R.I.P. Universal Music Canada's Jon Box

R.I.P. Universal Music Canada's Jon Box
Jon Box — Universal Music Canada's vice-president of label partnerships and business development — has died. Box's family confirmed he had lost his battle with mental illness at Toronto's Michael Garron Hospital on September 20. Box was 45.

Box's 24-year industry career began working in record stores in his hometown of London, ON. In addition to his role with Universal Music Canada, Box had volunteered with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and was a board member of the Toronto Music City initiative.

Box's philanthropic endeavours included raising money and awareness for the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research, MusiCounts and the Unison Benevolent Fund.

A casual attire celebration of Box's life will take place at Toronto's Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre (375 Mt. Pleasant Rd.) on Friday (September 27) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m..

A visitation will take place at M.Box & Son Funeral Home (183 Broad St.) in Parkhill, ON, on Sunday (September 29) from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m, at which family and friends are asked to share memories and special moments Box's family.

Box is survived by wife Heather Wright and children Amélie and Tallulah, in addition to extended family and countless friends.


I got into the music business almost twenty years ago. Besides my immediate BMG colleagues, the first person I met in the industry was Jon Box. We were both sales reps calling on Sunrise Records. Our weekly meetings were back to back and we quickly developed a collegial friendship. We bonded over our "519" heritage and some common musical tastes. Jon was my "trader" at Universal, which is to say, we used to swap CDs from our respective catalogues. More than any album, it was a reissue of Los Lobos' 1977 debut "Del Este de Los Angeles" that Jon recommended that caught my ear. To this day, when I play that album, I think of Jon. Jon later joined BMG, albeit briefly, but it was a few years later that I truly came to more greatly appreciate him as a friend and as a colleague. Jon was always a champion and supporter of Arts & Crafts. Whether it was at home or abroad, he fought for our artists and our company like nobody else. Several of our artists had the opportunity to showcase at Universal events because of Jon's support. We were colleagues, neighbours, and most importantly, friends. We shared a mutual passion for not only for music, but for cooking. Jon taught me his Baja fish taco recipe and was thoughtful enough to bring me dried chilies and tequila from his annual trips to Mexico. We shared a love of baseball and Jon fulfilled a childhood dream of mine when he introduced me to Kelly Gruber. The twelve year old inside me was elated. Jon was instrumental in the organization of the now annual industry softball tournament. I've had the honour of getting to know Jon's wife, Heather and their children. I can't pretend to imagine their loss, but I can offer my support. My heart goes out to his family. Tonight I listened to some of the music I know Jon loved. It was the most fitting tribute I could think of. I will miss Jon's positivity, passion, and friendship dearly. RIP Box. ❤️

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