Keeping his legacy alive

Aecon, Janice Alpine, and the Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers Canada Local 2300

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The Brandon Alpine Memorial Bursary, sponsored by Aecon, Janice Alpine, and CMAW Local 2300

Though it remains painful, when Janice Alpine thinks of her son Brandon, she tries to focus on remembering the good times. Brandon, a 4th year apprentice carpenter, passed away unexpectedly in February 2023 leaving a hole not only in Janice’s heart but in the hearts of all those who knew him.

“My son was a proud Ktunaxa man and loved his family dearly,” Janice said. “He was a hardworking, fun-loving father and friend and was in his element when working with his hands. He left home at 18 to work on the oil rigs in Alberta and would call home inviting his cousins to join him there. He really wanted the best for his cousins and his people. When he came back from the oil rigs, he joined the Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers Canada (CMAW) Local 2300 in hopes it would help his career, which it did. He worked on so many projects all over BC and was meticulous and proud of his work. The Brandon Alpine Memorial Bursary helps to keep my son’s legacy alive.”

Brandon was proud to be part of the Aecon Industrial West team and CMAW Local 2300, and most recently had been working for the North American construction company, Aecon, on the Kicking Horse Canyon project.

“Brandon was proud of his heritage and loved his job so much. While working on site he was a true ambassador for other Indigenous workers, always trying to encourage them to join him, become a construction tradesperson, and open new paths for other young Indigenous people,” said Joe Gheran, Labour Relations Manager, Aecon Group Inc. “We are pleased to contribute $15,000 toward this bursary in his memory in honour of our late colleague and to help Indigenous students enter into trades training seemed like the best way to honour him.”

Brandon’s union, CMAW Local 2300 is also providing a $5,000 financial donation. Combined with Aecon’s donation and the initial $5,000 contributed by Janice Alpine, the Brandon Alpine Memorial Bursary has now been established with $25,000 available for Indigenous students as they pursue their studies in the construction trades.

“Brandon was one of the first Indigenous union members and, at the time of his passing, the only Ktunaxa Nation member to belong to CMAW Local 2300 in the Kootenay region,” recalls Mark Miller, CMAW Local 2300 representative. “Brandon was a trail blazer who was proud of his Indigenous heritage and was never afraid to try something new. His passion for the trade led him to work on many projects throughout his career, including the Waneta Dam expansion, the Sparwood Coal mines, several bridges, and many framing projects. Brandon was an easy-going guy with a love for the trade and a good sense of humour, creating nicknames for everyone he met. Our hope is that through this bursary, his spirit will never be forgotten.”

For more information on the Brandon Alpine Memorial Bursary, go to: cotr.ca/financial-aid/entrance-bursaries/