In 2005, St. Mary's Academy instituted the Marian Awards to recognize distinguished alumnae and friends who embrace and exemplify our mission and vision in our community and the world.
A humble thank you from St. Mary’s Academy
2023 Marian Award Recipient
Constanca (Connie) Magalhaes
The St. Mary's Academy Foundation is honoured to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Constanca (Connie) Magalhaes with a 2023 Marian Award.
Connie was born in Portugal, raised in Mozambique, and settled in Winnipeg. She was deeply committed to both family and faith, and it was important to her to provide her five daughters with a faith-based education. The Magalhaes family connection with St. Mary's Academy began in 1985, when their eldest daughter, Ana '91, enrolled in grade 7. Following that, daughters Cristina '93, Guida (Maria) '95, Luisa '98, and Connie '01 attended, culminating in a legacy of all five daughters graduating from SMA. At present, two of Connie's granddaughters, Meaghan '24 and Téa '25, are continuing the family's education legacy at SMA.
Connie’s devotion to service was evidenced throughout her life. Besides teaching at the University of Manitoba, she could frequently be found ferrying her daughters and their friends to various athletic games and tournaments. When a coach or the SMA Athletic Department needed something done, Connie was always there to lend a hand. Connie also supported the school by being an active member of the Parents’ Guild. She volunteered with the Portuguese Pavilion at International Day in 1985 and went on to become the lead pavilion organizer until 2001. Additionally, she was devoted to Girl Guides as a unit leader, commissioner, and camp organizer, volunteered many summers at Folklarama, and was a committed president of the Resident’s Association at South Park Estates.
Family and religion were central values in Connie's life and those of her husband, Luis, which they instilled in their children and thirteen grandchildren. During Christmas in 2020 when the family could not gather, Connie wrote to each grandchild, “We have two important values that we would like to pass on to you: family and religion. Avô prays the rosary every day. I have a deep love for Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus. I often pray a Hail Mary, and when life's challenges become overwhelming, I turn to Our Lady for help. It always brings comfort and strength to endure the pain."
Connie returned home to God on November 15, 2021, leaving behind a profound legacy of love, family, faith, and service. It is an honor and privilege for SMA to bestow the Marian Award posthumously upon Connie. Her daughters will accept this recognition at the Marian Awards Gala on October 28, 2023.
Live Auction Prizes
Beluga Whale Dream Tour for Two
You and a guest will enjoy return airfare from Winnipeg to Churchill courtesy of Calm Air. Enjoy two action-packed days and nights in the beautiful landscape of Churchill. Enjoy a beluga boat tour, walking tour of the Prince of Wales Fort, cultural and heritage tour and meals provided by Lazy Bear Café. This once-in- a-lifetime trip will make all of your Churchill dreams come true.
Let's Go Girls Package
Girls Night Out to see Shania Twain live in concert. This package includes 4 tickets to Shania Twain’s Queen of Me Tour
Tuesday, November 7, 2023 | Row 8, Section 120
A One Night Stay at the Fort Garry Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre
$250 gift certificate from The Keg Steakhouse & Bar
Dinner Under the Dome
Enjoy an intimate night to remember in St. Mary’s Academy’s iconic dome. Eat, drink, and enjoy the beautiful views of River Heights. A 3-course dinner for 8 curated just for you by Sandra Martin (Alwis ’97), Academy Bistro, accompanied by wine pairings from The Pourium.
Falcon Lake Getaway
A 3 Night Stay at The Falcon Lake House and a gourmet gift basket from The Pourium awaits. Escape for the weekend. Indulge in glorius surroundings where nature, comfort and luxury meet.
The Falcon Lake House includes:
5 bedrooms (2 king, 2 queen, bunk room)
3 full bathrooms with heated floors
chef’s kitchen & coffee bar
stone wood-burning fireplace
lower level bar with fridges
3 season sunroom with wood burning stove
outdoor Finnish wet sauna & outdoor fire pit
floor to ceiling windows for stunning views of Falcon Lake
Keys to the Store Evening
An exclusive evening at Jones & Company - Winnipeg’s Premiere Wine Store where you have the keys to the store. We begin your exclusive evening after the store closes. Your wine expert will walk around the store with you to choose the night’s tasting. After wines are decided you will sit down in The Cave for a tutored tasting for you and your five guests. Black out periods apply. Finish off the evening with 10 tickets to Yuk Yuk’s from The Fort Garry Hotel.
Paintings from the Vun Family
Selected paintings by the inspired and extraordinarily talented Megan Vun Wong generously donated by the Vun sisters (Delaney Vun ’03, Zephyra Vun ’05, and Everett Vun ’11).
Manitoban Dinner with Chef Mandel Hitzer
A dining experience for 6 and wine pairings with one of Canada’s top chefs, Mandel Hitzer from Deer + Almond, which ranks high on Canada’s 100 Best List
Dinner with Friends at The Gates
Enjoy a dinner for 8 at The Gates on Roblin with wine pairings from The Pourium.
“Rising ‘Round” is an acrylic and watercolour on wood panel, 6” x 6” x 1.5”, donated by Diane Ruest ’94
1-hour work-life balance coaching session donated by Melissa Giller (Grapentine ’03)
Sizable gift certificates from So Over It, Beyond Flowers, Sugar + Salt, The Cheesemongers, and These Four Walls
Pizza Making Class and Dinner
A pasta making class at Pizzeria Gusto for 6 people followed up with a dinner at Pizzeria Gusto for 12 using the pasta everyone made.
Rowing with Janine Hanson
Spend time and learn rowing with Olympic medalist, Janine Stephens (Hanson '01).
Thank You to our generous Sponsors
Torch Presenting Sponsor - $10000 Level
Past Marian Award Recipients
Cancelled due to Covid-19 Pandemic
Cancelled due to Covid-19 Pandemic
Cancelled due to Covid-19 Pandemic
The Sisters of Charity of Montreal, "Grey Nuns"
Dr. Diane Clare '69
Cheryl Prokopanko (Balaberda '72)
Brigitte Sandron (Van Ginkel '77)
Melissa Serbin '01
The Class of 1965
Marylyn Gibney, SNJM
Susanne Parent '81
Gwen Buccini (Pucci ’67)
Marianna Carol Hryniuk-Adamov ’72
Leanne Boyd '69
Kellie O'Rourke '76
Dr. Leisha Strachan ’92
Janine Stephens (Hanson ’01)
Crystal Kolt (Klapecki '78)
R.H. (Bob) Vandewater
Barbara Clubb '65
Ann Hodges '82
Christine Butterill (Keegan '60)
Susan Devine '68
Kimberly Prost '76
Stella Jo Dean (Kozak '43)
Joan Harland (Gr. 11 '32 and SMA College '33)
Rekha Malaviya '83
Alaina Prokopchuk '98
Noelle Bowles '91
Mary Holmen (Whytehead '71)
Rev. Carol Fletcher '79
Carol Stone (Parson '62)
Margaret Brett (Hetke '65)
Pattie Moore (Delabbio '69)
William and Stella English and family
Eira Friesen (Charles '36)
Lesley Sacouman '63, SNJM
SMA Alumnae Association
SMA Parents’ Guild