Bobby and Sharon Cairns Memorial Award

The Bobby and Sharon Cairns Memorial Award has been created to honour Bobby and Sharon Cairns. Bobby's lifelong commitment to music and education and Sharon's community engagment and activities will be remembered by supporting students enrolled in the Music Program at MacEwan University's Faculty of Fine Arts and Communications.

As head of Guitar at the MacEwan Music program, Bobby dedicated 36 years helping to shape the future of young musicians. Cairns’s own career kicked off when he was only 15 years old with an invitation to play with the legendary Tommy Banks. 

His career as an educator, which spanned four decades, saw him create and oversee the program’s guitar curriculum, teach countless courses and direct music ensembles, including the Guitar Ensemble, unique among North American university and college music programs. 

“Bobby fully engaged in teaching and brought all of his energy, imagination, expertise and musicianship to the enterprise of teaching and learning,” says Dr. William Richards, chair of the Department of Music. “He was a true pedagogue, a master of the instrument and found many innovative and fruitful approaches to teaching.” 

Sharon began her professional career as an Executive Assistant at Edmonton's ITV station, but later decided to stay home and raise two children while taking on various volunteer leadership positions in the Jewish Community. She went on to work as the Executive Director of the Jewish National Fund Edmonton for over 20 years.

Sharon was Bobby's biggest fan and vice versa. She had an incredible sense of humour, social by nature and a relationship builder dearly loved by her many friends, and was the backbone of the Cairns family.

This award honours Bobby's vision and Sharon's passion, providing a legacy to others to build their own careers in music.

For any inquiries regarding your gift, please contact the Alumni and Development Office at or 780-497-5410.

Charitable Registration #119235786RR0001