Leading Canadian music publishing figure John Bird died at his Toronto home on Sunday (Feb. 26). He was 83.

Leading Canadian music publishing figure John Bird died at his Toronto home on Sunday (Feb. 26). He was 83.

Born in Belgaum, India, Bird was a prominent member of Canada's publishing sector for four decades. He joined publishing house Gordon V. Thompson in Toronto in 1946 and served as sales manager from 1950-55; as GM from 1955-65; and president until his retirement in 1988.

In 1975, he became the first president of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Assn., as well as the first president of the Canadian Music Publishers Assn. of Canada the following year. In 1989, he served on the board of the Composers, Authors, and Publishers Assn. and again as president of the CMPA.

During his career, he also served on the board of directors of the Kiwanis Music Festival Assn. in Canada and the Church Music Publishers Assn. in the United States.