National scholarship recipients’ music careers began in Prince Albert area

Prince Albert native Nathalie Parent sings in her band called National Hotel. She's received a national scholarship to advance her career in recording. (Marvin Etruw/Submitted)

“It was kind of a moment of disbelief to first hear it, and even now I’m kind of in a state of disbelief.”

– Nathalie Parent, MusiCounts Scholarship recipient

Doing live recordings with American rapper Snoop Dogg in Toronto and shining on stage as the lead singer in an Edmonton band—that’s what two Prince Albert natives are doing while furthering their music careers.

Kelly Ermine and Nathalie Parent are two of six recipients of the 2019 MusiCounts Scholarships.

Not only will they each receive $4,000 for their music careers, they’ll be in Toronto in a month for networking and mentoring sessions with big names in the music world.

Kelly Ermine, who grew up in Sturgeon Lake, is an Indspire recipient of a MusiCounts scholarship that includes a mentorship session in Toronto. (Kelly Ermine/Submitted)

Ermine, 28, just finished a one-year program at Recording Arts Canada in Toronto. He continues to live there with his new job as a DJ technician at Rimmel Entertainment.

“The mentorship is kind of a big thing,” said Ermine. “That is probably what I’m most looking forward to. The money is a bonus.”

The networking opportunity takes place from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4. In includes sessions with Marianas Trench guitarist Matt Webb, Spotify’s Anne Stirk and Nathan Wiszniak and Anthem Entertainment’s Temi Argyropoulos.

“They’re going to get me kind of linked up with some of the people in the industry that are with live sound,” said Ermine.

Working at Rimmel Entertainment, he said he’s already been in touch with big names like Snoop Dogg and Shaggy.

Ermine is an Indspire recipient. MusiCounts is now partnering with the Indigenous charity to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis students reach their potential in music.

He grew up in Sturgeon Lake and went to high school in Prince Albert. Ermine lived in the city until he moved to Toronto a year ago.

“I plan on returning back to Saskatchewan. I just want to gain some professional experience here in Toronto.”

Nathalie Parent also lived in Prince Albert until she graduated from École St. Mary. The 21-year-old is now in the vocal program at MacEwan University in Edmonton, majoring in recording.

She described what it was like to get the phone call saying she’d got the scholarship.

“It was kind of a moment of disbelief to first hear it, and even now I’m kind of in a state of disbelief because they’re investing a lot into us,” said Parent.

Parent said she’ll be investing in recording equipment—such as software, microphones and preamplifiers—with the money.

“Every dollar really helps,” she said.

But she, too, is mostly excited and a little nervous about the week-long mentorship opportunity.

“We’ll learn how to properly present ourselves professionally. We’ll learn specific places and opportunities to try to take advantage of as up and coming artists and professionals and there might even be things like grant writing seminars,” explained Parent.

She’s been singing in a band called National Hotel, inspired by the one in Prince Albert, for a little over two years. She said her goal is to get a job in a studio as an engineer and then freelance as a producer.

Parent is going into her fourth year of university.