Danny Schur death: How did the Musical Composer die? Cause of death explained

Danny Schur
Danny, Winnipeg producer and composer died


Danny Schur, the composer, and producer who took the Winnipeg General Strike musical Strike! to the stage and its film adaptation, Stand!, to theaters, died Monday of brain cancer.

How did Danny Schur die?

Danny Schur, a composer, and producer from Winnipeg died at the age of 56. Danny, who is from Ethelbert originally, has been battling brain cancer. This sad news was announced by Bea Bruske on social media by posting the following statement,

“So sad to hear of the loss of Danny Schur, who is so admired by the MB labor movement and beyond for his Winnipeg General Strike musical “Strike “ and subsequent movie “Stand”.

His work making Winnipeg history come to life for us gave many a new appreciation of labor history and the struggles that were centered in Winnipeg. Sincere condolences to his family, many friends, and fans.”

Who was Danny Schur?

Danny was a producer, composer, and writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada.

The artistic director of Rainbow Stage, Carson Nattrass, was a member of the original cast of Strike! when it made its Kildonan Park debut in 2005 and during revivals leading up to the 100th anniversary of the 1919 general strike.

The artist described his friend and coworker as “formidable,” a man who refused to accept defeat, regardless of why the city initially refused to let Rainbow stage the musical.

“He moved mountains to make it happen,” Nattrass says of Strike!, which Schur co-wrote with fellow Winnipeg writer Rick Chafe.

“He rented Rainbow Stage himself… And he nearly went bankrupt to make it possible. “He means everything to me.” In taking the musical adaption to the big screen, Schur demonstrated the same determination.

He was a tireless promoter, and when financing or grants dried up with one prospective source, he carried his sales pitch to another, eventually convincing the Canadian Labour Congress to sponsor a $1.25-million plan to distribute video copies of Stand! to schools.

When director Robert Adetuyi joined the film production, Strike! changed to Stand!, with the emphasis turning to emphasize more how the strike affected women, Black, and Indigenous Winnipeggers.

He recruited replacements when new schedules forced the departure of important cast members, including Laura Wiggins, Marshall Williams, and Gregg Henry, who would play the principal roles.

Stand! made its debut in September 2019 at the Toronto International Film Festival after years of delays, and in November of that same year, when it was released across Canada, it made its Winnipeg debut.

Danny Schur and Stand:

Schur developed a lifelong interest in Winnipeg’s 1919 strike and its impact on underprivileged communities, particularly the Ukrainian minority he belonged to.

In order to learn more about the bloody altercation that resulted in the death of Michael Sokolowski, who would later become one of the key protagonists in Strike! and Stand!, he read reams of archived information and old newspapers.

In 2003, Schur would eventually contribute towards the cost of a headstone for Sokolowski’s grave at Brookside Cemetery.

He led tours to striking locations around the city on foot and by bicycle, many of which would show up in Stand! Schur stated in a Free Press article about the strike, “What I find fascinating about the strike is that its history literally bleeds out of the buildings of our city.”

Schur stated in a Free Press report in 2003, when he workshopped Strike! at the Ukrainian Labour Temple, which hosted strike meetings in 1919.

Despite the passage of over 85 years, not much has changed in the North End. The only thing that has changed are the faces, not urban poverty and overt prejudice.

Schur made his musical debut, The Bridge, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian colonization in Canada, in 2000, even though he would be most recognized for his strike-related productions.

Another interest of Schur’s was hockey, which he pursued in his 2015 film Made in Winnipeg: the Terry Sawchuk Origin Story about the Hall of Fame goalie from Winnipeg’s Ukrainian Canadian community. Schur played goalie on men’s teams all around the city.

Despite being in good shape from playing hockey virtually every day in the winter, Schur had a heart attack in 2019 during one of those games.

He shared footage on Facebook of himself blocking shots from players half his age at outdoor rinks following surgery and a brief rehabilitation.

Before relocating to Winnipeg to enroll in the University of Manitoba’s School of Music, Schur was raised in Ethelbert, a community 370 miles to the northwest of Winnipeg, where he studied the piano and sang in a Ukrainian church chorus.

Schur collaborated with country band Doc Walker and pop performers Chantal Kreviazuk and McMaster & James before making the switch to musical theatre in 2000. Additionally, he and his wife co-wrote the 1999 Pan American Games theme song.

Danny Schur cause of death:

Danny Schur died of brain cancer on April 10, 2023. His friends, family members and the fellow musicians paid their heartfelt condolences to Schur.

He was diagnosed with brain tumor in 2022. Before receiving his cancer diagnosis in the latter part of last year, Schur made a comeback to pop music in 2022, co-writing songs and making music videos with the young vocalist Leah Janae.

Nattrass, for whom Schur wrote O’Reilly’s Song in Strike!, hopes that Winnipeg’s theatre scene will carry on Schur’s tradition of presenting plays that focus on the region’s cities, provinces, and residents.

Rainbow Stage was motivated by him to produce comparable shows (like Strike!) according to Nattrass. “He made it happen, so we knew it was possible.”

Tributes flooded social media after the demise news of Schur broke out.

Condolences to Danny Schur:

Cameron Patterson posted,

I’m shocked. I first met Danny on record sessions when he was producing over at sunshine records many years ago. And later on the film and writing side. I am absolutely shocked that he has passed. RIP Danny Schur.

Ian McCausland tweeted,

Absolutely shocked to read of Danny Schur’s passing. His commitment to telling the story the General Strike was unstoppable and admirable. I learned so much about the general Strike from one of presentations he did years before the film got anywhere.

Randall King tweeted,

Danny Schur, photographed in 2019 at the long-awaited Toronto premiere of Stand, the screen adaptation of his musical Strike. A one-of-a-kind talent. He will be missed. Winnipeg Free Press.

Wab Kinew tweeted,

My condolences to the friends, family and many people who Danny Schur touched with his life and music. His musical helped to ensure the centenary of the Winnipeg General Strike was appropriately understood.

Scott Billeck tweeted,

Spoke to Danny Schur as his musical, Strike! was about to be re-imagined for the 100th anniversary of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. Saddened to hear of his death. Schur was a tremendous man. Fuck cancer.


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