by Jane Heyman
Patrick Rose passed away peacefully at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto on July 1, 2023 at the age of 79 after a short battle with cancer.
He was born on February 1, 1944 in Dauphin, Manitoba to Betty and Frank Rose who were both accomplished musicians. While pursuing his BA at the University of British Columbia, he was cast as the lead in the musical Bye Bye Birdie and knew he had found his calling! While at University he was already wooing his future wife of fifty-five years, Susan. In 1968 he set out for London, England where he landed the juvenile lead in George Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good! and finally convinced Susan to marry him a year later.
In 1972, back in Vancouver Patrick starred in the original Arts Club Theatre production of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris. In 2022 he had the opportunity to reunite with the surviving members of that influential cast for a 50th anniversary concert.
A composer as well as a performer, Patrick was a great collaborator. He created The Soundstealer (with Jane Heyman) for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as well as the musical theatre Jubalay (with Merv Campone) for the Arts Club Theatre. Olympiad, toured Canada and a later revue, A Bistro Car played a run off-Broadway in 1978 and later toured extensively. Both were co-created with Richard Ouzounian.
In 1977 with Susan and baby Jordan, he moved to Toronto to further his career. Daughter Mary was born in 1981 and Pat helped change diapers while working in variety television and especially on the then-popular cabaret scene, where his shows included Equal Time and Madeira M’Dear. Together with Susan and collaborator Zoey Adams, he created a Murder Mystery Franchise popular across North America. One of his main joys was leading a weekly musical-theatre sing-along at The Avenue Road Arts School. Shortly before his death, Patrick celebrated the 30th anniversary alongside participants and friends. Always in love with live musical performance, in his later years he delighted audiences across Toronto by creating The Retro Ramblers.
“As long as I can get up in front of people with my guitar, I’ll just keep going,” he said in an interview five years ago⎯and he did. He was beloved everywhere, but especially in the Beaches community, where he lived most of his life, for his infectious charm, his virtuoso music-making and his generosity of spirit.
It was his love of family that was truly the beacon which lit his way through his 79 years. Patrick loved nothing more than travelling the world with Susan to visit Mary or Jordan and his wife Magda and their beloved grandchildren, Della and Oskar.
Celebrations of Pat’s life will be held in
- Vancouver on Sunday, September 17, 2.00 pm at the Backstage Lounge, Arts Club, Granville Island,
- Toronto on Sunday, October 22, 3.00 pm at Beach United Church, 140 Wineva Avenue
in lieu of flowers please give someone you love a hug in Patrick's memory