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"LAC" 2003 Obituary


LACEY  LACKIE  LACROIX 

LACEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-08-20 published
Ex-politician and war hero FLYNN dies
Was chairman of Metropolitan Toronto
By James RUSK Municipal Affairs Reporter Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - Page A17
Dennis FLYNN, a war hero who parachuted into France on D-Day and eventually rose to be chairman of Metropolitan Toronto, died yesterday morning as he was preparing to observe an army reserve exercise at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.
Mr. FLYNN, 79, who had been in poor health in recent years, collapsed, apparently of a heart attack, at his hotel in Pembroke, and was pronounced dead at Pembroke General Hospital, the Canadian Armed Forces said in a statement.
Mr. FLYNN was mayor of Etobicoke from 1972 to 1984, the longest-serving mayor of the Toronto suburb, and was chairman of Metropolitan Toronto from 1984 to 1988. He continued to serve on Metro Council until the 1997 amalgamation that created the new City of Toronto.
He served on the Toronto Police Services Board and was awarded the Order of Canada in 2001.
Major Tim LOURIE, public-relations director of the exercise, said Mr. FLYNN travelled to Pembroke on Monday to observe a reserve exercise in which the Toronto Scottish Regiment (the Queen Mother's Own,) of which Mr. FLYNN was the honorary lieutenant-colonel, was participating.
"Unfortunately, he didn't even get out to see us here," Major LOURIE said. The regiment received the call that he had collapsed in the hotel just before a group of honorary colonels was heading out to observe the exercise.
Mr. FLYNN, was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1923. When he was two years old he migrated with his family to the Kensington section of Toronto, long a melting pot for immigrants.
In 1938, at age 15, he joined the Toronto Scottish and volunteered for active service at the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1942, he joined the joint Canadian-American unit that came to be known as the Devil's Brigade, and in 1943, he transferred to the 1st Canadian Parachute Regiment.
He jumped into Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, where he was wounded by German fire. After recovery, he rejoined the regiment, jumped into Germany on March 24, 1945, in Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine River, and was wounded again when part of his leg was shattered by machine-gun fire as he escorted two German prisoners across the Rhine.
As a result of the wound, Mr. FLYNN walked with a cane for the rest of his life. "One of his most self-deprecating comments, when talking to young soldiers, was that he had made only three jumps. One was for practice, one was on D-Day, and the third and last was across the Rhine," commented Lieutenant-Colonel Mike TRAYNER, commanding officer of the Toronto Scottish.
After the war, he joined the City of Toronto's clerk's department, and rose to be protocol officer. He failed in his first run for mayor of Etobicoke in 1969, but upset the incumbent, Doug LACEY, in 1972.
In 1984, he was elected chairman of Metropolitan Toronto, replacing Paul GODFREY, now president of the Toronto Blue Jays, who was then leaving Toronto politics to become publisher of the Toronto Sun. His career as Metro chairman ended in 1988, when he lost to Alan TONKS, now a member of parliament.

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LACEY o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-10-11 published
Creator of Savage God
Theatre director was a Canadian nationalist, a fan of the avant garde and a champion of playwright George Ryga. He was also seen as a kook, a dilettante and a street fighter
By Tom HAWTHORN Special to The Globe and Mail Saturday, October 11, 2003 - Page F9
John JULIANI was a provocateur in life as on stage. A man passionate about the possibilities of theatre, he roused reverence in some, antipathy in others.
His most infamous act was to challenge the Stratford Festival's newly hired artistic director to a duel. Robin PHILLIPS's offence was that he is British when Mr. JULIANI and others were certain a land as grand as Canada was capable of producing a director for its Shakespearean theatre.
What he called a "romantic gesture with tongue in cheek" earned cheers from Canadian theatre directors and sneers from much of the theatre establishment.
Mr. JULIANI, who has died at the age of 63, was an unabashed Canadian nationalist, a dedicated fan of the avant garde, an ardent defender of the right of actors to a decent living, a champion of playwright George Ryga and a tireless figure so commanding as to develop an intense loyalty among acolytes.
