For two decades, Stuart McLean amused and entertained Canadians as the host of CBC Radio's the Vinyl Cafe.
And today, his fans are in mourning over the news that the popular and always optimistic broadcaster, writer, and humorist has died after a bout with cancer.
"Stuart always emphasized that the world is a good place, full of good people, trying to do their best," says a message on the show's website. "He believed in people’s extraordinary capacity for love and generosity. And he had faith in our ability to work together for the common good."
McLean's soliliquies from small and mid-size Canadian towns charmed the country every Sunday.
He often found time to highlight what set each community apart from others in its particular area, province or territory. He also made a point of celebrating local musicians and providing them with a national platform.
McLean was as Canadian as they come: the child of immigrants who grew up to embrace the country despite its foibles and occasional pettiness.
He first came to the public's attention making documentaries for CBC's Sunday Morning show. He was later a regular contributor to the Morningside show on CBC Radio, which was hosted by Peter Gzowski, before hosting his own show.
Along the way, McLean wrote 10 books, which together sold more than a million copies. He won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour three times.
The message on the Vinyl Cafe website summed him up this way: "Stuart connected us—to our country and to each other. He entertained us, he made us think, he made us smile. Occasionally he made us cry. And, through all of that, he reminded us that life is made up of small moments. We never know which ones will be forgotten and which ones will stay with us forever."