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Remembering Evan Sorestad

February 6, 2020
Evan Sorestad at the Caribrew launch party, 2018.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Evan Sorestad, longtime CPAWS Saskatchewan board member and passionate advocate for Canadian wilderness. After a short but courageous battle with cancer, he left us peacefully on January 20th, 2020. Evan’s obituary can be found here. 

Gord Vaadeland, executive director of CPAWS-SK, was asked to speak at the funeral. The memories of Evan that he shared are below. 

We will miss Evan deeply. In lieu of flowers, donations to CPAWS-SK can be made using the button above. 

On behalf of CPAWS and our family across Canada, I’d like to pass along our condolences to your family at this time of great loss.

Evan has been a part of our CPAWS family for 3 decades, serving on both the National Board of Directors and our CPAWS-SK Board and I know there are many of us who will remember him fondly and miss him dearly. As news of Evan’s passing made its way to CPAWS colleagues, past and present, many shared short vignettes about how they will remember Evan, and I thought I would share a few of those.

Evan was such a lovely person, enthusiastic and passionate, and committed to his work with CPAWS. I enjoyed working with him on the board and have to admit to sharing more than a few beers after our (sometimes challenging) meetings—Evan was always game to end the day with a few pints and laughs, and warm camaraderie. He will be missed. – Julie Davidson, former CPAWS National Board Member

Evan contributed so much to both CPAWS and to conservation, and his legacy will live on not least in the grasslands and forests. – Stephen Mayor, former CPAWS National Board Member

Evan was wonderful, helped me with the policy I was so involved with and a great support when I was coping with the impacts from complications of my broken wrist and the side effects of the pain killers.  His heart was gold. – Susan Ellis, former CPAWS National Board Member

Evan was a very appreciated member of the national litigation committee. We will miss his sage advice and thoughtful recommendations. – Laura Colella, CPAWS National Board Chair

I remember Evan from when I first started at CPAWS in 2006.  He was a kind giant of a man with a big heart and wry sense of humour.  I remember one particular meeting where he and Ron battled out the Roughriders v Blue Bombers in friendly enmity when the meetings occurred at the same time as the Grey Cup… bringing much needed levity to some rather strained board meetings…   I always looked forward to his presence at the board table and Executive Committee meeting when he participated for his humour and his insight.  His dedication to the environment and CPAWS is evident through his long tenure volunteering for CPAWS and CPAWS Saskatchewan – seeing us through some tough times and remaining committed throughout.  He will be missed. – Emily Smith, CPAWS National Foundations Manager

Evan was dedicated to our organization and our cause and contributed so much. He was also a kind and funny, and quite often the life of the party after the formal meeting was done. He’ll be missed greatly. – Alex Abboud, CPAWS National Board Member

Evan was a passionate supporter of nature conservation, of Saskatchewan, and of CPAWS.  I had the honour of spending time with him at Board meetings over many years, and always appreciated his honest and perceptive contributions to discussions.  I particularly remember his role as the Board member designated as the “go to” person for staff to contact for human resource issues during some difficult times more than a decade ago. He brought not only his legal expertise, but also compassion and kindness to the role which was greatly appreciated. – Alison Woodley, Senior Strategic Advisor, CPAWS National

Evan was on the board when I first started at CPAWS and I remember him fondly. He was so kind and thoughtful. I was very nervous going into my first board meeting, but Evan greeted me with a smile, made an effort to get to know me, and really put me at ease. – Andree Charlebois, CPAWS National Administrative Coordinator

The first time I really got to know Evan was at a CPAWS National Board meeting in Victoria in 2009. He and I shared a room (as was customary of the penny-wise charity). He arrived very late the first night (or should I say very early the next morning). He had, of course, driven from Saskatchewan to the meeting. He seemed to feel at home on long road trips – something he and I shared in common. In that meeting, I saw the Evan I would get to know well: passionate, principled, direct and unabashed. His personality suited his passion for being behind the wheel. He liked to have things his way and being on a plane, train or bus would not give him that kind of control. While he felt strongly about things, he was also willing to listen and adjust his thinking based on what he heard. He was a strong and active board member – the kind of person you could rely on to drive a project to its completion, despite having many things on the go at once. His contributions of time, money and energy were so deeply appreciated. I will cherish the time I spent with him. CPAWS is stronger for his passion and commitment over the years. It will be missed. – Eric Hebert Daley, Former CPAWS National Executive Director

For me personally, Evan was always a strong and straightforward friend, colleague and confidant who I grew to rely on heavily since he and the CPAWS-Sask Board first brought me on back in 2007. He was always there when I needed an ear and I appreciated his unending support, encouragement and especially the trust he always showed in my leadership. I know I’ve said thank you to Evan many times over those years, and I’m glad I got to thank him, often over a local Saskatoon beer, whether that was a CPAWS Caribrew or a Temperance Brown Ale. We had much in common and he had a profound impact on my life. I’ll miss him a lot.