The Costalegre lost a dear friend, accomplished musician, entertainer, producer and mentor on September 24.
Doug Pettigrew was born in Toronto, Ontario on September 16, 1949. He spent his formative years in the small farm town of Grimsby, Ontario. Music and kitchen parties were a big part of his early life.
Tirelessly creative, Doug eventually found his vocation in marketing, consulting and event production. He designed a mobile internet café that toured Canadian shopping malls teaching the “world wide web” to seniors and students. He developed and staged ecology and water festivals, “trash fusion events” and forest presentations, among other events. One of his most noted and rewarding achievements was the foundation of a choir festival for elementary schools, where students could perform in live venues for their family and peers. The only requirement to participate was a love of music. Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Choirs Festivals Canada.
A cousin, Marc Pettigrew, introduced Doug to Barra de Navidad in the mid 2000s. He was instantly enamoured by the culture, ambience and music scene. He visited many times with his cousin, hanging out at Felix’s, Lucy’s, Oficina (still in Barra at the time), Chynna’s and anywhere else they could find authentic local music and/or a place to sit-in and jam. Both Doug and his wife Pat continued to return, while brother Scott (Rojo) was enticed to visit the area and soon made Barra his winter home.
Not content to sit still, Doug thought it would be fun to host a poolside jam at Cabo Blanco. Accompanied by Scott on bass or acoustic guitar and Paul Bourassa on drums, the impromptu jam became a Thursday institution. Cabo became the “go-to” place on Thursday afternoons.
A highlight of Doug’s time in Barra was the performance on the Malecon in support of Tiopa Tianextli, a hospital and community outreach center in Autlan. Doug choreographed an incredible opening act for the featured Santana tribute band Soul Sacrifice. Doug, Scott, Hugo Becerra Dominguez, Marvin Rennette and Danny Beal rocked the Malecon, contributing to the fundraiser’s success.
Doug loved the outdoors. Boating, fishing, making campfires, walking the Snake Island perimeter, teaching his grandchildren to bait a hook, watching the woodpeckers, hummingbirds, owls, herons and even the mischievous minks at the cottage gave him the greatest pleasure.
Doug was at his best when working with others: motivating, supporting, helping them build confidence. He encouraged his father George to sing with him at Seniors’ Centres. It brought them so much joy that George then made this his “retirement” vocation.
Doug is joyfully remembered by Pat, his wife and partner of 44 years; his daughters Jeni Descartes (Clinton), Kay Pettigrew and Sarah Pettigrew; his grandchildren Cody, Josh, Kaylb, Cyrah and Tanel; his brothers George (Vicki), Scott/Rojo, Terry (Barb); his sister Sue Steven (Paul); his mother Margaret, and his many nieces and nephews and cousins.Doug always said that he did not want a funeral or speeches or sad stories shared at a mournful gathering. His one stated goal in life was to “make someone smile each and every day.” It is something he lived by and he asked nothing more from his friends and family who are doing their best to uphold his request.
A tribute to Doug, celebrating his life and honouring his contribution to the local community, hosted by Danny and Sheila Beal, was held at Cabo Blanco in Barra de Navidad, Thursday, December 20.
A further celebration will be held in Ontario, Canada in June 2019.