Statement by Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada, on the passing of Felix (Fil) Fraser, who served as Acting Chair of Telefilm’s Board in 2007
Montreal, December 19, 2017 ― “I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Fil Fraser, who was known for his outstanding commitment to the arts, to human rights and to the field of audiovisual production. Through his enquiring mind, openness and warmth, Mr. Fraser helped to change attitudes in Canada regarding diversity and the contribution of the black community to our culture.
“Mr. Fraser joined Telefilm Canada’s Board during the 2003-2004 fiscal year and served as its Acting Chair in 2007.
“Fil Fraser was born in Montreal. He began his career working in radio in Toronto, becoming the first black broadcaster in Canada, and then moved on to Edmonton, a city dear to his heart. He played a major role as a journalist, writer, professor of film, host of successful programs such as The Fil Fraser Show, film producer—including Why Shoot the Teacher—as well as a TV broadcaster.
“He was awarded more than a dozen prizes and honours, including the Order of Canada, in 1990, and the Alberta Order of Excellence, in 2015. On the occasion of the latter prize, Mr. Fraser said that “Art makes our lives meaningful”—a sentiment that I fully share.
“I also salute his contribution as founder of the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association and co-founder of the Banff Television Festival and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
“On behalf of Telefilm Canada, I offer my sincere condolences to Mr. Fraser’s wife, Gladys Odegard, to his family and to his many friends and colleagues.”