Karyn Ellis has been called a modern musical darling who engages audiences with her voice, her fine acoustic guitar playing and of course, her songs.
Ellis, who has been likened to Canadian singer-songwriters Feist and Sarah Harmer, is performing at the Dream Café on Sunday for a special concert.
The recent transplant to B.C., Ellis grew up in Ontario. In the spring of 2010 she found herself winning an honourable mention in a songwriting contest hosted by the Island Mountain Arts centre in Wells, B.C. That summer she traveled across the country to claim her prize — attendance at a four-day songwriting workshop held in late July. After the workshop, she opted to stay and play at the local music festival, Artswells. By the week’s end she had fallen in love with the area. By winter she had packed up her Toronto apartment and fit it into the back of a pickup truck, which she drove from Ontario to British Columbia to settle into the foothills of the Cariboo mountains where she currently lives.
Island Mountain Arts and Artswells is directed by none other than Penticton’s own Julie Fowler. And it is this connection that brings Ellis to Penticton’s Dream Café for the first time.
Ellis has released three albums to date, her most recent being Even Though The Sky Was Falling. In addition to her song Motorcycle Ride receiving that honourable mention in the 2010 Island Mountain Arts Songwriting Contest, she has been voted Most Original New Voice (2007) by the Humber College songwriting faculty that included artists Danny Michel, Dahmnait Doyle and U.S. songwriter, Jules Shear. Ellis was shortlisted for the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award two years in a row in 2009 and 2010, administered by the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals and Ontario Arts Council. Additionally, her song Little Grey Sparrow was selected out of over 700 entries nationwide as one of five finalists representing Ontario in CBC Radio 3’s David Suzuki’s Playlist For the Planet Songwriting Contest in 2010.
Her songs have appeared in TV and films, most recently Degrassi: The Tenth Season, which aired on MuchMusic and over 100 international syndicates. Other placements include Robson Arms, which aired on CTV, Bravo! and the Comedy Network and in U.K. filmmaker Gareth Griffith’s Happy Fridays screened at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.
For more information about Ellis visit www.karynellis.com. To reserve your seats for Sunday contact the Dream Café at 250-490-9012. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the show starting at 7 p.m. A suggested $5 donation goes towards the performer and the Dream Café will have a dinner special for $10.95.