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People and organizations

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.

Octapixx Worldwide

  • Corporate body
  • 1995-

Octapixx Worldwide was established in 1995 as a broadcast distribution company. Located in Toronto, Ontario, they represent producers from around the world. As of 2019, they represent over 100 producers, and hosts over 3000 hours of content. Octapixx Worldwide carries programing from a multitude of genres, including factual, military, wildlife, history, science, lifestyle, travel, children’s, animation, sports, educational and other documentaries. Their dedication to quality content has led to partnerships and agreements with broadcasters such as ABC, A&E, Al Jazeera, AMC Networks, American Public Television, Canal+, CCTV, Crime + Investigation Network, Czech TV, Discovery Channel, DR, Fox, Foxtel, France 5, Globosat, Groupe AB, The History Channel, KBS, National Geographic Channels Worldwide, NHK, NRK, PBS, Planete, RAI, Red Bull Media House, RTE, RTL Disney, RTVE, SVT, Ten Network, and TRT.

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.

Murray, Anne

  • Person
  • 1945-

Anne Murray is a Canadian pop and country singer. She has had an extensive career, with multiple Canadian and international awards, over 30 studio albums, and many chart topping hits.

Murray was born in 1945 in the small coalmining town of Springhill, NS. She was the only daughter of Dr. James Carson Murray and Marion Margaret (née Burke) Murray, and had five brothers. Growing up, the whole family enjoyed singing, and Anne learnt piano and took singing lessons. Murray attended the University of New Brunswick and taught physical education at a high school in Prince Edward Island after graduation.

While still attending University, Murray auditioned for CBC’s musical variety show Singalong Jubilee. She was not awarded a contract then, but instead was called back the next year. She left teaching after only one year and began her musical career. In 1968 she moved to Toronto and recorded her first album What About Me. From there she continued to gain momentum in the music industry. Her first career milestone was the hit single ‘Snowbird’ from her second album This is My Way, which reached #1 on the Canadian pop charts and #8 on Billboard’s US Adult Contemporary charts. The single’s popularity also caused Murray to be the first Canadian ever to be awarded a gold record in the United States.

Her career has opened space for many Canadian divas to follow. Her albums have continued to dominate the charts and she has spent much of her career on the road touring. She had been awarded four Grammys, 24 Juno Awards, the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, and made a Companion of the Order of Canada. She has had two children, William (born 1976) and Dawn (born 1979) with Bill Langstroth (married 1975-1998).

Discography (Studio albums):

  • What About Me (1968)
  • This Way Is My Way (1969)
  • Honey, Wheat and Laughter (1970)
  • Straight, Clean and Simple (1971)
  • Anne Murray / Glen Campbell (1971) (with Glen Campbell)
  • Talk It Over in the Morning (1971)
  • Annie (1972)
  • Danny's Song (1973)
  • Love Song (1974)
  • Highly Prized Possession (1974)
  • Together (1975)
  • Keeping in Touch (1976)
  • There's a Hippo in My Tub (1977)
  • Let's Keep It That Way (1978)
  • New Kind of Feeling (1979)
  • I'll Always Love You (1979)
  • Somebody's Waiting (1980)
  • Where Do You Go When You Dream (1981)
  • The Hottest Night of the Year (1982)
  • A Little Good News (1983)
  • Heart over Mind (1984)
  • Something to Talk About (1986)
  • Harmony (1987)
  • As I Am (1988)
  • You Will (1990)
  • Yes I Do (1991)
  • Croonin' (1993)
  • Anne Murray (1996)
  • What a Wonderful World (1999)
  • Country Croonin' (2002)
  • I'll Be Seeing You (2004)
  • Duets: Friends & Legends (2007)

Metalworks Studio

  • Corporate body
  • 1978-

Metalworks Studio is the longest running studio in Canada, founded in 1978 by Gil Moore. Moore, the drummer of the award winning band Triumph, has led the company to success, with the addition of Metalworks Institute, an accredited school training students in music production and engineering. Metalworks has also grown in the direction of live event production, under the title of Metalworks Production Group. Metalworks Studio though, continues to lead Moore’s career. With six studios, Metalworks Studio has recorded many international hit artists like David Bowie, Guns N’Roses, ‘N Sync, and Prince. They have also worked with many successful Canadian artists like Alexisonfire, Anne Murray, Drake, and Nelly Furtado. Many of these albums have been Gold and Platinum Certified.
The studio has been recognized for their talents, winning Canada’s Studio of the Year 17 times at the CMW Canadian Music Industry Awards.

