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"FAE" 2006 Obituary


FAESSLER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-12-21 published
MOORE, J. Mavor, C.C., O.B.C., D.Litt, LL.D., F.R.C.S.
Mavor MOORE passed away peacefully on December 18th after a number of years of failing health in Victoria, British Columbia at the age of 87. Writer, actor, producer, composer and teacher, he was Professor Emeritus of York University, and from 1991-2004 Research Professor, Fine Arts and Humanities at the University of Victoria. The first artist to chair the Canada Council for the Arts (1979-83), he was also founding chair (1996-98) of the British Columbia Arts Council. In 1999 he received the Governor General's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. He was a Companion of the Order of Canada, and among other awards holds the Order of British Columbia, the Diplôme d'honneur, the 1984 Molson Prize for the Humanities, and honorary degrees from eight universities. He was recently inducted into the Starwalk Hall of Fame at Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre, and invited to become a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada. At 14 he was active in early Canadian radio, becoming a feature producer for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio after graduation from the University of Toronto. After overseas service in World War 2 (psychological warfare), he joined the inaugural team of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new International Service. In 1946 he and his mother Dora Mavor MOORE launched Toronto's New Play Society, a seedbed of Canada's postwar professional theatre, where he initiated the record- breaking annual review, Spring Thaw -- while commuting to New York to write and direct documentaries for the United Nations, three of which won international Peabody Awards. In 1950 he was appointed Chief Producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's new television network, leaving in 1954 to join the Stratford Festival and to produce his own plays and musicals. For stage, radio, television and film These now number over 100, including book, lyrics and music for Sunshine Town and A Christmas Carol, book and lyrics for Johnny Belinda, and opera librettos for Harry Somers' Louis Riel and Louis Applebaums' Erewhon. He commissioned, produced and contributed lyrics to the world-wide hit Anne of Green Gables. He translated plays by the Quebec writers Gratien Gélinas, Marie-Claire Blais and Jacques Languirand. Works of his have been presented in the U.S.A., the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Two of his short plays, Getting In and The Store, have been made into films. He produced, directed and acted for radio, television and theatre across Canada and in the U.S.A., and appeared in some sixty films. From 1958-60 he was the drama critic for the Toronto Telegram, and from 1984-90 the Toronto Globe and Mail's first cultural affairs columnist. His essays on cultural policy are widely circulated. A founding board member of the National Theatre School, MOORE was the first chair of the Canadian Theatre Centre and of the Guild of Canadian Playwrights founding head of both Charlottetown's Confederation Centre and Toronto's St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts; co-chair of the World Conference on Arts, Business and Politics at Expo 86 in Vancouver. Long active in international organizations such as the Center for InterAmerican Studies, Les Jeunesses Musicales, and the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation, he was invited to the United Nations in 1994 to address United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Commission on Culture and Development. His 1994 memoir Reinventing Myself has been called "a classic of Canadian arts and letters, history, satire and autobiography." He is survived by his beloved wife Alexandra BROWNING to whom he was married for 26 years and their daughter Jessa. From his first marriage to Darwina FAESSLER; his four daughters Dorothea "Tedde"' (Don SHEBIB), Rosalind, Marili, and Charlotte (Patrick MAZURKEVITCH;) his grandchildren Zoe, Suzanna, Noah, Katie and Emily; great-grandchild Ella BELLE, and his cousins, nephews, nieces. The family would like to thank the staff of The Lodge at Broadmead for their care and compassion and to Doctor Chris Morgan for his many years of Friendship and wise counsel. A celebration of his life and achievements will be held at a later date in Toronto. A lecture series named after him to perpetuate his dedication to the arts in Canada will be established at York University where he made such an important contribution. If desired, donations may be made to Mavor Moore Fund, York University Foundation, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto M3J 1P3. To celebrate his legendary wit The Mavor Moore Theatre Society was established in Vancouver with a mandate to create, produce, present and promote live theatre that is a witty and bold catalyst for change, and to establish a theatre company in his name. Contributions may be made to the society at 208 West 23rd Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia V5Y 2H3. In Victoria, Friends and colleagues are invited to a tribute followed by a reception at the University Club, University of Victoria on Saturday, the 6th of January, 2007 at 2 p.m. "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts." -Shakespeare 'Around the corner there may wait A new road, or a secret gate' - Tolkien

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FAESSLER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2006-12-21 published
Mavor MOORE, Actor, Producer And Writer: (1919-2006)
A 'one-man cultural conglomerate,' he went from a job as youngest producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to being appointed the first artist to become head of the Canada Council, with many stops in between, writes Sandra MARTIN
By Sandra MARTIN, Page S7
As multitalented as he was prolific, as romantically restless as he was artistically ambitious, Mavor MOORE worked all sides of the cultural street as an actor, director, producer, dramatist, impresario, composer, writer, critic, cultural commentator and academic. It is hard to believe that he was only one person. For five decades in this country beginning in the 1940s, he was the happening person for most cultural enterprises, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Spring Thaw, the Stratford Festival, the Charlottetown Festival and the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto.