At the same time, he was seen as a kook, a dilettante and a street fighter. One critic called him "the Tiger Williams of Canadian theatre," his pugnacious approach earning him comparison to a notorious hockey goon. In his defence, Mr. JULIANI explained that he was merely a "true believer" with opinions on controversial subjects.
Mr. JULIANI's credits were long and varied, including spontaneous Sixties street happenings such as the staging of his own wedding as a theatrical performance and brief appearances on such 1990s television dramas as The X-Files.
From 1982 until 1997, Mr. JULIANI was executive producer of radio drama for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio in Vancouver. He helped to bring to air many celebrated productions, including the brilliant and provocative Dim Sum Diaries by playwright Mark LEIREN- YOUNG.
Mr. JULIANI also possessed a head-turning beauty, with a profile as striking as a Roman bust. Radio host Bill RICHARDSON commented on his handsomeness at a raucous memorial after his death, calling him a "hunka hunka burnin' love." Some said he had the looks and bearing of a Shakespearean king.
John Charles JULIANI was born in Montreal on March 24, 1940. Raised in a working-class neighbourhood, he attended Loyola College and was an early graduate from the fledgling National Theatre School.
He spent two seasons as an actor at Stratford before being hired as a theatre teacher at Simon Fraser University in 1966. The new university atop Burnaby Mountain east of Vancouver was a hotbed of radicalism in politics and the arts. Mr. JULIANI bristled at an imposed curriculum and so infuriated the administration that he was banned from the campus in 1969.
Mr. JULIANI was heavily influenced by the writing of Antonin Artaud, a Surrealist who championed a theatre based on the imagination. He long sought to erase the barrier between scripted text and sensory impression, between performer and audience, to mixed success.
After moving to the West Coast, Mr. JULIANI launched a series of experiments in theatre. He credited these productions to Savage God, which was less a troupe in the traditional sense than a title granted to any performance involving Mr. JULIANI. The name came from William Butler Yeats's awestruck reaction to Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi: "After us, the Savage God?"
Savage God defied explanation, though many tried and even Mr. JULIANI offered suggestions. Savage God was "an anthology of question marks," he once said. (It was, after all, the 1960s.) "Savage God is simply the Imagination," he told the Vancouver Sun, "insatiable, unrelenting, fiercely energetic, wary of categorization, fond of contradiction and inveterately iconoclastic."
In January, 1970, Mr. JULIANI married dancer Donna WONG, a ceremony conducted as a Savage God performance at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He repeated the process at the christening of his son. Ms. WONG- JULIANI would be his domestic and drama partner for more than three decades.
In 1971, the streets of Vancouver were the scene of several spontaneous and sometimes incomprehensible -- performances under the aegis of PACET ("pilot alternative complement to existing theatre.") The $18,000 project, funded by the federal government, incorporated Gestalt therapy sessions in street performances.
Theatrical events took place willy-nilly across the city, including malls, the airport, the library and Stanley Park. Admission was not charged, nor did all spectators appreciate their role as audience to avant-garde performance. A scene in which bicyclists wearing gas masks pedalled along city streets left many scratching their heads in puzzlement.
In 1974, Mr. JULIANI moved to Toronto to set up a graduate theatre-studies program at York University.
He called the program PEAK (" Performance, Example, Animation, Katharsis") and perhaps should have found an acronym for PEEK, as the instructor and his class stripped naked to protest against a lack of classroom space.
The challenge to the new Stratford artistic director in 1974 was written on a piece of parchment and delivered in London by Don RUBIN, a York colleague. Alas, Mr. RUBIN could not find a proper gauntlet and wound up ceremoniously striking Mr. PHILLIPS with a red rubber glove, an absurd note to a theatrical protest.
In 1978, Mr. JULIANI took the stage in a Toronto production of Children of Night, portraying Janusz Korczak, a doctor and teacher who ran an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto. The critics were appalled.
