Fonds PR3255 - Ronald Tremblay fonds

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Ronald Tremblay fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the records.

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    • 1972 - 2022 (Creation)
      Tremblay, Ronald

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    Physical description

    6.31 m of textual records and other material.

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Ronald Tremblay is a Franco-Albertan artist primarily interested in music as a director, producer, talent coach, journalist, manager, lyricist and performer.
    He was born in Montreal, Quebec on August 19, 1955. He is the son of Georges Tremblay (born 1936) and Aline Samuel (born 1937). Tremblay had three younger sisters: Debbye (born 1958); Linda (born 1960); and Nancy (born 1964 and died 1978). He was married three times. The first occurred in 1975 to Pierrette Haché, from Paquetville, NB, the second in 1991 to Lisette Vienne from Edmonton (originally from Brussels, Belgium) and Danielle LaBrie, from Edmonton since 2015 (life partner since 1999).

    Tremblay attended classical studies from 1967 to 1970 and then dropped out of school after Grade 11 in 1972 to join the Canadian Armed Forces until 1975. In 1976, he left his hometown of Montreal for Acadia (northeastern New Brunswick), where Ronald Tremblay began a career in song and written journalism as a freelance writer for L’Évangéline, then in radio at CJVA Caraquet in 1978-1979. He was then a host at CBAF/Radio-Canada, Moncton from 1980 to 1982. He then moved to Quebec in 1982. Less than a year later, he was a journalist for L'Eau Vive in Regina, Saskatchewan from 1982-1983. He then returned to Montreal where he was the representative of the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Canada (CAPAC, now SOCAN) from 1983 to 1985.

    He arrived in Edmonton in 1985 to take on a production assistant position at CHFA, the CBC radio station in Alberta. He became a director a few years later. While at CHFA, he founded the Gala albertain de la chanson in 1989 and co-founded the Gala interprovincial de la chanson de l'Ouest, with Yves Caron of the provincial ACFA, the following year. In 1994, he received the President's Award from Radio-Canada for the creation of the Gala interprovincial de la chanson de l'Ouest now called Chant’Ouest since 1997. He left Radio-Canada in 2000 to work in the associative and artistic field of Alberta.
    In 2001, he was the initiator of La Chicane albertaine, a rock group competition, while he was the coordinator of the Centre de développement musical (CDM). From 2000 to 2016, he regularly contributed articles for the newspaper Le Franco as well as for some English language publications in Edmonton.

    Between 2000 and 2017, Ronald Tremblay was president and vice-president of the Société du Gala albertain de la chanson, president of the Regroupement artistic francophone de l'Alberta (RAFA), vice-president of the Société L'UniThéâtre, member of the Executive Council of the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF), member of the boards of directors of the National Alliance of the Music Industry (ANIM), member of the Réseau national des galas de la chanson (RNGC) and member of the Société Chant’Ouest. He served briefly as vice-president of the Cohenights Arts Society before becoming the producer of the 5th Annual Leonard Cohen Night in 2006. From 2005 to 2007, he was a member of the Steering Committee of the Sommet de la Francophonie which took place in Ottawa. Most recently, he was a member of the board of directors of the Fédérations des Aînés francophones de l'Alberta for which he proposed and directed ALTAMINO, a long-distance walking initiative driven by his repeated experiences on the Camino de Santiago.

    In addition to being a singer-songwriter, Ronald Tremblay has been a member of numerous folk-rock groups in Acadia and Alberta. His group Les Nouveaux Voisins d´Hélène recorded a children's album in 1999 titled “Sur la piste du Renard”. Another group Tremblay belonged to was Les Gentils Garçons who sang at the National Arts Center in Ottawa in 2005. The album “Poetry for Pepper”, released in 2002, was nominated as the Best French Album at the Western Canadian Music Awards in 2003. Tremblay leaves the folk-rock group scene in December 2005.
    Between 2000 and 2002, he briefly explored the world of professional theater as a writer and as an actor with L’UniThéâtre d´Edmonton with the production of “ABCs of Song” and Cercle Molière d´Winnipeg with the production of “Dust & Dreams”.

