If you haven’t heard of Mia Kelly yet, we won’t hold that against you, but let this be your warning! She is playing at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival April 21, 2023 and you won’t want to miss this 20-year-old phenomenal performer. The day couldn’t be more appropriate for this earthy blues, folk, rock, singer, multi-instrumentalist, song writer. She hails from Gatineau, Quebec, where her parents raised her and her older sister. Mia is the only musician in the family and readily agrees that her parents played a huge part in her becoming the musician she is today.
Her dad, Randy, is a Quebecois documentary maker and editor, while Micheline Shoebridge, originally from Ontario, her mom, is the Executive Director for MASC (Multicultural Arts In Schools and Communities). MASC “offers school and community arts experiences led by professional artists that awaken the creative process, deepen cultural awareness, encourage engagement, and give vivid demonstrations of Canada’s diversity”. Is it no wonder then, that Mia will be going to the Democratic Republic of Congo in July to perform for the Francophone games. Parents are often the people behind the scenes, working to help their children succeed and this is a perfect example. Thank-you to Randy and Micheline, who have not only created an extremely gifted artist, but also, a grounded and out of the box soul.
Mia released her first album in August, 2022, aptly entitled, Garden Through the War. Her lyrics come from her old soul. Surely a 19-year-old didn’t write these poignant words and ideas, but indeed, she did. Her sound is unique and fresh and we are so thrilled to have her playing on Saturday, April 21, 2023 at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival.
When I asked her about how she got through the pandemic she gave me a very odd answer, one that I wasn’t expecting, which further supports my assessment that she is an incredible person. She took up river surfing in the Ottawa river! Not only was she getting exercise, but she was also getting fresh air, sunshine, joy and connection with her friends. She has more music to record this spring with another album coming out in the next few years, touring, travelling, putting off post-secondary education for now. There is no stopping her.
If you haven’t bought your passes for this incredible music festival that takes place at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in downtown Ottawa, you can find them at: www.ottawagrassrootsmusicfestival.com.