise in arts and ceramics.  

In her spare time, Joey was an all-round athlete and excelled in all sports she played – field hockey, basketball, softball, lacrosse, racquetball, and squash. She won five lacrosse national championship titles, represented Canada twice in the lacrosse world cup, and was BC’s first provincially and nationally accredited umpire.  

After her passing in 2022, her teammates and friends from the Canadian Women’s Field Lacross team contributed together to establish a new award to honour her memory and support Langara students from Fine Arts.  

“Several of us studied at Langara, learned from Joey, and benefited from scholarships back then. It was a place where she always spoke so fondly of. It was incredible the way she supported students in athletics and in the art studios. We wanted to make sure future students also had similar opportunities. To create a scholarship to assist students’ education where most of us studied is the best way to honour her life’s work. That would definitely be something that she would agree was very special, to continue to support the students like she once did.” Cheryl MacNeil shared, former teammate and current leader of the Canadian Women’s Lacrosse Alumni Association which connects players from the Canadian Women’s Field Lacrosse team. 

Cheryl (Diploma in Arts & Science, 1992) was a student athlete and played for our basketball team as well as the national team while attending Langara. “I really enjoyed the smaller classroom sizes, I felt like I was part of a school community, quite different than the big universities I studied at. After I finished my diploma and moved to Ontario to continue my education, I was better prepared to study at a large institution.”   

Nowadays, the alumni continue to connect with each other and share their passion for lacrosse and sports. “We all gained so much from going to school at Langara and to now be able to give back to the community in some way is such a positive feeling”. If you would like to honour Joanne “Joey” Zabudsky and her memory, please join us and contribute here. 

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