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Ian Tamblyn was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 1947. He has been playing music and writing plays since the age of seventeen. His first “professional” and self titled album was recorded in 1976 at Marc Sound in Ottawa. It was the first fully produced album in Ottawa. It was awarded a Juno for its unique cover design. Since that time Ian has recorded forty – four more albums, CDs and cassettes as well as producing albums for over thirty other artists. His songs have been covered by over forty artists and his song “Woodsmoke and Oranges’ has been presented by close to one hundred choirs in North America and Europe.

Ian Tamblyn has won several awards for his work including a Juno award and nomination, songwriting awards and nominations from the Canadian Folk Music Awards as well awards and nominations for his theatre and film soundtracks. He holds an honourary doctorate from Lakehead University, a distinguished alumni award from Trent University and he is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.  In 2021 Ian Tamblyn was selected as an Officer of the Order of Canada by Governor General Mary Simon. Ian is also the recipient of the Jackie Washington Award, the Victor Tolgasy Award, Estelle Klein Award and the J.D. Coulsen Award.

Mr Tamblyn has written seventeen plays and is currently researching a play about his grandmother Vera Baird who was a vaudeville type singer in the lumber and logging camps of North Western Ontario. Music for this play was discovered her in her piano bench. The play will be called Vera. His most recent play, Ice Storm 1998, was given a stage reading in December 2022 at the La Fab centre in Chelsea, Quebec. He is also collaborating with Jan Irwin on a play based on Brian Doyle’s book, Mary Ellen Alice.  In 2018 Ian was music director for Up to Low, another Irwin/Doyle production that was staged at the Studio of the National Arts Centre. 

Currently Ian is working on several music and writing projects. A “best of” collection is presently being considered for release on both vinyl and CD formats. The vinyl presentation will be a companion piece to the vinyl version of Magnetic North which was released by the Record Centre and Precision Records in 2022.. There is also a collection of new songs being assembled for release sometime next year. As well Ian has been writing a collection of stories centred around his life as an adventure guide and another reflecting on the songwriting process.  

As of this writing there is an exhibit of paintings by Lorenzo Fracchetti featuring Tamblyn’s music showing in Trento, Italy and a film entitled -”Piccolo Musiquevibration” by Jean Marc Gauthier-------- featuring his music recently released in France. There is also a video interviewing Ian directed by Adam Russo called “Unsung Heroes”.  


Juno Award for BEST ALBUM COVER for the self-titled album Ian Tamblyn

Juno Award

Japanese Folk Award For the album When Will I See You Again

Japanese Folk Award

Juno Nomination - For the album Magnetic North

Juno Nomination

Northern Lights/Festival Boreal

Jackie Washington Award

For the play Whale

Tapa Dora Award Nomination

Lakehead University

Honorary Doctorate

Ottawa Council for the Arts

Victor Tolgesy Award

Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, Vancouver

Jessie Award Nomination

Ottawa Folk Festival

Helen Verger Award

Ontario Council of Folk Festivals

Estelle Klein Award

Association of West Quebecers

Award for Outstanding Achievement

Canadian Folk Music Awards

Best Album Nomination

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