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Debut Album Release

September 30, 2014

It is hard to believe but after years of playing the harp, I am thrilled to say that I am releasing an album! I have been so honoured to work on other people’s CDs and to have an amazing performance career so far and now it is time for a new celebration.   I can now offer the people who have supported me and a whole new group of listeners, my own album.

Here is the cover of it:


I named the album These Roads because I feel that this album is an account of the many roads I have travelled throughout my life.  I grew up on Manitoban country roads and I have traveled city roads as well as many around the world.  All of these experiences have influenced me, my music and my stories thus creating my debut album.

One of the reasons why I am so excited about this album is because I had such wonderful people on my side.  It began with incredible support from my family, my colleagues and my teachers.  Then, I was connected with amazing songwriters, especially my amazing co-writer, Jaylene Johnson. I am so lucky that she and I have always been on the same page.  We connected from the beginning.  When you click with someone and open yourself up to the possibilities and vulnerability of songwriting, beautiful music can happen.

Next, I met up with the man who really understand what I wanted and helped me to create such an amazing product.  Stephen Fisk recorded, mixed, assisted production, played and sang on the album.  How awesome is that? Everything he did impressed me and I am so lucky that he jumped right in and gave it his all.

Though there have been so many exciting things surrounding this, one of the things that I am most looking forward to is my album release concert at the West End Cultural Centre!

Here is the poster with all the information:

I am also incredibly excited about all of the amazing publicity I have been getting with this album release! Here is a taste of the material that the press is getting:

Manitoba Harpist and Farmer Ploughing Ahead with her Musical Dreams

CD Release Set for Wednesday October 8 at the West End Cultural Centre.  She’s a Manitoba farmer who also happens to be a classically trained harpist. Now, Janelle Nadeau is ‘combining’ her interests, releasing her debut CD These Roads at the West End Cultural Centre on Wednesday October 8, 2014.

What: Janelle Nadeau’s These Roads CD Release Concert

When: 8 p.m., Wednesday October 8, 2014 (doors at 7:15 p.m.)

Where: West End Cultural Centre, 586 Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg, MB

Tickets: $25 advance l $30 door. Tickets available at the West End Cultural Centre, Music Trader, the Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store or Ticketmaster at

It’s an interesting juxtaposition. In the summer months, the 28-year-old Manitoban operates huge farm machinery, working the fields as a combine and swather operator at her family’s grain farm in Fannystelle, about 50 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

For the remainder of the year, Janelle lives and works in Vancouver as a classically-trained harpist.

Janelle does not just play the classical harp, but Celtic and electric harp as well.”It weighs about 90 pounds with the case and dolly,” says Janelle of her six-foot high pedal harp. She herself weighs only 120 pounds but manages to lug her instrument around with ease.

Janelle’s October 8 concert will feature a blend of Spanish tunes, Celtic, blues, country, popular and original music.  This performance promises to be a toe-tapping, lively type of show, paired with introspective moments.

“This will be much different than a typical harp concert,” explains Janelle. “The music selection is varied and is not made up of only slow music.”

Janelle will also showcase her vocal abilities, with her singing a perfect complement to her proficient playing.

Ian Mackie (drum/percussion) and Stephen Fisk (guitar/bass/vocals) will accompany Janelle – a fitting selection as Fisk also produced and recorded the album.

Janelle is especially excited to debut the original songs she wrote for the album, many of which were co-written with local songwriter and music heavyweight Jaylene Johnson. For instance, one of the songs, Grant Us Pardon, was influenced by Janelle’s 2014 visit to Rwanda. At an orphanage where she volunteered, Janelle met with genocide victims, and also had a chance to meet with an African father who was forced into war. “He had a wife and eight kids. He had to do the killing in order to guarantee the safety of his own family. That’s what the song Grant Us Pardon is about,” says Janelle. “Who are we to judge, when we don’t know everything about a situation? Sometimes people are forced to make decisions that are extremely difficult.  At the end of the day, what is needed is forgiveness.”

While this is Janelle’s first CD, she is already an accomplished musician. In 2008, Janelle graduated from the Harp Performance Program at the University of British Columbia. She has been touring western Canada and the Yukon for the last eight years with the acclaimed music group Winter Harp, which performs Celtic, medieval, and classical music. She has toured with the Canada National Youth OrchestraHome Routes and Manitoba Arts Council. She plays regularly with the Vancouver Opera and has played in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and she has even backed up Kanye West during a Vancouver performance.

