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People and organizations

Ware, Browning Worth

  • Person
  • 1928-2002

Browning Worth Ware was born in Fort Worth, Texas on November 5, 1928. He held degrees from Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. He served pastorates in Satin, Denton, Hubbard, Cleburne, Beaumont, and Austin, Texas, and taught briefly at Southwest Texas University in San Marcos. He died on October 29, 2002.

Healey, Jeff

  • Person
  • 1966-2008

Jeff Healey was born in Toronto on March 25th, 1966 and was adopted by his parents in July of that year. As an infant, Healey developed retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer, and consequently lost his sight at the age of one. At the age of three, his father gave him his first guitar and music became a permanent part of his life. Healey developed a unique way of playing the guitar, which involved laying the guitar on his lap and playing with all five fingers of his left hand, picking the guitar with his right hand. Healey lived and grew up in Toronto’s west end, and started collecting records by the age of ten, collecting 78 format gramophone records.

He formed his first band, Blue Direction, in 1979 at the age of thirteen. In July of 1985 he was invited on stage to play with Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan at Albert Hall, in Toronto. Soon after, in September of that year, Healey met Tom Steven and Joe Rockman at Toronto’s Grossman’s Tavern, and together, they formed the Jeff Healey Band. The band gained success with the release of singles such as “See the Light” and “Adriana”. By 1987, they had received radio airplay in the U.S. In 1988, Jeff began hosting his first radio show on the University of Toronto’s radio station CUIT, playing jazz records from his now vast collection of 78s. Shortly afterwards the Jeff Healey Band released their breakthrough album See the Light, which resulted in their success across the border, with appearances on television and eventually earning them a Grammy nomination in 1989. Later that year the band appeared in the movie Roadhouse and on its soundtrack, and in 1990 the band won their first Juno award.

In 1991, the band established Forte Records, their own recording studio on Spadina Road in Toronto. In October of 1991, Healey began hosting “My Kinda Jazz” on CBC radio, a one hour radio show during which he plays jazz music recorded between 1917 and 1942 from his personal music collection. In 1994, Jeff and his wife Cristie Healey, had their first daughter, Rachel. The band continued to remain successful, recording several more albums. In 2001, Jeff Healey opened his first music club in Toronto, Healey’s, where he and his blues band and jazz band would play weekly. Jeff was later awarded a Maple Blues Award for Lifetime Acheivement at the 2001 award ceremony. Jeff soon formed his jazz band, the Jazz Wizards, who he continued to play and record with for the rest of his life. During this time, Jeff also had a blues band, the Jeff Healey Blues Band. Jeff also had his own short lived record label, Healey-O-Phonic, upon which he released his 2004 solo album, Adventures in Jazzland. Later that year he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2005, his son Derek was born.

Over the next few years Healey released more albums, and opened another club, Healey’s Roadhouse, but was also diagnosed with cancer, and underwent surgery and treatment. In February 2008, Jeff performed live for the final time in Goderich, Ontario, with his band the Jazz Wizards. Jeff Healey died at the age of 41 after battling metastatic lung cancer for three years. Only a month later, Mess of Blues was released, and marked his first return to rock and blues music in eight years. In October of 2009, Jeff was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, now known Canadian Disability Hall of Fame. Several albums have been released posthumously, and in 2011 Woodford Park, in Etobicoke, Ontario, was renamed Jeff Healey Park.

Newell, Richard

  • Person
  • 1944-2003

Richard Newell, professionally known as King Biscuit Boy, was born and raised in Hamilton Ontario. He is considered Canada’s greatest blues musician, and has a reputation as being a one of the best internationally.

As a child, Newell began to play the harmonica after discovering the instrument from a song heard on the radio. Playing the instrument every day, his skills quickly grew. His musical career began in 1961 as a member of the band the Barons. In 1963, he formed Son Richard & The Chessmen, then later replaced Ritchie Knight in The Mid Kinghts. In 1965 he formed Son Richard and The Gooduns. By 1969, Newell had joined Ronnie Hawkins (and his backup band the Hawks) and formed And Many Others. Hawkins became an important person in Newell’s life; it was Hawkins that dubbed Newell King Biscuit Boy, after the blues radio program “King Biscuit Flour Hour” in Arkansas.

Newell’s musical career was always changing. In 1970 he and Hawkins fired the backup band and formed Crowbar. This only lasted the year, though Newell would continue to do guest appearances with the band. Newell began a solo career, releasing six records as a solo artist, and many more as part of a collaboration or as a guest. Newell found international praise and success, in fans with such names as Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Paul McCartney, and Keith Richard. Newell had battled alcoholism most of his adult life and passed away in 2003 at his home in Hamilton Ontario.

