Graeme Elgin Steen
16 January , 1952 – 18 November , 2018
With great sadness, we announce that Graeme passed away suddenly on November 18, 2018 at the age of 66. Graeme is survived by spouse Roxanne Inch and her mother Jeanette Campbell of Saskatoon; sisters Sharon Sanders of Regina and Sandra (Bill) Bruneau of Vancouver; nieces Rochelle (Bill) Douris of Toronto, Jill (Russ) Clarke of Regina, Allyson (Dean) McDonald of Regina, and Heather (Mike) Morhart of Edmonton; nephew Jon (Maria) Bruneau of Coquitlam; and 14 grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Graeme is predeceased by his parents Elgin (2004) and Marguerite Steen (2014), and his brother-in-law Garth Sanders (2014).
Graeme was born in Craik, Saskatchewan and lived on the family farm in Aylesbury, Saskatchewan and in Craik during winter months. He grew up in a musical household. His father played saxophone and clarinet, his mother played and taught piano, and his sisters played piano and sang. Graeme’s mother and father played in several dance bands throughout Central Saskatchewan. Graeme’s talent on the clarinet was apparent from an early age; he excelled at local music festivals and competitions, and played with the Craik Junior Band. From age 14, he travelled to Saskatoon for lessons with Dr. David Kaplan at U. of S., and later enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan. While a student, he played clarinet in the wind ensemble and saxophone in the Jazz Lab band. Graeme received his Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1973. Meanwhile he played professionally in various shows and musicals, with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and the “Heidelberg” dance band. In 1975 he travelled to London, England as musical director for the “Yevshan” Ukrainian Folk ballet ensemble, performing in the Royal Albert Hall.
Upon graduation, Graeme briefly taught school music. His career path shifted to ventures including co-ownership of Studio West, a music recording studio, and the start-up of his own business, Electric Arts Multimedia. He was a skilled and innovative graphic artist, creating vinyl signs, slide shows, websites, logos and desktop publications. In 1985, he returned to music education, on contract for the Saskatchewan Music Educators Association (SMEA) as communications consultant. He was committed to supporting and promoting music education. One of his primary passions was the provincial high school honour band, choir, and orchestra program. His working relationship with the SMEA further evolved when he was hired into a salaried position as Communications and IT specialist. He was a dedicated and visionary team member with a keen artistic eye. He took great satisfaction in supporting the SMEA’s high standards of excellence. Graeme’s interest in jazz music led him to be a board member of the Saskatoon Jazz Society from 1996 to 2000 and he was the Manager of the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival during the 2000-2001 season.
Graeme loved the artistic expression and camaraderie of playing in ensembles like the Saskatoon Concert Band, where he met Roxanne, who shared his love of music. Graeme also enjoyed drawing and sketching. He took up painting in earnest fifteen years ago, producing dozens of remarkable oil paintings mostly of Saskatchewan scenes and prairie life.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 1st at 11:00 a.m., at Acadia-McKague's Funeral Centre (915 Acadia Drive, Saskatoon), with lunch reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the SMEA Graeme Steen Memorial Scholarship Fund. SMEA, Box 632, Cudworth, SK. S0K 1B0
SMEA Graeme Steen Memorial Scholarship Fund
Box 632, Cudworth, Saskatchewan S0K 1B0
- Memorial Service Saturday, 1 December , 2018
Graeme Elgin Steen
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2 December 2018
Graeme, you will be missed dear friend. We had many good laughs over the years and thinking of those has been a trip down Memory Lane this past week. We wish we could have come to be with everyone to celebrate your life together. We’re so glad that we were able to visit in the Corbett’s backyard this summer and that you always made time for us. Remembering hunting in downtown Halifax and the black olives in the dressing. We must tell Roxanne about that someday. with much love Dave and Ali xo
29 November 2018
This is so terribly sad. Frank and I met Graeme in our university years and during our early teaching days, we lived in the same neighbourhood. There were skiing adventures, Studio West projects, dinners, laughs, more laughs and our introduction to Gavin Velcro at the Staple boys' Hallowe'en party.
We were fortunate to have had him in our lives and our hearts.
Our condolences to Roxanne and family and friends. Adieu
Diana Milenkovic and Frank Hart
28 November 2018
I met Graeme around 1978 through Margi and Sheldon Corbett. We spent many evenings laughing at different musical venues and home parties. What a great sense of humour and talented musician. I will miss you my friend. Favourite Halloween memory was Graeme as the priest in the movie EXORCIST, along with the green pea soup on his jacket. Love and light to your family❤️
27 November 2018
Sharon, we are so sorry to hear of your loss; Loreena & I extend sincere condolences to you and your family. We hope the celebration of his life will lessen your sorrow.
Andy & Loreena Anderson
26 November 2018
I met Graeme in 1973 at the U of S. My sisters introduced us, and the friendship grew from there. He made me laugh - out loud - so often. That's what I remember the most about him, the belly laughs he gave me. He was also a creative spirit, with little tolerance for shoddy approaches to music, art or friendship. I'm so fortunate that I had the opportunity to hang out with him this summer in a back-yard gathering of long ago friends. I laughed that night too.
Toodle-oo old friend.