Maverick winemaker played soccer at York

Vaughan lost one of its finest entrepreneurs and community-minded residents in the final days of 2009, wrote the Vaughan Citizen Jan. 7.

Sixty-year-old Gabriele Magnotta (BA ’74), owner of Magnotta Winery in Vaughan, died suddenly Dec. 30, leaving behind his wife of 36 years, Rossana, their children Tommaso, Joseph and Alessia, and granddaughter Gabriella.

Magnotta was laid to rest Monday at Holy Cross Cemetery in Thornhill.

While Magnotta was known for his entrepreneurial spirit, after being diagnosed with Lyme disease seven years ago, the Magnotta family took up the cause to help him and others who fight Lyme disease. In 2009 alone, the Magnotta family raised $42,000 for the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation, through their fourth annual golf tournament and various campaigns and events they held.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree from York University and also played goalkeeper on the school’s soccer team. He became CEO of Magnotta Winery, which he built to be the third-largest winery in the province in 20 years, alongside his wife.

Jane’s Party to party in Port Hope

A garage band of York University music students is about to rock a Port Hope neighbourhood, wrote the Northumberland News Jan. 7.

Jane’s Party – Zach Sutton, Jeff Giles, Tom Ionescu and Devon Richardson – have performed their rock/pop sound for almost two years.

The band notched 100 shows in its belt last year to help produce the album The Garage Sessions. That included events at the Halifax Pop Explosion, Toronto Indie Music Week, the International Pop Overthrow Festival and feature performances at the Horseshoe Tavern and Hugh’s Room. They did gigs from Toronto to St. John’s, Nfld., from big events to house parties.

“We all live together – with a puppy,” said Sutton.

The band recorded The Garage Sessions at Ryerson studios during the York University strike. The album is a reflection of their busking side.

MacLean makes his hometown’s best-of-2009 list

May 3, 2009, was named Steve MacLean Day in Ottawa when the astronaut and president of the Canadian Space Agency returned home to be honoured by the Nepean Museum’s Celebrating Nepean’s Best program, wrote the Nepean/Barrhaven Emc Jan. 8 in its year-end review.

MacLean attended Fisher Heights Public School, Sir Winston Churchill Public School and Merivale High School. He went on to receive a doctorate in physics from York University (BSc Spec. Hons. ’79, PhD ’83, Hon. DSc. ’93). In 1983, he was selected one of Canada’s first astronauts and was aboard the shuttle Columbia on Mission STS-52 in 1992.