THUNDER BAY – The youth winner of an opportunity to tour with Shy-Anne, Feenix, Joey Stylz went to Larissa Desrosiers, a talented singer who thrilled the audience with her song about being a Nishanawbe woman. The real winners, however, were the people in the audience at Thunder Bay’s Community Auditorium.
For The Love of Life, a Showcase of award winning musicians entertained a crowd of about 600 enthusiastic fans to a variety of music. The show was put together by Shy-Anne, as a part of her continuing mission to engage youth through her music.
From the opening act, The Thunder Mountain Singers, to the closing act, the energetic Joey Stylz the audience was treated to a full range of the vast talent that is present in the growing Aboriginal music industry. Youth Performers included Paydro Jourdain (Lac La Croix), Larissa Desrosiers (Couchiching), Dylan Whiskeychan (Moose Factory), Faith Russell (Thunder Bay), and Melissa Von Drasek (Thunder Bay).
There were special appearances by Thunder Mountain Singers (2010 Best Powwow CD), Marcel Bananish JR, Dean Mapeso, Andrew Machendagoos, and Brooke Rajala.
The evening’s showcase of music and strong positive messages were hosted by CBC Radio’s Lisa Laco and Jolene Banning.
The range of music ran from traditional Aboriginal drumming, to the cutting edge hip-hop with Joey Stylez. Feenix, from Edmonton shared his very strong stage presence and his trip from drugs and gangs on the streets to the stage and winning the 2010 Hip Hop Album/Video of the year.
Joey Stylez shared a message that young people should never accept that they can’t furfill their dreams. “If you want to be an astronaut, then do it, it might take time, a week or two,” he shared. “Never worry about the person to your right, or to your left, and ignore the rear view mirror, just keep moving forward”. While earlier on Saturday community leaders were at the Infinite Possibilities Seminar in the city, chances are the overall message was the same.
Young people lined up after the show to talk, and share with the artists. It was a chance for young people from across the region to share and learn from the people that they are choosing as role models.
From talking to some of the kids, and parents, it was also their first time to attend a show at the Community Auditorium. Putting on the musical showcase at the Community Auditorium also allowed the young performers to enjoy a world-class stage and sound system which will likely inspire them to greater heights in their musical careers.
Dylan Wiskeychan demostrated an incredible show of drumming, which he had learned from watching Youtube videos. That perhaps demonstrates the growing power of the Internet in both music, and in education.
Joey Stylez has promoted his music online with over seven and a half million views of his videos.
Shy-Anne, Joey Stylez, Feenix and Larissa Desrosiers are now headed off on tour until March 4th.
The solid performances by all the artists offer a message that in Thunder Bay, and across Northwestern Ontario that if you focus on your dream, you can achieve it. What more could one want?
Event Sponsors, The Urban Boutique, Lakehead Printing, Generator Strategy Advertising, Tbaytel, The Schizophrenia Society of Ontario, and the Chronicle Journal all deserve a thumbs up for helping make this event happen.