Mercury Films Inc

  • Corporate body
  • 1998-present

Founded by Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier in 1998, Mercury Films Inc is a documentary production company. Productions have been well received both within Canada and internationally, winning awards at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Canadian Screen Awards, Hot Docs, and the Geminis. Their work focuses on political and social change, bringing in diverse voices to better understand class systems, climate change, and our changing world.

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 released 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 contemporary 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.

Mansbridge, Peter

  • Person
  • 1948-

Peter Mansbridge was born in 1948 in London, England. In 1954 he and his family moved to Ottawa. Mansbridge attended Glebe Collegiate but dropped out, before completion. He joined the Canadian Navy, where he served for two years before being honorably discharged. By 1968, he had made his way to Churchill, Manitoba where he worked for the airline Transair, announcing arrivals and departures over the PA system. His unique baritone voice caught the attention of CBC Radio producer Gaston Charpentier, who subsequently got Mansbridge a job as a disc jockey. From here, Mansbridge began to make a name for himself in broadcast journalism and with CBC.

Mansbridge created, produced, and hosted CBC Churchill’s first local newscast. He also began to host popular interviews that stood apart from others due to his conversational style and notable voice. His work was well received, as it was regularly aired on CBC national newscasts. He then moved on to work at CBC Radio and Television in Winnipeg.

Success continued to follow Mansbridge. By 1975, he was the Saskatchewan correspondent for CBC’s The National. The next year, he became Ottawa’s parliamentary news reporter for CBC TV. By 1981, he began to host the weekend editions of The National and worked as a correspondent in Washington and London.

The longest and most acclaimed part of his career began in 1988 when he took over as lead anchor and correspondent of The National where he worked until 2017. During his career, he has reported on many events that have defined the late 20th century and early 21st both around the world and in Canada. Some of these include the ‘boat people’ escaping Vietnam (1979), the Tiananmen Square massacre (1989), the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), the Oka crisis (1990), the Charlottetown Accord (1992), the 1995 Québec Referendum, the 9/11 terrorist attacks (2001), the war in Afghanistan (starting in 2001), and the Canadian Parliament shooting (2014). He has also covered every Canadian federal election from 1972-2015. He has conducted many notable interviews, from Canadian Prime Ministers, to US Presidents (notably Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), and many other world leaders (Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and the Aga Khan).

Mansbridge has had other journalistic endeavors during his career. He wrote for Maclean’s Magazine from 2003 to 2005. He hosted Mansbridge One on One, which was a weekly program on CBC Newsworld. He also collected and published some of these interviews in the book Peter Mansbridge One on One: Favourite Conversations and the Stories Behind Them (2010). After his time at The National, he continued to work, hosting the television documentaries That Never Happened: Canada’s First National Internment Operations (2017), In Search of a Perfect World (2018), and The Future of War with Peter Mansbridge (2019).

Outisde of journalism, he has served as chancellor of Mount Allison University from 2010-2017, and voiced the character Peter Moosebridge in the Disney animated film Zootopia (2016).

Mansbridge is well decorated for his work in journalism. He has won twelve Gemini Awards for broadcast excellence, including the Gordon Sinclair Award for best overall broadcast journalist in 1990 and 1998. He has also won two Canadian Screen Awards, was made an Officer in the Order of Canada (2008), and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). He has also been the recipient of eleven Honorary Degrees from Universities across Canada.

