ROSS McCALLUM (2008 Inductee)

Born in Montreal, Ross was a superb athlete in his youth. At 21, he was drafted by the CFL and played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Edmonton Eskimos. When that career ended, he worked in Sept Iles, Quebec and, from there, in Newfoundland/Labrador where he was hired as Recreation Director for Labrador City.

Moving to Ottawa in the early 1960’s, he played drums in a jazz trio and with a few country bands, eventually opening his own agency, Professional Entertainment Services. While working for the Musicians Union for four years, he organized and promoted "Soup Kitchen Live", a series of outdoor concerts on Rideau Street, with local musicians volunteering their talents and thousands of dollars being raised for the Ottawa Food Bank. For 10 years, Ross ran a very successful country music jamboree at Mac’s Ce-Dar-Est Campground in Eganville, featuring strictly Canadian acts including Ron McMunn, Ralph Carlson, Terry Carisse, Dennis Whitty, Michelle Wright, The Family Brown, The Leahy Family, Orval Prophet and The Cape Breton Fiddlers. Ross was a founding member of the Renfrew chapter of The Children’s Wish Foundation and used his incredible organizational and promotional skills to raise funds for this very worthwhile cause.

Wanting to spend more time at his beloved cottage on Mink Lake, Ross handed over the reins of Professional Entertainment Services to Christine McCann, one of his "protégés", but remained a constant source of advice and encouragement to musicians for many years following his retirement. For several years, Ross battled prostate cancer, a debilitating stroke, several heart attacks and quadruple bypass surgery, all the while never losing his wicked sense of humour and joie de vivre.

Sadly, Ross passed away on November 27, 2006.

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