Canadian Musician - January/February 2023 | Page 18


RIP : Canadian Music Industry Trailblazer Al Mair has Died
Alexander “ Al ” Mair , the co-founder of Canadian indie label Attic Records and a man considered vital to the careers of artists from Gordon Lightfoot to Maestro Fresh Wes and many more , passed away November 25 , 2022 at the age of 82 after a battle with cancer . Mair was appointed to the Order of Canada a couple months ago as a Companion Member for his work in the Canadian music industry . On Nov . 22 , Ontario ’ s Lieutenant-Governor , Elizabeth Dowdeswell , awarded him the medal in his hospital room .
Mair and Tom Williams founded Attic Records in 1974 , which is widely considered one of the most successful indie labels in Canadian history . Among the many artists whose careers Attic launched are Anvil , Maestro Fresh Wes , the Nylons , Triumph , and Teenage Head . Mair also oversaw Gordon Lightfoot ’ s business affairs for eight years in the late 1960s to mid- ‘ 70s .
Mair was known for a mild-mannered demeanor and for being a fierce advocate for Canadian music and artists . As member of SOCAN ’ s the board of directors , Mair in urged the passage of Canadian content ( CanCon ) regulations for TV and radio .
Over his decades in the industry , Mair was also involved in a number of Canadian music industry associations , lending his insights to SOCAN , FACTOR , and the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall .
St . Catharines Unveils Artist & Statue Concept for Large Neil Peart Memorial
An artist has been selected to develop a public work of art in honour of late Rush drummer Neil Peart at Lakeside Park in St . Catharines , ON .
The City of St . Catharines ’ Neil Peart Commemorative Task Force has selected artist Morgan MacDonald of The Newfoundland Bronze Foundry ( Morgan Sculpture Inc .) to create the memorial in Peart ’ s honour alongside the Neil Peart Pavilion in Lakeside Park – a place that inspired the lyrics to the famous Rush single of the same name . The Newfoundland Bronze Foundry was selected as the highest-ranked proponent by an evaluation committee after a competitive process .
The concept from the creative team includes two larger-than-life-sized bronze sculptures of Neil Peart . The sculptures will be connected by a pathway offering experiential and interpretive features providing insight into Peart ’ s personal and professional legacies , including his time with the band .
One sculpture , standing about 12-ft . tall , will feature Peart as a young artist and poet circa the 1970s , holding a book and drumsticks , surrounded by sculptural elements bridging his entry to the band . The second will feature Peart in his later years , holding a small piece of his drum kit and offering his drumsticks to visitors .
The sculptures will be surrounded by elements representative of his life as a poet , novelist , and lyricist . Sabian Cymbals will provide a few of Peart ’ s old and damaged cymbals to be melted down and incorporated into the monument ’ s features . The pathway connecting the sculptures will amplify the visitor experience with seating areas for reflection , interactions with light and sound , supporting landscape features , and a place to recognize those contributing to the legacy project .
The selection of the design and artist , chosen from a shortlist of seven recommended artists through the City ’ s procurement policy , is another milestone in the process – and will help build momentum for the fundraising campaign .
The project and its timelines are contingent on the task force raising the $ 1 million fundraising goal established for the project . Donations of any size can be made towards the memorial project online at www . stcatharines . ca / neilpeart . The sooner the task force can achieve its fundraising objectives through the generosity of Peart ’ s fans , the sooner the community and his fans will be able to see the results .
For more information , go to www . stcatharines . ca / neilpeart .