Leo (Levko) Evason – Bass-Baritone-Tenor – was born in Brandon, Manitoba in 1932 to John and Maria (Stefaniuk) Evasiuk, a Ukrainian family. He had four brothers – Yourko, Meraslaw, Orest and Volodimyr – who predeceased him.
After graduating from Brandon College, Leo moved to Toronto and began studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music. He joined the Canadian Opera Company in 1964 and performed under Herman Geiger-Torel and Lofti Mansouri. In 1990 he toured Ukraine as a soloist with the Ukrainian Youth Ensemble conducted by Wasyl Kardash. He also performed with Toronto Opera Society and Toronto Opera Repertoire. In 1992 he issued a cassette recording with Victor Mishalow, bandurist, under the title Levko Evasiuk: Ukrainian Romances and Folk Songs, dedicated to the Centenary of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada. In 2001 he was invited by the Government of Ukraine to participate in a Gala Concert in Kiev to celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of Independence.
In this his final year he published his memoirs, Brandon Boy, Rosedale Press, which is available on amazon.com. Details can be found on his website www.leoevason.com
Leo passed away quietly at home on December 1, 2020 after a lengthy illness. He leaves behind many distant family members, including a niece and grand-niece in Manitoba as well as his partner, Lily Miller. The funeral will be small and private given the pandemic situation; but in lieu of visits or flowers, donations can be made to the Ukrainian Canadian Care Centre in Etobicoke. He will be interred at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Thornhill, alongside his dear mother and brother Orest.
“Due to the current pandemic restrictions and under direction from our regulator, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, effective November 14, 2020 all funerals and visitations will be by invitation only to limit the number of people in attendance and prevent the spread of COVID-19. We encourage those that are unable to attend in person to express their sympathy by posting a message of condolence to our website, donating to a charity of your choice in memory of your loved one or by sending flowers to the funeral home.”
Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery