Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Longtime Maclean's editor and Estonian musician Peeter Kopvillem has died at 61

Kopvillem performing for the last time in Estonia in 2008

Peeter Kopvillem, who was the senior executive editor of Maclean's when ill-health forced him to go on leave in 2012, has died at the age of 61.  He had been in the magazine business for more than 30 years. He was known for his joy in and championship of both great magazine stories (for such publications as Maclean's and before that Quest), and Estonian culture and music. 

[Peeter's colleagues remember him.]

[Globe and Mail death notice; funeral services Saturday 21st]

Kopvillem received the Order of the White Star from the President of Estonia in February, in recognition of his efforts to promote Estonian culture in Canada. For a brief period from 1993 to 1995, he was the director of the Estonian editorial board for Radio Free Europe in Munich. 

He was in the Canadian-Estonian band Külapoisid (The Village Boys) in the late 1970s; they released their only album, “Külapoisid … lõppude lõpuks” (“The Village Boys … Finally”), in 1979. His first solo album, “Kuku sa kägu” (“Call, you cuckoo”) was released in 1984, and before embarking on a two-week, ten-concert tour of Estonia in 1989, Kopvillem put together a band and recorded his second solo album, “Uued laulud” (“New Songs”). He considered releasing a third album after a long pause, but ultimately did not end up recording it. He performed publicly for the last time, together with his daughtersLeiki and Keila, at a Toronto Estonian House 50th Anniversary event in 2011. He is survived by his daughters and his wife of 39 years, Eva Varangu. 

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