Gina MALLET of the Toronto Star said Mr. JULIANI's performance sullied Dr. Korczak's memory. Jay SCOTT of The Globe and Mail, noting "the dreadfulness" of Mr. JULIANI's acting, said the production robbed the dead of their dignity.
From the stage, Mr. JULIANI challenged the Star's critic to a public debate on the aesthetics of theatre. He also wrote a letter to the editor, noting that Holocaust survivors in the audience had wholeheartedly embraced the production.
Mr. JULIANI wound up in Edmonton, where he continued to condemn the "exorbitance, elitism and museum theatre" of the establishment.
In 1982, he directed and co-wrote Latitude 55°, a feature film with just two characters -- a slick woman from the city and a Polish potato farmer -- set in a snowbound cabin. "It is filled with a passionate conviction that evaporates in pretentious pronouncements," The Globe's Carole CORBEIL wrote, "filled with truthful moments that evaporate in the desire to use every narcissistic trick in the book."
In a 1983 book examining the alternative theatre movement in Canada, author Renate USMIANI devoted most of a chapter to Mr. JULIANI, a decision that got her a scathing rebuke from a reviewer who considered him worthy of little more than a footnote.
"His works are curiosities; at best, they are worthy experiments in Artaudian theory," Boyd NEIL wrote in a Globe review. "But they are neither popular... nor influential."
Mr. JULIANI's years at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio in Vancouver were both productive and successful. Among the many projects he directed was a three-part adaptation of Margaret Laurence's The Diviners; King Lear, starring John COLICOS; a 13-part series titled, Disaster! Acts of God or Acts of Man?" and, famously, Ryga's The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, with Leonard GEORGE portraying a role once assumed on stage by his late father, Chief Dan GEORGE. The surprise selection of Mr. GEORGE was typical of Mr. JULIANI's often brilliant casting.
Mr. JULIANI directed a 1989 production of The Glass Menagerie at the Vancouver Playhouse with Jennifer Phipps and Morris Panych. Globe reviewer Liam LACEY praised a production that "opens up the play like an old treasure chest, and lets in some fresh air without rearranging or disturbing the work's original grandeurs and caprices."
Four years later, Mr. JULIANI was directing a production of the mystery thriller Sleepwalker when actor Peter HAWORTH took sick shortly before opening night. The director suddenly found himself as the male lead. "Not even the most colossal egotist would want to do this," he said.
Dim Sum Diaries, a series of monologues written by Mr. LEIREN- YOUNG, received protests when aired by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio in 1991. One episode, entitled The Sequoia, in which the white vendor of a luxury home launches a tirade against the Hong Kong immigrant who cuts down two rare and spectacular trees on the property, was accused of being racist. The playwright's well-intentioned exploration of stereotyping was charged with fostering those very prejudices.
After directing Dim Sum Diaries, Mr. JULIANI urged the playwright to tackle an issue that was dividing his church. Mr. LEIREN- YOUNG remembers replying: "You're talking same-sex marriage in the Anglican church and you want a straight Jewish guy to write this?"
The resulting play, titled Articles of Faith: The Battle of St. Alban's, was staged at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver to great acclaim.
The collaborations between young playwright and veteran director succeeded in achieving Mr. JULIANI's goal of inspiring dialogue through theatre.
Mr. JULIANI had a reputation as a demanding taskmaster for novice and veteran actors alike. Rehearsals were jokingly called "Savage God Boot Camp."
He maintained a breakneck pace, both in the theatre and in the boardroom. He was artistic co-director of Opera Breve, a small company dedicated to nurturing young singers; president of the Union of British Columbia Performers (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists); and, a former national president of the Directors Guild of Canada, among many boards on which he served.
Feeling fatigued in early August, Mr. JULIANI was diagnosed with liver cancer. The end came swiftly. He died on August 21 at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.
He leaves his wife of 33 years, Donna WONG- JULIANI, and a son, Alessandro JULIANI, an actor. He also leaves brothers Richard and Norman.
