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People and organizations

Thornley, Ian

  • Person
  • 1972-

Ian Thornley is a rock singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He has released music as a solo artist and with the band Big Wreck and Thornley. He has also played as a sessional musician for other recording artists.

Thornley grew up in Toronto, and left for Boston to study Jazz music at the Berklee College of Music in the 1990’s. During his studies, he met David Henning, Brian Doherty, and Forrest Williams, and eventually formed the band Big Wreck in 1993. After signing a US record deal, they released their first album “In Loving Memory Of...”(1997), then later The Pleasure and the Greed”(2001). The band broke up shortly thereafter, but Thornley just began to look elsewhere to continue his career in music.

After leaving Big Wreck, Thornley worked as a sessional musician. In 2002, he formed the band Thornley and released two albums. 2012 became an important year, and Big Wreck came back, and released their third album. As of 2019, Big Wreck has released a total of six albums.

Troiano, Domenic

  • Person
  • 1946-2005

Domenic Troiano was born in 1946, Modugno, Italy. He immigrated with his family to Toronto in 1949, being a naturalized citizen in 1955. Growing up in Toronto, he immersed himself in the music of the time and the sounds Toronto was producing.

At the age of 17, he had taught himself to play guitar and joined Robbie Lane and the Disciples and as the replacement for Robbie Robertson as lead guitarist with Ronnie Hawkins. In 1965 he joined the Five Rogues, who changed their name to Mandala in 1966. With Mandala, Troiano found great success, with songs reaching the Top Ten charts with songs like “Opportunity” and “Love-it is”. They continued to play together until 1969 when the band broke up.

Quickly thereafter, Troiano with previous Mandala band mates Pentti ‘Whitey’ Glan and Roy Kenner, with new musicians Hugh Sullivan and Prakash John formed the band Bush. Here Troiano co-wrote “I Can Hear You Calling”. By 1972, Troiano, along with Roy Kenner, joined the American rock group James Gang. The James Gang recorded two albums with Troiano, but by 1974 Troiano left to join the Guess Who. During this time, Troiano has already begun writing and recording music as a solo artist. In 1980, Troiano joined Bob Wilson and Paul DeLong to form Black Market, eventually turning exclusively to studio work as a composer, producer and guitarist at his own Black Market Records in 1981. Troiano worked as a studio musician, producer, and song writer during the 1980s, through to the early 2000s. In 1980, he was nominated for Producer of the Year at the Juno Awards. Troiano was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

In 1984, Troiano began to expand his music writing, creating themes for television shows Night Heat, Diamonds, Hot Shots, Airwaves, Counterstrike, and True Blue. It is for his work with television that earned him three Gemini Award nominations.

Domenic Troiano passed away in 2005 of cancer. He is considered one of the most important musicians to help define the ‘Toronto Sound’, and left a major mark on the Canadian music industry since he entered in the 1960s and 1970s.

Rambeau, Leonard

  • Person
  • 1946-1995

Leonard T. Rambeau is considered one of the leading figures in developing the Canadian music industry. He is best known as singer Anne Murray’s manager, and his work and professionalism in the music industry is annually remembered when the Canadian Country Music Association presents the ‘Leonard T. Rambeau International Award’ to a person who has helped country music artist’s advance their career internationally.

Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Rambeau grew up on Cape Breton Island. He attended St. Mary’s University in Halifax and began a career with the federal government after graduating. His career with Anne Murray began in 1968 when Rambeau was with the youth group ‘Club ‘45’ in Dartmouth. Murray’s career had already begun to soar, making her a great headliner for a club fundraiser Rambeau wanted to organize. Murray agreed, and the success of the fundraiser and the professionalism and organization Rambeau exhibited left a deep impression on the young singer.

In 1971, Murray’s career had grown, bringing her to Toronto. She realized that to continue to expand and reach new heights in her career she would need help. She reached out to Rambeau in April that year, and convinced him to move to Toronto as her manager. He agreed, knowing this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Together with Anne, they formed Balmur Ltd. Rambeau was general manager and helped run all aspects of a musical career, planning for tours to running the lights at concerts. By 1977, Rambeau took over Murray’s exclusive management.

Not only did he shape Murray’s career, but he is also credited for helping grow the career of many Canadian musicians and the Canadian music industry. Rambeau, through the help of the company Balmur, shaped the careers of artists like John Allan Cameron, Frank Mills, Rita MacNeil, and George Fox.

The Anne Murray Centre at Springhill, NS was Rambeau’s idea. He encouraged her to save important and memorable items from her career, like the dress from the 1971 Rose Bowl parade she was in to later showcase at the Centre.

Rambeau passed away in 1995 after suffering from cancer. He was awarded the Global Achievement Award by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences at that year’s Juno Awards and was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Historica Canada

  • Corporate body

Historica Canada is Canada’s largest organization working towards educating the public on the Nation’s history and cultural. It is a registered national charitable organization and offers all its programing and information in both English and French.
Historica in its present form began in 2009 after a company merger of the Historica Foundation of Canada and The Dominion Institute, though working under the name of The Historica-Dominion Institute until 2013 when it adopted its present name.
Historica offers many culture enriching programs and information. They are best known for their popular Heritage Minutes. These short 60-second films depict important people or events that have helped shape Canada, often highlighting values that are considered important to the Nation. As of August 2019, they have released 90 episodes since 1991 when the first thirteen minutes were released. They also publish and maintain The Canadian Encyclopedia, a free online resource on Canadian history. Historica Canada offers many educational programs across the country in both languages to promote and aide in the building of Canadian culture.

Big Coat Media

  • Corporate body
  • 2000-

Created in 2000 by Catherine Fogarty and Maria Armstrong, Big Coat Media is an award winning television and digital media production company based in Toronto, Ontario. With a focus on un-scripted entertainment, they have produced many beloved programs. With a solid reputation, Big Coat Media has built relationships with many of North America’s major broadcasters.
Their most popular program is Love It or List It, which has had two direct spin offs: Love It or List It Vancouver, and Love It or List It Vacation Homes. The success of Love It or List It can be seen through its longevity, reaching 9 seasons (2008-2015). The program has garnered acclaim, being nominated for two Gemini Awards.

Blackstone, Milton

Milton Blankstein was born in New York in 1894 and died in Toronto in 1974. He moved to Toronto in 1911, where he studied with Luigi von Kunits and played in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Frank Welsman) and the Academy String Quartet at the Canadian Academy of Music. He also played viola with the Hart House Quartet and served as their business manager from 1923 until his retirement in 1941.

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