Canadian Film Centre’s Statement on the Passing of its Founder, Norman Jewison

Posted: Jan 23, 2024

Norman in CFC Theatre Photo credit Peter Bregg

Toronto, January 23, 2024 – It is with great sadness that the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) acknowledges the passing of its beloved founder – iconic and award-winning filmmaker Norman Jewison. Jewison passed away on Saturday, January 20, 2024 in Los Angeles at the age of 97.

“Norman had such charisma, such dynamism and such passion – and that extended into his work, his films, and his daily interactions and conversations,” shared maxine bailey, Executive Director, CFC. “Norman will be remembered fondly as one of Canada’s – and indeed the world’s – greatest storytellers, as CFC’s beloved and inspiring founder, and as a true champion of Canadian talent. I am happy and honoured to help carry on his legacy through our work at the CFC. Our deepest sympathies go to his beloved wife Lynne and his children Michael, Kevin and Jennifer.”

Jewison, born in Toronto, Ontario, founded the CFC in 1986 and opened the doors at its permanent location of Windfields Estate in Toronto in 1988. A modern trailblazer in the development of Canadian film, he established the CFC to meet the need for a centre for advanced film studies in Canada, where Canadian creators could learn to master the medium of filmmaking and ultimately command a place on the world’s screens. The CFC will honour Jewison’s legacy by continuing to support, nurture and empower the next generation of world-class Canadian storytellers.

“We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Norman Jewison. Norman was a fiercely proud Canadian; and, although he went on to achieve global acclaim, Canada was always in his heart,” added Christina Jennings, Chair, CFC Board of Directors and Chairman & President, Shaftesbury. “He was determined that Canada show the world the breadth of our creative talent, and that passion drove him to create the CFC. There, he helped shape and foster some of the brightest and most promising filmmakers, actors, writers, directors and producers from across the country. Canada has lost a great man. And, the film world has lost a legendary director. We offer our deepest condolences to Lynne, his family and loved ones.”

Norman was a bold and insightful filmmaker. He had a gift for exploring controversial and complicated subjects and giving them universal accessibility. In life and in storytelling, he shared messages of acceptance, inclusion, empathy and love. He used his voice and his films as a vehicle to not only entertain, but to address critical social issues and injustices.

Norman was loved for his creative spirit, his infectious energy and his distinct voice. For his commitment to social justice, for pushing the boundaries of filmmaking and advancing the art of storytelling. His legacy will live on through his timeless films and the countless individuals and organizations he has inspired, and will continue to inspire, for generations to come. His spirit will forever be the heart of the Canadian Film Centre.

The CFC invites individuals to share their condolences and memories of Norman Jewison on their social feeds using the hashtag #ThankYouNorman.


About the CFC

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a charitable cultural organization that drives the future of Canadian storytelling. Our intensive, hands-on programs in film, television, and entertainment technologies empower, shape and advance opportunities for Canadian creators and entrepreneurs working in screen-based industries. Learn more at


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Photo By

Peter Bregg

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