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Born: Jul 12, 1946

Date of Passing: Jun 09, 2019

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Sadly, and unexpectedly, on June 9, 2019 in his 73rd year, Brian passed away at his home in Nimes, France. Brian was born in Winnipeg, MB on July 12, 1946.
He was predeceased by his wife Bernadette and his parents, Nick and Idella. Brian is survived by his daughter Arwen MacDonell of Toronto, his son Jean-Nicholas of Nimes, France, his dear friend Maureen O'Donnell, his sister Lorraine McTavish, his nephews and great-nieces and nephews, Neil (Lisa), Jinty, Briagha; Bill (Gisela), Aliya, Quinn and Will; Bruce and great-niece Stella, niece Laura (Mike) Thomas.
Brian spent his early years in Winnipeg where he went to Laura Secord School and Gordon Bell High School. He performed in operettos, University of Manitoba, Rainbow Stage and Manitoba Theatre Centre productions. Brian then went to the National Theatre School in Montreal. Interested in mime, he went to Paris to study under de Croux. He spent a number of years in Paris, then moved to Nimes to set up workshops. Brian taught English through "Mime" and had classes for the disabled. All loved him. His art took him all over the world.
Mass was held on Friday, June 14 at Nimes Cathedral followed by a Celebration of Life. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends and colleagues.


As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 13, 2019

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • Brian was a cast member of Victor Cowie's film, And No Birds Sing, shot in Winnipeg in 1968-69. He had a droll comic presence on the screen, and in real life, complemented by his warmth, and his mastery of performance technique. I've always remembered his skills, and his friendliness, from that time. It was wonderful to learn of his career from the time of his attendance at NTS, and of his life in France, and so sorrowful to learn of his death. - Posted by: Ian Malcolm (a friend from days at university) on: Mar 13, 2021

  • It was with sadness that I have just learned that Brian exited stage left, over a year ago. Brian and I met at St. John's College, we were fellow actors in a number of plays. His humour and sense of fun affected the whole college in a very positive way. Brian invited me to spend Christmas with his family, Nick and Idella, what a treat that was! One summer I discovered Brian was working in the Memorial Park, in front of the legislative building. He invited me to help out. We spent many happy days teaching drama exercises to young people in the park. After graduation I left Winnipeg and lost touch. Years later I discovered that Brian was teaching mime in Nimes. I was not that surprised as he was a consummate actor and his talent was irrepressible. I will always value those laugh-filled summer days Brian, and I look forward to seeing you again, centre stage. - Posted by: Arthur Claxton (Friend) on: Nov 19, 2020

  • Brian wrote me letters urging me to get my butt to France. He vouched for me in my application. We visited often, chambre to chambre, ate wonderful Paris street food, shared many glasses of table red and talked for hours about the school and art and acting. I had a coffee with him around 2003 when he visited Toronto. We had a very good visit and renewed our friendship after a long hiatus. I had no idea until today, November 2020, that he has left us. I am greatly saddened. I hope soon to get back on track with remembering him and I together in some of the best times of our youth. - Posted by: Russ (Friend and fellow student in Paris 1974-77) on: Nov 15, 2020

  • I met Brian in a summercourse in France, and then we met again in Paris and started to work together and finally performed an original program with mime and classical guitar. I also made black and white pictures of him, that he liked very much. Then we lost track when he left Paris, but our work together was very fruitful, and we had a lot of fun too. Rest in peace, dear Brian. - Posted by: GĂ©rard REBOURS (Former sideman with Brian) on: Dec 13, 2019

  • Dear Brian, such a lovely and oh so funny guy. We were both Winnipeggers, went the same schools, worked both at Rainbow Stage, and Manitoba Theatre Centre together. Brian you are so tied to my youth and what lovely times those were. A time when everything seemed possible. You will be missed by many. Rest peacefully dear friend. Xo Cheryl - Posted by: Cheryl Thurston Griffin (Friend) on: Jul 17, 2019

  • I remember Brian as someone with a great sense of humour and a real character. It was interesting that he pursued a career as an actor because he certainly had that flair in high school. I have often wondered where he was and where life had taken him. Great to hear that he followed his dream. Rest in peace my friend - Posted by: Ray Logan (Schoolmate at Gordon Bell High School in Winnipeg) on: Jul 13, 2019

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