With the loss of Terry Sheard, Canadian jazz musicians are missing one of their greatest supporters.

Sheard was a lifelong jazz fan, an honorary lifetime member of the Toronto Musicians’ Association, and a member of CJRT’s board of directors for 17 years. He died Sunday at the age of 96, according to a Facebook post by his son Gordon.

“A fan since the heyday of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and others, he loved jazz in many forms, but it was as an indefatigable champion of the Canadian variety of this art form that his fandom had its greatest impact,” Gordon Sheard wrote. “He felt that our local musicians (here in Toronto, but also more broadly at the national level) deserve the highest level of recognition and respect, and he fought tirelessly to make that happen as best he could.”