Mourners gather to remember Ottawa man slain in Yellowknife

Emerson Curran was a giver and his early death didn’t stop him from blessing others with the gift of life.

“He was always one to try and do something for others and always wanting to help others in any situation, at any cost,” said former schoolmate, colleague, and friend David Labelle, 22.

Labelle was one of hundreds of mourners who filled the Divine Infant Parish in Orleans Friday morning to remember Curran, whose remains were in an urn.

The 20-year-old died Aug. 25 from injuries suffered during a fight at a house party in Yellowknife two days earlier.

He was flown to Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital and pronounced dead.

Curran went up north for the summer, working at Air Tindi.

The University of Ottawa philosophy student previously attended St. Peter Catholic High School.

Curran is survived by father and Ottawa Business Journal publisher Michael Curran, mother Catrina, siblings Graeme, Liam, and Lauren, both sets of grandparents, and girlfriend Jillian Gummo.

Michael Curran spoke of his son’s passion for adventure and travel.

While some thought Emerson was quiet, “to others, he was larger than life,” said Michael Curran.

In addition to being loving, thoughtful, and intelligent, his son “genuinely enjoyed conversation.”

Labelle recalls Curran’s penchant for goofing around when they worked as produce clerks at Metro on Tenth Line Rd. a couple of years ago.

His fondest memory “is always him making stuff and building stuff out of rotten fruit and everything like that and just having a good time,” said Labelle.

“He actually made a little fort outside of the store and that’s where him and some of his friends would kind of gather sometimes and just hang out on break.”

Those shenanigans were things “that you tend to overlook when he’s there, and now you start to think back and they’re all bundling up together,” Labelle said.

Mass was followed by a reception, where Curran’s No. 84 football jersey hung, along with a signed helmet, stuffed animal, and photo collage.

“You can obviously tell that he was well-loved by so many people,” said Labelle.

Roman Bourque, 23, of Yellowknife, is facing a manslaughter charge following his arrest on Aug. 29.

RCMP have not confirmed whether the men knew each other.

Curran’s family is asking others to discuss organ donation; one donor can save eight lives.

Register online at

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

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