In all, he wrote more than 100 works for stage, radio, television and film, including the book lyrics and music for Sunshine Town, the book and lyrics for Johnny Belinda and the librettos for Louis Applebaum's opera Erewhon and Harry Somers's opera Louis Riel.
"He had great knowledge about the theatre and a great sense of history," said opera and theatre director Leon MAJOR, who succeeded Mr. MOORE as general director of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. "He took risks with young directors and then let young directors do what they wanted to do, guiding them as they went."
After commenting on how much he had learned from Mr. MOORE, not only about the theatre but also about dealing with actors and writers, Mr. MAJOR said yesterday: "In his heart, I think that he was a teacher more than anything… because he took a lot of time with young people to talk to them and listen to them and explain."
Mr. MOORE was a man who truly believed in the development of Canadian theatre, he added.
"As I was growing up [in the 1950s and 1960s], he and Lister Sinclair were the two real Renaissance figures in Canada, the two people who were sophisticated and civilized," said Peter HERNDORF, president of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. "Nobody in the country has ever been so accomplished and as effective in doing all of these art forms over a career." And yet, "for a man who had all of these talents and all of these accomplishments, he was very rooted" in Canada.
"He was a very, very likeable individual who didn't change over the 40-odd years that I knew him," he said, pointing out that the jobs Mr. MOORE took on as an administrator were fraught with peril and that he always managed to avoid controversy and resentment without ever giving up what he was trying to achieve artistically. "He had a very good emotional quotient" that made him "comfortable enough in his own ego that it was easy for him to encourage younger artists," he said.
"He did everything," lyricist Elaine Campbell said yesterday. "He knew what was happening all over the world. He wrote so many musicals and they were all good, but he was always there encouraging people by saying, 'We're Canadians, we can do it.'"
James Mavor MOORE was the middle of three sons of John, an Anglican cleric, and the indomitable Dora (née MAVOR) MOORE. His Toronto childhood was culturally enriched because his mother was an actor and theatrical producer. He watched her play Viola in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night when he was only 7 and she returned the favour five years later by producing his first play for a girls' dramatic club.
By the time he was 10, he and his brothers were producing neighbourhood puppet shows (drawing heavily on the Bard for their plots) and he had made his first radio broadcast as part of a choir singing Christmas music. His parents separated in 1929 after his father, who appears to have been a bounder, left his mother to raise their three sons on her own. Young Mavor helped augment the family finances by acting in The Crusoe Boys, a daily radio serial.
After elementary school, he went to the University of Toronto Schools, then a boys only, academically elite institution. He expanded his theatrical range to play Falstaff and Macbeth in school productions. From University of Toronto Schools, he entered the University of Toronto in 1936, where he studied philosophy and English and participated in theatricals, becoming the first student director to win the University Drama Festival, serving as president of the Players' Guild and the Philosophical Society, as drama critic for the student newspaper The Varsity, and as literary editor of The Undergraduate. After failing a year because of his heavy complement 1 with a first-class honours degree.
He immediately joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as its youngest producer. He was 22. His poor eyesight made him ineligible for active service overseas during the Second World War, so, instead, he produced wartime radio features for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Later, he served as a psychological warfare officer in Canadian Army Intelligence attached to the Canadian High Commission in London. At the same time, he married Darwina (Dilly) FAESSLER on October 14, 1943. They eventually had four daughters: Dorothea (Tedde), Rosalind, Marili and Charlotte.
From 1944 to 1945, Mr. MOORE worked in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's international service, becoming senior producer for the Pacific region in 1946. In the late 1940s, he also did summer stints in the information division of the newly formed United Nations Secretariat in New York, and with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization seminar on education, writing and directing documentaries, three of which won the Peabody Award.
