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It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that Barry's family announces his passing on October 5, 2020, at the Health Sciences Centre, at the age of 70.
Barry had a larger than life personality - he was always lending a hand, never waiting to be asked. There was no trying for Barry. He simply did - with enthusiasm, persistence and tireless energy. He succeeded at everything he put his mind to, both professionally and as a volunteer. He loved coaching and managing his kids' sports teams, whether it was soccer or hockey, and he was everybody's waterski coach!
He reserved most of his seemingly endless energy for his family. They meant everything to him. He was at his happiest when all of them were at the family cabin together. He particularly loved all of the big, noisy extended family gatherings around holidays and birthdays.
You are unlikely to hear of a more varied career than Barry's. He spent several years living in St. Maarten working as a waterski instructor, and then as a cruise director on several Cunard ships. He loved his time as Executive Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and was very proud of helping to create and establish the New Music Festival. He was also the President and General Manager of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, where he conceived of the idea to host a giant orchestral concert in BC Place. Comprised of 10,000 music students from around the province and the VSO, this was a stunt that allowed them to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest orchestra ever, as well as to bring major awareness to the importance of music education in schools.
Barry had an ardent love of fundraising (and he was very good at it), which manifested itself in his work at both the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, and most recently, at the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg's Combined Jewish Appeal where, as the volunteer chair, he was able to facilitate the fundraising of $6,005,206.00. At CCMF, he was responsible for bringing the Weekend to End Breast Cancer, the Challenge for Life, and the Inside Ride for pediatric cancer to Manitoba.
One of his proudest achievements at CCMF was bringing the Bears on Broadway to Winnipeg. Pairing local artists with sponsored concrete bears, it was both a fundraising and artistic success, and has continued to bring joy to everyone who sees the bears.
If you knew Barry, you know how much he loved waterskiing. He was heard to say many times this year that, at 70, he was skiing the best he had ever skied in his life. His community at both Betula Lake and Indio, California were extremely important to him, and he thought himself very lucky to have such terrific friends and neighbours that he considered as family. Barry was especially proud to be a member of the SLOGs (Slaloming Old Guys) of Betula's Block 2.
He is survived by his wife, Carol (nee Blankstein); their children, Ian (Steph) McArton and Sydney (Graham) O'Bray; and his two wonderful grandchildren, Teddy and Rowan; as well as the McDonald, Lloyd, Trickey, Young, Stewart-Jones, Blankstein, Olenick and Rady families. He was predeceased by his dad, Harry; his mother, Marjorie; his father-in-law, Morley; and his nephew, Garreth.
Thank you to all of the incredible people on G4, G7 and the ICU at the Health Sciences Centre for taking such extraordinary care of Barry. And thank you to those at CancerCare Manitoba who made it possible for Barry to live a full and active life with us for the past eight years. We are so very grateful.
A Celebration of Life will be held when larger gatherings are permitted. We look forward to hearing your memories of our dear Barry. In the meantime, Barry would've loved for anyone who wants to celebrate his memory to put on "Cheeseburger in Paradise" by Jimmy Buffet, and enjoy an ice cold Stella.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation's Precision Oncology Program ( or a charity of your choice.

Barry, you left nothing on the dock.
Thank you.

For those who wish to sign the online
Guest Book please visit

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home

Make a donation to CancerCare Manitoba Foundation

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Oct 17, 2020

Condolences & Memories (23 entries)

  • For Bonnie: You know that I always envied you having a big brother. So very sorry to hear that you’ve lost him Please take care and our sincere condolences to all. - Posted by: Laura McLaughlin Morton (Bonnie’s buddy) on: Oct 29, 2020

  • Our condolences to the McArton, and McDonald families. Our memories go back to the early 50’s and 60’s where many a fun day was spent with all the new families that had moved into the neighbourhood and had the most fantastic times playing all sorts of street games , like kick the can, hide and seek , riding bikes, and skipping. It was the best place to grow up and Barry was a huge part of these special times. He had such a presence and we are so blessed to have know him. Any time we ran into him , he was over the moon to see you and you were made to feel so special. Barry has accomplished so much and his family has got to feel incredible pride. - Posted by: Ramsay family, Joyce, Joy, Kathryn, Paul (Neighbours) on: Oct 26, 2020

