The Jack Richardson Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who is an outstanding contributor to the London music community. For a candidate to be eligible, they should display a significant and positive local impact in London over many years. The not-for-profit Jack Richardson London Music Awards Board of Directors will grant this distinction to a worthy individual on an annual basis to thank them for their service to the London music scene, in hopes of inspiring future contributors.
James Stewart Reaney covered everything from operas to Neil Young concerts in more than thirty years at The London Free Press. He retired on Jan. 26, 2017. As a columnist and reporter, he profiled many London creative spirits and produced the first extensive Top 10 listing devoted to London albums. In collaboration with LFP colleagues, he hosted weekly videos devoted to London performers & creators for eight years. James is a passionate supporter of the Jack Richardson London Music Awards as a board member & advocate for its Jack Richardson London Music Hall of Fame at 182 Dundas Street. He is also an active member of the London & Middlesex Historical Society & helmed its three editions of The Great London Songbook (events matching local performers with hits associated with the Forest City's glorious musical history).
The former Physical Education Director at the London YMCA turned Director of the London Chorus who sang tenor and helped form the legendary Nighthawks, winning 11 straight Ontario titles and four international medals. He later sang baritone with the Gentlemen’s Agreement, directed the Sweet Adelines Chorus, and was inducted into the International Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2013.
Linda retired from teaching at London Central Secondary School, leading a music department in which half the student body participated! She conducted senior concert band, wind ensemble and the jazz band. A founding member of the Thames Valley honour band and a board member of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association, she’s now a valued member of the JRLMA team leading our Ken Palmer Bursary program.
2014Minerva Figueroa is a well known name in the arts - Her experience includes teaching, conducting, and coordinating a youth orchestra in Mexico City with Aeolian's El Sistema program, a global movement designed to offer free universal access to an intensive collaborative music program. She was also part of the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Xalapa Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico serving as Artistic Liaison and Special Projects Coordinator. During her 10 years with professional orchestras she organized national and international tours, recordings and engagements with guest artists. Moving back to London in 2008, she's since attended UWO, worked for the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and is actively involved in the arts and not-for-profit sector.
During his decade’s long career, award-winning choral conductor Ken Flee Ken directed London Pro Musica in recording acclaimed albums, often creating inspired collaborations. The mixed-voiced choir teamed with London world-beat ensemble the Antler River Project for 2008's Songs of the Land for a dozen songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn, the McGarrigles and other Canadian folk legends. Gerald and Marlene Fagan led the Gerald Fagan Singers and Fanshawe Chorus London
Conductor, Gerald Fagan and business manager / keyboardist Marlene Fagan brought Fanshawe Chorus London, the Gerald Fagan Singers and the Concert Players Orchestra to great heights. In a combined career going back more than 50 years, the Fagans have been leaders in London who built three arts organizations here. The Fagans met in the 1950s while they were students at the forerunner to Western’s Don Wright music faculty.
For more than three decades Charlotte Cleland was the secretary for the Kiwanis Festival of London and its board secretary. She started in 1979 and continues to help guide the festival. Her commitment to the festival’s success has been total. Charlotte organizes hundreds of dates for adjudicated competition, mentors young festival entrants, champions all classes and abilities and much more. “I work very hard – but I love what I’m doing. That’s why I keep doing it,” Charlotte says. Charlotte has shown commitment to local music far above and beyond the norm. “I like to see them succeed in all their activities – not just music,” she says of the thousands of young people she has helped usher through the Kiwanis experience.
Graham Lear is best known for his time with Gino Vannelli, Santana and REO Speedwagon. Graham went to Prince Charles Public School and Clarke Road High School in London. He began his professional career at the age of 13 with the London (Ontario) Symphony Orchestra. During his teenage years he practiced, played and toured with several bands in Canada and the United States. Gino Vannelli was the first major recording artist to recognize Graham’s talents and he recorded with Gino on some of his most important work. He has toured and/or recorded worldwide with Carlos Santana, Paul Anka, REO Speedwagon and Saga. He has also worked with T.V./ Film composers Henry Mancini, Domenic Troiano, Jimmy Dale, David Foster, and recorded jingles for Nike, Molson and Avia.
John Barron was an inspiring music educator, consultant, clinician, arranger, author, and conductor. He received numerous awards for his contributions to choral music, including the Order of Canada, and, most recently, a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors. John’s passion, musicality and generosity inspired and supported hundreds of young musicians. He loved hearing from former students and choir members and learning what paths their lives had taken. He especially treasured the close relationship that formed between Amabile and Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield.
Bob Hughes was one of the most well-known percussionists in Canada. As a professor emeritus of percussion at Western University, he has experience in all forms of music and is a recognized authority on African drumming. Bob has performed with many of Canada’s great orchestral and jazz musicians while mentoring enumerable percussionist and music educators.