Memorial events celebrating Ryan Shtuka planned for Kamloops, Sun Peaks

Friends and family will come together this weekend to celebrate and honour the life of Ryan Shtuka, who went missing in Sun Peaks a year ago this Sunday. 

Ryan was last seen at a Sun Peaks house party during the early morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. Police say the then-20-year-old came home from work on Friday (he worked at the resort's Tube Park), and "prepared for an evening with friends." He went to a local bar that evening, and then attended a house party on Burfield Drive.

A handful of events are planned to mark the one-year anniversary of the Beaumont, Alta. native's disappearance. 

Parents Heather and Scott will be in Kamloops Friday night (Feb. 15) for a fundraiser dinner at Bailey's Pub. Proceeds will go toward the family's search efforts, including paying for accommodation (they travel from Alberta to Sun Peaks at least once a month), billboards and posters.

The following day, Sun Peaks is hosting "A Run for Ryan." The resort is inviting the public for a group ski down the 5 Mile run; interested participants are asked to meet at the top of the Sunburst Express chairlift at 3 p.m.

That evening, the Shtukas will be at Sun Peaks for a free skating party, from 8 to 9 p.m.

If the weather cooperates, Heather and Scott will conduct a search for their son on Sunday (Feb. 16). That will be followed by a candlelight walk (6 p.m.) through the village and a social gathering at Bottoms bar. 

"We are planning to enjoy moments together and create some new memories all in the name of a pretty cool kid," reads the online write-up about the memorial events.

"He has created this community of love and support. He has given us the opportunity to meet such wonderful people that will have a lifelong impact on the way we see ourselves and the world. Ryan is loved. We wish to honour that."

To honour her son, Heather will be taking a snowboarding lesson this weekend.

"It's on my bucket list," she tells KamloopsMatters. "I was like, 'OK Ryan, I'm going to do this' and I feel like Ryan's going to laugh at me, which I feel like is the whole purpose. He's probably like, "Honestly mom, I'm not sure why you're doing this,' but I'm going to show him I can... ish."

Ahead of the one-year anniversary, the Shtukas renewed their public plea for information about their son's whereabouts. Police say they continue to investigate every tip that comes in. There's no evidence to suggest Ryan ever left the hill, according to Kamloops RCMP.

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