  • It is with incredible shock and sadness that we say goodbye to our cousin and friend Barry McArton. Our sincere condolences go out to Carol, Ian, Sydney and their families. As part of a large and very close family, we had the pleasure of seeing Barry on many happy and sad occasions. Barry always made the family get togethers better as a result of his infectious personality and his sincere interest in everyone else's lives. Barry truly cared about his family and always brought smiles to our faces. We had the privilege of visiting Barry and Carol at their paradise escape in Indio, California a few years ago. Barry was so excited to show us around the lake and talk about all the great friends and memories that they both enjoyed while spending time at their beautiful home. This is where I saw Barry in his happy place, surrounded by family and doing what he truly loved best, water skiing. We have been so blessed to have met Barry and to have him in our lives for so many wonderful memories over the last 30+ years. He will be truly missed by everyone that had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest in peace Barry, we love you and we miss you. Gone but never forgotten! Stu, Diane, Thomas, Daniel & Emily Gilman - Posted by: Stuart Gilman (Cousin and friend) on: Oct 26, 2020

  • My memories go back quite a few years to when the family lived on Dayton next door to my Aunt Grace Hill. Grace spoke often of the nice family next door and reported on all the antics of Sydney and Ian when they were small. Because of this, we followed Barry's published successes at his career along the way. My condolences to the family. - Posted by: Roberta Beach (neighbour) on: Oct 25, 2020

  • I am shocked and truly saddened at the news of Barry's passing, and wish to pass my sincere and heartfelt condolences to Carol, Sydney and Ian and their partners, and of course to his grandchildren Teddy and Rowan. Barry absolutely exuded all that was fun, energetic and exciting about life! I vividly remember a fantastic trip to 'the lake' shared with the family, Bram, Ben and my son Simon (summer 1993 I think!).....there was Barry at the helm of the boat, having made certain of every aspect of safety and security for all of the children.....we took them 'tubing' through the beautiful Manitoban landscape, bathed in sunshine and all of us wreathed in smiles :) I seem to recall that he even handed Simon the controls of the boat for a wee while under his expert supervision- an absolutely unique THRILL for a lad of 11 years from the UK!:) It surprises me not a jot that Barry achieved so much professionally and in charity fundraising: he was a whirlwind of fun and ideas, coupled with such integrity and laser-like focus. A brilliant and charming man, for whom his family were the absolute joy and centre of his world. His legacy is remarkable, and I hope this will bring Carol, his children and grandchildren such pride and solace at a merciless and painful time of loss and reflection. Simon (the 11 year old referenced) is now grandpa Simon: my great-grandson Salem Edward Bear Fazackerley was born last Friday 16th October to my beautiful granddaughter Leia and her partner Ryan in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The cycle of life continues............ :) Wishing the family and friends of dearest Barry peace, love and comfort at this time: so many wonderful memories to treasure. Esther xxX:) - Posted by: Esther Beresford-Muravyeva (friend of family/ex-partner of Bramwell Tovey WSO/VSO) on: Oct 24, 2020

  • We are so saddened to hear of Barrys passing!! We met Barry and Carol through our boys hockey and always enjoyed a good laugh with Barrys sense of humor. He was a kind thoughtful man. Our deepest condolences to all his family! Linda & Barry Fitzsimmons - Posted by: Barry and Linda Fitzsimmons (Friends) on: Oct 20, 2020

  • I enjoyed the time spent with Barry in the boardroom with Manitoba Soccer Association when he was Vice President. He was definitely as doer and got things done. I also enjoyed running into him when he coached in the WWSL and I refereed his games. Always pleasant and never got upset...a true gentleman. My sincere condolences to his family who will miss him dearly. - Posted by: Larry Eloy (Board Member at Manitoba Soccer Association) on: Oct 19, 2020

  • I am so very sorry to hear about Barry's passing. I really enjoyed working with him at CancerCare Manitoba. We had a lot of fun together, and planned many memorable events - from the opening of the new CCMB building, to being a part of the fundraising committee that envisioned Bears on Broadway, and so much more. There was never a dull moment when Barry was around. Barry was a passionate, creative and innovative person. A true visionary. Thank you for your friendship, Barry. I will certainly toast you with a White Russian at Tre Visi when it is safe to do so. My sincere condolences to your family and many, many friends. Kathi Neal - Posted by: Kathi Neal (Friend and former co-worker) on: Oct 18, 2020

