Eleanor Collins, Canada's first lady of jazz, has died at the age of 104

Eleanor Collins, Canada's first lady of jazz, died Sunday morning at Surrey Memorial Hospital at the age of 104, her family announced.

Collins was a revolutionary figure in Canadian entertainment history.

Her achievements included becoming the first black woman to host her own national television series – Éléonore's show.

Collins was born in Edmonton in 1919, but moved to the Vancouver area in the late 1930s, where she met her partner of 70 years, Richard Collins. The couple had four children together.

“In the late 1940s, the young Collins family moved to their new home in the then all-white Burnaby neighborhood. To combat the ignorance and misguided attitudes of their new neighbors, the Collinses became involved in their new community by participating in local activities, events, and organizations. By showing her new neighbors that they were “ordinary people with the same values ​​and concerns as them,” Eleanor and her family broke down barriers by inviting others to look beyond skin color, Collins' family said.

In 2014, at the age of 95, she was inducted into the Order of Canada.

“People often asked Eleanor what her secret to longevity was, and it certainly wasn't genetic, as no one in her family lived past 50. But she followed a diet and exercise protocol throughout her life that served her well,” the family said.

The family says a private service will be held, but in lieu of flowers, donations are recommended to two of Collins' favorite charities: the BC Black History and Awareness Society and the Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) of Vancouver.

Earl Bishop

Thinker. Professional social media fanatic. Introvert. Web evangelist. Total pop culture fan.

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