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Celebrating Vern Johansson

January 25, 2022

Toronto Optimists - Celebrating Vern Johansson and his legacy with the Toronto Optimists and Optimists Alumni.

Vern Johansson passed away at home on December 31, 2021 after a short battle with cancer (News, In Memory). His legacy within the Optimists organizations is one that has left everyone who has known him or even briefly met him with a long-lasting impression of one of the kindest hearts who had a wonderful ability to make you laugh about nearly anything.

On our website, you will find many contributions from Vern within our Gallery Photos, in our Memorabilia where he documented the history of the Toronto Optimists (THE UNSTOPPABLE FORCE AND THE IMMOVABLE OBJECT), and more recently in his wonderful tribute to our website founder Ray Roussel.


We are now pleased to provide you with a new slideshow of photos of Vern from our Gallery, with background music of the tune More from the motion picture Mondo Cane (a piece played by the Toronto Optimists in Vern's early years there). 

Celebrating Our Website Founder - Ray Roussel

January 16, 2021

Celebrating Ray Roussel as long time alumni and founder of the Optimists Alumni website in 2002.

We are proud of our website and the vast history it represents. It generates daily traffic enjoyed by many from the drum corps world, and is even being considered the model for the alumni of a top 10 DCI drum corps.


The site would not have been possible without the efforts or Ray Roussel back in 2002 in the early days of the formation of the Optimists Alumni Drum Corps. Please join us in this celebration by visiting our page dedicated to Ray with a special tribute from Vern Johansson.

Don Daber

January 16, 2021

Toronto Optimists History - Celebrating the life of Don Daber through a visual journey of his contributions to Toronto Optimists and drum corps art throughout North America.

Don was involved with The Optimists from 1960 until his death in 2019. During that time he served as a photographer, the publicity director and the Corps Director. He was also the creator and editor of both Green Capsule Comments and Gold Capsule Comments. Don produced the artwork for a number of record albums as well as designing posters and doing the artwork for a variety of contests and programmes. Don's photos can be found throughout the GALLERY. 

We are please to provide a special Gallery dedicated to Don here.

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