TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) — Deane Cameron, a respected and influential Canadian label executive, and the current President and Chief Executive Officer of Massey Hall & Roy Thomas Hall, has died. He was 66.
Cameron’s passing was confirmed in a statement from Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall who said that he died suddenly while at his cottage near North Bay.
For more than 40 years, Cameron played a significant role in the Canadian music landscape, including a long tenure at EMI Music Canada, where he spent more than two decades before finally stepping down in 2012.
Cameron joined EMI Music Canada in 1977, starting in the warehouse and working his way up through the ranks until 1988 when he became the youngest Canadian President of a major music label.
While at EMI, Cameron fostered the careers of numerous Canadian artists, including Anne Murray, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Glass Tiger, Johnny Reid, k-os, Moist, Nickelback, The Rankin Family, Serena Ryder, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Susan Aglukark, The Tea Party and Tom Cochrane.
In 2015, Cameron was appointed as President & CEO of Toronto’s prestigious music venues Massey Hall & Roy Thomas Hall.
In addition, Cameron served on the board of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for more than a decade and played a significant role in developing its music education outreach program MusiCounts.
In 2010, Cameron was inducted into the Order of Canada in recognition of his efforts to bring Canada’s music scene to international audiences. He was also honored with a Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the Junos in 2011 as well as the Hank Smith Award of Excellence for outstanding contributions made to the advancement of Country music in Canada.
Cameron also served on the Board for Music Canada, and the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), and sat on the Board of Directors of the Unison Benevolent Fund and the Canadian Board of Directors of Vintage TV.
Cameron’s passing evoked an outpouring of condolences from the Canadian music industry.
Vinny Cinquemani, SVP of the Feldman Agency said: “I am shocked and saddened to hear that Deane has passed. I have known and worked with Deane for almost 40 years. He was a great music man, a fierce believer in Canadian artists and their music. I have had the privilege to have worked with Deane on many bands and artists while he was President at EMI/Capitol and his time running Massey Hall. His passion and love of music was second to none. I will miss sitting with him at a concert, sharing the excitement of the evening and music, and all of our conversations discussing what mattered to him the most: Music. Deane made a difference to all in the music industry in Canada, the U.S. and the rest of the world. He was a good man, honest, loving, and most of all, a proud Canadian. As I sit writing this, I cannot believe that I will not be seeing Deane over the next few weeks, at an industry function, an award show, or a concert, it is hard to accept. I am honored to call Deane a friend and will miss him very much. My thoughts and prayers are with Deane’s family today.”
Larry LeBlanc, senior writer, CelebrityAccess said: “I am shocked by Deane Cameron’s sudden passing. Just shocked. I had known Deane since he started out in the music industry as a musician, as a drummer for the band Cochrane in the early ’70s, headed by his good friend Tom Cochrane. I dealt with Deane considerably when he was a junior A&R executive at Capitol Record of Canada under the guidance of the late Paul White, Canada’s first A&R executive. Deane succeeded Paul in A&R, and eventually became CEO of EMI Music Canada. After its purchase by Universal Music in 2015 Deane became CEO of Massey Hall and Roy Thompson Hall, the two finest entertainment venues in Toronto. We’d see each other at concerts and talk music. Always talked music. I valued Deane’s value of music and musicians which was unsurpassed.”
A spokesman for Canadian performance Rights Organization SOCAN tweeted: “All at SOCAN are mourning the passing of Deane Cameron, a giant of the Canadian music industry. Our sympathies go out to his many friends and family at this sad time.”