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Lorena Kelly - SaskMusic

Where were you at in your music career when you had your first child? Was there much discussion about how that life choice would affect your career within the music/entertainment industry?

I had been working in the admin side of music for a non-profit for quite some time, performing frequently with a couple of different bands and freelancing as a keyboard player, and volunteering with other orgs. There wasn't a discussion nor planning per se; I finally had a successful pregnancy after years of fertility issues, escaped an abusive relationship, and become a single parent. All I knew for sure is that I'd need a temporary hiatus from live performing. I didn't know exactly how things would work out from there, but my daughter was a welcome surprise.

As a working parent in the music industry, what are some of the biggest challenges you are facing?

Finding time to make music, when they're little and want/need your attention 24/7.  I could no longer drop everything to write a song or rehearse for a gig. The biggest hurdle was affording childcare in order to go to rehearsals and play shows, and especially anything that required travelling. That cost pretty much killed my live performance career, then COVID hit. Now that she's older I'm slowly starting to get back into things.

What is one small change within the industry that could make a positive impact for working parents?

More all ages shows and shows that start earlier, so we can 'take our kids to work'. It's not industry-specific, but $10/day daycare is an amazing development for affordability.

How do you find support and community with other working parents in or out of the music industry?

It's tough, especially as a 'mature' parent. It's hard enough to make friends when you're an adult! I am hoping a sense of village is something we can build through our Women in Music chapters, though, especially for single parents and those without many family supports.

What’s one specific example of an organization/venue/company doing something great to help support working parents?

What could a music event (festival, conference, etc.), do or provide to make it easier for you to participate?
Normalizing it for a venue/festival to offer support with childcare with their booking offer, if that's at all feasible for them. For example 'childcare will be available during your set' would mean kiddos can travel to more shows with us.

Can you shout out another music mama doing great things?

Amber Goodwyn at Regina Folk Festival!