Eekwol

Eekwol (Lindsay Knight) is an award-winning hip hop performing artist living in Saskatoon, Treaty Six Territory, originally from Muskoday First Nation. Eekwol has been making music for many years.  Her 5th full-length album titled, Good Kill was released in 2017 and the single,”Pitiful feat. 2oolman” made it to the #1 spot on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown and charted in Sirius Radio and numerous college and community stations and streaming site playlists. For 2019, she successfully received a Canada Council grant and completed a concept project with fellow lyricist, T-Rhyme titled, For Women By Women. She is currently working on a new album funded by the Canada Council for the Arts to be released in the Spring of 2024.

Eekwol uses her music and words to spread messages of resistance, revolution and keeping the language, land and culture alive for the next generations. Through her original sound she displays her activist roots by living and creating as a supporter of both Hip Hop and Indigenous culture and rights.

Along with motherhood, music and academic work, Eekwol frequently works with young people across the country as a mentor and helper. She achieves this through performances, workshops, speaking events, conferences and programs.

 

You can find Eekwol on:

Instagram

Facebook

Youtube

Apple Music

Spotify

Falynn Baptiste

About Falynn Baptiste

My mother says I came into the world a songbird, humming and singing to myself when I was a little girl. My late nôkum (grandmother) and nôhtawiy (father) were gifted with song, thus music has always been a part of my life. I was blessed to have been raised on Red Pheasant First Nation among a very large family, rooted in my nêhiyaw culture, traditions and language. I am also proud to be Mêtis and come from an equally large family with strong roots from Cumberland House, SK. My late mosom’s (grandfathers), nokum’s (grandmothers), my parents and their siblings were first language Cree speakers.  Along with language, prayer and spirituality were instilled in us.  My late grandparents made connections between their Cree spiritual teachings and the teachings of the Catholic church. One teaching did not replace the other, instead the two ways of praying walked side by side in harmony and respect.  As such, we regularly went to church.  At an early age, I began singing church songs that had been translated to the the Cree language.  One of my first large audience performances was of “Amazing Grace” in Cree at the age of 14.  I went on to do many performances over the years where people have requested songs sung in Cree, often hymns such as Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art.

As an educator I have witnessed the growing absence of Cree language speakers among the younger generations and wondered if the the loss of language has contributed to the loss of identity among our Indigenous youth. Motivated by the importance of preserving the language, I recorded a two song Christmas demo of “O Holy Night” and “What Child is This” translated into Cree in 2012.  In 2014, I released an additional two songs, “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful”, also translated into Cree. I am both humbled and grateful for the overwhelming positive response from listeners across Canada and the United States. It is the voices of support and encouragement that has inspired me to continue recording contemporary music in the Cree language.

As Indigenous people, we believe our languages are powerful. Language was a gift given to us from the Creator and it carries our teachings, songs and ceremonies.  Language is the spirit of what it means to be Indigenous.  Hearing contemporary song translated into Indigenous languages stirs emotion and creates a strong connection to the spirit.  It also serves as a bridge, connecting the voices of the past to those of the present.  It is in preserving and revitalizing our Indigenous languages that we will find healing and strength. There is great beauty among the Indigenous languages of Turtle Island.

https://falynnbaptiste.com/

Elyse Evangelista

With over 20 years of multi-genre vocal training, Elyse has moved from Toronto to her wonderful hometown of Saskatoon, bringing her wealth of vocal knowledge and life experience with her. After 6 years managing one of the top vocal training studios in Toronto, Big Voice Studios, Elyse is thrilled to have her own vocal studio here in the city where it all began!

After years of performing on stage in Musicals, Cover Bands, Voice Over and Film/TV all over Toronto, Elyse has coached a variety of artists in multiple genres. These include; singer/songwriters, pop, indie, folk, country, blues, rock, jazz, musical theatre, R & B, rap and many more! Elyse loves working with passionate artists who have a love for authentic vocals and transformative music.

​Working in Toronto for over a decade has given Elyse the skills and life experience to help artists develop their own authentic voice and discover who they truly are as a vocalist. Elyse has prepped many artists for professional recordings in Nashville, London, Toronto and across Canada! 

Kateryna Khartova

Kateryna Khartova is a Canadian-Ukrainian soprano. She is a recent graduate of the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto where she received her Artist Diploma. Katya is also a proud alumna of the Music Department at the University of Saskatchewan. During her undergraduate studies Miss Khartova was a featured as a soloist in the University’s Music Theatre Ensemble under the directory of Dr. Garry Gable and Kathleen Lohrenz Gable.  Kateryna has won several Saskatchewan Music Festival competitions, including grand awards—Wallis Memorial Silver (2014), and Wallis Memorial Bronze (2015).

