Wry and opinionated, London Free Press city columnist Ian Gillespie has worked as a journalist for more than 20 years, including stints as a humour writer, theatre critic, pop music reporter, arts editor, copy editor and editorial writer. He has received several awards, including the 2005 Walter Blackburn Award for opinion and analysis at the Ontario Newspaper Awards.
Born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ont., Gillespie is a graduate of York University’s fine arts program (where he received the Mavor Moore Award for most promising playwright) and Ryerson University’s journalism department (where he won a CBC Telefest Award for best radio short documentary and served as editor of the Ryerson Review of Journalism).
Before turning to journalism, Gillespie performed across Canada as an actor, including roles with Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon and Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, where he starred in the one-man show Billy Bishop Goes To War. Gillespie’s full-length play The Brink received a staged reading at Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company, and his one-act play Black Box was performed during the playRites Festival at Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary.
A motorcycle enthusiast, former skydiver (with more than 400 jumps) and licensed ultralight pilot, Gillespie lives with his wife and their three children in London, Ont.
An avid reader, Gillespie is a huge fan of crime noir fiction from the 1940s and ’50s by pulp masters such as Jim Thompson, David Goodis and Dan Marlowe. He also enjoys zombie movies, although he is reluctant to admit this in public.