Be The Best.

And the award goes to…

The cool thing about the Chris Friesen Memorial Award is that you don’t ‘win’ it by necessarily scoring the most goals.  It’s about what happens on the field for sure…but it’s also about what happens off the field.  It’s about someone who is making a difference, changing lives and living with Chris’ passion to BE THE BEST.

Here are some details from the official terms of reference that Simon Fraser University has on this fund.  This is significant because these words will stay forever linked to this award.  We think that’s very cool.


The Christian Friesen Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 2010 in memory of Christian Friesen. Funds for the endowment fund were donated by friends and family. The endowment fund supports the Christian Friesen Memorial Award.

Christian (Chris) Douglas Friesen was born on January 14, 1993.  He passed away on March 25, 2010.

Chris’ passion was lacrosse.  He represented his hometown of Langley on many occasions and represented his Province of British Columbia on the national stage in both box lacrosse and field lacrosse.  One of his crowning achievements was to be named to the All-star Team at the National Field Championship in Winnipeg, September 2009.

Letters of interest from multiple universities in the United States had been received, but Simon Fraser was still very much at the top of Chris’ list for consideration.

Chris had a strong affiliation with the Burnaby Mountain Selects program run by the SFU lacrosse coaches.  The involvement in this program pushed him academically and athletically. Chris was determined to Be The Best.

Chris’ passion for life and his incredible smile, personality, kindness and compassion was echoed by over 2,800 people who joined his Facebook remembrance page within days of his passing.

The recipients of this award are encouraged to Be The Best and to change the world.


When Brent (one of SFU’s head coaches) whispered the name of the recepient to me just before the dinner on Saturday, I loved the choice the Coaches had made.

The inaugural winner of the Chris Friesen Memorial award is Luke Genereux.  Luke was one of a number of assistant coaches who were usually college players themselves and were like older brothers to the boys in the BMS program.  Luke played with Chris.  Taught Chris.  Chris really looked up to Luke as a role model, superb lacrosse player and as a person.  You can see Luke’s profile here.

As parents and for Max too, we couldn’t think of a better way to kick this award train off!  Congratulations Luke.  You are hereby challenged to BE THE BEST as you explore the future and build your career and life experiences.  As we told you personally on Saturday night, we are very proud of you.  Great stuff!!

Here’s a pic of Ingrid and I with Luke.

This night had been circled on our calendar for many months.

It has come and it has gone…and it’s sort of cool to think that in another 363 days or so, another young man will be challenged to BE THE BEST and continue to live with focus, kindness, desire, passion, drive and intensity.

Chris…your passion will fuel us all.

Congrats Luke!!

Be The Best.

Chris Friesen Memorial Award….DELIVERED.

I think I have a week’s worth of stuff to blog about.

Just like CoJo (I’m disturbed I know his name) at the Golden Globes, I’ll have my complete list of best dressed and worst dressed and other red carpet secrets later this week….or not.  (before I get in trouble…everyone looked fantastic…even most of those lacrosse players clean up pretty good or at least had their mom’s or girlfriends iron a shirt for them which is a big step forward. (I have license to state these facts having lived with a lacrosse player for years…!))

What an evening.

I had not been at the Westwood Plateau facility since the Maple Leaf Award dinner last year.  That was of course a different kind of evening.  Chris won the BMS U-18 Defensive MVP award and we had a great evening hosted by Steve Darling from Global and Brian Price the keynote speaker, a gold medal Olympic rower.

This year, Scott Rintoul from TEAM1040 did a great job of hosting the sold-out event and Max Ritz, lacrosse player, entrepreneur and actor (The Hills on MTV- Season 6) provided interesting insight into the sport and the amazing future this game of lacrosse has.

And although there was to be a Chris Friesen award in 2011 as well, it was very very different that is for sure.

It was really fantastic to have Max with us along with his girlfriend Kiera.  To be together as a family was huge for us.  To have Langley families there was amazing.  There was a family who flew their son in from his lacrosse school in VIRGINIA (yes, I mean east coast USA) to be there at the dinner last night as he played with Chris on the BMS program and wanted to honour his friend.

Are you kidding me?

These lacrosse families are simply awesome.

The BMS/SFU leadership gang asked if I’d put together a video intro to Chris’ award.  I was honoured to do so, but it did not come easily.  I had not seen Chris speaking for months and months and there are days where I can stare into those beautiful eyes and days where I just can’t.  That’s all part of this thing.  It’s all simply part of the deep love that provokes emotion far to bottomless for words or comprehension.

Here it is.  Enjoy.  Much more on this tomorrow…including pictures and who was awarded the Chris Friesen Memorial Award.

(ps…in case you’re wondering about the music about 30 seconds in…Thunderstruck by AC/DC is a tribute to the Langley Thunder lacrosse players and families as this was in essence the theme song for Langley Thunder lacrosse)

Be The Best.