Onodera, Midi

  • Person
  • 1961-

Midi Onodera (b. (October 26 1961) is a third generation Japanese-Canadian filmmaker who has been directing, producing, and writing films for over thirty years. Her work includes short and feature length films and videos, and has been exhibited both in Canada and internationally. Born in Toronto, Midi then attended the Ontario College of Art and Design and graduated with an AOCA certificate (1983). She later went back to the college and received a BFA in 2011. Midi was able to enter the Toronto art community not only as a student at OCAD but also as the Equipment Coordinator at the Funnel, a prominent centre for exhibition, distribution and production of experimental films from 1977-1989. She went onto to work in the Canadian film industry as a camera assistant and worked with award-winning Cinematographers, Rene Ohashi. And Marc Champion.

Midi has also been a media consultant, director, and producer for almost twenty years at MAC Cosmetics and she founded Daruma Pictures Inc. in 1990. Her works feature various formats ranging from 8 & 16mm film to digital video, and digital toy formats such as modified Nintendo Game Boy Camera, Intel Mattel computer microscope, and the Tyco and Trendmasters video cameras. Midi’s films have been critically recognized and have been included in numerous screenings such as the Toronto International Film Festival; the Berlin International Film Festival; the Rotterdam International Film Festival and a number of screenings at Lesbian & Gay Film Festivals around the world. Her works address individual, collective, national and transnational identities and she takes on issues such as race and gender. A predominant theme in many of Midi’s work highlights a personal diaristic narrative with a focus on the everyday. Midi’s films have won numerous awards such as Best Feature Film: Audience Award for “Skin Deep” in 1995 at the Hamburg International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and her Documentary Film “The Displaced View” was nominated for Best Documentary in 1989 at the Gemini Awards. More recently Midi’s work was celebrated and honored at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2011 with the DVD set “Thirty Years: The Moving Image Art of Midi Onodera”.

Mendelson Joe

  • Person
  • 1944-

Mendelson Joe (b Birrel Josef Mendelson, often known as Joe Mendelson) was born and raised in Maple, Ontario. He is an active writer, musician, painter, and political activist.
After graduating from the University of Toronto, Joe worked as a blues musician, playing guitar. At this time, he performed using the name Joe Mendelson. By 1968, he had joined fellow Canadian guitarist Mike McKenna and formed the band McKenna Mendelson Mainline. As a band, they entertained fans till 1972 when they split, though they briefly reformed in 1975.

Joe’s music career continued as he performed as a solo artist. It is also then when he adopted the reversal of his names, opting for Mendelson Joe, instead of the previous Joe Mendelson. Since becoming a musician, he has released many titles, including the hit “Dance with Joe”. As a musician he has appeared on Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show. Albums release include: Women Are The Only Hope, Buried Treasure, Art Is the Healer, Humans, and Canuckian.

1975 was an important year for Joe. Not only did he begin his solo career as a musician, but he also began to paint. After finding some old paint in the garbage, he tried his hand at the visual medium. He is now an internationally recognized cotemporary Canadian artist. His work has been shown internationally, and some is housed in the government run Art Bank. Since 2000, he has lived in the Almaguin Highlands north of Muskoka, Ontario.

Thompson, Doug

  • Person

Doug Thompson was born in Kingston, Ontario. It was in 1959 when his family moved to Oakville, Ontario, and he discovered CHUM-AM. This Toronto radio station, a legend at the time and still remembered today, began his love for radio. His career began in 1964 when he became a board operator for CJCA in Edmonton, Alberta. After a short stint there, he was hired by CHUM and was promoted to the production department within two years. Thompson went on to work for CFGM in Richmond Hill as Co-Creative Director after working for CHUM.

Thompson has created, written, and produced many radio shows. His first radio documentary was a one-hour special on the Monkees, which aired in 1967. Other notable works were “History of Rock and Roll”, “Ringo’s Yellow Submarine”, and “That Radio Show with John Candy”.

He has also worked outside radio stations, but still in radio. From 1974 to 1978 he produced radio commercials with The Commercial Place, and he founded Douglas Communications in 1978 where he produced other radio shows and content.

By 1991, his career had taken him to and back from the Unites States. He began as a Creative Director/Executive Director at Telemedia Network Radio. Thompson returned to CHUM in 2000 as Creative Director for the station’s sports network. In 2003, he went on to 1010 CFRB Toronto as a producer for Newstalk, and in 2005, he took on the role of Senior Writer/Director for the Pirate Group Radio & Television.

From there he has continued to work in broadcasting and sound production. Thompson is a part-time professor of broadcasting at Seneca College, and has been presented over 150 awards for his work in radio, broadcasting, and sound production.

White, Jana Lynne

  • Person

Jana Lynne White is a media training instructor and a seasoned pop culture reporter. White has been noted by many as an excellent pop culture interviewer, with notable talks with many A-list celebrities.

Raised in Vancouver, White moved to Toronto in 1990 to host “The NewMusic” show on Much Music. She gained notoriety in this position, as an excellent storyteller and interviewer. She held this position for 6 year, leaving in 1996. In 1998, White rejoined the CHUM network, becoming the voice and host of the new channel Much More Music (M3).

Currently, White owns and operates Jana Lynne White Media, an upfront media coaching service. Using her knowledge and experience in the media industry, she offers advice on interviewing and promoting oneself through media.

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