George Albert Clavering Oliver

April 29, 1961 – August 4, 2018

It is with great sadness that George’s family announce his passing. He died at his home in Nanaimo of heart failure. He was predeceased by his parents, Edward and Thelma (Cameron) and his beloved dog Joey. He leaves behind a brother, John (Gayle), two nieces, and many good friends and relatives.

George will forever be remembered as a kind, gentle and talented man, who found humour in the smallest things, and offered up a contagious light-hearted laugh. As a young man, George developed a lifelong love of sailing. His parents sent him to the Fine Arts School of Seville right after high school where he learned traditional drawing and painting, and fell in love with the Spanish language. On his return to Vancouver, he enrolled in the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, where he obtained two diplomas in painting and animation. He greatly admired the work of his teacher, the filmmaker Hugh Foulds. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at UBC in 1992 in printmaking. After considering a career in teaching, he decided to dedicate himself to property management and investment to make a living, but continued cartooning and drawing every day, notably being Editorial Cartoonist with The Island Word for several years in the 2000s. He also contributed his many artistic talents to the community by creating works for parades, puppet theatre, and a Mini-Cinema Series at The Vault Cafe from 2011-12.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday September 23, 5:00 pm at The Vault Cafe, 499 Wallace St, Nanaimo.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Jocelyn Mills Brown :

    Dear John,
    My sincere condolences on George’s passing. The Oliver family were our extended family and I stil often think of the many occasions I spent with your parents. Baking Nanaimo bars with your mom, making snow mazes with your dad and his snow-blower, or going on an island hopping adventure with George in his Jeep. I still have a China figurine of a cat your mom bought me next to my bed. Love to you and your family. I am doubtful and am so sorry I won’t be able make the celebration of life Sunday. I loved George’s art and his charisma and he will be missed.
    Love, Jocelyn

    • Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and words. George had very fond memories of you and your family and his time in Winnipeg.

  2. Dear John, This is Lisa (Bilchik) Evan’s sister. I’m so sorry to hear about George’s passing. I remember him to be a kind-hearted, talented man.
    I have funny memories of helping him colour in his animated films when he was running short on time for an assignment at Emily Carr. Much love to you and your family, Tracey

  3. Dear John,
    My heartfelt condolences to you on George’s passing. George and I met when I was enrolled in the animation program at Emily Carr. Quick to laugh and so often with a smile on his face, George seemed so darn, well, happy! Although George and I lost contact after art school, I am sure that, if his time at Emily Carr was any indication, George must have carried on enjoying life, giving generously of his time and talents to those around him, and being thought of very fondly by many. I’m so sorry that his bright light was extinguished far too soon.
    Sheila

  4. George, you were a fantastic landlord for our store in Courtenay and a good friend. I always enjoyed seeing you as you picked up supplies in your big white UPS type van You were the true meaning of a gentleman , entrepreneur as well as talented artist. Miss you, say hi to Joey. Tears, Kate

  5. George was our Landlord for many years in Downtown Courtenay, he was a real character and as others have said always had a smile on his face.
    I bumped into him maybe a week or 2 before he passed and he had just returned from one of his many adventures….RIP George, Nick&Carla

  6. I am very sorry to hear of George his passing. I was in the year ahead of him at Emily Carr’s animation program; I also worked alongside him on the “Eco-Jam” project later on. I will always treasure his generosity and good humour, as well as his creativity.

  7. Hello
    Thankyou for reaching out to me with the sad news of my friend and class mate George. We did have some great times attending Emily Carr College together years ago. I unfortunately am not able to attend your family farewell occasion but will certainly keeps Georges memories close to my heart for many years to come.
    Thankyou
    Tom Zuber

  8. George and I both graduated from Lord Byng High School 40 years ago. In fact just last weekend I attended the reunion. I’ll always remember him as a truly original, funny, intelligent schoolmate who had a passion for the arts and a great sense of humour. I wish to send my most sincere condolences to the Oliver family.

  9. Hi John and family. I am so sorry to here of George’s passing. We were great friends in high school. Or remember so many fun things we did including sailing about in English bay. The year after high school we tooled around London went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Me overstaying my welcome. I was looking forward to hooking up with him this fall and it grieves me that that will never happen. Out out brief candle. My old friend.

  10. Darrell Olthuis :

    I also was in the animation class at Emily Carr a year ahead of George. You could tell after 5 minutes of meeting him that he held all the best quality’s of a gentleman, honesty, integrity, we all could see the innocent and guileless personality of spirit that George possessed. His Big Smile and Readiness to Laugh is what I remember most, combined with focus and passion for his Art. None so fondly remembered can ever fade away.

  11. Sorry to hear of George’s passing away. George was a fun guy. He helped me out for several years in my landscaping business in Comox valley. Joey and George were quite a team. My wife Marianna and family always enjoyed visits from George and Joey.
    They were be dearly missed.

  12. George was my cousin, a year older and the younger of two brothers, we seemed to have much in common. I’ll always remember him as someone who was creative, sincere and quick to laugh, he was a always a pleasure to be around. George will always be remembered fondly when I scan the cliffs and mountains around our home with the binoculars that he gave us at our wedding (1999/0911). Thank you George for opening my eyes just a little wider, you will be missed but never forgotten.

  13. I knew George from Art School. Always looking for that special gag or any gag! Loved to laugh and always ready for an adventure. The celebration of life I attended showed me that George touched everyone around him in a special way. He will be sadly missed.

  14. Elena Stepanenko :

    I am profoundly saddened to hear of George’s passing, but I also feel a sense of happiness for having known him and having done so many projects together.

    We had fun making puppets, mask workshops, Batik workshops, lamp shades and even a gallery studio. The entire time working, dancing, making music and love. With his imagination he never stopped; he was an artist, a cartoonist and a landlord.

    I will see you again one day, my Oliver.
    What he has left us is the will and want to live and the strength to face life regardless of illness.

    One funny memory I have of him is when he would use the bottles from his pills to make music. He also always said, like my father; I am never cold, with hunger or pain.

  15. Thank you all for your lovely condolences and memories of George. You have given me wonderful stories, and a deeper understanding of how well-loved George was among friends and colleagues. I too remember helping George out when he was a student at Emily Carr, making a sound track to one of his films. Gags, puns, jokes, schemes, and nonstop reading, drawing and cartooning is how I remember George. And most of all, a youthful exuberance that infused everything he did. We miss the big smile and the easy laugh. For those who knew our father, you will recognize that they shared this characteristic. Rest in peace my brother.

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