With the passing of Mary Gardiner on January 30, Canadian music has lost a true leader. Mary’s  extraordinary range of activities touched many lives and influenced many organizations.

Mary was an eloquent and persuasive advocate  for Canadian music. She had a gentle manner, but she was fierce in her determination to get things done. Her tireless work with the Association of Canadian Women Composers, the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects, and the Canadian Music Centre left an indelible mark. To honour her achievements, the CMC and the Canadian League of Composers gave her their Friends of Canadian Music Award in 2003, and the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects established a scholarship in her name.

As a composer, pianist, conductor and teacher, Mary accomplished far more than she would ever admit to. Her own compositions have been recorded, broadcast, and performed around the world.

Mary led by example. Her kindness, generosity, elegance, marvelous sense of humour,  unusual sensitivity, and reassuring confidence went far to help her accomplish so much. People listened to her.

A selection from recordings of Mary’s compositions can be heard on the Canadian Music Centre’s website: http://www.musiccentre.ca

We offer our deepest sympathies to her family.

Pamela Margles

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