TORONTO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Well-known Toronto Promoter Gino Empry has died at the age of 83. Empry, a widely respected member of the Toronto arts and music scene.
Empry's long involvement with the entertainment business started at the age of 14 when he started a drama group for a Catholic Youth organization. Using this experience as a springboard, Empry continued an active participation in local theater groups as an actor, director and producer.
In 1964, Empry opened a public relations and booking agency, taking The Royal Alexandra Theatre as his first client.
In 1970, he became the entertainment/PR director for one of Canada's top nightclub at the time, the Imperial Room at the Royal York Hotel where he booked performers such as Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Raquel Welch, Peter Allen, Burton Cummings, Bernadette Peters, Tammy Lynette, Tina Turner, and Roy Orbison.
Clients that Empry has done publicity for include Anne Murray & Celine Dion. His management/agent credits include Tony Bennett, whom he managed for ten years, The Irish Rovers, Peggy Lee, Patrick MacNee, Ronnie Hawkins, actor/director William Hutt, Ballet Prima Ballerina Karen Kain, ice skating champion/choreographer/artist Toller Cranston, singing star Roch Voisine, superstar comedian Andre-Philippe Gagnon, Toronto Philharmonica, Canadian actors Ken James, Robin Ward and the late Craig Russell.
Empry was also well known for his volunteer work, lending his efforts to organizations and causes such as Actors Fund of Canada; Brazilian Ball; Canadian Cancer Society; Canadian Recording Industry; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; DARE Arts; Dellcrest Children’s Centre; Easter Seals; Famous PEOPLE Players; Hospital for Sick Kids; Inner City Angels; Juvenile Diabetes Foundation; Metro Police; Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada; Ontario Musical Arts Centre and many more.
In early 1993, Gino received the City of Toronto's highest honor, the Award of Merit. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers