Meet Kelly. Kelly was born and raised here in Kelowna! She enjoys being outdoors, connected to nature and all of its beauty. Kelly is extremely passionate about music and hopes to inspire others with her songs.
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I was born and raised in Westbank and Kelowna. I have lived in Kelowna all my life but I am a bit of a wanderer and free spirit and like to explore the world.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My boyfriend makes me super happy and spending time with my family and friends is my favourite thing. I like it when we are all together. There is so much to learn in all the complication and relationships of families, bonding and unconditional love.
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Valoroso Foods is my favourite local store because of its warmth, high-quality products and fresh foods. I love to eat in or take home and prepare something amazing for my friends and family.
Describe yourself in one word.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Hawaii is my happy place. I love the ocean, the natural beauty of the land and how they take care of it with so much respect for mother earth and all her gifts. Hawaii is pure peace and it activates all my senses.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
I love swimming in Okanagan Lake and local creeks, skiing up at Big White and hiking in our gorgeous mountains.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
I wrote a song called “Idle No More”. After the video was released, I received a message from a man who told me he was deeply depressed and was planning to end his life. He told me after listening to “Idle No More”, it awakened something in him to get up and fight. He said he had hope for the first time. This man is the reason I do what I do.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
I grew up in Westbank on a street called “1st Avenue North” we had a farm with cattle, horses, bunnies, chickens, roosters, dogs and cats. I wrote a song called “1st Avenue North” on my most recent record “I Am”. The song is a reflection of all my most favourite childhood memories. Roaming around like a barefooted tomboy with my dog Duke, my brother always watching over me and teasing me, the gentleness and purity of my mother, learning everything on the farm from my dad and bailing hay with him, grandma cooking amazing dinners for us and baking fresh pies, grandpa and uncle Kelly playing their fiddle and banjos, visiting cousins across the creek, climbing cherry trees all day, and riding our bikes through the neighbourhood until the sun went down. I lived in a less complicated world and felt a bigger sense of freedom.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
Every year at Christmas time, my dad, brother and I hand out cash to the homeless community and anyone who needs a little extra money in their pocket. All year round, we round up clothing and food for those that we know are in need. Our family contributes to many reserves across Canada like the Women’s Shelter, SPCA and The Gospel Mission, WFN our elders as well as the churches.
To stop the abuse to every animal, child and helpless person. I believe in love and kindness.
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Straight to the lake, at the lake, on the lake or in the lake. In the Winter I’m up at Big White!
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I strongly believe we all need to do more to protect Kelowna’s natural beauty, the land and our sacred grounds. We need to compost, recycle, reuse and not waste. Plastic is a huge problem and the streets are full of it. We need to clean up this gift we call the Okanagan. Respect the lake, the mountains and have pride in where we live.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
The beauty of Kelowna is all her natural resources. The lake, creeks, mountains, cherry, apple, pear, plum, berry and grape trees, we are surrounded by so much natural beauty.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Open a Rescue Sanctuary for homeless/abused animals with trained vets and rehabilitation experts to find them forever homes.
2. Create a First Nation University.
3. Win a Grammy.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I’m kind of a loner.
How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
Why did you get into/start this business?
All I have ever wanted to do is sing, it is my passion and music bleeds through my veins and awakens my soul.
What is the goal of your business?
My goal is to reach every heart and open it, to inspire people through my music. Whether that is making them cry, smile or go out and make a change that will better their lives or the world.
What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
As artists, we are full of eternal heartbreak. My heart truly breaks for the human condition. It’s our job to share it with everyone, communicate through our hearts and soul into the universe by means of lyrics, notes and pure energy.
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I wouldn’t change anything, not that I wouldn’t want to, but life is about learning and there are no mistakes. Sometimes that hurts but we never stop growing and learning and I’m trying to learn to be more patient.
What do you always find yourself saying?
Always be of love and always rise above.
Tell us your best piece of life advice.
“Live life to the fullest like each day is your very last. Be kind and fall in love..again and again.”
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
I’ve spent time with many celebrities, artists and famous people. That is not the point. I would spend my day with someone who just needs someone to be kind to them or just listen to them. Someone who is hurting deeply so I can try to give them hope.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is helping others. When someone tells me they decide to live because of music instead of ending their life, that to me, makes it all worth it!
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
My nephew Matthew Derrickson. He is a strong, talented hockey player but yet has a sensitive, generous and caring heart. He is only 13 and helps people less fortunate than him and stands up for kids at school that are being bullied because he has a giant heart!
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Matthew Derrickso, we need to focus on our youth!!
Some general comments I would like to share are:
I love making music and I live to make a change that will truly impact our lands, hearts and minds through lyrics and song. When we speak about our planet and the earth …don’t you want to continue to live in freedom and see, smell and feel the beauty and magic of nature? As we continue to deplete it, like anything you abuse, it will eventually die of a broken heart. Mother Nature is strong but she is connected to each human being on this planet like a vein. She needs us to wake up, connect and protect her. It’s time to plug into each other, every living cell, animal and mammal on this planet and nourish the universal soul.
Kelly’s latest album “I Am” was recently nominated for Country Album Of The Year at the Indigenous Music Awards 2018 and won Best Female Artist at the 2018 and 2017 Native American Music Awards.