Richard (Dick) Edward Finkel, passed away on Tuesday, May 17th, after a long illness.
Dick was one of the original participants of Summerfest, a pilot project that launched Edmonton’s festival scene. It also kick-started the Street Performers Festival, the first of its kind in North America. Dick, who had a strong belief in the power of laughter, was the principal programmer and producer for 15 years. Dick influenced the development and advancement of busking as a legitimate performance genre, and presented street artists in a creative festival setting.
Dick was very active in the Alberta cultural community, as an influential mentor, board member, consultant, and passionate arts advocate. He was inducted into the Edmonton’s Arts & Culture Hall of Fame in 1999, and received the Governor General of Canada’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.
Dick was genuinely interested in people, and enjoyed lively conversation on a wide range of subjects. He loved traveling to the Rocky Mountains, for which he felt a great affinity, and to Thailand, where he fell in love with both the country and his wife. Dick was famous for his weekly poker games, which featured a rotating cast of characters that included many of his closest friends and colleagues from the entertainment industry.
A memorial celebration of the life and times of Dick Finkel will be held in Edmonton.
Donations can be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
Plans to celebrate Dick Finkel’s legacy are being made as part of the 2016 Edmonton International Street Performers Festival this July and will be shared in the near future.
In the meantime, StreetFest is collecting “messages and memories” from the Festival family. As you reflect and remember Mr. Finkel, please share your favourite memories, stories and pictures with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.