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Leon Kossar, who with his wife Zena co-founded Toronto's International Caravan, has died. He was 72.

Caravan is a three-decades-old celebration of multiculturalism in which participants use "passports" to visit ethnic pavilions across the city.

Of Ukrainian descent, Mr. Kossar was born in Saskatoon. After graduating from the University of Manitoba, he became a reporter and later a columnist for The Telegram in Toronto, writing about new Canadians.

Culture was an integral part of Mr. Kossar's life. He was director-general of the Canadian Folk Arts Council, which he founded in 1964, and involved with international arts organizations.

Brian Kilgore, publicist for Caravan, said that Mr. Kossar's death has raised doubts about the future of Caravan. But he said that "friends of Caravan" have pledged to keep alive the spirit of festival.