Young Winnipeg drummer remembered a year after his death

Residents and visitors in the Wolseley area may have noticed a memorial on a tree in Vimy Ridge Park.

Alex Danyliuk Scholarships to be awarded to aspiring music students

Alex Danyliuk's photo is posted on a tree in Vimy Ridge Park (Andrea Ratuski/CBC)

Residents and visitors in the Wolseley area may have noticed a memorial on a tree in Vimy Ridge Park. 

It marks the spot where 22 year-old drummer Alex Danyliuk ​collapsed and died while jogging. Danyliuk suffered from Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome, a heart disorder.

A memorial event will be held at Vimy Ridge Park on Saturday, April 12, marking the one-year anniversary of his death.

"He was a very kind, gentle, positive person," said his father, Boris Danyliuk.

"Alex was the type of person that when he walked in, he'd light up the room, because he was very pleasant and he put every at ease. He also showed his passion for music. He was very driven."

Alex started playing the drums in Grade 8, recognized by his music teacher as having a singular talent.

A tree in Vimy Ridge Park is decorated with flowers and candles in memory of drummer Alex Danyliuk. (Andrea Ratuski/CBC)
He was a founding member of the band The Revival. In the spring of 2012, the single "Shake This" was released, and its corresponding music video has received more than 24,000 views on YouTube.

The band was in pre-production for an album at the time of Alex's death and the recording will be released soon.

The family has also started a scholarship fund, the Alex Danyliuk Foundation, through the Mennonite Foundation of Canada. They are raising $50,000 and hoping to give out $2,200 each year for 22 years, 22 representing his age when he died. 

One scholarship will be given through the First Mennonite Church to someone passionate about and pursuing studies in music and another will be given to a student specifically pursuing studies in drumming. 

"First of all, he was a very passionate drummer and we weren't aware that there was any drummer-specific scholarship around. We wanted to leave a legacy in his name," he said. "It's something no parent should have to do."

Danyliuk is planning a drum circle and some sharing of stories at the memorial service for the family and friends who gather at the memorial service.

"It will be a celebration," he said. "We have to find joy and gratitude every day. We have to find a way to move on, but it is a struggle."

The memorial event in honour of Alex Danyliuk will be held at Vimy Ridge Park along Home Street on April 12 at noon.