WINCHESTER – A triple threat, a two-time hall of famer and a Canadian musical icon, but you may have never heard of her.
Her name is Kelli Trottier and if it’s entertainment you seek at this year’s Dairyfest, you would be wise to make your way to the St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church Saturday (Aug. 11) evening at 7:30 pm for her show.
Concert organizers Tom and Jan Clapp have worked hard to put together a venue that will be suitable for performer of Trottier’s abilities. For those that have never seen, nor heard of her, it promises to be a captivating evening. The Clapp’s know what it’s like to walk into a Trottier show and leave completely enthralled.
“We heard her for the first time at the plowing match over in Finch. We’d never heard of her, but we sat down and just loved it. We just loved her, her presentation and her music so we stayed for the second show and I said, ‘We’ve got to get her here,’” said Tom.
Backed by a trio called the Mushy Peas, Trottier not only sings, she also plays the fiddle like no one else and her step dance is a dizzying display sure to delight.
Tom compared her work to that of Natalie MacMaster.
“She’s sort of an icon. To me she’s a better fiddler, she’s got a beautiful voice, she can step dance, she’s just an all around entertainer. Very down to Earth. When you hear her, she just talks about herself and music she’s made and how it’s symbolic in her life, which is nice,” said Tom.
The list of accomplishments and supporters is lengthy for Trottier. She is a member of the North America Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame and has been nominated three times for Fiddle Player of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association. She is also a highly sought-after instructor and judge of fiddle and step dance events across Canada and the U.S. She has performed live and in studio with George Fox, The Family Brown, Randall Prescott, Wayne Rostad and Lucille Starr. She even performed for Sir Sean Connery’s private 80th birthday party in the Bahamas.
Her passion for music developed from deep and lasting Scottish and French roots, but it’s her approachable nature and perseverance that separates her as a performer.
“What I find very special about Kelli is that she had a very serious health issue and most of us would have just given up I think. For her to come back and be able to sing and do everything again is just amazing,” said Jan.
“To me she is a modern day Anne Murray. The way she sings, her tone and when she does her songs, my gosh you’d think it was Anne Murray. The variety that she has attracts many people – the singing, the fiddling and her dance,” added Tom.
Tickets for the show are $20 and part of the proceeds are going towards the House of Lazarus as the Clapp’s are no strangers to giving back.
“I’m passionate about church, but church is not the building, it’s the community. The church should be part of the community,” said Tom.
There will also be a very special presentation at the beginning of the show at 7:30 pm with some special guests to honour Trottier’s achievements.
It’s hoped that the show will go a long way into ruining the best-kept secret in Canada and to make sure that a few more households know the name Kelli Trottier.