  • Our hearts break for you, Carol and family, and for our whole community. Barry was a purveyor of the spirit that builds a sense of belonging and beauty in our neighbourhoods whether in Winnipeg or at Betula Lake. His contributions and life works in the areas of music and cancercare, his policy advice on building a city with heart, and his unrelenting spirit of volunteerism have changed all of our lives for the better and given us a roadmap for building communities of collaboration, inclusion and compassion. Our family knew Barry best from his larger than life presence at Betula Lake - as our boys would always say, "there goes Barry's boat" and "that skier must be Barry". Now whenever we pass by a Bear on Broadway or sight the spray of a slolam skier on Betula Lake, we will know the spirit of Barry is all around us. Our sincere condolences to you. We wish you strength as you walk this path of grief, and comfort with the passage of time bathed in the memories of Barry's life of goodness. With love and sympathy, Judy, Ron, Nick and Joe Wasylycia-Leis - Posted by: Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Friend) on: Oct 18, 2020

  • I lost touch with Barry after high school with the exception of a few encounters at Symphony or MTC performances but my memories of him are all warm ones. He was Mr. Put Your Heart Into It. I played hockey with him as a kid -- he was the sturdy, stay at home Dman who would go into the corners to dig the puck out for the forwards. In school he was a head down, hard working, sincere guy liked by his classmates. Outwardly, he always seemed to be an incurable optimist but of course that grows out of perseverance - a quality he had in abundance. I was very sorry to hear of his passing. He made a great contribution to his community over many years - a legacy that is a credit to him and to his family. A good man. - Posted by: Ian Gillies (Friend from school) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • I am very saddened to hear of Barry’s passing. I have known Barry through soccer as a competing Coach for the last 14 years. He was always dedicated to the players on his team like a father. I coached a senior women’s soccer team against Barry for over a decade and he and I served on the Board of Directors of the MSA together for years. Whenever I saw Barry he was always quick to ask how I was doing as I was experiencing my own health problems. Barry was always a gentleman and I valued his advice whatever the venue. He will be missed. - Posted by: Fred Young (Titans SC) (Friend) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • My last physical interaction with Barry occurred at the lake as he was helping me put up a light. He wanted to help me always, and I always loved his help. He was not feeling well but stayed right to the end of the task before he went back with Carol to the cottage. That was the last time I saw him, and within days we no longer had his beautiful presence in our lives anymore. I took advantage of his intelligence and his strength through our friendship, but was always careful not to take advantage of his time. He would help you at the drop of a hat, even if it meant driving to the lake in a sleet storm to drain a ski boat engine. If you were having a problem with your ski boat motor, all you had to do was to walk down to your dock, lift the cover on the engine, and wait. Within five minutes, Barry would be there, with his tools, ready to help you. He was a remarkable friend, and will be missed by all the Slogs, and non slogs of Block 2. He will now get to ski every day, on the perfect course which will always be “flat, calm and gorgeous”. - Posted by: John Silver (Friend) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • Bare - Coach- Dearest Friend, I sure do miss you. I still can't wrap my head around the idea that we won't be seeing you again. You will forever be in my head telling me how to run my 32 off pass. I'm not sure how you did it, but your words of instruction just worked with my little brain. You got me! Thank you for your tireless coaching and building my confidence with your endless "effervescence"! Bare, you were Carol's Romeo to her Juliette. The love you two showed each other set a beautiful example for Frank and me. Her support for you when you skied and your need to have her there was precious. "How was that Punks?" you would say. And of course her response was perfect! Your "research" for our speaker series was always expected and enjoyed. You never let us down. How did you ever remember ALL that stuff? Your openness to accept and embrace our family and friends as your own was truly how family does it and you did it so well. Especially with the kids. You and Carol are far more than friends. You are a huge part of our family. Always available to help us out and support us with all of our endeavors and crazy ideas. The perfect hosts when we visited your favorite "happy place" at Betula. Not to mention the perfect (and only overnight) guests in our motorhome. Great memories! As we look back at the pages of photos on our iPad, it's amazing how many