On the door of Tenille Nadkrynechny’s bedroom is a picture she drew in Grade 2 answering the question from her teacher of where her passion lies.
While she isn’t too sure about the disco ball drawn above her self-portrait as a rock star, Tenille stands these days much like the artistic version in front of a crowd performing. On Thursday the Alberta-born country singer performed in front of an appreciative crowd at Skaha Lake Middle School as part of the Play It Forward tour.
“Our goal is to encourage youth what they do best, which is play. Then we want to find a way to use what they are passionate about and make a difference for other people and play it forward,” said Tenille. “It is amazing to get to go into these audiences and ignite those sparks and watch these kids get excited about the opportunity that they can create for themselves and just know whatever it is that they love whether it is sports, arts, music that is a passion worthy of being able to grow it and be able to do great things in the world.”
Tenille travels on the Play It Forward tour with a message through music and motivational speaking for students, promoting positive leadership efforts for Canada’s youth. She will head east after her stop in Penticton and visit schools in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario before heading back home to Grande Prairie. She will hit the East Coast in the fall.
At each stop three student-leaders are chosen by the school to receive a $75 honorarium, which the students then decide where they would like to put it to use within their school. Tenille will also have a draw at the end of her tour for $10,000 with half going to the winners charity of choice and the other half going towards the school for a program that continues the Play It Forward spirit.
Having just graduated from high school last year, Tenille has grown quickly into becoming a role model with her infectious way of spreading inspiration. The 19 year old has been honoured as the youngest recipient in history for the Slaight Music Humanitarian Award at the 2012 Canadian Country Music Awards, recognized by the Grande Prairie chamber of commerce with the young entrepreneur of the year and received a Diamond Jubilee medal. On top of this she raises money with her own annual music event, the Big Hearts for Big Kids fundraiser for Sunrise House. This is a youth emergency shelter serving a wide area of Northern Alberta. Last month she released her second album, Light, which she wrote or co-wrote every song. The album touches on many of the challenges she has faced growing up.
“Talking about personal experiences is the easiest and hardest at the same time. If it is something current in my life or something I went through growing up, it is probably something in common with other people. That is the cool thing about music it is relatable,” said Tenille. “Lots of my songs talk about growing up and the challenges you face in different phases of your life especially as a teenager like the pressures or things you stand up for. I want to get across how important it is to stay true to your spark, what your passion is, what you love and just be you.”
Her album is available on iTunes and in stores like HMV and Walmart.
“It’s crazy. We have caught it in a few stores and it is a little crazy,” said Tenille. “It’s weird seeing myself in the stores but it is so amazing that it is available for people to listen to. My favourite part about music is the way it reaches out to people and extends a hand to connect. It is able to spread a message and bring awareness.”