With the passing of Elvino Sauro on September 8, 2017, NTCI lost a great friend and benefactor. Born on October 2, 1932, Elvino was a student at North Toronto during the days of the legendary Jack Dow. A loan from the school enabled Elvino, a talented and enthusiastic trumpet player, to buy a trumpet and take private lessons. He took a part-time job at Dominion bagging groceries to pay it off, but he never forgot the generous gesture.
After graduating from NT, Elvino pursued film, his other passion, by enrolling in the radio and television arts program at Ryerson. On Saturday nights during the winter and spring, he also played quite regularly in the dance band at Balmy Beach Canoe Club and jobbed around with various non-union bands. He also performed with the Ryerson marching band and at some football games with the University of Toronto Band. After graduating from Ryerson, he played in a dance band at Clevelands House in Muskoka then worked as a TV producer in Sault Ste. Marie.
A variety of media-related positions in various locales followed until 1964, when he dropped in to see Ryerson’s Direction of Extension Programs (now Continuing Education) to see if there were any films courses in the calendar. As it turned out, they were short an instructor, and Elvino was hired! By his own admission, he had a knack for explaining things to people, so it was no surprise that by the 1968–69 academic year, he was teaching a full daytime course load at Ryerson and was hired full time the following fall. He never looked back, and by the time he retired in 1998, Elvino was director of the film studies program. His memory will live on at Ryerson, as he established the Elvino Sauro Film Award, granted annually to a fourth-year film studies student.
In his retirement years, Elvino demonstrated his commitment to lifelong learning as he pursued a wide variety of continuing education courses. He even bought a trumpet and started playing again in order to be part of NT’s Memories Forever 100th anniversary alumni concert at Roy Thompson Hall in 2012. Always generous, he also funded the medley and the concert program for this special event. This was in addition to his generous donation to the Heritage Court during the building of the new school and his volunteer work to digitize audio and visual records from NT’s archives.
Elvino’s ongoing financial support of NT’s Music Department led to the establishment of the Elvino Sauro Music Award in the 2013–14 academic year. In keeping with his own experience, the award helps financially needy but promising music students in grades 9, 10 and 11 pay for private lessons, music camps and other music enrichment
He leaves behind his wife, Linda, and extended family, including many nieces and nephews. In keeping with his wishes, a celebration of life for family, friends and colleagues is being held at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club on Saturday September 30th from 2–4:30 p.m. Elvino’s enthusiasm and inspirational outlook on life will be greatly missed, but his generosity and commitment to giving back will continue to benefit students at both NTCI and Ryerson University.