For the last 20-odd years, Doug McNab was the heart and soul of the Ottawa Jazz Festival.

He was the short guy with the big radio and even bigger smile, who was always moving, talking, fixing problems, schmoozing, and making sure everything worked properly. His title was Volunteer Coordinator, but he was more than that: he was the fixer, the guy who cheered you up in the rain, the guy who brought new volunteers into the festival community.

At this year's festival, Doug was publicly recognized for his incredible hard work.  This well-deserved tribute came as he finished his last year as coordinator, and trained his replacement. At the volunteer party after the festival, he was feted again, with pictures and slide shows, and lot of cheers.

I was hoping Dougie could just put his feet up and enjoy the music at the next few festivals. But, unfortunately, he died suddenly on July 31 at the age of 74. It's a great loss for the festival and for jazz in Ottawa -- and for his local library and the many other volunteer groups which he helped.

In lieu of flowers, the family has said that memorial donations to CHEO or to the Carp Library would be appreciated.

-- Alayne McGregor