Ling, Elaine

  • Person
  • 1946-2016

Photographer Elaine Ling was born in Hong Kong in 1946, and immigrated to Canada when she was nine with her family. She studied music and medicine, and obtained a medical degree from the University of Toronto. Ling practiced family medicine around the world, including Abu Dhabi, Nepal, and both urban and remote places in Canada.

Ling continued to practice family medicine in the Greater Toronto Area during her life, and played cello in the community orchestra, Orchestra Toronto. She was an accomplished musician who also played the piano, baritone, oboe, and guitar. She was also a fellow at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The University of Ryerson offers a Research Fellowship in her name for students perusing photography after receiving a generous donation from Ling. She passed away in 2016 from lung cancer.

Her love for open space, stone, and nature propelled her to seek out places of solitude and places with ancient architecture. Her travels brought her across four continents, capturing the landscapes and beauty of Mongolia, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Timbuktu, Namibia, North Africa, India, South America, Australia, American Southwest; the citadels of Ethiopia, San Agustin, Persepolis, Petra, Cappadocia, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, Great Zimbabwe, Abu Simbel; and the Buddhist centers of Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Tibet, and Bhutan.

Lingh’s photography - which is predominantly in Black & White - explored the shifting balance between man-made and nature. Her work has been exhibited all around the world, published in a multitude of collections, and is part of many public institutions' permanent fine art collections. In Canada, her work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ryerson University, Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. She has also published four books of her art: Mongolia, Land of the Deer Stone (2009), Talking Stones (2015), Cuba Chronicles (2015), and Habitacion Cubana (2016).

Levine, Rosie

  • Person

Rosie Levine is a Canadian journalist who has been covering the Toronto social scene since the 1980’s. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she began her career in 1980 as the Director of Guest Relations at the Festival of Festivals, now known as the Toronto International Film Festival. In 1983 she crossed into the world of journalism, writing professionally for Limelight, then later for Close Up, Graffiti, and Network. In these interviews, she would invite writer Perry Stern, so as to add another voice and produce a more conversational feeling piece. This method of interviewing continued for three years, after which Levine began to work freelance for Maclean’s and Flare. In 1988, she became a columnist for Metropolis.
Levine is most well known for her work with NOW Magazine, which she was a part of from 1989-2000. Here, she made a name for herself as the Toronto social columnist. She also covered a variety of other interests including fashion and comedy.
Levine has always been very aware of anti-war movements. Since 2004, she has been taking celebrity photos flashing the signature two-finger peace sign. In 2016, she published these photos in the video Peace Project.

Hartmann, Arthur

Arthur Hartmann, American violinist, composer and writer was born October 7, 1881 and died March 30, 1956. From 1931-1933 he maintained a studio in Toronto.

New Music Concerts

New Music Concerts (NMC) is a performing arts organization, established in Toronto in 1971 by Norma Beecroft (president) and Robert Aitken (artistic director) with John A. Wright, John Brown, John Beckwith, and C. Laughton Bird. Joe Macerollo succeeded Beecroft as president in 1989. Its mandate was and is to present and perform contemporary music.

They began an annual series of concerts at the University of Toronto in 1972, which moved to the Premiere Dance Theatre at Harbourfront in the mid-1980s. Their programs feature an international array of composers and performers with composers often conducting or performing in their own works. NMC has also commissioned numerous new compositions by Canadian composers. In addition to concerts, NMC have sponsored events featuring lectures, films, mixed-media presentations, forums, and musical theatre. They released their first CD New Music 90, recorded in 1990, with compositions by Aitken, Beecroft, Gilles Tremblay, and Iannis Xenakis.

NMC is based in Toronto, but is active nationally and internationally, co-sponsoring events with the Banff School of Fine Arts, McGill University, SMCQ, Vancouver New Music Society, L'Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, Duo Traces, and the Quatuor Molinari. The NMC Ensemble toured Europe and Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario in 1976. In June 1982, they performed in New York and Washington, D.C.

