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Dubbed “Canada’s Andrew Lloyd Webber” by the CBC, Winnipeg’s Danny Schur is a composer/lyricist of songs and scores, a music, film and theatre producer, and a writer of scripts for stage and screen. He’s also an in-demand hockey goalie and huge fan of “Canada’s game”. 


In a career that spans thirty-five years, Danny has earned Gold, Platinum and Double Platinum Album Awards for his work with Chantal Kreviazuk (Sony) and McMaster & James (BMG), a Juno for Aboriginal Artist of the Year (Burnt), the Kobzar© National Literary Award for his stage musical Strike!, and his movie musical Stand! became the #1 Canadian film at the box office during its release in Canada in 2019.


Danny was born and raised in the small Ukrainian-Canadian community of Ethelbert, Manitoba, Canada, about four hours north of Manitoba’s capital, Winnipeg. The solitude of his native rural area, and his immersion in Ukrainian culture, saw him develop a musical talent on piano at the age of five, and a lifelong interest in the stories of the Ukrainian-Canadian community.  (One of Danny’s first memories is of the Ukrainian church choir in Ethelbert.) An avid composer by the age of ten, Danny studied piano and composition at the University of Manitoba’s School of Music prior to embarking on his career in 1987.


Danny’s first large work was the classical oratorio, “Vlad of Kiev”, composed to commemorate the millennium of Ukrainian Christianity in 1989. A work for full choir and orchestra, it combined Danny’s Ukrainian religious heritage and formal musical training. Although not a work of musical theatre,  the oratorio form (with its combination of songs and spoken script) presaged Danny’s later focus on musical theatre.


The 1990s saw Danny’s growth as a writer/producer/manager in the recording industry. Danny worked with a who’s-who of Manitoba’s major label acts of the era:  Chantal Kreviazuk (Sony), McMaster & James (BMG), Doc Walker (Universal), Tara-Lynn Hart (Sony) and Country Hearts (MCA). Danny’s residence at Winnipeg’s legendary Sunshine Studios saw him work with Indigenous Juno winners, Burnt, Canadian Indigenous Music Award winner, Jane Chartrand, and, more recently with breakout Indigenous artist, William Prince. Danny capped off the decade by composing the 1999 Pan Am Games theme song with his wife, Juliane Schaible.


In 2000, Danny made the switch to his true passion, musical theatre, with the debut of his musical “The Bridge” - composed to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. The musical enjoyed a splashy commercial run at the historic Walker Theatre in Winnipeg. But perhaps more importantly, this first commercial production saw Danny develop a wide network of private investors that would be the envy of a major arts organization, many of whom still support Danny to this day.


Danny then wrote his second musical, “The Tree”, which received several workshop productions but did not go on to a commercial run. Of this musical Danny stated, “It was through my second musical that I really learned how to write a musical.”


And write a musical he did! Teaming up with Winnipeg Governor General’s Award and Simonovitch Award nominee, Rick Chafe, Danny wrote music, lyrics and co-wrote the script for the work for which he would become most known, the stage musical “Strike!”. Set in a Ukrainian-Jewish milieu of 1919 Winnipeg, the musical recounts the persecution of minorities during the infamous 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. Opening to rave reviews at Canada’s largest outdoor theatre for musicals, Rainbow Stage in Winnipeg, actor Jeff Goldblum (in Winnipeg at the time) stated to Danny, “Big show. Big ideas. It would make a great movie.” 


Danny spent the better part of the next decade producing “Strike!”, in one form or another across Canada, including regional and annual Winnipeg theatre productions, excerpt concerts, a CBC national radio special, along with two TV documentaries about the history of the Winnipeg General Strike and the making of the musical. In 2009, the 90th Anniversary of the General Strike, Danny shut down Winnipeg’s main thoroughfare and staged an outdoor spectacle version of the musical for a crowd of 5000 - in the very spot where the original events took place. 


While working on the decade-long film adaptation of “Strike!”, Danny branched out into film scoring, working with friend and long-time Winnipeg director/producer, Joseph Novak. The two collaborated on Novak’s first feature, the critically-acclaimed western, “Snake River”, which featured a score and songs by Danny. 


Danny further developed his scoring and directing chops with several documentaries, most notably his 2015 doc, “Made in Winnipeg: The Terry Sawchuk Origin Story” - the never-before-told story of NHL Hall-of-Fame goalie, Terry Sawchuk. The film combined all of Danny’s interests:  goaltending, Ukrainian culture, and film writing/producing/directing/scoring.


Jeff Goldblum’s prediction finally came true in 2018 with the production of the feature film adaptation of “Strike!” - now titled “Stand!”, due to the penning of a standout new track. Directed by long-time Canadian-in-Hollywood, Robert Adetuyi, the $7M production became the #1 Canadian film at the box office during its 2019 debut - 100 years after the events on which it was based. The movie was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and won a host of film fest awards. Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe & Mail, raved “Broadway-worthy tunes that stick in your head...a film that is actually about something, made by people who are expert storytellers.” Variety added “Infectious songs...pure feeling punches though.” And 2019's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the General Strike was topped off by the stage musical setting attendance records at Rainbow Stage - surpassing even Les Mis.

Danny is currently developing a new feature film (co-written with Rick Chafe) entitled “Spirit Lake” - set against the WW1 internment of Ukrainians and Eastern Europeans in Canada. He is also developing the career of Winnipeg teen singer, Leah Janae. 

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