B.C. sandcastle sculptor takes passion to new level after losing daughter

A B.C. man whose talent is making large, intricate sand castles, is using his passion to raise money for a local hospice society.

Marc Dansereau started out by making simple sandcastles at the beach with his family.

His passion for sand sculpting escalated to the point where he asked for a pile of sand to be delivered to his driveway so he could build sandcastles there.

The sculpting took on a deeper purpose after his six-year-old daughter Bernadette passed away just months after being diagnosed with stage four cancer.

“They offered chemo but really they said they didn’t expect it would cure her so we made the decision to bring her home here [to] Blind Bay and we cared for her,” he said.

Dansereau can’t say enough about the support his family received from Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Vancouver during that time.

“As a dad, I have never felt so vulnerable or powerless to come home with your daughter and to watch your daughter die,” Dansereau said.

“The hospice meant really everything.”

Bernadette with one of the family's early sandcastle creations.

Marc Dansereau

ChangSha Night Net

The father of six knew his sand creations attracted a lot of positive attention on the beach.

He decided to take that attention and use it to raise awareness about and money for the local Shuswap Hospice Society.

His fundraiser involves selling a calendar with photos of his sand creations.

“There are so many people who need the services they provide and I don’t think a lot of people know that they are there,” he said.

A hospice society spokesperson says the money raised by Dansereau will go towards grief counselling and palliative care support for families, particularly children.

Click here to learn more about Dansereau’s cause and to find out how to purchase a calendar.

Dansereau’s daughter next to a sandcastle he was in the middle of building in his driveway.

Marc Dansereau

One of Marc Dansereau’s sandcastles.

“Sandcastles are like rainbows. You see them just momentarily and then they are gone,” Dansereau said of his creations.

Facebook/Shuswap Hospice Society

Dansereau likes to continue to add new elements to his sandcastles. On this castle he added a balcony for the first time.

Marc Dansereau

A sand castle built by Marc Dansereau.

Facebook/Shuswap Hospice Society

Dansereau’s castles attract a lot of attention on the beach.

“People come by and they usually go ‘Wow, how do you make it stand?’ It is a lot of fun to surprise people and then just create that magical moment of something special,” Dansereau said.

Marc Dansereau

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