Law, Eileen

  • Local
  • Person
  • 1900-1978

Eileen Law, contralto and teacher, was born in Belfast, Ireland on October 16, 1900, and died in Toronto on November 30, 1978. From 1922 until 1926, she studied with Jenny Taggart (voice) and Ernest MacMillan (piano) at the Canadian Academy of Music, earning her LCAM and ACAM. From 1926 to 1936, she studied privately with Hope Morgan. Primarily an oratorio singer, she performed as a soloist at the Timothy Eaton Memorial Church (1923-1936) and at the First Church of Christ Scientist (1936-1945), and appeared with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Promenade Symphony Concerts, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Apollo Musical Club Choir of Chicago, the Ottawa Choral Union, and symphony orchestras in Cleveland, Detroit, and Minneapolis. She appeared in performances of Bach's St. Matthew's Passion in Toronto for over 25 years.

Law taught for the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto from 1938 until 1977, and at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto from 1952 to 1961.

True North Records

  • 2007.004
  • Corporate body
  • 1969-2006

True North Records, founded by Bernie Finkelstein, is Canada’s longest-running independent record label.

Finkelstein, the son of an Air Force warrant officer, was born in Toronto in 1944. He became involved in the Yorkville music scene in 1963, taking odd jobs and eventually dropping out of high school. While working in a club called El Patio, he met a young band called the Paupers and soon became their manager (often conducting business from a payphone on Yorkville Avenue). Finkelstein found further success managing the band Kensington Market between 1967 and 1969. After a brief period spent living on a farm in Eastern Ontario, Finkelstein returned to Toronto and founded True North Records.

Finkelstein met singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn at a Ryerson University coffeehouse in 1969, and the two established an association that lasts to this day. Cockburn has released 29 albums on True North, including such hits as ‘Wondering Where the Lions Are’, and ‘If I Had a Rocket Launcher’. Other important Canadian singer-songwriters who have recorded for True North include Murray McLaughlan, Luke Gibson, Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden. In 1979, True North ventured into the world of post-punk alternative rock, releasing albums by Carol Pope and Rough Trade. Subsequent rock artists signed to the label have included the Rheostatics, 54-40, the Cowboy Junkies, the Golden Dogs, Zubot and Dawson, Lynn Miles, Hunter Valentine, and Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Artists on the True North label have won more than 40 Juno awards and put out approximately the same number of gold or platinum records.

In 1995, True North expanded its operations and released recordings by non-Canadian artists and distributing several international record labels (including U.K.based Cooking Vinyl and U.S.based Fuel 2000, Signature Sounds and Sci-fidelity). In 2007, True North was taken over by Mississauga-based Linus Entertainment; Finkelstein remains the chair and advisor while also managing a number of bands. He is also the chair of VideoFACT, the government-financed organization that funds videos for Canadian music artists.

Bernie Finkelstein has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and named to the Order of Canada. He lives in Toronto.

World of Comedy Film Festival

  • Corporate body
  • 2003-2010

The World of Comedy Film Festival was founded by Carla Nolan (1957-2017) in 2003. The Toronto based festival was unique in that there were only two other comedy film festivals in the world when it began. Nolan wanted to create the festival so as to offer “some much needed laughter in the middle of winter”. The World of Comedy Film Festival became the showcase for both Canadian and international filmmakers, especially shorts which often took center stage at the festival.

Errgong-Weider, Gregory Alan

  • Person
  • 1950-2020

Rev. Mr. Gregory Alan Errgong-Weider was born on July 18, 1950 in Greenville, Ohio. He held a B.A. from Anderson College (now Anderson University) in Indiana and a Masters of Divinity from Yale University, School of Divinity. He was the pastor at Prospect Congregational Church in Prospect, Connecticut; Plymouth United Church in Spring, Texas; and United Congregational Church in Norwalk, Connecticut. He died on May 6, 2020.

