VICKI ARNDT – MACLEOD GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
A leading contemporary folk artist is packing her bags and heading west, toting some of the most powerful prairie music west of the Canadian Shield.
Connie Kaldor, a three-time Juno Award winner and an Order of Canada recipient in 2007 for her contribution to Canadian culture, performs at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod on Thursday, April 3 and Friday, April 4 at 7:30 pm.
Kaldor is the fifth performer of the 2013-’14 Centre Stage Series.
Kaldor, born in Regina, Sask. during a May blizzard that tailed a heat wave is said to be prairie to the bone.
Kaldor is often referred to as the Queen of the Prairies, a performer without borders. She sings about life’s most unexpected, with twists and turns and a good dose of humour. She keeps her audience on their toes and with a smile on their faces.
An acoustic folk singer-songwriter, Kaldor has released 14 albums over two decades. Though classified as a folk performer, her music blends the borders between gospel, rock, country and western, folk, bluegrass, and adult contemporary.
Kaldor’s latest album “Postcards from the Road” released in 2009 features songs as diverse as Canada’s landscape. Like a collection of postcards, the album includes songs about the Canadian prairies, mining towns, mountains, cowboys, victory and loses with a sprinkle of romance along the way.
The album was produced by Davy Gallant who produced for KAIN and Paul Campagne of the group Hart Rouge. “Postcards from the Road” includes the songs “Sweet as Okanagan Peaches” written on an ukulele, a cowboy song “Ride Gone Wrong” and a song about lost love “Welcome to Heartacheville.”
Kaldor developed her vocal range singing in the local Lutheran Church choir her father directed. Her mother swore Kaldor sang from her cradle.
As a young adult, Kaldor followed her love of performing arts with a theatrical degree from the University of Alberta in 1976. Following graduation she worked for the Mummers theatre company in Newfoundland and Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto.
Kaldor left the theatre life in 1979 in search of a full-time musical career.
In 1981, Kaldor developed her own independent record label now called Coyote Entertainment. In 1983 she joined Fleming Artists, a major independent acoustic music agency and found herself headlining folk festivals across Canada, sharing the stage with some of Canada’s top folk talent including Stan Rogers, Valdy and Roy Forbes.
Kaldor has toured throughout India, China, Europe and North America. She has also shared the stage with many top folk artists including Tracy Chapman, Sylvia Tyson, the Chieftains and Shawn Colvin.
Kaldor co-wrote and performed the theme song for the Lynn Johnston animated television show “”For Better or For Worse which debuted in 2000 on Teletoon network.
Kaldor is also a recipient of a 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal for her outstanding contribution to arts in Canada.
Kaldor’s song “”Wood River from her 1992 album of the same name is considered to be her best known song and by many to be Saskatchewan’s quintessential tune. The song was also named one of the best songs about Canada by Canadian Geographic Magazine.
In 2003, Kaldor hosted Kaldor @ Wood River Hall; a 13-part series recorded at the Canada Saskatchewan Sound Stage. She hosted the extraordinary talents of some of Canada’s finest roots and folk performers including Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Bruce Cockburn, James Keelaghan, the Wailin’ Jennies and more.
Kaldor credits her longevity in the Canadian folk scene to endless touring. Her large discography and contribution to the Canadian arts scene has assured her an ever growing fan base with every show and songs that will stand the test of time.