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Sincere Condolences on the Passing of Wade Pfaff, MA Social Anthropology

Posted by SOSA Webteam on June 12, 2023 in News

We are deeply saddened that Mr. Wade Pfaff, MA Social Anthropology 2020, passed away on June 9th, in Saint Catherine’s Ontario. Wade’s area of research was Black Canadian music. For his MA thesis, Transculturation in Black Jazz Scenes from Ontario to Nova Scotia During the Interwar Period, and Its After-Effects, Wade carried out ethnographic research in Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario. He was a committed and enthusiastic scholar, and he broke new grounds in the history and Anthropology of Black Canadian music.

After completing his degree, Wade joined the research team at the Black People’s History of Canada where his project was the Black social and cultural history of the Niagara Peninsula. Wade’s latest essay on the topic was the Black cemeteries of the Niagara Region and he was also involved with colleagues at Brock University in a GIS project to map the 19th (and 20th) century Black district of St. Catherine’s. He had also commenced a joint Ph.D. in communications and music at York and Toronto Metropolitan universities.

Those of us who knew Wade also know that he was filled with boundless passion and enthusiasm for his areas of interest and research: Black music (especially Jazz and Blues), history, ethnography, visual culture, Black Canadian history, and that of the African diaspora. Wade’s heritage was South African, so he also brought a vast knowledge of South African music, culture, and history to his work. Wade played Jazz and blues music, as a guitarist and singer, with several bands for over 30 years.

We extend our deepest condolences to Wade’s family and loved ones. Wade's Obituary can be found here.