Ciamaga, Gustav

Gustav Ciamaga was born on April 10, 1930 and is predominantly known for his work in electronic music. He studied at the University of Western Ontario (1951-1954) while also studying privately with Gordon Delamont, before attending the University of Toronto where he studied with John Weinzweig and John Beckwith. He received is Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Brandeis University, where he studied with Arthur Berger, Harold Shapero, and Irving Fine. He organized an electronic studio at Brandeis University in 1963, before joining the faculty at the University of Toronto (1963), where he became the director of the Electronic Music Studio in 1965. He was also the chairman of the theory and composition department (1968) and then dean of the Faculty of Music (1977-1984) and acting principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto (RCMT, 1983-1984). He passed away on June 11, 2011.

University of Toronto Music Library

  • Local
  • Corporate body
  • 1921-

In 1918 Toronto College of Music, founded in 1888, amalgamated with the Canadian Academy of Music, and in 1924 the academy was absorbed by the Toronto Conservatory of Music. The Toronto Conservatory of Music then gained the assets of both its rivals, including over one hundred vocal and orchestral scores. The University had taken over the ownership and operation of the conservatory by 1921, and therefore this collection became the foundation of the University of Toronto's music library.

Hugh Hornby Langton's, (University of Toronto's Chief Librarian, 1892-1922), donated a over a dozen scores from his own collection including orchestral works by Beethoven, Schubert, and Mendelssohn in piano duet arrangements from his courting days, which constitutes the University of Toronto's first efforts in collection building for the Music Library. More significantly, he had just returned from a European buying trip for the library, and its results included the addition of a dozen books on music, plus recent scores such as Stravinsky's Chant du rossignol and Sacre du printemps, and of several early tone poems by Richard Strauss.

Currently the library holds over 300,000 books, scores, periodicals and microforms.The Sniderman Recordings Collection, 180,000 sound recordings, from cylinders to blu-ray. The Olnick Rare Book Room, 2,500 volumes exemplifying the history of music and of music editing, performance and printing -- from liturgical manuscripts and early printed treatises, to first editions of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Gershwin, and early Canadian sheet music and tune books. A significant number of 18th- and 19th-century opera full scores, with particular strength in the French repertoire, complement the large libretto holdings of the Central Library.

Benson-Guy, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Benson Guy was a soprano, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on December 7, 1925; died on July 8, 2010 in Scarborough, Ontario. Her first music teacher was her mother, Sarah Louise Anderson. She then studied with Ernesto Vinci (Halifax and the Toronto Conservatory of Music) and Lotte Leonard (Julliard School). She made her operatic debut in 1947 at the Royal Conservatory Opera School (now the University of Toronto Opera Division) as Marie in The Bartered Bride. She then sang with the CBC Opera Company, and appeared in many CBC radio opera productions and song recitals. She also performed with the Opera Festival Association of Toronto, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the Festival Singers. She debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 10, 1959 and at Wigmore Hall in London on October 31, 1967. She retired from public performance in 1974.

Benson Guy taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1969 to 1979 and at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. She retired in 1979.

Kraus, Greta

Greta Kraus was a harpsichordist, pianist accompanist, and teacher. Born in Vienna on August 3, 1907, she studied at the Vienna Academy of Music, from where she received her Music Teacher's Diploma (1930). She studied with Hans Weisse (1924-1931), and Heinrich Schenker (1931-1934). She performed as a soloist and an ensemble musician, including an appearance with the Boyd Neel Orchestra in London.

In 1938, Kraus immigrated to Hawkesbury, Ontario, before moving to Toronto in 1939 to teach at Havergal College. From 1943 to 1969, she taught at the Royal College of Music in Toronto, and then at the University of Toronto (1963-1976, part time after 1976). She coached lieder and taught harpsichord, accompanying, and Baroque performance practice. She was also the director of Collegium Musicum (Toronto).

