We are saddened to share news of the death of Past President, Mark Toews. Mark was diagnosed with cancer last fall. He remained positive through treatment regimens but succumbed to his illness on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Aaron James, President of the Toronto Centre sums up Mark's contributions to the RCCO and the organist community in Canada as follows:
"Mark has been a leading figure in the RCCO for many decades, serving in numerous roles in the organization including President of the Toronto Centre, President of the College (2002-2004) and Chair of the 2009 Centennial Organ Festival. A distinguished performer, he earned the DMA degree at the University of Michigan and was heard widely in concert in Canada, the United States, and England. Many of us are familiar with his CD Variations Plus recorded on his instrument at Lawrence Park Community Church, featuring the music of Bach, Bonnet, and Dupré along with a number of Canadian compositions including Eleanor Daley's trinitas, commissioned for the inauguration of the Lawrence Park organ. Mark was especially well known as an outstanding organ teacher, mentoring numerous young students many of whom have gone on to have prominent careers as performers in Toronto and elsewhere. All of us in the Toronto Centre are the beneficiaries of his leadership, wisdom, and generosity of spirit."
Our condolences go Mark's family, friends and the congregation of Lawrence Park Community Church in Toronto.
Dr. Peter Nikiforuk
President, The Royal Canadian College of Organists