Chris Friesen Memorial Award…TONIGHT!

Tonight we hand out the first ever Chris Friesen Memorial Award.

The event is the 5th Annual Maple Leaf Awards which honours lacrosse playing student athletes from Simon Fraser University and the Burnaby Mountain Selects program.

Full details on the evening are at the BMS website.

As we present this inaugural award we will think of all of the people who have and are supporting us over the past 10+ months.

We will think of family and friends, the lacrosse community, our BCIT work community and those we don’t even know, but have supported us on-line and through continued thoughts and prayers.

And of course, we will think of Chris.

Last year was the first year we attended the dinner and we did so along with Chris.  During the silent auction part of the event I bid on a Stan Syml signed picture.  The Steamer was a Canuck who epitomized hard work and helped lead the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1982.

That picture had remained in its original packaging till just a few weeks ago.  It is now displayed proudly with pictures of Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden and Kirk McLean along with another champion you might know…Chris Friesen.

As a family we will be FOREVER grateful to the Burnaby Mountain Selects group for their ongoing support and for providing an opportunity for us to remember Chris and also challenge these student athletes to BE THE BEST!

I’ll post the video intro to Chris’ award tomorrow and you’ll see a number of pics of Chris playing lacrosse for his hometown Thunder.  The local support continues to be amazing and a number of Langley families will be at tonight’s dinner which is EXCEPTIONALLY meaningful for us too.

Let’s go do this thing!


Be The Best.

Short…but SWEET!

One of Chris’ buddies, Marshall, is heading off on an overseas adventure for a couple of weeks.

He took a picture of his backpack and loaded on Facebook.

Check this out.  Cool eh?  Who needs a Canadian flag when you’ve got a Be The Best patch!

Marshall…great idea, I think I’m going to mark all my luggage this way too.


Be The Best.

The power of the eyes.

The power of eyes are amazing.

Over Christmas I had a chance to visit an uncle who suffers from ALS.  He’s eighty years old and can’t speak or move any part of his body…except his eyes.  I watched as my cousin aligned a high tech i-pad looking thing in front of him, complete with a camera that focused on his pupils.  Using just the gaze from his eyes at a keypad on the screen he was able to spell basic words that produced communication allowing him to ask for his glasses and say thanks for coming.  I was exceptionally impressed.  Not only with the technology, but the ability of the human spirit to keep pushing through.  He only had his eyes and that was all that was needed to connect.

Look at these eyes.  This is Chris’ friend Devon that had a tattoo put on his arm to remember Chris forever.  Those are powerful eyes that say a lot.  Respect for a friend and determination to move forward in a positive way.

I will always remember Chris’ eyes.  They were beautiful, strong, powerful, a little mischievous sometimes but always full of love.

We luv ya kid.

As we come to 10 months without you here in your physical body, there is NOT A DAY OR HOUR we don’t think about you.

We know you are with us in spirit.

Chris with lax friends, Jan 2010 at SFU/BMS awards dinner
Be The Best.

Seeing through listening.

I had a very unique experience on Saturday.

AC (Auntie Cathy, aka Cathy AJ Hardy) was in the remote Mission studio of Philip Janz doing some vocal tracks for her upcoming release.

She invited me to drop by and Philip was gracious to let me take a few pics  and shoot a little vid.

Philip is a very accomplished musician and producer in the gospel genre and beyond with awards he probably won’t tell you about, but you can read about them on the web!

I love music and the process of creating.

What makes Philip so unique is the ability to really understand music from a musical perspective and also be a technical master.  Watching him work was very interesting.  He was a blend of technician, music coach, manager and orchestra leader.  He knew what small part he wanted recorded and/or changed and then had a vision of how that would affect the whole piece.  You need a lot of vision and skill to do that as well as get the best from the musician or vocalist you are working with.

It was as if Philip was seeing everything through his ears if that makes any sense.  The part I like most in the vid is seeing him twirl his pen as he listens to Cathy lay down a vocal track.  He’s feeling every note and nuance making decisions on timing, pitch and understanding of how he’ll use that piece of the puzzle to help Cathy tell her story.  Very cool.

Talk about Be The Best.

Oh yah…AC is coming out with a new album.  That is VERY COOL too.  There are some fun songs.  There are some DEEP songs.  There are some songs sung with Chris is mind.

I loved what I heard…and I can’t wait.

Here’s a very little sneak peek inside the work of a master producer and a pretty cool musician…(yah, that’s high praise coming from an older brother…)

The other thing to watch for in the vid is the emotion that comes through music.  Is it possible to be happy and sad at the same time?  Is it possible to be feeling the deepest emotions of loss yet feel the powerful strength of hope for the future? Yup.

You can catch all the updates on Cathy’s updated website and her blog.

