The Music Industry loses a Canadian icon - Steve Propas 1948-2011
By Sandy Graham
It is said that the music industry in Canada has become a huge market, mixed with the ‘old school’ that started it all and many, many more professionals who have come on the scene to turn it into a growing, vibrant market of music people. It does show how small the business still is when we lose ‘one of our own’ - and Steve Propas was one of those people.
When word got out yesterday that Propas had passed away suddenly on August 2, 2011, blackberries, emails, facebooks and twitters got the word out to his ‘music family’ to tell each other the sad news that we have lost a one-of-a-kind music man.
I last saw Steve doing what he does best – wheeling and dealing. He was actively holding court at the Canada Stand in Cannes, France at the yearly MIDEM. He looked healthy, happy and very, very busy, which is what he loved to do – make deals.
We all have known Steve in this business through different incarnations of his career – as a band manager, the trailblazer duo of Dixon and Propas, which led to birth of Solid Gold Records, which boasted the best of the best, The Good Brothers, The Mightly Pope, Toronto were just a few of the acts they had at that time. It was the 70’s in Toronto and Neill and Steve were ‘it’ when it came to bookings.
His latest business success was Propas International Rights Management Corporation, which encompassed CD/DVD Distribution, Consultant, Digital/Mobile Streaming as well as representing current artists like TechN9ne, Alice In Chains, Rage Against the Machine, showing he still had the magic touch after all these years. Most of you reading this knew Steve through the decades, so I won’t go on and on about all the different areas he worked in to earn him a name in our old school hall of fame. Those of you who do not know him, google him, especially if you want to learn what a true entrepreneur really is made of in this business.
The other side of Steve, was his love of family. That meant as much to him as his illustrious music career. Heather Ostertag (Heather Ostertag and Associates) says this “Steve was an exceptional businessman as well as a friend. In this industry I must say he treated me with more respect than anyone I have ever worked with over the years”. He is survived by his wife Monica Miller, son Michal, daughter Debora, and brother Lorne. The funeral is Friday at 1:00pm at Steeles Memorial Chapel, 350 Steeles Avenue West – Thornhill. Interment at Bathurst Lawn Memorial Park, First Narayever Section. Shiva will be observed at his home. Donations may be made in Steven’s memory to the Jordan Propas Camp Fund c/o UJA Federation 416-631-5833.