The children of Boris Brott, a prominent Canadian driver killed in an alleged hit-and-run in Hamilton, Ont. earlier this week, say their father’s passion for both music and life was infectious.
The 78-year-old was fatally struck by a vehicle around 10:20 am on Tuesday, near Park Avenue South at Markland Street. Police allege the driver fled the scene prior to being arrested a short distance away.
Shortly after the incident, tributes began to pour in for Brott, whose resume included being the conductor and artistic director of the Orchester classique de Montréal (OCM), founder of Hamilton’s Brott Music Festival, an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Ontario.
“We’re just shattered,” his daughter Alex Brott told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday. “He really did have a very profound effect on people who loved music and he was such a great communicator.”
The OCM released a statement late Tuesday night to share news of the death of their “beloved maestro.”
The orchestra said their community was in a state of disbelief and that Brott was a mentor to “countless young musicians.”
Alex reiterated this, telling CTV News Toronto that her father often made people feel like they could do anything they dreamed of.
“So many people have had such really sweet things and memories and little snippets of time that they remember where he encouraged them and made them feel amazing,” she said. “That was really his big gift from him.”
Alex said her father was such a big presence not only in their lives, but in the home they grew up in. It is strange to be in that building without him, she said.
“He’s such a huge personality. Just the biggest light in the room. And everyone’s just trying to figure out where all the lights are right now.”
“He was a passionate guy and that passion was infectious,” Alex’s brother, David Brott, added.
The Special Investigations Unit is investigating the arrest after the driver’s vehicle collided with several police vehicles, injuring three officers.
Both the officers and the drivers were taken to hospital for treatment.