Kateryna Khartova is a passionate performer of Ukrainian art song through the Ukrainian Art Song Project (UASP) in Toronto.  She was one of eight participants at the week-long summer program of UASP 2019, culminating in a concert held at the Temerty Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Past vocal engagements include soprano solo with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in Larysa Kuzmenko’s Golden Harvest in 2017. She sung Eleanor in Bohuslav  Martinů’s mini-opera Les larmes du couteau  conducted by Peter Tiefenbach and directed by Anna Theodosakis (Glenn Gould School of Music). In March 2019 Kateryna had her Koerner Hall debut as Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte directed by Joel Ivany and conducted by Nathan Brock (Glenn Gould Shool of Music).

Her most recent achievement was joining the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra office team as their philanthropy and engagement specialist. She is happy to continue performing and working in her Canadian home city of Saskatoon.

 

Eileen Laverty

Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Eileen’s family emigrated to Canada when she was six and, while she calls herself a Prairie girl, her Irish roots run deep. Her music career began with a traditional Celtic band, and it wasn’t long before she struck out on her own performing solo in folk clubs and taverns and trying out her own originals.

Laverty’s unique brand of folk music has led to television and film features, and landed her performances with a diverse range of artists, including Kenny Rogers, Tom Cochrane, and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Her songs have been covered by several artists– most notably, Canadian Tenor John McDermott, and Irish star Mary Black. Eileen’s recording, “Tread Softly” was featured on the Songs Inspired By Literature compilation alongside tracks by Steve Earle, David Bowie, Tom Waits, and Rosanne Cash.

Eileen is also a dedicated teacher and coach, and a lifelong fan of The Beautiful Game– still playing when her schedule permits. She loves the outdoors. and many of her songs were composed in and around the northern forests and rivers of Saskatchewan. She has released three CDs and several singles to date.

http://www.eileenlaverty.com/

Madison McLean

Madison McLean has been a proud member of the Saskatoon Fireside Singers for over a decade. She acknowledges that making beautiful music with the inspiring choir members has helped her to grow professionally and personally.

She is currently teaching grade 3/4 at Father Vachon School and is blessed to share her musical gifts with her students.

A lifelong learner, Madison recently began her journey learning ASL (American Sign Language).

Madison is thankful for the love and support from her family and friends, especially her number one fan, and soon-to-be husband, Daniel. This is Madison’s last year being a ‘McLean’ and eagerly awaits to say “I Do” in June 2024.

Ellen Nasser

An endless passion for creating, for connecting,
for self discovery, for people, for life.

Performing artist Ellen Nasser was raised in a small Saskatchewan community named Saltcoats.  Typical of rural life, Nasser took music lessons as a way to fill the long, hot prairie summer days and the cold winter ones that keep you stuck indoors.  She began her musical career with the touring musical revue, Saskatchewan Express, as well as the Canadian Heritage Society’s Spirit of a Nation, a showcase of Canadian song and dance celebrating Canada’s cultures and history.

Nasser studied at the prestigious Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, B.C. and honed her musical talents aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines.  Multitalented, Nasser has also acted in TV series like Rabbit Fall and Corner Gas, as well as in stage adaptations of Evita and Toon Town with Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre.

As a songwriter and recording artist, Thorn has four albums to her name and has completed her first Christmas album that was released on December 7th/19 the evening she performed with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.

To conclude a full 2019, Ellen Nasser released a comical Christmas video: ‘Am I the Only One’ on to YouTube and her social media platforms.   Picture a ‘Home Alone Mom’ Catherine O’Hara, singing a song when she realizes she forgot Kevin! Getting lots of giggles and shares, Ellen is most happy expressing herself.

Ellen Nasser has released numerous songs to country radio including Sweet Millie, How Christmas Used to Feel, Almost Christmas, Something In Me and soon on August 18th/20 – Eight More Days.

Something In Me enjoyed some Top 30 action on Sirius XM channel 171 and she’s hoping Eight More Days will make an equal or even bigger splash!

Ellen loves to create, connect and enjoy life.  She is always writing, performing and evolving.  The truest loves of her life are hubby Johnny and their four babies: Bella, Millie, Sam, Walt and puppy Sofi.

Watch for Ellen Nasser performing at a venue near you.

Ellythorn.com

Sonia Reid

AN ARTICLE FROM THE STAR PHOENIX
By Darlene Polachic

“As a gospel singer, I’m here to tell the story,” she says. “Gospel music is your testimony, your life. In black gospel music, particularly, the songs we sing talk about victories and trials, highs and lows, and how through it all God still gets the glory.”

Reid Noble says while black singers like Mahalia Jackson set the style and the stage for gospel music, there are many more branches of the genre today. Sonia’s music, for instance, “is more R&B-ish.”

Reid Noble grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, the daughter of a pastor. She was drawn to music early and began singing and playing the piano at the age of eight.

She became active in the music of the church as a youth, and it was where she identified her musical gift.

“I sang solos and participated in choirs and musical groups, and was involved in lots of singing ministry with other youth from my church, including leading the congregation in worship. Music was part of who we were.”