Be The Best.

Rev. Jake on Comfort

The latest installment by Rev Jake (aka my Dad and Chris’ Grandpa).

Without further ado.


The COMFORT word:

Harking back to December and Christmas themes, I was impressed with several applications of the COMFORT word.

In the carol, ‘God rest ye merry gentlemen’ the chorus keeps repeating, ‘Tidings of COMFORT and joy’

The opening statement of Handel’s Messiah is ‘COMFORT ye my people, says your God’

There is the Advent story of an old man Simeon (Luke 2) who it is said was ‘waiting for the CONSOLATION of Israel’

On this side of heaven, because of human transgression and its consequences, invariably there are elements of sadness and sorrow in all of our lives, for which we need comfort.

The fragility of life may show up in health concerns, issues of aging; or people can become victims of violence, abuse, and even wars.

We might experience the loss of relationships, and the loss of loved ones.

The little child is covered with a Comforter blanket, which may provide a measure of security.

God Himself is our eventual Comforter, providing the final answer to all of our physical and relational needs, and preparing a new body for His children when the present edition wears out. God the Comforter also provides the only reliable revelation about a meeting time for loved ones who have been separated down here.

I take comfort in the message of COMFORT from the divine Comforter; He knows how much we are in need of His ministrations!

Be The Best.

It’s the moments…

Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.


I thought the curved wall going downstairs was a little bare.  I mumbled something to Ingrid about wouldn’t it be cool to have a saying written in text on the wall for something different.

Within a few weeks she had researched, ordered and received this vinyl lettering and most importantly picked out this phrase which I hadn’t seen until it went up on the wall.

I love it.  I think about it every time I head downstairs.

Are milestones important?  Birthdays? Yes. Anniversaries? Yes. Other stuff? (you know what I’m talking about…) Yes.

But really, what’s most important?  It truly is the moments.

As we look back at all of our very treasured memories with Chris and Max as they grew up, so many of the amazing times were simply moments that happened!  Whether it was a three year old Chris climbing a ladder to see his Dad on the roof (true), or the moments of victory at a lacrosse game or the fun and silly times of picking out a Christmas tree, those moments are like gold.

The one thing you need to make moments happen is time.

I remember as young father thinking about how many Dads didn’t get to know their kids because they were so busy or work schedules that were hard to control etc etc.

I am a very busy Dude, but family was ALWAYS first.  Therefore, we made sure we had THOUSANDS of moments.

Those moments are what continue to feed us and help us on our way.

As I was watching that Disneyland video last night I was getting choked up myself.  Those moments were so pure, poignant and unanticipated.  I think that is truly what makes them special.

Anyhoo…another smart decision by that good wife of mine!

Rock your weekend.

Be The Best.

American Idol, Disneyland and a Port Moody trail.

These three things have a lot in common, at least I hope they do because I’ve committed to that as the title of this blog post.

I caught some of the ‘new’ American Idol last night with new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez joining Randy Jackson.

As the contestants did their thing they were either ‘sent to Hollywood!’ or rejected.

What struck me was the excitement and pure joy from the families of the young singers who made it to the next level.  You saw Moms and Dads hugging and jumping and crying.  For a moment I thought about lost future memories.

During a commercial break I saw an ad campaign being used by Disney.  They actually take real home footage from parents surprising their kids about going to Disneyland or at the resort itself.  You can see it here.  It’s all about making family memories.

That brings me to Port Moody.  During the Christmas break I visited a dear friend and former colleague (now retired) from BCIT, Sandie.  She was sort of like the ‘mom’ in our Registrar’s Office Department for many years.  One of the things she had by her desk was a bulletin board full of pictures of staff and their families.  Of course it grew over the years.  It was an amazing place to see the passage of time.

We look a walk along the shores of the inlet at Port Moody.  What a great place.  The reason I’m telling you this now is I look literally 15 minutes last weekend to put the following faux movie trailer together using the images from that walk.  It’s in the newest version of iMovie which comes on every Mac.  This isn’t really a Mac ad, but sort of is.

The point is that memories are amazing.  All of the great memories we’ve had together as a family are helping now in our darkest hours.

I’m simply blown away at the ability of today’s technology to take these memories and put them into a format that is useable, fun and easy to do.  I decided to use the movie trailer template and have a little fun so you could imagine what you can do with your family memory video footage!

Have a great day.

Be The Best.

Interview with God?

Ever thought of having an interview with God?

I think we’ve all probably had a few questions we’d like answered from time to time.

Over the past months we’ve been supported by people of all faiths, backgrounds and cultures.

It’s been amazing.

Last week we were sent this link to this Interview with God.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once I started the slide show thing-a-ma-jig I watched till the end.

Each question and answer is thought-provoking and could be pondered for hours or days.

I thought I would share here.