Tributes are pouring in for former record label executive Deane Cameron, who in propelling the careers of artists from Anne Murray to Nickelback, helped shape the sound of Canadian music.
A spokeswoman for Massey Hall confirmed that Cameron, who headed the non-profit that operates the Toronto cultural institution, died Thursday at age 65.
Over his four-decade career, Cameron worked with some of the biggest names in Canadian music, including Serena Ryder, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Stompin’ Tom Connors, the Rankin Family and July Talk.
He got his start in the music scene as teenager playing the drums with Tom Cochrane, and rose through the ranks of EMI Music Canada to become the record label’s president and CEO in 1988, serving in the top job for 24 years.
Cameron pushed to secure major U.S. record deals for Canadian artists including Corey Hart, Max Webster and Red Rider, and also instrumental in putting support behind international acts such as Coldplay, Kate Bush and Katy Perry in the Canadian market.
His championing of homegrown talent earned him the moniker “Captain Canada,” and won Cameron a number of accolades, including the Order of Canada and the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the Junos.
Since his passing, many have been paying respect to Cameron’s life online:
Sad to learn of the passage of Deane Cameron into the next. He touched so many lives in Canadian music. He’s the classic record exec; a musical patriot; a lover of artists and was an early champion of Polaris. He’ll be dearly and massively missed. <a href=”https://t.co/npp6poNyMB”>pic.twitter.com/npp6poNyMB</a>
LOVE YOU DEANE <a href=”https://t.co/zkRiBEF9j3″>https://t.co/zkRiBEF9j3</a> <a href=”https://t.co/AA6vWmzTHS”>pic.twitter.com/AA6vWmzTHS</a>
So sad to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of Deane Cameron, a tremendous and longtime supporter of Canadian musicians and a driving force behind the Massey Hall revitalization project. He will be missed. <a href=”https://t.co/QKFgV6iTgv”>https://t.co/QKFgV6iTgv</a>