Janelle’s interesting musical history has earned her the respect, and attention of others. Winnipeg radio host Ace Burpee (Virgin Radio 103) recently named Janelle one of 100 Most Fascinating Manitobans of 2013 (Janelle was #51 to be precise).

Janelle was also selected as one of five finalists in the On the Coast region of CBC Radio’s Searchlight contest with her song Leavin’ (co-written withJaylene Johnson and Arun Chaturvedi).

For more information, please visit or contact publicist Janelle Johnson at or 204.330.0853.

Thank you so much to everyone for all of your amazing support and I am so looking forward to sharing this with you! To purchase my album, please email me directly at:  Online purchases soon to come! JN_postcard_back-page-001


Cause for Inspiration

March 20, 2014

Over the years, I have often reminded myself to feel grateful for the amazing life that I lead.  The simple pleasure of having a warm bed to sleep in and food on the table every day is more than what most have. I rarely think about how those simple day to day luxuries are more than what so many are afforded.

This past February, I had the honour of visiting an orphanage in Rwanda called L’Esperance Rwanda.  These children do have the privilege of meals and a bed to sleep in but being with them taught me about life and happiness. They gave me memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.  harpist in Rwanda

Below are some of my writings in my journal while I was there.

The Real Story:
How is it possible for a child to end up in an orphanage? How is it possible for a single parent to give up his/her child for an orphanage? As an extended family member of a child, how does one allow him/her to live in an orphanage and not in the comfort of their own home?

For most of these children, their mothers died at child birth and their fathers gave them up unknowing, unwilling or unable to care for them.  For some of these children, their stories are even more grave.

Most of the people in the countryside can barely put food on the table once a day and for others, there is no food at all.

The government attempts to keep up appearances and tries to implement laws that the country is not yet ready for. One such example is of the government wanting all children to be “accounted for.” As a result, they are closing all orphanages and expecting the children to go live with family who cannot support them, who don’t want them or who will try to kill them in order to own the land that used to belong to the child’s parents.  The government seem to forget that the definition of an orphanage is a house for children who are without an able or willing family.

On the topic of the government: it does not support anyone with disabilities because it believes the family should take care of that person.  But when that person has no family and no education; what happens? I understand that Rwanda is still a developing country who is desperately trying to emerge from the ashes of the genocide but I can’t help but wonder if it is always the right decisions that are being made.

I sit here in shorts and a T-shirt knowing that I have it all.  I am loved and have always have been by many people.  The sheer good fortune, wealth, health and security that I have been lucky enough to have in my life is greater than so many will ever know.  I knew that already, but now, it is different.  I now possess knowledge that will never allow me to go back to the way I used to think.

Me + Erina

Erina is in the picture above.  I met her my first evening at the orphanage and then I spent most of my time with her.   She told me that she could no longer go to school because in September she started having pain and weakness in her legs.   I did everything I could to ensure that she would get a proper doctor in the city, we did exercises to strengthen her extremely weak muscles and we did a lot of learning together. She is one of the brightest and coolest people I have ever met and I have such respect for her.  We had a bond that I will always treasure.

Typically, after a day of studying and hanging out together, the rest of the kids would come back from school, we would work together all afternoon and in the evenings I would listen to them sing in their language and usually do a bit more studying or chatting. The older teenagers were my favourite because they had such depth.  They had to grow up way before they should have, but as a result they have turned into these amazing human beings with an enormous amount of strength and maturity.


My Last Night’s Thoughts:
The director said he has never cried so hard or laughed as hard as he did here.  He has never felt so alive and yet so dead at the same time and never so helpful and yet so hopeless.

I cannot think of a better way to summarize my experience here.   I have seen so much happiness on these children’s faces as well as a delight and an eagerness to learn, be cared for and to have a bit of attention. Really, a big thing that these kids want is to have people who care about them.

One of the guys said he was sad that I was leaving because not many people sit with them and care about them.   I sat with these people every single day. I taught them, I listened to them and loved just being with them joking around and having fun.  I am not sure if they will remember me for the rest of their lives but there is no way I will ever forget them during mine.

I never want to forget the feeling I have today of giving and of love.  I know that I am meant to be on this earth to give and that is my true “calling.” Real struggle allows true love and happiness to bloom; superficial and material things are not what is most important in life.  If at any time I start to feel down on myself for the type of day I am having or for my troubles, I will try to remember that no matter how bad my day is going, someone else is having a worse one.

I want to remember to have the courage to walk off the beaten path, to remember that what I have is more than enough and to remember that giving is truly more gratifying than receiving.  I want to remember to follow my heart down the path it leads me no matter how strange or untraveled.