Sylvia Horn

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Sylvia Horn, as she appeared in her 2005 obituary

Sylvia Young (nee Horn) (20 March 1914 - 25 January 2005) [1]

Deborah Delvecchio [2] and Laura Pascolo-McRury and Lisa Fedoruk were all taught by her.

Young- Mrs. Sylvia (Horn) Young, passed away peacefully at Bethammi, St. Joseph's Heritage, on January 25, 2005 with family and friends at her side. Born in Port Arthur, she was the daughter of the late James (Harry) and Gertrude Horn. She attended local schools, including Fort William Collegiate Institute and Fort William Business College. At the age of 16, she attended her first summer school in Minneapolis on her way to becoming a Dance Teacher. Following that, she advanced her studies in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and also the Legat School Of London, England. She opened studios in both Port Arthur and Fort William. Her whole life was devoted to children and dancing and many will remember the beautiful recitals that were put on at the end of every season. She touched the lives of thousands of young people at the Lakehead and many of her students have gone on to achieve their ambition in the "Dance World". She was a member of the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance, the Canadian Dance Teachers' Association and the British Association of Teachers of Dancing. As her school grew, she included Baton Twirling and was active in starting the Lakehead Lionette Twirling Corps. She created and put on the Chapples Santa Claus Show which was held annually at the Fort William Gardens, which show brought delight to thousands of youngsters. Many of Sylvia's students won high awards and scholarships at the Lakehead Dance Festival and it was never too much trouble to take a group of children to perform for various service club functions or to the various Homes For The Aged. In 1941she married Waino W. Laakso and during the war years was active in producing Army Shows for the War Charities Board. In 1964, after returning from training in England, she added the Model And Charm Division to her school. Predeceased by her husband Waino in 1978, she married Fred J. Young in 1984. Sylvia is survived by her husband, Fred J. Young, step-son John Young (Barbara) and their children Shannon and Jennifer Young, sister-in-law Helen Scott, nieces, nephews and other relatives also survive. Funeral service will be held on Friday, January 28th when family and friends will gather at St. Michael & All Angels Anglican Church for services at 10:30 a.m. with Rev. Peter Smyth presiding. Following a reception in the church hall, interment will take place in Riverside Cemetery. Visitation for family and friends will be one hour prior to service time in the church. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Ontario Heart & Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society or to a charity of one's choice would be appreciated. Arrangement entrusted to Sargent & Son Funeral Directors, 21 North Court Street. On-line condolences may be made at; To send flowers to the family of Sylvia Young, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

— Obituary, Sargent and Son Chapel [3]

Miss Sylvia was not only a well respected local dance teacher but also the founder and Director of the prestigious Sylvia Horn School of Dance. During her lifetime, she was an enthusiastic supporter of the Lakehead Music Festival. She encouraged hundreds of dancers to participate in the Festival’s yearly “Dance Competition”. For several decades, she also sponsored a highly acclaimed dance scholarship. Even though Miss Sylvia is no longer with us, her love for Dance continues to be felt through her generous legacy to the Festival. As per her wishes, a trust fund was set up to provide a very sizeable scholarship to be awarded yearly to a senior or open dancer/upcoming teacher who continues to strive for excellence in his/her dance endeavours while pursuing a post-secondary education. The recipient of this scholarship should also enjoy sharing her/his accumulated dance knowledge with the next generation of dancers. The purpose of this scholarship is to assist a dedicated dancer cover a fractional portion of the high costs associated with post-secondary education.

— "Sylvia Horn Young Scholarship" Information, Thunder Bay Music Festival [4]


Miss Sylvia's second husband had a child, John Young, who married a Barbara and had two daughters: Shannon Young and Jennifer Young.

Shannon Young is as of 2016 president of the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance.

Shannon Young, president of the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance, started me off on my journey to learn more about dance in Thunder Bay. To begin with, Shannon’s step grandmother was Sylvia Horn, a name that many of us remember fondly as we recall our own days of learning tap, baton twirling, ballet and participating in the Santa Claus Show at the Fort William Gardens. Shannon was a baton twirler for a number of years, and she has continued her involvement in dance through participating as a parent of a dancing daughter and as a volunteer. Shannon noted that, “Dance is a lifestyle”, and that statement was often repeated as I interviewed the dancers for this article.

— Dancing in the Bay, Bayview Magazine, September 2016, [5]


Miss Sylvia was the teacher of the founders of at least three current Thunder Bay schools:



Biography of Laura Pascolo-McRury on her website