moments we shared. Memories that are cherished and so, so precious to us. Coach, I could go on forever! You ARE my family and will forever be in my heart. My heart is broken but filled with so much love and respect for you. Save us a spot and keep the boat ready. We will see you in heaven for a ski ride and more of your awesome coaching! Love you Bare! "Charl" - Posted by: Charlene Brown (Friend ) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • Barry; we miss you so much already. I never thought when dropping you off at the airport in March, that would be my last hug from you😂. You’re my coach, my meter, you helped me with Desert Cancer fundraising. I will forever carry your advice you wrote on your business card telling me How to run 38off. You will always be up there coaching me. Thank you for all you did. You’re the Best❤️🙏🏻 - Posted by: Frank Harrison (Good Friend) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • I am greatly saddened to here of the passing of Barry. Barry was my vice president when I was president of the Manitoba Soccer Association. Barry and I along with staff members and fellow board members worked tirelessly to secure Winnipeg as a host city for the FIFA Women's world cup to be held in 2015. Our quest started in 2010 and was achieved in 2012 when we travelled to Ottawa to receive the game ball from FIFA to kick off at our first game which was to be held at the Investors group field in 2015. It was a pleasure to work along side of you Barry. RIP Barry - Christine and Cavan O'Connor {friends in football} - Posted by: christine O'Connor (Friend) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • Our sympathies to the MCarton family. - Posted by: Darryl & Geraldine (Grandfather to Graham & friends to Sydney) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • So sorry to hear of Barry’s passing. We have many happy memories With him that we will cherish. Like working with him in St. Maarten, waterskiing, hanging out at Betula, Many card games, playing music and singing together to name a few. Our hearts go out to Carol and the family. Hugs xoxo - Posted by: Margaret and Michael Vidruk (Friends ) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • Barry was a cherished and kind friend for the past three decades and a valued and innovative work colleague for over twenty years. The breadth and depth of his commitment to his family, friends, career and community volunteer activity is the stuff of legends. Jack DeJohnette, one of Miles Davis's drummers (one of Barry's lesser-known talents) paid tribute to that legendary artist in this way: he "ignored the word "can't"." This is a perfect summation of our dear friend Barry's approach to every aspect of his quintessentially well-lived life. With our deepest condolences to Carol, Sydney and Ian and their families, and everyone whose life was touched by this remarkable man. Barbara and Geoffrey Hayes - Posted by: Barbara and Geoffrey Hayes (Friends and work colleague) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • What a shock to learn! I greatly enjoyed Barry’s enthusiasm and friendliness in the years I dealt with him when he worked in the arts. He was always a pleasure to talk to. My sincere condolences to all his family members and close friends. - Posted by: Morley Walker (Work acquaintance) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • My deepest sympathies to all the family. I have such good memories of our visits together. With love, from grandma Dorothy - Posted by: Dorothy O'Bray (Family Friend ) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • I am a member of Barry's early morning ski group..."the Slogs". Our group will miss Barry in every way imaginable. His enthusiasm and zest for life was incredible. No matter how windy, cold or rainy Barry would describe each slalom pass as "GREAT". On behalf of all the Slogs we wish Barry the best as he moves on to skiing in heaven. Thank you Barry from all of us. DB - Posted by: Dave Bell (Friend) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • My sincere condolences to Barry's family and loved ones. The words that comes to mind about Barry is a true gentle man. - Posted by: Jocelyn Greenwood (Work friend) on: Oct 17, 2020

  • I am very sorry to learn of Barry’s passing. The McArtons lived two doors down (120 Elm Park Road) during the 1950s and 1960s and Barry was one of the group of kids born in 1950 and 1951 that grew up on EPR. Harry, before his untimely death, was a Shriner. He arranged a visit by Chuck Connors, TVs Rifleman, to Windsor School during a visit to Winnipeg in the early 1960s. I vividly remember this big guy lifting Barry up to stand on a chair in the assembly that was arranged by principal Dean Findlay so that the students at Windsor could see the Rifleman. I also recall Barry receiving a golden horse figurine that Chuck had autographed for him. I wonder if he still had that gift. Condolences to his sister Bonnie and his family. Dave Johnson - Posted by: Dave Johnson (Friend from Elm Park Road days) on: Oct 17, 2020

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