Freeman, Brian, 1946-2009

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Freeman, Brian, 1946-2009

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Brian Tracy Freeman, writer and television executive, was born in Rossland, British Columbia, on 2 May 1946 to Lewis Freeman and Eva Tracy. He attended the Centre for Communication Studies at Simon Fraser University, where he studied English, philosophy and theatre, before his 1969 appointment as a dramaturge and associate director of English theatre at the newly created National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Freeman was the founder and co-producer of GNATCAN, a 1973 mock theatre convention and festival of two-minute plays, and from 1974 to 1980, he was associated with the Theatre Second Floor in Toronto as a member of its board of directors, writer and actor. Between 1975 and 1985, Freeman worked as a freelance critic and arts journalist, publishing reviews and articles in "The Toronto star", "Maclean's", "The village voice", "Flare" and "Performing arts in Canada", as well as his own bi-weekly publication, "Toronto theatre review", between 1981 and 1983. During this period, he also wrote screenplays and film treatments for television and radio. By the early 1980s, Freeman had begun work as a consultant for television and film, writing script reports for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), the Ontario Film Development Corporation, Universal Canada and other production companies. He became a development officer for the Ontario Film Development Corporation in 1988. In 1994, Freeman joined the CBC as an executive in charge of creative production and later became creative head of special projects, drama. At the CBC, he was a production executive for many films and television mini-series in the 1990s and 2000s, including "Giant mine" (1996), "Rupert's land" (1998), "One heart broken into song" (1999), "External affairs" (1999), "The five senses" (1999), "Rollercoaster" (1999), "Saint Jude" (2000), "Scorn" (2000), "Long life, happiness and prosperity" (2002), "Random passage" (2002), "The last chapter" (2002), "The Halifax explosion" (2003), "Waking up Wally: the Walter Gretzky story" (2005), "Above and beyond" (2006), and "Steel toes" (2006). Brian Freeman died in Toronto on 6 January 2009.

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