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Obituary: Thor Froslev

There will be a Celebration of Life for Thor in early December.
Thor7 2Nick Didlick
Thor Froslev.

On Sept. 12, 2022, Thorkild Dissing Froslev, 89, of Brackendale, British Columbia, died peacefully at home as he wanted, his wife Dorte by his side.

Thor is survived by Dorte (nee Jensen) his wife and partner of 40 years, son Kayne, grandsons Lui (Ane and great-granddaughter Elva) and Vincent, sister Tove, his large extended family in Denmark and Norway, and his nephew Kelvin and family. He is predeceased by parents Jens and Helga, first wife Lis, daughter Kaja, sister Ingrid and brother Bent.

He will be missed by Dorte's sisters Trudi (Richard) and Rikke, and nieces Nina, Lindi and Anna, who loved him dearly.

Even as a young boy growing up in Kongens Lyngby, Denmark, Thor was a force to be reckoned with: entrepreneurial, practical, sharp-eyed, and opportunistic in the best sense of the word. Drawn to the excitement and opportunity of the West Coast, Thor and his young family moved to British Columbia in 1957, where he became a longshoreman, working on the docks until 1985.

Fuelled by his inimitable charm and stubborn personality, Thor had a near magical ability to get people invested in his unrelenting vision. Thor loved artists and was in awe of their creativity and boldness. Because of this reverence, he was inspired to build one of the West Coast's most enigmatic cultural spaces, the Brackendale Art Gallery, which opened its doors in October 1972 and has been a beacon of community, art, learning and environmentalism for 50 years.

For 35 years, Thor hosted the Brackendale Eagles Festival and Count, which served as a celebration and a reminder to the community and the world that we need to respect and protect the environment around us, and that we can do this through science, activism and persuasion. Thor and Len (Lefty) Goldsmith spearheaded a campaign to preserve the unique habitat on the West side of the Squamish River, culminating in the designation of the Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park in 1999.

In his 50 years in the Brackendale area, Thor was a source of provocation and inspiration. He served a term on Squamish Council in 1976-77, where he was the Chair of the Recreation Commission during the development of the Brennan Park Recreation Centre and Centennial Fields, and was a driving force in the resurrection of the Brackendale Farmers Institute and Fall Fair in 1994, serving as president for many years. Thor was honoured by the Squamish Chamber of Commerce in 2005 for his leadership in tourism and cultural development, and presented with the Freedom of the Municipality in 2018, the highest honour a municipality can bestow. Thor also received a BC Achievement Award in 2016 for his profound contribution to the community of Squamish through the promotion of art and artists, environmental awareness and community leadership.

The last two-plus years during the Pandemic were especially difficult for Thor. Not being able to showcase performers and artists for the community was disheartening for Thor because it really was his reason for being. So in his distinctive style, despite health and logistical challenges, over the two summers of 2020/2021 during Covid, Thor hosted 43 free "parking lot" concerts "for the neighbours" so people could safely enjoy music and connect with each other, a gift from a man who loved his community extraordinarily, and whose legend and impact will influence and inspire generations to come.

On behalf of Dorte and Thor's family and friends, a special thank you is extended to the stoic and gracious VCH team involved in Thor's excellent care and support over the past few years. And a special thanks to Dr. Cudmore, who, in the end, did see him out. In lieu of flowers, please support your favourite environmental initiatives. There will be a Celebration of Life for Thor in early December.

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