(Wit was long a part of the JULIANI mystique. The family pet, a canine named Beau Beau, was referred to in the family's paid obituary notice as a Savage Dog.)
For one who roused such passions, Mr. JULIANI felt that he led a conservative life. "I have always been a square," he once said.
A theatrical farewell to Mr. JULIANI attracted hundreds to St. Andrew's Wesley Church in Vancouver on Labour Day, a Monday and traditionally a quiet date on the theatre calendar. Those in attendance were encouraged to write remembrances on Post-It notes, which were then stuck to the church's pillars.
The City of Vancouver has declared next March 24, which would have been Mr. JULIANI's 64th birthday, to be Savage God Day.

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LACKIE o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-21 published
Canadian Football League wide receiver 'was always there' and rarely missed a pass
All-round athlete was also a prolific artist who amused teammates and Friends with his skillful caricatures
By Randy RAY Special to The Globe and Mail Monday, July 21, 2003 - Page R5
Ottawa -- Kelvin KIRK was an artist on and off the football field.
On the gridiron, the former Canadian Football League wide receiver was known as an all-round athlete with tremendous breakaway speed who rarely missed a pass within his grasp; in the locker room, at home and in his second career in the advertising department at an Ottawa newspaper, he was skilled with pen, pencil and paintbrush.
His humorous caricatures often left his teammates and fellow employees grabbing at their sides with laughter.
Mr. KIRK, who was born on December 13, 1953, died on July 2 of an apparent heart attack while playing pickup basketball in Ottawa.
The 49-year-old native of Mt. Pleasant, Florida, began his football career at Dunbar High School in Ohio where he caught 13 touchdown passes in two years for the Dunbar Wolverines.
In 1973, the 5-foot-11 (1.79 metre), 175-pound (65-kilogram) receiver joined the Dayton Flyers at the University of Dayton in Ohio, where he was the Flyers' top pass receiver for three straight years and was voted the team's most valuable player in 1975.
When he left after three seasons, he held the school's record for receiving yardage, with 1,676 yards. In the Flyers' record book, he continues to hold fourth place in career receiving yardage, says Doug HAUSCHILD, director of media relations and sports information at the University of Dayton.
After being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 17th round of the 1976 National Football League draft, Mr. KIRK walked out of training camp when he sensed he wasn't getting a legitimate opportunity to make the club.
He was named "Mr. Irrelevant" because as the 487th selection, he proved to be the last player taken in the draft, says Shawn LACKIE, a public-relations spokesman for the Canadian Football League.
He signed with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts in 1977 and led the team in pass receptions.
He also played for the Calgary Stampeders, Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Ottawa Rough Riders. He was Ottawa's most valuable player in 1981 when the Rough Riders made it to the Grey Cup that year but lost 26 - 23 to the Edmonton Eskimos.
His quarterback that year was J.C. WATTS, who would later become an Oklahoma congressman.
During his Canadian Football League career he caught 153 passes for 2,942 yards and 16 touchdowns. He returned 163 punts for 1,678 yards and 82 kickoffs for another 1,922 yards. His runbacks produced seven touchdowns.
"When the ball was thrown to him, he was always there. He had great breakaway speed," says Rick SOWIETA, a teammate of Mr. KIRK's when both broke into the Canadian Football League with the Argonauts.
"He had good speed, great hands -- he was our deep threat," says Jeff AVERY, one of Mr. KIRK's former Ottawa Rough Riders teammates, and now a radio commentator for the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League. "I remember one game when he caught three touchdown passes to help us whip the Montreal Concorde." Most of his former Rough Riders' teammates remember Mr. KIRK's biggest missed pass, though the failed reception wasn't his fault.
"It was the 1981 Grey Cup game in the third or fourth quarter and Kelvin was streaking down the sidelines in the clear. J.C. [WATTS] overthrew him by about six inches. Had he made the catch, it was a touch-down and we would have won the cup," says Mr. SOWIETA, now a restaurant owner in Ottawa.
