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Fireside Stories

John Gillese
john_gillese Photo JOHN PATRICK GILLESE (March 7, 1926 - 23 October 1999) was an Irish-born Canadian author whose prolific career spanned six decades from the early 1940s to the late 1990s. During this period he authored over 5,000 items including novels, short stories, and information columns that were published in many English-speaking countries. His 1957 novel, Kirby's Gander was made into a film entitled Wings of Chance, the first full-length feature film ever shot in Canada. Born in Ireland on March 7, 1926, his family moved to Rochfort Bridge, Alberta, when he was 6 years old. As a founding director of Alberta Culture's Film and Literary Arts Branch, which he headed from 1971 to 1984, Gillese was able to help many writers become established through workshops and contests. Mr. Gillese received the Vicky Metcalf Award in 1967 and, in 1995, he received a Writers Guild of Alberta lifetime achievement award.