Kraus was a prominent harpsichord player, known for her performances of Bach and twentieth-century composers. She performed with many musicians, including Arnold Walter, Robert Aitken (in the Aitken Kraus Duo, 1965-1986), Lois Marshall, and Sir Ernest MacMillan (in performances of the Messiah, St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, and Mass in B Minor, 1942-1956). In 1958, she founded the Toronto Baroque Ensemble (1958-1963) with Elizabeth Benson Guy, soprano, Nicholas Fiore, flute, Donald Whitton, cello, and Corol McCartney, violin.

Kraus received many awards for her contributions to music performance and education, including a citation from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (1973); Outstanding Woman of the Province of Ontario (1975); Toronto Arts Award (1990); the Order of Ontario (1991); and, the Order of Canada (1992).

She was married to chemist Erwin Dentay.

Kash, Eugene

Eugene "Jack" Kash was a violinist, conductor, and teacher in Toronto. He studied violin with Luigi von Kunits (1928-1931), Arthur Meieff (1928-1931), Otakar Ševčík (1931-1935), Bronislaw Huberman, Kathleen Parlow (1940-1941), and Dmitri Dounis, and conducting with William Steinberg and Igor Markevitch.

Kash performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1934-1942), in CBC orchestras, and was acting concertmaster for the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra's Promenade Symphony Concerts. Kash was the music director for the National Film Board (1948-1950); concertmaster (1944-1950) and conductor (1950-1957) of the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra; academic administrator of the National Youth Orchestra (1963); and conductor of Montreal Symphony Orchestra youth concerts (1964-1965). In the 1940s and 1950s, he performed regularly with Greta Kraus and Pearl Palmason, and form 1961 to 1975, he participated in the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico with his wife, Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester. He was also a member of Soundstage Canada '81.

As a teacher, he worked at the Philadelphia Musical Academy (1967-1971), York University (1971-1973), and the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) (1975-2004).

He received the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal and the City of Toronto Award of Merit in 2004.

Mario Prizek

  • CA ON00349 2014.008
  • Person
  • 1922-2012

To examine the 34 years that trailblazing producer and director Mario Prizek spent at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is, in many ways, to track the development of Canadian media and society as a whole. A fearless and provocative creative spirit, Prizek often ruffled feathers at his place of employment as his work – ahead of its time in both content and style – polarized Canadian viewership, boldly tackling race, sexuality, and other hot button topics of the 1950s and 1960s.

Born in Edmonton, Alberta on March 22, 1922, Prizek was a first generation Canadian of Spanish, French, and Polish descent. Before being recruited by CBC Vancouver to produce radio in 1951, Prizek led a multi-faceted life: studying painting and design at Banff School of Fine Arts; dancing for Edmonton’s Empire Opera Company; serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force; and teaching English, theatre, painting, and design at University of British Columbia. Staying with CBC until the company’s period of mass layoffs in 1985, Prizek transferred to their Toronto offices in 1955; he would live in the city – including roughly five decades in the City Park complex – until his 2012 passing.

After joining CBC, Prizek became best known for his collaborations with musician Glenn Gould, including the series Music in Our Times, but they represent merely the tip of the iceberg: more than 60 productions comprise Prizek’s corpus. A deeper look at Prizek’s CV – both with CBC and with the British company Granada TV – reveals his commitment to the advancement of social issues. In 1955, he produced The Eleanor Show, a CBC Vancouver production starring Black singer Eleanor Collins. Overseas, Prizek produced South, the earliest surviving gay-themed British television drama, in 1959 – just two years after the Wolfenden Report. In what is perhaps the most turbulent period of Prizek’s career, he produced experimental television series Eye Opener in 1965; canceled after one season and modified by CBC management, the series tackled issues as diverse as drug use, racism, war, and homosexuality.

A career as prolific and a life as idiosyncratic as Prizek’s would be well worth celebrating even if they unfolded today but contextualizing them against their time and place in history make them all the more remarkable. Thriving in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” paradigm at the CBC well before the 1969 decriminalization of homosexual acts in Canada, Prizek straddled the fine line of public and private, creating a rich body of work in the process.

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