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Rick Boland, driving force in N.L. arts and left-wing politics, dead at 70

Rick Boland, an actor and political campaigner, has died.  (Andrew Furey/Facebook - image credit)
Rick Boland, an actor and political campaigner, has died. (Andrew Furey/Facebook - image credit)
Rick Boland, an actor and political campaigner, has died.
Rick Boland, an actor and political campaigner, has died.

Rick Boland, an actor and political campaigner, has died. (Andrew Furey/Facebook)

Rick Boland, an actor who spent decades on stages and screens across Newfoundland and Labrador, has died.

He was 70 years old.

Boland was a rock in the province's theatre community, having spent time with the Newfoundland Travelling Theatre Company and the Mummers Troupe collective and helping to found Rising Tide Theatre in Trinity.

He was featured in countless on-screen rolls, including The Adventure of Faustus BidgoodHatching, Matching & Dispatching alongside Mary Walsh and Mark McKinney, and in more recent years some episodes of Republic of Doyle and Little Dog.

In a statement on social media, actor Mark Critch shared an early photo and memory of working with Boland.

"Saddened to hear of the passing of Rick Boland," Critch wrote.

"He wrote and performed about the place he loved. We first worked together in 92 and toured Nfld. & Lab for many years with Rising Tide Revue. Each year he skewered politicians onstage and I learned much in his shadow."

Rick Boland was a long-time supporter and campaigner with the NDP.
Rick Boland was a long-time supporter and campaigner with the NDP.

Boland was a long-time supporter and campaigner with the NDP. (Newfoundland and Labrador NDP/Facebook)

Outside the theatre, Boland was a staunch political activist with the provincial NDP, where his generosity "was legend," according to a statement posted to Facebook by the party Wednesday.

In its post, the provincial NDP wrote it fondly remembers Boland as a longtime supporter and campaigner, and said he believed "devoutly in social justice and the inherent dignity of all people."

"Rick worked on and led countless provincial and federal campaigns, especially in St. John's South-Waterford Valley, and served on district, riding and provincial executives," the statement reads.

"His creativity and boundless optimism inspired many of us to do just that little bit extra, make a few more phone calls or pull one more vote."

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Furey wrote in a statement on social media that Boland contributed to the cultural landscape of the province.

"Newfoundland and Labrador has lost an influential artist," the statement reads. "He will be missed."

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