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Al Baculis was a Canadian clarinetist and composer. He was born in Lachine, Montreal on November 21, 1930, as Joseph George Alphonse Allan Baculis. He was the son of Lithuanian immigrants. From 1948 to 1951, he studied clarinet at McGill University, and from 1952 to 1956 he studied composition. Baculis married Margo MacKinnon in 1963. They lived in Montreal and had two children, Heather and Alan Jr.
During the 1950s, Al Baculis played with the Canadian All Stars, but also with various bands led by Buck Lacombe. In 1958, he started to do studio work for the CBC. Around the same time, Al Baculis played and composed for several NFB films. From around 1965 to 1972, he led the Al Baculis Singers, a studio group working mainly for radio and television. Also in the 1960s, he led the Al Baculis Octet. Al Baculis wrote arrangements for the Ted Elfstrom Octet and played saxophone in the Johnny Holmes Orchestra. In the mid-1960s, Baculis performed with Vic Vogel's band for Canadian soldiers in Europe and the Middle East. Al Baculis composed and arranged the theme for the closing ceremonies of the 1976 Montréal Olympics. From 1977 to 1986, Al Baculis taught arranging and composition at Vanier College, Montreal, and at McGill University, Montreal, from 1978 to 1983.
Al Baculis died on January 22, 2007 in Seminole, Florida, where he had lived since his retirement in 1993.
- February 9, 1954-
René Balcer is an accomplished Emmy-winning director, writer and showrunner born in Montreal, QC on February 9, 1954. He attended Lower Canada College high school and Concordia University where he graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies. He married three times, in 1981 to Diane McCarter(divorced in 1988); in 1992 to Lynne Hayashi(divorced 1998); and in 1999 to Carolyn Hsu-Balcer.
Balcer began his career as a journalist covering the Yom Kippur War and worked as an editor for various Canadian publications including the Physicians Management Manuals in 1978. He was involved in several documentary films produced by the National Film Board of Canada and collaborated with notable film producers and directors include Monte Hellman, Francis Ford Coppola, Steve Tisch and Mace Neufeld in the 1980s.
Balcer has written for prominent television series including Star Trek: The Next Generation, but is best known for his work writing, directing, and showrunning the television series Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Los Angeles. He helped create the latter two.
In 2011, Balcer collaborated with the Chinese artist Xu Bing on an exhibition entitled Tobacco Project Virginia at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where his poem “Backbone” was featured.
Throughout his career, Balcer has been the recipient of several awards and certificates, including an Emmy (1997), a Peabody Award, a Writers Guild of America award, four Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Writers of America awards, and a Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association.
In 2004, Balcer was awarded Alumnus of the Year by Concordia University and in 2008 he received an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from Concordia, where he delivered the commencement address at the fall convocation.
- 1890 - 1961
- [1917 - ?]
Frank Barry was born on April 16, 1913 in London, UK and died on July 31, 2013 in Mississauga. During the war 1939-1945, he worked as an architectural draughtsman and served in the Royal Air Force, where he contributed a number of witty cartoons to the squadron newsletter. He met his wife, Patricia Rawlinson, in 1944 (while in he was in the RAF) and they married in northern India in 1945. They had two children, Ailsa and Christopher.
After the war, he studied painting and teaching at the Ealing School of Art in London, UK from 1946 to 1950. In 1950-51, he studied at Hornsey School of Art, also in London, England. From 1951 to 1963, he was an Art Master at the Carisbrooke Grammar School on the Isle of Wight, UK. He moved to Montreal with his family in 1963 and taught art at the Northmount High School. He entered Sir George Williams University and graduated with a MA in Art Education in 1969. He was appointed lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts at SGWU in 1967-1968 and was promoted assistant professor of Fine Arts (Art Education) in 1973. He retired in June 1978 but continued teaching as part-time lecturer until 1981-1982.