Toronto impresario Gino Empry dies

Canadian entertainment promoter Gino Empry has died at the age of 83 in Toronto.

Gino Empry, a giant in the Canadian entertainment industry,has died at the age of 83.

The Toronto-born promoter was a tireless public relations mastermind who created his own drama group at age 14, moving on to directing and producing.

He eventually went on to promote the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bob Hope and Ella Fitzgerald.

"He was a dear man who was loved by all of us who truly knew him,” actor Gordon Pinsent told the Toronto Star newspaper.

In 1964, he launched his own agency for booking and marketing entertainment acts.

Six years later, he became the entertainment director for the Royal York Hotel’s Imperial Room, considered the top nightclub in the country at the time.

According to Empry's website, he was the first promoter for Canadian superstarsAnne Murray and Celine Dion, and has represented The Irish Rovers, Ronnie Hawkins, actor/director William Hutt and ballerina Karen Kain.

Pinsent, seen most recently in Sarah Polley’s first feature Away From Her, hailed Empry as an avid supporter who encouraged artists to be their best and remembered the impresario as “the constant angel on your shoulder, reminding you not to give up.”

Pinsent said Empry was at his finest when promoting local talent from his hometown.

In 1993, Empry received the City of Toronto's highest honour, the Award of Merit.