Metis/Ojibway playwright and author Ian Ross is a ground-breaking artist whose contribution to Canadian theatre has made visible the critical presence of Indigenous artists. A graduate of theFilm and Theatre program at the University of Manitoba, for over three decades Ian has written for numerous Canadian media including theatre, film, television and radio. Ian endeared himself to a diverse national community through his character “Joe from Winnipeg,” which ran on CBC radio and television, and whose commentaries included everything from the stock market, Indigenous land claims, the federal budget, and Christmas cake.
In 1996 his play fareWel – a dark comedy about First Nations life on a fictional reserve – garnered him national attention on the theatre scene, as well the 1997 Governor General’s Award for English Drama – making Ian the first Indigenous playwright to receive such an award. Since then, his numerous plays have been produced coast to coast at most Canadian regional theatres. He was is also the recipient of the 1996 John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer, and the 1999 James Buller Award.
Through his remarkable work as a writer, educator and media personality, Ian has become an important mentor and leader in the Manitoba theatre community through his work to encourage principles of reconciliation and resurgence, and lifting up the artistic and creative voices of its Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour.