Lehner wows at inaugural EAR Candy Music Festival

Katelyn Lehner and her band perform during the inaugural EAR Candy Music Festival on Saturday, July 23. -- Photo by Marjorie Roden

Prince Albert’s Katelyn Lehner saved the best for last at the inaugural EAR Candy Music Festival on Saturday.

In years past, Lehner burned up the track with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, winning many medals during her track and field career. Currently, she is now dedicating herself to her singing career, which also sees her traveling around Western Canada a fair bit.

“The guys and I are just getting back from the Calgary Stampede playing a show there,” said an exhausted Lehner after her hour long performance.

“Last weekend, we got to play ‘The Cowboy’s Tent’, which is a pretty great venue they have on the Stampede grounds. We were the lead openers for Blue Rodeo, which was amazing, so it’s a really fun summer. 

“It’s been really fun, the last couple of months, and I’m happy to be back in my hometown of PA this weekend.”

With the amount of energy Lehner put into her show, it would make it a hard act for anyone to follow. The evening drive-in act on Saturday night was Soul Sensation with local artist Heidi Munroe.

“I’ve known Heidi for years, and she puts on a heck of a show, too.” Lehner said. “Everyone’s going to have a great day of entertainment.”

Lehner is no stranger to drive-in concerts, which have become more and more common since the start of the pandemic. She said it’s a great idea, and great way to keep artists in touch with their fans.

“Covid created a silver lining in things,” Lehner explained. “It gave us the idea how to do things (safely), and I’ve always been a fan of drive-ins, so I’m happy they’re continuing to do some outdoor performances.”

Digital platforms are becoming a huge part of the modern entertainment industry. They help artists promote their work, while also earning a per-listen commission. During the show, Lehner announced that she had finally earned a spot on Spotify.

“The streaming world is hard to break into,” she said. “Good music and a little bit of luck always helps you out, but it’s taken four singles. My fourth single, ‘Ten Bucks’, just got a notification literally 15 minutes before we walked on stage, that I got added onto my first Spotify play list. That was a really good little happy note of the day, as it was performing here as well.”

Lehner loves coming back to Prince Albert, stating “I know everyone here at the Rawlinson. Daniel and the crew here have always treated me really well, and like I said, I have really good memories of performing here.

“Probably lots of my songs come from the things and experiences, and people from (Prince Albert). I’m sure I’ll continue to write about my hometown as I go forward.”

What advice would Lehner offer up to any young women interested in following in her musical footsteps?

“I think there’s always setbacks in the world as women, but we look at the positives and there’s so many great females that I’ve looked at and up to. Specifically, in the music industry, the Shania Twains’ and the Carrie Underwoods’…. There’s so many great female artists out there.

“For young girls, keep doing your thing. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. It’s tricky enough when you’re growing up and you’re finding out who you are and your interests and trying to figure out what to do with your life.

“Listen to your gut and be yourself. Keep on pushing things. Surround yourself with really good people.”

Lehner is taking some very well deserved time off over the summer, but will be back touring in the fall.