Meantime, he was directing plays for Spring Thaw, the annual Toronto revue that his mother had created under the auspices of the New Play Society (which they had jointly founded in 1946). He directed the first Spring Thaw, which opened on April 1, 1948, and ran for three performances at the theatre in the Royal Ontario Museum. His mother produced the revue until 1961, when she sold the production rights to her son. He bumped up the production values and the performance schedule, extending the annual run at the height of Spring Thaw's success into midsummer and across the country. In 1966, he began leasing the production rights to younger producers.
Always in the centre of the cultural action, Mr. MOORE was chief producer in television's fledgling days at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation from 1950 to 1954, having turned down an offer from CBS to direct its top television drama series, Studio One. One of the people who answered to him at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was Norman Campbell, who had been working in radio in Vancouver. In 1952, he reported for duty as a television director, along with his wife, Elaine Campbell.
"I will always remember him as the first person I met at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation," she said yesterday of Mr. MOORE. "He was wonderful. He was so full of ideas." She remembers the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as expansive and accommodating, with nobody vacillating about productions by worrying about audience numbers or reactions. "If you had an idea, you went to Mavor, and said: 'I want to do this show or that show and you did it.'"
The Mavor MOORE show she remembers best from that time is Sunshine Town, based on Stephen Leacock's classic Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town. Mr. MOORE wrote the book, lyrics and music for the show, which aired first on radio as The Hero of Mariposa on March 31, 1954, and then on television as Sunshine Town that December. It was also performed on stage in Toronto and Orillia, Ontario (Mr. Leacock's home town), and later revived at the Charlottetown Festival and the Mariposa Festival. "He had beautiful songs and it was a funny script based on Stephen Leacock's humour," said Mrs. Campbell. "He didn't miss a bit of it."
In 1954, Mr. MOORE quit the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to join Tyrone Guthrie at the new Stratford Festival, to act and to produce his own plays and musicals. His tenure was brief, but he did appear as Escalus in Measure for Measure in the festival's inaugural season.
His richest creative period was probably his years as the founding artistic director of the Charlottetown Festival, from 1964 to 1968. Mrs. Campbell tells a charming story about Mr. MOORE's reprising some songs about Anne of Green Gables from a television show that Mr. Campbell had produced, at the gala performance, in front of the Queen, at the opening of the Confederation Centre for the Arts in Charlottetown in 1964. Apparently, the Queen loved the songs but wondered where the rest of the show was. Mr. MOORE interpreted these comments as a "command" from the monarch and issued an invitation to the Campbells to come up with a musical about Anne.
And that was the genesis of the musical Anne of Green Gables. Mr. Campbell wrote the music, Don Harron adapted the book and Mrs. Campbell wrote many of the lyrics. In the end, Mr. MOORE contributed two key songs, The Words and Open the Window, which opens the second act. "He has been part of our trio ever since," she said.
After the breakup of his first marriage in the mid-1960s, Mr. MOORE married literary biographer Phyllis GROSSKURTH in May of 1968. Nathan Cohen announced their nuptials by writing in the Toronto Star: " Double congratulations to Mavor MOORE. He married literary historian Phyllis GROSSKURTH on Sunday, and on Monday Toronto City Council finally gave the go-ahead signal for the building of the St. Lawrence Centre." As general director, Mr. MOORE saw the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts opened and passed on the reins to Leon MAJOR in 1970.
The two men had met in the early '60s because Mr. MAJOR had directed a couple of Spring Thaws. Mr. MAJOR went to Halifax in 1963 to start the Neptune Theatre and invited Mr. MOORE to play Undershaft in Major Barbara. "It was very important to me to have him there because he was so knowledgeable and he could bring some weight to Neptune," Mr. MAJOR said.
Mr. MOORE also directed plays for Neptune in subsequent seasons. The two men worked together years later when Mr. MAJOR directed the opera Louis Riel, for which Mr. MOORE had written the libretto. "Working with him on that was a joy because he was a writer who didn't think every word he wrote was sacrosanct and he was supportive about the production," said Mr. MAJOR.
From the St. Lawrence Centre, Mr. MOORE accepted an appointment in the faculty of arts at the newly established York University in Toronto. While teaching at York, he took on yet another responsibility as the first artist appointed head of the Canada Council, a position he held from 1979 to 1983. York designated him professor emeritus in 1984 when he reached 65.
By now, his second marriage had ended. In 1979, he and Harry Freedman attended the Courtney Summer Youth Camp in British Columbia, supervising the production of the opera Abracadabra -- Mr. Freedman wrote the music and Mr. MOORE the libretto. Soprano Alexandra (Sandra) BROWNING was also there as a teacher and singer. "It was instant attraction," she said yesterday from Victoria. "Our eyes met in the cafeteria and we clicked." They were married the following year and have one daughter, Jessica.