At 17, Reid Noble began studying voice with the Royal Conservatory of Music, then moved on to Redeemer University College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in music with a focus on classical voice. She also spent several years doing postgraduate work. During that time, she says, she learned more about church music.

While she was trained as a classical soprano, Reid Noble says she’s more of an alto when she’s singing gospel music.

She has worked professionally all across Canada, in the U.S., and in the Caribbean.

Reid Noble’s debut CD, ‘In You,’ was released in 2009.

One of the many ways Reid Noble shares her love for music is through teaching. For the past 25 years, she has taught vocal lessons to students of all ages, inspiring them to become musically confident. She believes music must first resonate with the artist in order for them to have a powerful impact with it.

While the climate for music performance in Saskatchewan is a healthy one, Reid Noble says she has taken her time becoming established, thanks in part to being a mom to her two children, ages three and five.

“Of course, I began singing in the church our family attends,” she says, “and a surprising opportunity came when I was invited to sing the national anthem before several Roughrider games. That was an amazing experience.”

Reid Noble was the special guest performer at Elim Church’s Christmas presentation for a couple of years, and in 2017, she did her first singing gig at The Bassment, where she performed before a sold-out audience. She performed there twice last year, and is booked to appear again in February.

Reid Noble says gospel music is part of her programs at The Bassment, “but not all. I do Soul and R&B, as well. I tell people I think I’m old enough now to sing about love.”

I have spent my life singing and learning music. From piano lessons as a child to a degree in music from Redeemer University, and continued training. I see music as something I can never learn enough about. Being able to share the gift of music with an audience or a vocal student bring great joy.

https://www.soniareidstudios.com/

Alex Brown, guest host

For more than a decade, Alex Brown has been delighting audiences across Canada with her bubbly personality and quick wit as a host and news anchor on CTV, and online as a social media personality.

Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Alex now calls Saskatoon home. She moved to Pickering, Ontario with her family in 2004, and attended Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson University) for Radio and Television Arts from 2010 to 2014. In 2013, she took on an internship at CTV Regina, before being hired as a chase producer for CTV Morning Live. From 2014 to 2018, she worked as a producer, web writer, live reporter, anchor, weather presenter, and social media host in Regina, before taking on a new role in 2018 at CTV Morning Live Winnipeg. There, she took on the role of Traffic Reporter, along with live reporting, crime reporting, and backfill hosting.

In spring of 2020, she finally landed her dream job as a news anchor and co-host on CTV Morning Live Saskatoon, where she spent four years cultivating a trusted relationship with her audience, both on television and online.

Alex now lives in Saskatoon with her partner Brad and their curious cat Luna. They love exploring the prairies, filming adventure videos and finding hidden gems around Saskatchewan.

Leslie Dala, conductor

Conductor and pianist, Leslie Dala enjoys a multifaceted career spanning the genres of opera, symphonic music, choral and contemporary works. On the podium, he is known for his passionate, dynamic, and charismatic approach to music making. Named one of the top ten artistic leaders by the Vancouver Sun, Dala is well known nationally with guest conducting appearances with orchestras and opera companies across the country. Internationally, he has performed in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, the Czech Republic, China, Taiwan and the US including recently at Carnegie Hall. Currently, he is a member of the music staff at the Santa Fe Opera.

Leslie presently holds the positions of Music Director of the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Associate Conductor and Chorus Director of Vancouver Opera, and the Music Director Emeritus of the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. Recently he conducted Vancouver Opera’s production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, the Canadian premiere of George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill produced by Astrolabe Musik Theatre, and the world premiere of Frank Horvat’s Memories of Self Isolation with the Vancouver Bach Choir.

Career highlights include conducting the Canadian premiere of John Adams’ Oratorio El Nino, the Canadian premiere of Steve Reich’s You are Variations and Daniel Variations, the world premieres of Brian Current’s River of Light, James Rolfe’s and Morris Panych’s opera The Overcoat, and Neil Weisensel and Shane Koyczan’s opera Stickboy. As a conductor he has collaborated with such notable artists as Gregory Kunde, Richard Margison, Measha Brueggergosman, Adrianne Pieczonka and Etienne Dupuis. Other highlights include concerts with Sarah McLachlan and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in addition to leading the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with guest artists the Indigo Girls.

As a pianist, Leslie regularly appears in recital and has partnered with singers, including Russel Braun, Krisztina Szabo, Benjamin Butterfield, Rachel Fenlon, and Asitha Tennekoon. In 2021, Leslie recorded the complete Etudes of Philip Glass which is available on the Redshift label and on all of the major streaming platforms. It was named by CBC Radio as one of the top 21 Classical recordings of 2021. His 2022 recording of Nikolai Korndorf’s The Smile of Maud Lewis also made the CBC list for top 22 Classical recordings in addition to being named one of the Critic’s Choice Favourite Album’s of 2022 by Gramophone Magazine.