Gino Empry Dies

Toronto promoter Gino Empry died October 14th following complications from a stroke.

Empry, 83, started as an actor, director and producer in small theatres before founding a Toronto booking and PR agency in 1964. He served as the entertainment director for the Royal York Hotel’s Imperial Room and booked performances for artists such as Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Bob Hope, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Named in Lee’s biography as a “happiness guru,” Empry later used the moniker to advertise his services to industry hopefuls – $100 an hour for showbiz advice – on his Web site.

“He was an innovator as well as an impresario and his role in the evolution of Toronto as a global cultural center will never be forgotten,” Mayor David Miller said in a statement.