Denis Joseph Patrick Ryan. Irish musician turned successful businessman.
He is one of Canada’s leading performers, helping establish the modern form of traditional Celtic music throughout North America, England, and Australia.
Denis was born in Newport, County Tipperary, Ireland, immigrating to Toronto in 1969.
Eventually moving to St. John’s, Newfoundland, he founded what became one of Canada’s most well known traditional bands, Ryan’s Fancy. In 1983 the group was disbanded and he turned his attention to the stock market and other business interests.Ryan moved to Halifax where he and his family have resided for more than 35 years.
Ryan cause a bit of a stir in 2009 when he was featured in a spoof man on the street YouTube interview with comedian/musician Tony Quinn, who called himself “Jason Calibri of the Financial Times. Not one to soft-pedal his opinions, Ryan’s video went viral and in 2011 he followed up with another pointed commentary on Wall Street and the banking industry. (Click on photo to launch video)
I sat down with Denis in his home near the Public Gardens in downtown Halifax. In our conversation, we cover topics as wide-ranging as his time with Ryan’s Fancy, his involvement with craft brewing in the 1980’s and Nova Scotia Crystal.