    In 2009, Radio-Canada’s radio and television in the West and ANIM revived “Le Mai de la Chanson d'Ici”, a project to promote western Canadian song that Tremblay had developed in 1992 at CHFA. In 2019, he amplified the concept at the 30th anniversary of the Gala albertain (Polyfonik) and Chant’Ouest and assumed the artistic co-direction of both events. In 2014, he led the writing of an anthology of French-speaking songs from Western and Northern Canada. “Franchir l'Espace” was published by Éditions du Blé in 2017. Between 2017-2023 Tremblay coordinated the project Forces vives, an anthology of Franco-Albertan artists of the last 100 years, and co-produced and co-hosted La Place, a series of podcasts for Alberta’s Francophone Historical Society.

    Ronald Tremblay has received several awards and distinctions for his work in cultural development and community, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and being named Member of the Order of Canada. He was also featured in the Palmarès of the ten most influential figures of the Canadian Francophonie. Since 2015, the Ronald Tremblay Prize has been awarded annually to the winner of the award-winning song at Polyfonik, the annual Alberta song event.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of planning records, minutes, correspondence, press releases, press clippings, budgets, scripts, photographs, and other records documenting various broadcasts produced by Ronald Tremblay, as well as of audio and video recordings of events and shows produced by him for the CBC/Radio-Canada, such as Gala albertain de la chanson (renamed Polyfonik in 2010), and Gala interprovincial de la chanson (renamed Chant’Ouest in 1997), dating from their inception in 1989 and 1990 respectively, as well as interviews and selected recordings from “Le Café show”.

    There are records documenting Ronald Tremblay’s activities as a member of various Francophone organizations and events, including Regroupement artistique francophone de l’Alberta, Société du Gala albertain, Cohenights Arts Society, Sommet des communautés francophones et acadiennes, Réseau national des galas de la chanson, UniThêatre, and Chant’Ouest. The fonds also includes audio-video recordings of Francophone musicians from Alberta at the end of 20th and beginning of the 21st century, some on which Ronald Tremblay was producer.

    There are yearly agendas from Ronald Tremblay during the years of 1984 to 2010, which provide a detailed view of his personal life as well as his career. The fonds includes many cassettes and demos submitted by candidates for various singing contests, interviews and songs from various artists from the west, CD launches and interviews of various artists, as well as tapes of interviews Tremblay gave or took for various events. The fonds also includes CDs of various Albertan artists,event photographs.

    The fonds also includes publications of plays that toured in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, for which Tremblay was the vice-president of marketing. There is also a large amount of articles, which appeared in various newspapers written by him, about him and/or about various singing events, contests or musicians. The fonds also includes original recordings of songs written, co-written or adapted by Tremblay himself from 1972-2008. Finally, there are various project or administrative records of singing contests such as Chant’Ouest, Gala Albertain and Polyfonik, which Tremblay put in place and worked on for the last 30 years of his career.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Ronald Tremblay donated the records to the Provincial Archives of Alberta.


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        Language and script note

        The material is mostly in French.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act. Copyright for artistic materials remain with their respective authors.

        Finding aids

        File list is available.

        Generated finding aid

        Associated materials

        See also three photographs of the “Au café show” team, CHFA, 1982-1989, A18641-A18643, accession PR1990.0058.


        Further accruals are expected.

        General note

        Information for the biographical sketch is from the records and from the donor.

        General note

        Includes accessions PR2009.0140, PR2010.0445, PR2014.0952, PR2014.1201, PR2014.1501, PR2014.1753, PR2015.0920, PR2018.1340, PR2019.0112, PR2020.0215, PR2020.0976, PR2020.0983, PR2020.1080, PR2020.1422, PR2020.1459, PR2020.1461, PR2021.0036, PR2022.1195, PR2023.0579.

        Physical description

        The fonds also includes 121 photographs, 16 videocassettes VHS, 16 videocassettes VHS C, 7 DVDs, 78 Compact Discs, 3 analog audio discs on vinyl, 58 audio reels, 67 digital audio tapes DAT, 1 studio mastering audio tape, 1 ADAT digital audio tape, 1 Betacam videocassette, 2 Super 8 videocassettes, 61 audiocassettes, 2 floppy disk 3 ¼, 26 posters, 1 book.

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