Ian Weir is a stage and radio playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. Born in North Carolina, he was raised in Kamloops, and worked as a newspaper reporter before completing a BA in English at the University of B.C. and an MA in Medieval Literature at King’s College, London. Weir wrote plays for Western Canada Theatre Company in Kamloops that connect with the history of the city including Flyin’ Phil and The Mclean Boys (see entry on Phil Gaglardi and Donald Mclean) and the Award-wining The Idler in 1987.
Over the past fifteen years Ian has written extensively for television with more than 100 episodes for nearly two dozen series in Canada and the U.S., including Beachcombers, ReBoot, Flashpoint and Arctic Air. Awards include two Geminis, four Leos and a Writers’ Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award.
Ian lives in Langley, B.C. with his wife Jude and their daughter Amy (from Weir’s website and Small Cities interview).
Michael Garrett Shanks was born December 15, 1970 in Vancouver and grew up in Kamloops. After graduating from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre in 1994, he appeared in several stage productions, serving a two-year apprenticeship with the prestigious Stratford Festival in Ontario. He made guest appearances on TV series like Highlander and University Hospital, appeared in the TV movie A Family Divided and had a small role in The Call of the Wild, before winning the role of Daniel Jackson on the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate SG-1.
Shanks lives in Vancouver with his wife Lexa Doig and two children. He enjoys playing hockey, and once considered playing professionally. He played the part of a school hockey coach in the 2006 TV movie Under the Mistletoe (Wikipedia).
David has been the Artistic Producer of Western Canada Theatre for twenty-one years, and has served WCT and other companies as actor, director, musician, dramaturge and sound designer while performing in theatres from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Victoria. He has produced over 150 plays in that time, doubling the size of the company, building a second theatre, the Pavilion, and has co-produced with many companies in BC, Alberta, and the National Arts Centre. Some of his favourite roles in recent years include Douglas in Ethan Claymore, Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors, Robert in Proof, and Angus in The Drawer Boy. David also appears in the feature film Deepwater shot in and around Clearwater and scheduled for release later this year. In addition to his work at WCT, he has adjudicated drama festivals in both BC and Newfoundland, including serving as Adjudicator at Theatre BC’s Mainstage 2000 provincial festival in Delta. (From website)
Jann has been the director of the Kamloops Art Gallery since 1987. During her tenure at the KAG Jann has been president of the Western Canada Art Association, the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization, and the Canadian Museums Association.
She has been on the boards for the Kamloops Centennial Committee, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, Kamloops Hospice Association, Multi-Cultural Society, the City’s Economic Development Commission, and most recently, on the committee for an arts school in Kamloops. From 1996 to 2000, she worked as a provincial appointee on the board of directors for the Royal British Columbia Museum, and from 1995 to 2001 she was appointed to the board of the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, holding positions of both chair of the Compensation Committee, and Vice President.
In 1993, Jann received the Governor General’s Canada 125 Award; in 1995 the YM/YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award in the cultural field; and, in 2003, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.
Mel was born in 1944 and raised in the Okanagan Valley, Mel Rothenburger is a descendant of Hudson’s Bay Company Factor Donald McLean of Fort Kamloops. Rothenburger most notably became editor of the Kamloops Daily News. Having known former Kamloops mayor and evangelist Phil Gaglardi since Gaglardi was a controversial Social Credit cabinet minister in 1970, Rothenburger wrote a biography of the ex-Highways Minister, Friend o’ Mine (Orca Books, 1991). Rothenburger’s earlier books were ‘We’ve Killed Johnny Ussher! The Story of The Wild McLean Boys and Alex Hare (Mitchell Press, 1973)’ and The Chilcotin War. The father of the ‘Wild McLeans’–Allan, Charlie and Allan; some of the most notorious outlaws in B.C. history–was the HBC Factor Donald McLean. He was Mayor of Kamloops, from 200 to 2005 and returned the Kamloops Daily news until retiring in 2012. Rothenburger continued to write columns for The Daily News until it ceased publication Jan. 11, 2014, does regular commentary for CBC Radio and writes a blog at http://armchairmayor.wordpress.com .
Rafe was a lawyer, politician, broadcaster (b 31 Dec 1931, Vancouver). After graduating from UBC law school he was called to the bar in 1961 and practised law in Vancouver and Kamloops from 1961 to 1975. He entered politics as a Kamloops alderman in 1973 and in 1975 won election to the provincial legislature as a Social Credit Party member for that city. He held 3 posts in Premier Bill Bennett’s Cabinet. During much of this period he also handled the constitutional portfolio for the province. In 1981 he retired from politics to become host of his own radio talk show on CJOR in Vancouver. In 1984 he switched to CKNW, where he emerged as one of the liveliest, most outspoken broadcasters in Canada. His show became the highest rated single-market talk show in the country, and he was credited with influencing opinion on major public issues. (from B.C. Encyclopedia)
Henry was born on February 29th 1948. At an early age, young Henry picked up the violin and instantly became a child prodigy in his home town, Beacon, New York. In high school, being a violin player and suffering from a height deficiency, he was the victim of cruel bullying, until he discovered his violin case made an excellent weapon. From that day forward, Henry Small had the respect of his classmates. Soon he was the lead singer, writer and arranger for Scrubbaloe Caine formed with Paul Dean (Loverboy) and produced by David Kershenbaum from RCA Records. Small Wonder came next, which brought him a three year writers deal with Irving Almo Music. What followed was more writing, singing and unique violin playing, this time with Burton Cummings. He lives in Kamloops, BC co-hosting a morning radio show. He produces a dinner theatre for Rocky Mountaineer Railtours, which has been enjoyed by over 100,000 international guests. (From website)
Joan was born in Calgary, Alberta, April 21, 1928 After graduating from the University of Manitoba, Joan began her career writing radio and TV scripts for children, but soon moved into writing novels for juvenile and young adult readers. A dog and a horse lover she admits to having included one or the other in many of her books. Three of her young adult novels, Sixteen is spelled O-U-C-H, Storm Rider and Secret at Westwind have received international recognition and have been translated into Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian. In addition to her juvenile and young adult novels Joan has published a number of short stories, three plays for children’s theatre, and six non-fiction adult histories. It is the research for these histories that has prompted her two most recent young adult historical novels, The Brideship and Maybe Tomorrow. For many years Joan taught Creative Writing at the University College of the Cariboo in Kamloops. (From website)
I started out as a solo performer at the age of thirteen, at high school assemblies, and coffee houses, loved choir, and drama class. My guitar was my best friend. After high school I taught guitar, went to modeling school, won a beauty contest, broke all the rules, sang radio jingles, made people’s spines tingle, duos, bands, college and babies, recording, performing, releasing, dancing, and dreaming of a better way a brighter day. It doesn’t stop, and the music never goes away. My sister bought me my first guitar at the age of 12. It changed my life, gave me the vehicle to start writing songs. So there I would be, locked in my bedroom, writing songs about things that I had a hard time talking about. I think that music is playing all of the time, all around us. We need to only tune in. There is not much thinking involved, it’s more of a listening. (From website)