Beloved Toronto film festivals volunteer Harvey Lalonde has passed away
Harvey Lalonde, an icon in the film festival community in Toronto, has passed away from a stroke.
Lalonde is well-known in the film festival community and has volunteered for over 30+ festivals, from TIFF, Hot Docs, Fringe, Nuit Blanche and Reel Asian to name a few.
Lalonde suffered a stroke last week and was placed in ICU. Lalonde passed away earlier this week.
Friends and fans took to social media on Feb., 13 to share their love and appreciation for the film festival volunteer, who made an impact on the city's film community with over 20 years of work.
Today we lost a fellow volunteer, @hotdocs & @HotDocsCinema family member, and friend. Harvey Lalonde dedicated decades of his life to film and it's not going to be the same without him. If you've ever volunteered with festivals in the city, "You know Harvey" 💔 pic.twitter.com/Ce33XhIR4G— hd_volunteers (@hd_volunteers) February 14, 2023
Described as a Toronto's film fest legend, Lalonde got his start volunteering at film festivals in 1995 when he applied to TIFF as a volunteer.
Lalonde's volunteer work went beyond Toronto, volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival as well.
"I wanted to know what the other side felt like. The ushers, the managers, the ticket takers. I met a woman who was doing nine or ten festivals a year; she got me interested. I do way more than that now," said Lalonde to blogTO back in 2008.
Lalonde's volunteering has heavily impacted the community, so much so that in 2020 when Kelly Michael, founder of the Blood in the Snow Film Fest, started a GoFundMe to help Lalonde avoid homelessness, over $13,000 was raised in just one day.
"Harvey was an incredibly beloved figure by the entire Toronto film community," said film critic Sean Patrick Kelly in an post commemorating Lalonde's life.
Very sad day, felt appropriate to spend it in a movie theatre. RIP to the greatest film festival volunteer & movie goer in Toronto, & one of the kindest souls to ever walk our blue marble floating in space. RIP #HarveyLalonde. You are so very loved— Teddy Wilson (@TeddyWilson) February 13, 2023
🖤 🎥 🎞 🎬. pic.twitter.com/ZtkUrwm2rI
No official memorial service has been announced for Lalonde.
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