Donald Gollan

March 01, 1929 - March 23, 2016
Donald Gollan

After a long struggle with prostate cancer, Donald Kenneth Gollan passed away peacefully on March 23, 2016 at the age of 87 at the Sarsfield Colonial Nursing Home.

After a full and rich life in theatre, producing television, writing poetry, and working in PR at Bell Northern Research, he would be the first to admit that his proudest accomplishments were his 5 children: Ian (Akiko), Donna (Kevin), Barbara (Bruce), Ken (Kate) and Heather (Shawn).  He was equally proud of his grandchildren: Bun, Edward, Caitlin, Eric, Kyle, Noah, Lucas, Corey, and Kirk.

Born in Kingston to Myrtle and Ian Gollan, he is survived by his sisters Agnes, Mary, and Janet and their beloved partners. In his final days he took pleasure in reliving his childhood visits to the family farm.  As a young man, he also enjoyed his time as a Fort Henry Guard, and the years he spent at Queen's University writing revues and putting on plays with the Kingston Drama Group, The Queen's University Drama Guild, and the Revue Guild, while earning an arts degree in 1954.  From Kingston he moved on to Toronto to attend Lorne Green's School of Radio Arts which got him his first spear-carrying roles onstage in Stratford, Ontario.  He got to work alongside international stars such as Alec Guinness, who urged him to visit if he ever came to England – which he did, much to Guinness's surprise and delight.

As a young man he eloped to England in the 1950's where he married the love of his life, Edith Bird (now Edith LaFrance). Here they socialized with a group of Canadian ex-pats including Donald Gordon, Peter Harcourt, Ted Kotcheff, and Timothy Findley. He worked for many television stations including ABC Television, and Tyne-Tees Television. He even did a short stint as a floor director on Coronation Street.

When he returned to Canada with his wife and five children, he worked at the Ottawa Board of Education, making educational television.  In his evening hours he volunteered his time at the Ottawa Little Theatre, the Kanata Players, Gloucester Players, Parasol Players, Tara Players and many other Ottawa based organizations, either writing, directing or playing roles in everything from Harvey, where he played Elwood P. Dowd to Gayev in The Cherry Orchard, Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace to the narrator in Under Milk Wood. No role was too large or too small and they all turned into great stories over a pint or two in the pub with friends.

In addition to ETV, Don worked in Ottawa making television for the RCMP, Crawley Films, Bomi Films, and the Metric Commission, but he was best known for the 20 plus years he hosted The Scene  at Skyline Television.  He was a great host and raconteur and interviewed too many celebrities to name, reviewing hundreds of shows which helped to boost the Canadian arts scene in a very real way.

Silver haired and silver tongued, he will be greatly missed by family and friends. A celebration of his life will take place at The James Reid Funeral Home, 1900 John Counter Blvd, Kingston, Ontario on March 30, 2016 at 1 pm.  In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Cancer Society would be much appreciated.  Special thanks to all the staff at Colonial Nursing Home for their love and support for Dad and our family. 



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