Xavier Kennedy Music Fund

Xavier Kennedy Music Fund

From Andrew J Irons

A few weeks ago, I watched a video of a young, self-taught Indigenous man playing piano in Portage Place Mall in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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 I found out his name is Xavier Kennedy.  He is a member of Bloodvein First Nation and has been raised in a diversity of reserve and urban communities.  As I watched the video, I was stunned by his natural talent and passion for music. I reached out to him to find out if he'd be interested in pursuing formal training.I am moved by his playing and story because I know that my career as a professional musician is a direct result of the support of my family and community. My relatives have always worked hard to help me realize my dream of playing music - even in the face of financial barriers and accessibility. It's so clear to me that Xavier is meant to make music and I am compelled to help him do that.  Xavier was excited and diligent about responding to my messages and following up to my questions about his music. I reached out to a few different places, and, it was Long & McQuade who delivered: they've donated a 3 month keyboard rental and 3 month's worth of weekly piano lessons at their Pembina location in Winnipeg. Today, my cousin & I went to L & M with Xavier and his girlfriend to work out lesson details, pick up his new keys, and wander around the store. His smile, excitement, and gratitude have given me enough energy to survive for years. This fundraiser is to fill in the financial spaces between Long & McQuade's generous donations. Xavier is on a fixed income and as a young person working to establish himself in the city, these expenses are beyond his basic budget.

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