Friends, colleagues, and family hope to honour Vancouver studio talent Olivia Quan with Award for Audio Excellence

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      Friends and colleagues of Olivia Quan have started a GoFundMe campaign to honour the late Vancouver engineer and producer. Money raised will be used to establish a fund in her name that will be used to help future generations pursue careers in recording and studio work.

      Quan passed away unexpectedly on July 1 at age 25 from complications from a brain bleed. Before her passing she was regarded as one of Vancouver’s fastest rising studio talents.

      (The city’s music community will have the chance to celebrate Quan’s life and achievements on July 31 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the WISE Hall.)

      After graduating from recording school Quan immediately landed a job at Monarch Studios in 2016, where she immediately established herself as a talent to watch. She received three nominations at the 2022 Juno Awards for her work with Desirée Dawson, Luca Fogale, and Matthew V. Over the course of her career she also worked with such acts at Hey Ocean!, Said the Whale, Sam Lynch, and City & Colour.

      Those she interacted have recalled her as not only passionate, but compassionate, generous, and endlessly energetic.

      The Olivia Quan Award for Audio Excellence hopes to raise a minimum of $25,000, with a larger goal of $75,000. The plan is that $5,000 per year be used to help “future generations of young people pursuing a career in audio to learn from, and be inspired by Olivia’s achievements and dedication to her craft.”

      The GoFundMe page outlines the vision for the award as follows.

      Criteria: A successful candidate would embody the characteristics that made Olivia so
      • Open to young people age 25 or under from British Columbia, Canada
      • Have demonstrated hard work and dedication to the mastery of audio
      • Have a clear idea of their goals and how they want to achieve them
      • May have obstacles in their way that this award could help reduce
      • Extra consideration given to women and other under-represented groups in the industry, but does not exclude any worthy recipients.

      Examples of uses of funding could be:
      • Scholarship towards audio education and mentorship
      • Cost of living expenses while pursuing an audio internship or apprenticeship
      • Specific purchases of equipment that would allow one to advance their career
      • Travel expenses to attend audio training or events

      Music BC will help oversee the application process. In any given year candidates will be condensed to a short list of 10, after which a group made up of Quan’s family member and close friends will choose one recipient.

      Tom Dobrzanski of Monarch Studios called Quan a person who could not be more deserving of being remembered by the award.

      “She was on an unbelievable trajectory in her own career, and achieved so much by the age of only 25, but at the same time was the most giving and supportive person you could ever meet,” Dobrzanski told the Straight. “It’s an absolute tragedy what happened to Olivia, and the best positive we can take is for those of us who were lucky enough to know her to continue to be inspired by all the things that made her so amazing. I hope this annual award in her name will allow future young people pursuing a career in audio to be inspired by her as well, and supported in following a similar path.”

      To learn more about the Olivia Quan Award for Audio Excellence go here. And for her information on her WISE Hall celebration of life, go here.