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VANESSA MARIA KUZYK
September 23, 1969 - September 25, 2023
With profound anguish and sadness, we announce the passing on September 25th, 2023 of Vanessa Maria Kuzyk following a tragic accident. Vanessa passed away peacefully in hospital surrounded by her grieving loved ones.
A bright light radiating love, kindness, compassion and generosity, Vanessa made an impact on everyone she came into contact with. A little package, not quite five feet tall, she was bigger than life to those whose lives she touched. The fact that she was quite unaware of her intrinsic charm, made her all the more endearing.
Vanessa was born on September 23, 1969 to Sylvia and Victor Kuzyk. As a little girl, instead of dreaming of becoming a doctor or an astronaut, she wanted to be a stand-up comedian when she grew up. At Halloween, she wasn’t a princess or ballerina. Instead, she delighted in dressing as an ugly witch, complete with latex mask warts and all, and big black hat. She played her character to the hilt.
A natural entertainer, she loved to fully embody every character she took on. Starting in elementary school and all the way through high school she was involved in plays, often landing the principal roles at a much younger age than most others in the production. A particularly memorable performance was when she played Anne in Anne of Green Gables when she was in Grade 7 under the direction of her beloved drama teacher Sally Shaw at St. Mary’s Academy.
Vanessa’s passion for theatre and the performing arts, augmented by studies in the University of Winnipeg’s theatre program, propelled her into performing and touring with Up With People, a non-profit organization which empowers youth to become lifelong change makers as part of a global community working to advance inclusivity, sustainability and human rights.
Subsequent to her travels, Vanessa performed with Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage, Celebrations Dinner Theatre and appeared in a number of made-in-Manitoba films. Vanessa’s talents went beyond acting and singing - she was also a gifted poet and story-teller. Throughout the COVID isolation period Vanessa wrote entertaining and inspiring poems for her friends all over the world lifting spirits and lighting up lives.
Along with the performing arts, Vanessa worked in other industries along the way, and her positions always focused on connecting with and helping other people. During the last few years Vanessa worked as part of the Downtown Community Safety Partnership, designed to improve the health, safety and well-being of the downtown Winnipeg community. She was also a very skilled restaurant server, and frequently received tips from people who weren’t even at her tables – just because she brightened their day and improved their experience.
Vanessa was happiest when she felt that she was helping others and when she could be of service to someone in need. Because of this giving attitude, she had a multitude of friends that she loved connecting with. She was full of energy and vitality, but also a gentle person with a deep love for animals – especially her cats Bella and Luna.
Vanessa was predeceased by her grandparents on both sides of the family, Stephanie and Andrew Kuzyk and Eva and Gunter Schoch. She also lost her stepfather Glen McCabe, with whom she had a close relationship, and was by his bed-side when he passed away - only one month prior to her own tragic passing.
Vanessa leaves to cherish her memory her mother Sylvia Kuzyk, her best friends Jason Sarna, Tanya Walsh, Jane Fedoruk, Debbie Plaquin, Lucinda Johnston, her step-sister Lara McCabe, her father Victor Kuzyk and his family, Juana and Cliff Schoch, Jason Emslie, Acelyn Emslie and Lucas Emslie, Chris and Arlyss Schoch, Simone Oar, Jennifer and Hayden Gugenheimer, Ryan, Janel, Christina, Jessica and Sarah Gugenheimer, Rebecca, Clint, Logan, Mason and Parker Corely, and all her many friends all over the world.
Vanessa’s celebration of life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 27th at the Viscount Gort Hotel, 1670 Portage Avenue.
Memories, Stories and Condolences
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