Guelph Circa 1999 – Tannis Slimmon

Guelph Circa 1999 features a series of portraits commissioned by The Bookshelf and photographed by Dean Palmer. The series became part of Guelph Museums’ permanent collection in 2018. 
Told through the stories of the people who spent time at The Bookshelf, a cultural hub in this city since 1973.
While the Museum is closed to the public at this time, we will be sharing some of the portraits for our digital visitors. Guelph Circa 1999 will be on view at Guelph Civic Museum until September 6.
Black and white photo of Tannis Slimon sitting on a vintage velvet couch with a tall back. She is holding a ball of string lights and is smiling with her mouth closed towards the camera.

Tannis Slimmon
The Boathouse

Singer-songwriter Tannis Slimmon grew up on a farm in the prairies of western Canada and moved to Guelph in 1980. During the ‘80s and ‘90s, she was a founding member of various regional roots bands, including the Reverbs and Benji, and guested on recordings and performances with key players in the CanRock Revolution, including the Rheostatics and Barenaked Ladies.

In 2001, after 11 years with the legendary trio The Bird Sisters, Slimmon released her solo debut “Oak Lake,” followed by “Lucky Blue” in 2007 and “In and Out of Harmony” in 2013.

The album package for “Lucky Blue” features works by Guelph artists Nick Craine, Greg Denton, Lewis Melville, Sona Mincoff, Carolyn Riddell, Cai Sepulis, and Pearl Van Geest. Craine colourized Dean Palmer’s black-and-white portrait of Slimmon for the front cover.

The photo shoot took place “after hours” at The Boathouse, Guelph’s riverside tea house and ice cream parlour since 1997. Palmer recalls asking Slimmon if she brought any instruments to pose with. Although she plays guitar, mandolin, bass and percussion, Slimmon insisted that her voice is her main instrument. Palmer chose to photograph her holding a cluster of string lights, found in the back of Slimmon’s car on the night of the shoot.

Photo: Tannis Slimmon, photographed at The Boathouse

Posted by Dawn Owen on March 24, 2020

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