Ray McGurn graduated from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York in 1973. Ray worked in several capacities at the City of Buffalo, including Director of Substance Abuse Services, Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, and Deputy Mayor of Buffalo. 

Ray is the founder of Goin’ South, which is a civic, cultural, and charitable organization. 

Ray was co-founder of the South Buffalo Irish Feis, where he served as chairman for 17 years. During that period, he ushered in more than 150 performances.

Ray was also the chairman of the Irishman of the Year annual ceremony.

Ray and Goin’ South were responsible for the installation of Gaelic street signs in South Buffalo’s Irish Heritage District. 

2023 Arts & Culture Awards