IN SUPPORT OF PAL CANADA &
THE TMA MEMBERS' ASSISTANCE FUND
A Life in the Arts: A Tribute to Jim Biros
Music and Theatre World to Pay Tribute to Late Toronto Musicians’ Association Executive Director
Toronto, ON – Toronto’s artistic community will turn out in force on January 12, 2015 to pay tribute to the late Jim Biros, the beloved executive director of the Toronto Musicians’ Association (www.tma149.ca ) who, after a valiant struggle with cancer, passed away on September 19 at the age of 66.
Louise Pitre (Tony Award nominee, Mama Mia!; Les Misérables) hosts the event, which will feature performances by Alana Bridgewater (Gemini Award nominated singer/actor), Dan Chameroy (Stratford Festival; Ross Petty Pantomimes), Melanie Doane (Juno Award winning singer/actor), Joe Macerolo (Canada’s preeminent accordionist), Jeff Madden (Jersey Boys), Mark Masri (singer-songwriter), Jackie Richardson (Gemini and Dora Award winning singer/actor), Alexander Sevastian (accordionist, Quarteto Gelato), Michael Therriault (Dora Award winner, Lord of the Rings: the Musical; Stratford Festival), Claudio Vena (accordionist; Gemini Award winning composer), The Dave Young Trio and members of Tafelmusik. All backed by a 35-piece orchestra comprised of members of the Canadian Opera Company and National Ballet of Canada orchestras and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra along with some of Toronto’s top theatre musicians.
A Life in the Arts: A Tribute to Jim Biros is to be held at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto. Proceeds from the event will be directed to PAL (Performing Arts Lodges) Canada (www.palcanada.org/ ) and the TMA Members’ Assistance Fund, organizations with which Jim was closely associated.
Jim Biros’ unbridled enthusiasm for the arts, and his tireless support and devotion to artists’ well-being, endeared him to all that knew him.
“The disarming gentleness of his smile was the first thing that struck me,” says Canadian Opera Company Music Director Johannes Debus. “His conviction that music and the arts are vital parts of human life and belong at the heart of our society shone through in everything he did and said. His selfless dedication and commitment to ‘his’ musicians as well as his honesty, integrity and fairness impressed me always.”
As the Executive Director of the TMA, Jim negotiated on behalf of the musicians associated with the city’s premiere musical organizations, including the Toronto Symphony, the National Ballet and Canadian Opera Company orchestras, Tafelmusik, Mirvish Productions and the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Jim’s work had an impact on musicians across the country as well; at the national level, Jim committed his time to the negotiations of the national Commercial Announcements and CBC agreements, while at the international level he worked with the American Federation of Musicians in negotiating the Sound Recording Labor Agreement and the Film-Television agreement.
Jim could always be counted upon to bring a calming influence to the negotiating table. “The other side is a partner,” he wrote, and one that should be treated with respect. “Everybody loved the man”, says Dan Broome, the TMA’s acting Executive Director, “even the people who were on the opposite side of the table.”
A true Renaissance man, Jim delved into a variety of artistic disciplines over the years. Starting off as an accordionist in high school, he graduated university with a degree in fine arts and then focused on an acting and directing career. As the Artistic Director of Theatre on the Move, he won a Dora award for best children’s theatre. Prior to joining the TMA, Jim served for almost nine years as Actors’ Equity’s business representative.
Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge Street, Toronto at 7:30 PM, Monday January 12, 2015. Ticket prices are $21.00 + HST (general admission). For Tickets and Information, click on this link or call 416-872-1212