Dr. Kira Payne,1965-2016, a professional musician, physician and psychiatrist, lived her life in the pursuit of excellence. After graduating from Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology in 1987 with a Diploma in Music Performance, Kira completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto, graduated from medical school at McMaster University and graduated from the Family Practice program at Queen’s University. She went on to complete a psychiatry residency program followed by a Masters of Health Sciences in Bioethics at the University of Toronto.
A dedicated jazz musician, Kira played saxophone, clarinet and flute professionally before and during her career in family medicine and psychiatry. She performed with various groups in Toronto, such as Jim Galloway's Wee Big Band, Martin Loomer's Orange Devils, Bobby Herriot's Big Band, Al Hirsh's Big Band, The Bob Clegg Octet, Peter Appleyard’s Big Band, and her own Kira Payne quartet.
Music remained a magical, challenging, and rewarding passion for Kira that was never extinguished by her clinical and scientific pursuits. She will be fondly remembered for her caring, thoughtful, and compassionate nature, never hesitating to go above and beyond to assist her friends and patients. “Beloved, talented, generous and warm-hearted, Kira was exceeded in her skills as both saxophonist and M.D. only by her spirit and humanity. A great loss for the jazz community and the world in general.” (Martin Loomer)
The Dr. Kira Payne memorial scholarship was established to honour Kira and her lifelong dedication to music by assisting emerging saxophonists in the music industry.