Fatally injured in an industrial accident at his place of employment in August of 2013, Shane Gorner was only 19 years of age when he died. The eighth of Lorne and Brenda Gorner’s 10 children, and one of six sons, Shane was also an uncle, a grandson, a cousin, and a friend to many. Already an actor, artist, musician, photographer, poet and screen writer, he was never happier than when he was able to make people laugh and feel good about themselves. Creative and passionate about everything he turned his attention to, Shane was preparing to serve a two-year mission for his church be-fore continuing to pursue his dreams when his life was cut short.
Shane was a remarkable young man. His English 12 teacher, Marta Mar, described him as “a shining star who lit up her classroom with his wonderful character and love of others.” He shared the stage with Reid Gomme, who enjoyed his spontaneity and sometimes startling practical jokes, in the Shuswap Theatre production of “Anything Goes.” Reid also shared that Shane was “very highly thought of by his peers.” Kieren Rambo recall show Shane attracted those around him with his positive outlook on life, and his sincerity.
In December 2012, at the request of their Summer Youth Theatre coach Lana Caputi, Shane and his best buddy Vitaly Diemens were given special permission to attend the Worldwide Screenwriters Forum in Las Vegas. Lana recognized Shane’s talent, his commitment, his drive and ambition, and wanted to expose him to a glimpse of his possible future. She says that in 40 years in the world of theatre, she had never met anyone so talented in so many areas as Shane.
His Photography teacher, Brent Chudiak, remembers Shane through three years of classes at SASS: 2009 – “OMG, will this kid never stop talking?” 2010 – “He had developed accents. It was like there were multiple Shanes in the room, each with a different personality and voice.” 2011 – “He was engaging, funny, focussed, and every part of him a great guy to spend time with.” Shane in a nutshell.
Shane wrote a poem entitled A Course in Cabinetry, in which he compares his life with cabinet drawers filled with everything he possesses. It contains these words: When I give from my hoard, I have not subtracted, I have multiplied. Everyone who knew him will attest to his kindness, compassion, and caring. Shane’s family never imagined they would lose him in a workplace accident, but they did. Family friend Bob Papworth, a Financial Advisor with Scotia McLeod, suggested they create an endowment fund in Shane’s memory. The Shane Gorner Memorial Endowment Fund was established with Shuswap Community Foundation, and Shane’s employer, Dinoflex, will donate $2,500 annually to the fund, which has already reached $10,000. The interest earned by the fund will be disbursed annually as the Shane Gorner Memorial Bursary to a Grade 12 student attending Salmon Arm Senior Secondary who intends to pursue post-secondary studies in the arts and has need of financial assistance.
The fund is open to donations from anyone at anytime.