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Biographical

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  • 1939:
    • Will Millar was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland—where he began performing.
    • "I started my stage career in Portrush Town Hall when my sister and me as 'The Millar Kids' won a summer talent contest. (We used to live in a caravan at Craigtown)." [1]
  • 1957:
    • The Millar family emigrates to Canada.
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  • 1963:
    • Will Millar is playing Calypso, then Jazz music — beginning in Toronto, then Calgary.
    • During this period he begins hosting a kids T.V. show on Saturday mornings. [2]
    • George Millar and Jimmy Ferguson meet and begin performing Irish music together.
      • They are eventually joined by Will and George's cousin Joe Millar, and at one point "with another Ballymena man called Victor Marcus and a banjo player from Canada, called Doug Henderson, they played in the local folk clubs." [2]
  • 1964:
    • In July, George and Jimmy visit Will in Calgary, and stay on.
    • They are eventually joined by Joe and with Will form the Irish Rovers.
    • In November, Will, George, Jimmy & Joe leave Calgary and head to California.
  • 1965:
    • The Irish Rovers, audition for The Purple Onion in San Francisco, and make their debut at the club on New Year's Eve.
  • 1967:
    • The Irish Rovers' second album, The Unicorn, is released.
    • The title track becomes a hit single, climbing to #7 in the American charts.
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  • 1980:
    • Will hosts the hour-long documentary, Children of The Gael, about "the turmoil in Northern Ireland and more specifically its effect on the children".
    • In April, the film airs nationally in Canada on CBC.
  • 1991:
    • Will appears on the first season of The Red Green Show as Jimmy McVeigh, the local postman, whose wife left him because he spends all his free time working on his boat.
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  • 1995:
    • After 30-years as front man for the Irish Rovers, Will leaves the band.
    • His last performance with group is on March 20th, in Seattle.
    • Initially the split seems amicable. [3]
    • In July, Will Millar sues his former bandmates, "claiming they conspired to oust him from the group and misappropriated royalties owed to him." [4]
    • The CD, Rogues & Romancers is released.
  • 1996:
    • The Keeper is nominated for a Juno (Canadian music) Award, as Best Children's Album.
  • 1997:
    • Will's book, Messing About In Boats, in published.
    • The book makes the Top Ten in The Toronto Star non-fiction list. [5]
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  • 2005:
    • Will appears as Jimmy, in the Canadian slasher film Sleepover Nightmare.
      • According to Wikipedia, Will is a friend and neighbour of the film's writer-director, Boon Collins, and "the bulk of the film was actually shot on Millar's property and in his home".
      • Apparently, whenever Will has an acting role his characters are named Jimmy.
  • 2009:
    • In March, Will retires from touring. "After 40 years of touring, Will Millar is calling it a day after he finishes his 2009 farewell tour." [5]

  • References
    1. BBC – Your Place & Mine
    2. Will Millar's 1975 book, Children on the Unicorn.
      • This book covers Will's childhood in Ballymena through the early 70's.
      • However, much of the information and incidents in the book are undated, therefore some of the above dates (pre-1967) might be slightly off.
    3. Seattle Times article, dated March 17, 1995.
    4. Source: Coog's Blog (Darren Coogan of 99.3 — Prince George, BC) — [dead link]
    5. Celtic Connection, March 2009.