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Passing of Chris Taylor

Passing of Chris Taylor

September 16, 2021

We are sad to inform you of the passing of Optimists Alumni, Chris Taylor. Chris was a member of the original Alumni experience in 2003/4 as a snare drummer. His drum corps life was spent with the Guelph Royalaires and the Oakland Crusaders where he also went on to instruct.


Obituary is here.


Our In Memory page for Chris is here.

2021 AGM & Rehearsal

2021 AGM & Rehearsal

September 12, 2021

The 2021 Annual General Meeting for active members is scheduled for Sunday, September 26, 2021 at the Conestoga Golf and Country Club in Conestoga Ontario.

COVID protocol is to be followed including sign-in registration, mandatory face masks indoors, social distancing indoors, hand sanitizer and hand washing.

Schedule details can be found in the Member Lounge Event Schedule.


Please note that Executive elections are not taking place this year, rather the motion was carried to continue with the current members due to the pandemic health restrictions temporarily ceasing operations.

Passing of John Coull

Passing of John Coull

September 2, 2021

We have been informed by Sandra Foster (Coull) that her older brother, John Coull, passed away on September 2, 2021.


John played soprano with the Toronto Optimists in 1968 and 1969. His love for music was with him his whole life. In particular, it was jazz and big band that captured his heart strongest; John’s “working music” at home was usually Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, or Dizzy Gillespie, at maximum volume. He comes from a drum corps family with younger siblings Sandra and Doug both marching and teaching drum corps (Seneca Optimists and others).


The Obituary listing for John is here.

Our Optimists Alumni "In Memory" page for John is here.

Doug MacKenzie - Buglers Hall of Fame Inductee

Doug MacKenzie - Buglers Hall of Fame Inductee

June 24, 2021

Toronto Optimists' own Doug MacKenzie has been inducted into the Buglers Hall of Fame Class of 2021 in the International Members group. Doug joined Toronto Optimists in the fall of 1959 after time with the Leaside Lions, and soon became one of our corps soprano soloists. Coming from a drum corps family, his 4 older brothers were also in drum corps, specifically Leaside Lions, 180th, Ambassadors, Jesters, and Queen's Own. Congratulations Doug!


Please visit the Buglers Hall of Fame Class of '21 here.

Passing of Bill Thorne

Passing of Bill Thorne

April 23, 2021

Bill Thorne (Toronto Optimists baritone) passed away peacefully on April 23, 2021 in Kelowna, B.C. at the age of 76. Bill had recently been diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer, and his health declined rapidly. He spent his last week at Hospice, surrounded by family while receiving top notch care and support.


An online celebration of Bill’s life will be held on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at noon PST (3 pm EST). If you wish to attend, please email for the link, or call 202-320-7509. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Central Okanagan Hospice Association.


The Obituary listing for Bill is here.

Our Optimists Alumni "In Memory" page for Bill is here.

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