He moved to British Columbia, settling first in Vancouver, then in Victoria in late 1980s. He made his presence known in the best possible way by teaching at the University of British Columbia, serving as co-chair of the World Conference on Arts, Business and Politics at Expo 86 in Vancouver, as founding chair of the British Columbia Arts Council from 1996 to 1998, and as an adjunct research professor in fine arts and humanities at the University of Victoria.
He published his aptly named memoirs, Reinventing Myself, in 1994 when he was 75, although he largely limited himself to the first 50 years of his life. In reviewing the book for The Globe and Mail, Martin Knelman called Mr. MOORE a "one-man cultural conglomerate." He praised the book as "a lively and informative memoir almost preposterously crammed with incident," but he chastised Mr. MOORE for his frustrating lack of disclosure and introspection not only about his own life, but his relationship with his formidable mother. But then that was one of Mr. MOORE's more charming qualities his diplomacy and his amicability that enabled him to get along with almost anybody, including his three wives, all of whom were on friendly terms with him until the end of his life.
James Mavor MOORE was born in Toronto on March 8, 1919. He died in Victoria after a period of declining health on December 18, 2006. He was 87. He is survived by his wife, Alexandra (Sandra) Browning, his five daughters and their families, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. A tribute to his life will be held at the University Club in Victoria on January 6, 2007, at 2 p.m. Another celebration will be held in Toronto at a later date.

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FAESSLER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2006-01-02 published
TOVELL, Walter Massey, B.A.M.S., PhD.
Peacefully at the Avalon Retirement Centre, Orangeville on December 30, 2005 in his 90th year. Born Toronto June 25, 1916. Eldest grandchild of Susan DENTON and Walter MASSEY. Raised at Dentonia Park, East York. Brother of Freeman, Victoria, British Columbia Harold, New York (deceased), and Vincent, Toronto; Father of Mariane MUIR, Courtenay, British Columbia, and Denton TOVELL, Toronto; Grandfather of Wilson MUIR, Denton MUIR, Robert TOVELL and Janet GRASSI; Great-grandfather of Ryan GRASSI and Elliott MUIR. Predeceased by his wives Anita FAESSLER and Ruth MARSHALL. Walter attended Upper Canada College and was a member of their cricket club and was a life long sports enthusiast. After graduating from the University of Toronto and the California Institute of Technology Dr. TOVELL found careers and interests throughout his life that turned his love of nature, the environment, and history into USAble skills. He was Faculty member at the Department of Geological Sciences at U of T; a pioneer in exploration geology using helicopters; serving the Royal Ontario Museum for 35 years, finally as its Director; member of the Metropolitan Toronto Region Conservation Authority; author of the Guide to the Geology of the Niagara Escarpment; staff of Scarborough College; life member of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada; member of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists and Upper Credit Naturalists former Board member of the Niagara Escarpment Commission and Canada Trust's Friends of the Environment; former Director of Coalition On the Niagara Escarpment. Walter was a life long teacher and educator. He was passionate and funny in his lectures and tours. Walter received numerous Government, naturalist, and conservation awards during his lifetime and was considered a leading authority on glacial geology. Since retiring to his schoolhouse in Mono Township and then to the Lord Dufferin Centre in Orangeville, Walter has been a founder, Board Member and supporter of the Dufferin County Museum and Archives and remained a mentor to the staff until weeks before his death. Dr. TOVELL was the donor of art and artifacts to numerous Canadian, Provincial and local museums and galleries. Walter made numerous Friends throughout his life and there are many who will always remember his generosity and loud laughter. Friends will be received at the Dods and McNair Funeral Home and Chapel 21 First St. Orangeville (519-941-1392) on Saturday January 14th, 2006 from 2: 00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. A celebration of Dr. Walter TOVELL's life will be held at the Historic Church at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives (Hwy. 89 and Airport Rd.) on Sunday, January 15th at 2: 00 p.m. Dr. TOVELL wished donations to be made to the Dufferin County Museum and Archives Trust, P.O. Box 120, Rosemont, Ontario L0N 1R0 in lieu of flowers. A tree has been planted in memory of Dr. TOVELL in the Dods and McNair Memorial Forest at the Island Lake Conservation Area, Orangeville. A dedication service will be held on Sunday, September 10th, 2006 at 2: 30 p.m. (Condolences may be offered to the family at

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