2019 Wisdom of the Elders

Folk Alliance International Conference 2018 Wisdom of the Elders Panel and co-hosts: Don Bird, Hans Theesink, Tom Chapin, Holly Near, and Scott Alarik. Photo by Jayne Toohey.

2019 Wisdom of the Elders

Since 2010, legends and luminaries of the folk community have been featured at the conference through the Wisdom of the Elders live-interview event. Conceived of and hosted by Sonny Ochs, the sessions are recorded and conducted as interviews in small group settings where the elders interact and share stories and insight from their experiences over a lifetime in folk music.

We’re thrilled to share the 2019 FAI Conference Elders!

Gilles Garand was born in Montréal in 1946 and began working in the cultural sector at the end of the 1960s as a self-taught sculptor. In the early 1970s, he founded the band Les Ruines Babines. Gilles is a musician, activist, and a decades-long advocate for cultural solidarity. Since 1993, he has chaired ESPACETRAD / SPDTQ (Society for the Promotion of Quebec Traditional Dance). He created the music festival La Grande Rencontre, which will hold its 26th edition in September 2018. In addition, he worked for 20 years as a trade union adviser for the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN), creating songs of solidarity related to the working class. An organizer, man of action, and president of Folquébec, he has participated for several years at FAI and is a past board member.

Activist Gilles Garand, chosen for the Folk Alliance International Conference 2019 Wisdom of the Elders panel.
Songwriter Ian Tamblyn, chosen for the Folk Alliance International Conference 2019 Wisdom of the Elders panel.

Ian Tamblyn has been a touring musician since 1972, releasing 42 albums of his songs and compositions and winning a few awards for his work along the way. Ian is presently a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. In addition to his albums, Ian wrote 16 plays and most recently served as music director and band leader in the National Arts Centre’s production of Brian Doyle’s Up to Low. He produced work for dozens of Canadian artists and was recently writer in residence at Carleton University, Ottawa. Mr. Tamblyn continues to tour extensively.

Marilyn Gilbert has been an artist’s manager over for 40 seasons. As director of Marilyn Gilbert Artists Management, she has managed a roster of musicians whose work challenges the artificial boundaries of genre. She is the recipient of the Estelle Klein Lifetime Achievement Award from Folk Music Ontario. A former musician, her involvement in bringing great music to as many people as possible make Marilyn’s life meaningful and rich with excitement.

Marilyn Gilbert, chosen for the Folk Alliance International Conference 2019 Wisdom of the Elders panel.