A professional artist and trained art teacher, Mr. KIRK joined the advertising department at The Ottawa Citizen in 1989 in an order entry position and eventually worked on layouts and processing copy for advertisements, before moving into desktop publishing, which involved the creation of ads.
"There was nothing you could put on his desk that he couldn't handle," says Rejéan SAUMURE, manager of advertising services at the Citizen.
"Kelvin never complained. He took it all on with a smile that was worth a million bucks.
"He was the kind of guy who, as soon as he walked into the office, everyone liked. He had a magnetism about him. He warmed a room." Besides staying in tip-top shape, Mr. KIRK kept involved in football by helping coach the Ottawa Sooners of the Ontario Football Conference. He was also a prolific artist, one of his specialties being caricatures that amused his former teammates and Citizen colleagues.
During his years as a player, he would often sneak into the locker room prior to practice and draw cartoons on a chalk board, usually poking fun at teammates, coaches and various on-field happenings, says Mr. AVERY. He continued his antics as a coach with the Sooners as a way of keeping the mood light, adds Mr. SOWIETA.
"Before practice, players always checked the board to see who was being picked on that day by this mystery drawer. His work could be hilarious," says Mr. AVERY.
At the Citizen, where one of his dreams was to become a newsroom artist, Mr. KIRK often drew caricatures of co-workers and members of his own family.
His drawings often appeared on the birthday cards that circulated around the office.
"People would be quite amused," says Mr. SAUMURE. " His work was not always flattering but it always captured those he was drawing." Mr. KIRK leaves his 20-year-old son, Jonathan, and his wife Joann LARVENTZ, from whom he was separated.

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LACROIX o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2003-07-14 published
Philanthropist extraordinaire
Francophone students were among the many beneficiaries of her generosity
By Randy RAY Special to The Globe and Mail Monday, July 14, 2003 - Page R7
Ottawa -- Before he died in February, 1993, millionaire Baxter RICARD urged his wife Alma to spend the couple's fortune wisely. ''Put it back into the community, " he told her. ''Spend it well.'' Mrs. RICARD did not let her husband down.
In the 10 years following the death of Mr. RICARD, who owned a chain of radio, television and cable stations in Northern Ontario, she earned a reputation as one of Canada's most generous philanthropists, highlighted by a $23-million donation in 1998 to a fellowship fund that promotes higher education to francophone students across the country.
Mrs. RICARD, who was born in Montreal on October 4, 1906, died at her home in Sudbury on June 2. She was 96.
To date, the Ottawa-based Fondation Baxter and Alma Ricard has given 81 students a total of $4.2-million to further their postsecondary education. Other beneficiaries of the couple's generosity have included colleges, hospitals, church groups and universities in Sudbury and Toronto.
''Mrs. RICARD is one of the biggest philanthropists in Canada," said Alain LANDRY, executive director of the foundation, which was formed in 1988 to distribute the RICARDs' money to various charitable causes. The fellowship fund was set up a decade later.
Mrs. RICARD, formerly Alma VÉZINA, moved to Sudbury in 1931 after responding to a job advertisement from a hardware store run by Félix RICARD, father of Baxter RICARD. She was trained as a secretary at the time.
''She took the train and arrived at 4 a.m.," says Mr. LANDRY. ''In those days, a young lady was not to be seen with a man going to a hotel, so she and Baxter went to a church where they sat until daylight, and she fell in love with him.'' She worked as an administrative assistant to the elder Mr. RICARD and eventually married Baxter, who in later years inherited his father's hardware store and ran it with the help of his wife.
In 1947, the RICARDs left the hardware business and began building a broadcasting empire in Northern Ontario, starting with two radio stations in Sudbury and growing to include numerous radio and television stations. Radio stations established by the couple included CHNO, the first bilingual radio station in Ontario, CFBR and CJMX-FM.
