- Our Town
Award-winning aboriginal artists to play Bella Coola Music Festival July 19 & 20
A lot has happened for Don Amero in a short time, though it was a long road for him to get to where he is now. From the notoriously tough North End of Winnipeg, Don faced poverty, gangs, drugs and violence. Fortunately, his life was tempered by love, support, and faith in a Greater Power.
Don’s musical style has been likened to John Mayer meets Keith Urban. Shaped and molded by his own experiences, his music carries the depth of hardship and luminosity of hope. His message is one of encouragement, positivity and beauty, despite the harshness of the world.
This singer/songwriter’s four albums (Heart On My Sleeve, The Long Way Home, Deepening, and Change Your Life) have generated nine national and international awards, and more than two dozen nominations.
Among them are Aboriginal Songwriter and Male Artist of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Best Country Single at the 2012 and 2013 Indian Summer Music Awards, Male Entertainer of the Year at the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, and most recently, a 2013 Juno nomination for Aboriginal Recording of the Year.
A highlight for Don happened in January 2013, when he was selected to showcase at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. The engagement was part of the APAP World Music Conference, and Don was pleased to be one of only three Canadian Aboriginal musicians chosen to perform for a full‐house of New York music lovers and conference delegates.
Just 20 years old, Wesley Hardisty has an impressive resume, with hundreds of gigs, including Vancouver’s Talking Stick Festival, the Northern Scene National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and the Kamloops’ Cowboy Festival.
From the Dene First Nation in the North West Territories, and largely self-taught, Wesley is a fiddler, guitarist, singer and composer. His music blends rock, country, folk, Celtic, and Métis sounds. Critics write that his playing is passionate and compelling to watch, his love of music evident.
Wesley took up the fiddle at age thirteen through the outreach work of the Kole Crook Fiddle Association. He later attended the prestigious Gulf Islands School of Performing Arts on Saltspring Island, and now loves teaching Aboriginal youth and being a positive role model. A soulful, natural musician and inspiring young man, he experiments musically and creates emotionally evocative music.
The Bella Coola Music Festival is pleased to bring Don Amero and Wesley Hardisty to our stage on July 19-20.