Eli Kassner awarded the Order of Canada

Here is a message from the Toronto Guitar Society passed along to me from its President Heather Morand Clark. Congrats to Eli Kassner, well deserved. Thanks to Canada for recognizing too!

Eli Kassner

We are delighted to tell you that on June 30, the Government of Canada announced that our founder Eli Kassner has been named to the Order of Canada, our country’s highest civilian honour.

The Order of Canada “recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to
the community and service to the nation.
The Order recognizes people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.”

Eli’s contributions to music in Canada have been immense. When he arrived in Canada in 1951, classical guitar had virtually no presence. Without Eli’s inspiration and energy, that still might be the case today. Thanks to Eli, the Guitar Society of Toronto is one of North America’s oldest and most active. Classical guitar studies are thriving at the University of Toronto – one of the first universities in North America to treat guitar as a “serious” classical instrument. Multiple generations of guitar students have been inspired to launch careers as artists, composers and teachers. Eli’s International Guitar Festivals and Competitions in the 1970s and 80s have laid the foundation for international guitar festivals worldwide. There is much more, but this gives you some idea of Eli’s extraordinary achievements.

As Eli is unable to travel to Ottawa for the investiture, the award ceremony will be held for Eli personally at the Baycrest Centre, where he is now residing.

If you would like to know more about Eli’s extraordinary life, be sure to read his autobiography: Allegro Vivace con Brio, the Life of Eli Kassner. Ordering information will be posted shortly on the GST website.

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