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Montréal impresario earns music heritage award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards



Montréal impresario earns music heritage award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards

Gatineau, Quebec, November 30, 2007 — Legendary record producer and music impresario Samuel Gesser is the first recipient of the Resonance Award, established by the Canadian Museum of Civilization to honour outstanding lifetime contributions to Canada’s musical heritage. The award will be presented tomorrow at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, which will be held at the Museum.

A lifelong resident of Montréal, Gesser is renowned for introducing both world-famous and little-known Canadian singers and musicians to the Canadian public and the world. These artists include singers Monique Leyrac, Gordon Lightfoot, Maureen Forrester and Alan Mills; violinists Jean Carignan and Hyman Bress; and pianists Glenn Gould and John Newmark.

As a producer with the Folkways label in the 1950s, Gesser recorded some 100 LPs, many featuring traditional Canadian folk songs and other oral material treasured by today’s historians, musicians and singers. He later became one of the country’s leading music impresarios, presenting Canadian artists as well as international stars such as Nana Mouskouri, Harry Belafonte and Janis Joplin.

“Sam Gesser provided Canadians with a key to some of the great treasures of their musical heritage, a legacy that will resonate for years to come,” said Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “He is a most worthy recipient of the first Resonance Award.”

Gesser is a Member of the Order of Canada and has been honoured by the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Canadian Folk Music Walk of Fame.

“Canada has a unique and wonderful musical heritage that deserves to be promoted and preserved,” said Gesser. “I was happy to do my part, and I am honoured to receive an award that draws national attention to the cause.”

The Resonance Award was established this year by the Canadian Museum of Civilization to honour individuals who make outstanding lifetime contributions to Canada’s musical heritage, whether in the spotlight or behind the scenes. Recipients are chosen by the Museum and receive a specially designed trophy. The Award will draw attention to the importance of Canada’s musical heritage and the role of individuals in performing, preserving, and promoting it.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization has the mandate to preserve and promote Canada’s social and cultural history, including its musical heritage. More than a century of music is housed in its reserves. Original field recordings of traditional songs and performances from across Canada have become an invaluable resource for scholars and musicians, and a national treasure for all Canadians.

Media Information:

Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7167

Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7169

Fax: 819 776-7187


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