Madge Wiesman, Long-Time Supporter of SCARP: in Memoriam

Madge Wiesman, 1930-2021

The SCARP community is deeply saddened by the news that Madge Wiesman passed away on 24 May, 2021. An enduring and treasured friend, over the years Madge gave generously to build a significant endowment to support scholarships at SCARP, which had a tremendous and incalculable impact on our school and students.

Born in Scotland in 1930, Madge loved travel, adventure, and her family.

She moved to Canada as a young woman, where she worked as physiotherapist. Less than two years later, a chance encounter with a man called Brahm at a train station in Jasper would mark the beginning of a partnership that spanned decades and continents. Always fascinated by cities, Brahm Wiesman held various planning roles before becoming director of SCARP in 1978 – a role which came naturally to him.

Together, Madge and Brahm travelled extensively. In 1988, they visited Thailand with Brahm’s colleague Peter Boothroyd. It was the first of many trips to Asia and the beginning of a long relationship with the continent for both SCARP and the Wiesmans. The next year, Madge and Brahm travelled to China for the first time, which became a major area of interest for Brahm.

At the heart of their travel and international development work was a desire to collaborate, share knowledge, and exchange ideas.

When Brahm passed away in 2003, Madge created the Brahm Wiesman Memorial Scholarship in Community and Regional Planning. Since its creation, it has helped over 25 students undertake research and travel abroad, as well as to work with Indigenous communities in Canada. It was awarded for the first time in 2006. Sheng Zhong was one of the first to benefit from the scholarship, describing it as “an inspiration.” Without it, she simply would have been unable to travel to Shanghai and Japan to conduct research for her thesis.

Friends, colleagues, former students, and Madge herself contributed to the scholarship over the years to create a substantial endowed fund. The fund forms part of Madge and Brahm’s remarkable legacy and will continue to support SCARP students for generations to come, in turn enriching BC’s planning community and changing the shape of our towns and cities.

SCARP will remember Madge’s incredible generosity, warmth, and adventurous spirit, along with her passion for furthering research and helping students achieve their goals. She will be dearly missed.