In 1974, when cable television started to expand, Baxter RICARD and some colleagues obtained a licence for cable distribution in northern and eastern Ontario and created Northern Cable Holdings Ltd., which served the greater Sudbury area and areas as far north as Hearst, Ontario In 1980, the company acquired two television stations to serve the same areas and gave it the name Mid-Canada Television. Mr. RICARD also had an interest in a Toronto cable-television company.
Alma RICARD was her husband's ''right-hand person" and took an active part in the broadcasting business and all other ventures he was involved in, including the city-planning committee in Sudbury, the board of directors at Sudbury General Hospital and the Central Canada Broadcasting Association. ''They were inseparable in all those activities," says Mr. LANDRY.
Like Felix RICARD, Baxter and Alma RICARD were strong believers in a Canadian mosaic that included French-speaking citizens. In an era when Ontario's francophones were not permitted to study in French, Felix RICARD didn't have the financial means to promote the francophone culture and lobby for French schooling, so he became an outspoken trustee on the local school board.
As a trustee, he was ''a defender of the rights of francophones in matters of French education... [who] made significant gains for the francophone population of that region. A school in Sudbury bears his name," says a document obtained from Fondation Baxter & Alma Ricard. Baxter and Alma RICARD, on the other hand, made millions in the broadcasting industry and had the financial wherewithal to further the francophone cause, including the struggle for a quality education for French-speaking Ontarians.
''Baxter had no family and the couple had no children so they had to think of who would inherit their money," says André LACROIX of Sudbury, a lawyer, business associate and long-time friend of the RICARDs. ''Fairly early in the game they realized most of their assets should be used for charitable purposes. That's when they developed the idea of a charitable foundation.'' In its initial years after Mr. RICARD's death, the foundation donated $600,000 to Cambrian College and $1-million each to Sudbury General Hospital, the University of Sudbury, and Laurentian University, all in Sudbury, and a total of more than $4-million to the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.
In the early 1990s, the RICARDs and their associates sold their radio and television stations to Baton Broadcasting and their cable distribution company to CFCF Ltd. In 1998, on the strength of money reaped from the sale, the fellowship fund was started and aimed specifically at francophone Canadians living permanently in a minority situation outside of Quebec who need money to advance their studies beyond a bachelor's degree.
Based on Baxter RICARD's idea, the fund was created jointly by businessman Paul DESMARAIS Sr., now chairman of the executive committee of management and holding company Power Corporation of Canada. Mr. DESMARAIS and Mr. LACROIX, plus Paul DESMARAIS Jr., are members of the board of directors of Fondation Baxter & Alma Ricard.
It was launched with the original $23-million donation from Ms. RICARD and despite many disbursements, today sits at $25-million thanks to interest earned on the principal, says Mr. LANDRY.
Until her death, Mrs. RICARD was president of the board and until three months ago, continued to sign cheques, says Mr. LACROIX, who remembers Mrs. RICARD as a ''generous and kind person who helped people with problems.''
''Baxter's father would be proud of what Alma has accomplished since Baxter died. It is well along the way to what he had promoted for many years," says Mr. LACROIX.
In addition to donations in the millions of dollars over the years, Mrs. RICARD once helped out a person who couldn't handle her mortgage payments and was about to lose her home; she also donated to a religious group that raised money for the poor.
Mr. LACROIX remembers Mrs. RICARD as a woman who loved to have fun.
''From age 70 onward she didn't mind going on until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. She enjoyed going out at night, she loved to dance," he says. ''She was also quite religious, church attendance was sacred.'' Mrs. RICARD also loved to collect hats: ''She had hundreds of hats and they were attention-getters," says Mr. LACROIX, who knew the RICARDs for more than 30 years.
Of all the recognition she received over the years, Mrs. RICARD cherished most the Officer of the Order of Canada bestowed on her in 2000, says Mr. LACROIX. Governor-General Adrienne CLARKSON travelled to Sudbury to present the honour to Mrs. RICARD in her sick bed, at her home, in September, 2002.

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