Talent agent, husband, friend. Born Dec. 13, 1969, in Hamilton. Died Sept. 11, 2011, in Toronto of liver cancer, aged 41.
A highly respected and much-loved talent agent, Brad Garrick was a charming, handsome man whose sense of humour disarmed, seduced and delighted everyone he met.
Born in Hamilton, he trained as an actor at the University of Windsor. Brad performed at the Stratford Festival in Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pirates of Penzance and Cyrano de Bergerac, and on television in episodes of Due South and Queer As Folk, to name a few.
Seven years ago, realizing his true calling, Brad became a talent agent, first with the Talent House, then at the Gary Goddard Agency, where he quickly built a roster of some of the finest actors in Canada.
Brad’s biting humour came from the dark recesses of his youth. At 13, he was in a car accident that took the life of his mother, brother and sister, a devastating blow from which he never recovered. While in hospital for his own injuries, Brad was given a blood transfusion that resulted in his contracting hepatitis B, fuelling the liver cancer that eventually struck him.
This tremendous early loss resulted in a lifelong pursuit to seek his chosen family. Friends, male and female, became brothers and sisters; mentors became surrogate parents; clients, whom he nurtured and encouraged, his adopted young. For many years his home was a refuge for heartbroken friends recovering from failed relationships. No one was more dedicated or fiercely protective of a group of people.
Brad met his husband, Philip Pace, nine years ago and instantly connected with the Pace family. The couple’s relationship flourished and a strong, loving, passionate bond between them was obvious to all. Their wedding, less than two weeks before Brad’s death, was an emotional celebration. Despite his failing health, Brad was the last one to leave the party, regaling guests with stories and quick retorts.
Brad was told of his liver cancer days from finalizing the adoption of two young children, halting proceedings and leaving the complete family he yearned for out of his grasp.
His complex psyche did not come without its faults. An exacting and determined man, Brad could dismiss some with his high standards and hold a grudge with the best of them. Thankfully, he had reconciled with his father in the months before his death, after a near 15-year estrangement.
Brad was determined to die at home and a crew of friends and family rallied around him to give emotional and medical support.
On one of his final days, a nurse asked him about a recent fall he had had while walking down the stairs. His response was classic Brad: “It wasn’t so much that I fell as I was pushed.” He had the quickest of minds and the warmest of hearts, but it is his humour and his commitment to his chosen family that shall endure.
By Robert Tsonos, Brad’s friend.