RIP Canadian Music Industry Trailblazer Al Mair
Alexander "Al" Mair, the co-founder of Canadian indie label Attic Records and a man considered vital to the careers of artists from Gordon Lightfoot to Maestro Fresh Wes and many more, passed away this week at the age of 82 after a battle with cancer.
Mair was appointed to the Order of Canada a couple months ago as a Companion Member for his work in the Canadian music industry. On Nov. 22, Ontario’s Lieutenant-Governor, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, awarded him the medal in his room hospital room.
Mair and Tom Williams founded Attic Records in 1974, which is widely considered one of the most successful indie labels in Canadian history. Among the many artists whose careers Attic launched are Anvil, Maestro Fresh Wes, the Nylons, Triumph, and Teenage Head. Mair also oversaw Gordon Lightfoot’s business affairs for eight years in the late 1960s to mid mid-‘70s.
Mair was known for a mild-mannered demeanor and for being a fierce advocate Canadian music and artists. As member of SOCAN’s the board of directors, Mair in urged the passage of Canadian content (CanCon) regulations for TV and radio.
Over his decades in the industry, Mair was also involved in a number of Canadian music industry associations, lending his insights to SOCAN, FACTOR, and the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.