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Emily Selwood

$57,900.00 (raised so far)

About Emily Selwood

Emily’s kind and gentle spirit touched the lives of so many in her 18 short years.

Emily’s passion for service and interest in the social sciences brought her to study at UBC in the Faculty of Arts in the fall of 2021. Emily settled in quickly at UBC and formed some extraordinary friendships in her few short weeks of living on campus. She loved her classes and the natural beauty the campus had to offer.

Emily’s family, friends and community are heartbroken by her sudden and tragic death in September 2021. They will hold her beautiful light and warmth in their hearts forever.

Emily grew up on Vancouver Island and loved everything it had to offer. She spent time camping, hiking, and taking in the stunning landscapes and beaches with her family and friends and was always up for an adventure.

Emily discovered rowing in high school and developed a love for the sport that taught her so much about herself and her inner strength. She was a dedicated and loyal teammate and became a fierce competitor. Her crews earned medal wins in the eight and the coxed four at the 2019 Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Championships. Emily loved being on the water and found a special peace there.

Emily had a great capacity for compassion and exemplified kindness. Her dedication to service and commitment to helping others led her to work on numerous initiatives, through her school, to help those in need and protect the environment. In everything she did, Emily worked hard to embody her favourite quote by Ian Maclaren; “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”.

Anyone who knew Emily well knew her kindness extended to all living creatures and that she had a special place in her heart for animals.

Emily’s humility and empathetic nature were a gentle but powerful force.  She had the ability to make others feel heard and loved. Her smile was warm and her joy was contagious and she had the power to make the simple things in life feel special.

Emily was a loyal and loving daughter, sister and friend. Her bright light will be missed.

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The Impact of your support

To honour Emily’s memory, her family would like to inspire students studying social sciences who want to make the world a better place. Your gift will support undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts through the Emily Selwood Memorial Fund. Final decisions on the award description and student eligibility will be made in consultation with the family.

Messages of Remembrance

All Messages
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  • Top 3 lessons I learned from Emily: 1. Get uncomfortable. I went on a whitewater kayaking trip with Emily during high school. I’m not talking leisurely ocean kayaking here… this was a 4-day trip where the guides took amateur, teen kayakers down Class lV rapids on the Cowichan River. It was bloody terrifying. For everyone, but especially Emily. So, did she quit? Did she ask to go home early? No. She completed the trip with a more stable kayak alternative and successfully paddled through every single rapid, channeling her inner bravery and showing her fears who was in control. I think of that story often. 2. Love what you love, and don’t ever shy away from it. I can list a few examples here. Let me just start with: Taylor Swift (obviously), penguins (you should’ve seen her bedroom decor), and life sized teddy bears (as you can imagine, we had the best play dates). Emily and I took Japanese together from Kindergarten to grade 8. I don’t remember a single thing from that class except, “watashiwa penguin ga suki desu”, or “I like penguins”. Clearly, I heard it too many times… 1. Feed your soul. Emily’s birthday parties were THE BEST. It was literally like walking into Wonka’s Chocolate Factory after coming from a candy-deprived household. We played games like guessing how many jelly beans were in a jar. We made cupcakes. There was a candy buffet and a popcorn machine! Emily had a healthy relationship with candy, let’s say. She knew the value in adding little sweetness to your life. So, get uncomfortable, don’t shy away from what you love, and feed your soul. We’ve learned that from the best of us.

    Tori Farkas, Friend
  • Duncan, I'm so so sorry for your loss. God Bless, Greg

  • I was out of Canada for a year until last month; upon seeing the name Emily Selwood and what occurred I just went into shock... So sorry to hear this news, Duncan and on behalf of my family we extend our most heartfelt condolences to you, Laurie and your loved ones... RIP Emily.

    Lorenzo Erlic, Friend, former coworker of Duncan
  • Emily was so loved. And she spread that love to each life she touched. I thank her for her unshakable friendship as we explored, learned, and played side by side through the years. Never will she stop being my driving force to understand more of this fascinatingly complex world and act within it from greater compassion and kindness everyday. Now and always, her love lives on through us.

    Tori Farkas, Friend
  • Emily had the ability to lift up those around her with a quiet word, an empathetic smile or simply her positive energy. Emily was often a topic of positive conversation at our dinner table as she impacted the lives of both Isabel and Matthew on a daily basis. She made those she interacted with not only feel better but be better. We will be forever grateful for having had her touch our lives and will honour her memory by striving to always be better.

    The Cormie Family, Friends
  • Emily was a truly special person. We think of her always and miss her deeply.

    Cindy Henry and family, Friend
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Shravan Hegde

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Charlotte F

  • Stephanie C

  • Garry and Nadine Ivanco

  • Columbia Basin Trust

  • Grant Chan

  • Andrea Pyle

  • Auditor General BC

  • Anonymous Donation

  • The Baumgartner Family

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