Carolyn’s pure natural voice, innovative melodies and well crafted lyrics weave a fusion of folk, country, bluegrass and Celtic roots music into uplifting stories of life, love, family, friendship and the simple journey of the human heart
With a voice compared to the likes of Mary Gauthier and Judy Collins and the humorous sensibilities of Connie Kaldor, Carolyn writes songs that can make you laugh and make you cry
The Nashville Taxi Driver asked, "If you had to choose songwriting or performing, which would it be?" "Songwriting, without a doubt," said Carolyn.
Highlights include opening for singer-songwriter, Eric Bogle, performing in singer-songwriter showcases with Bill Henderson and Roy Forbes and folk duo Lester Quitzau and Mae Moore, Fred Penner, Wendell Ferguson, Shane Chisholm, Andrea England and Duane Steele. Co-wrote the Kelowna’s official Centennial song “100 Years” for the City of Kelowna and was a regular participant in the George Ryga Songwriting Workshops at The Ryga Center in Summerland, B.C.
Singer-Songwriter Carolyn Anele (a-NEL) loves to write songs. She can be found at the kitchen table with papers and files all around her of songs in various forms of completion. It's a rare occurrence these days when she has solitude to write but squeezes out whatever time she gets during the everyday activities of being a wife, mother and homemaker. "Family and music, it doesn't get any better than that for me!"
Carolyn's music sits within the singer songwriter, folk/country, adult contemporary realm. Carolyn plays acoustic guitar and would love to get back to the piano - the first instrument Carolyn learned as a child when she composed her first melodies.
Carolyn was born in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada – a rural town in the North Okanagan Valley surrounded by lakes, rivers and mountains. As a girl, she preferred creating her own melodies on the old family piano to the tedious practicing of scales and traditional compositions. In 1990, Carolyn began a seventeen-year career as a support worker at a the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. This work fostered her drive to pursue writing and performing. In 1996, Carolyn attended her first workshop, a Power-Song Shop designed for advanced songwriters in Vancouver, B.C. This affirming opportunity inspired Carolyn to continue learning and honing her writing skills. In 2000, Carolyn started her career as a solo artist and writer, promoting her original material. She was chosen to perform her own songs that summer at a fundraising event held for the B.C. Children's Hospital, where headliners, Jann Arden and Amanda Marshall later performed on stage.
Carolyn's 2002 debut album, ‘The Harbour’ features seven original songs – a mixture of folk, contemporary, blue grass, spiritual and instrumental music. Her CD won a 2003 KADAC (Kelowna & District Arts Council) Award of Honour for CD Release in the Okanagan. In 2004, Carolyn was nominated for the KADAC Favourite Female Performer of the year and Favourite Folk Artist of the year. Coinciding with the release of ‘The Harbour’ CD, Carolyn's sell out debut concert in the spring of 2002, combined her musical pursuits with her humanitarian efforts – a fundraising event for Inside/Out, a violence prevention program for teens.
Carolyn has since released her 4 song CD, self titled ‘Carolyn Anele’ as well as her Single Release called “Where Birds Sing”.
After taking time to raise her family, Carolyn released her first full length album, ‘Where Birds Sing’ in the Fall of 2013 to a sold-out crowd. The song “I'm A Baby” was the Winner of the BC Musician Fred Penner National Songwriting Contest and was a Finalist in the Great American International Song Contest. “Coal Dust Sandwiches" was a Finalist in both the Great American Song Contest and the UK International Songwriting Contest.
In the winter of 2015, Carolyn released a song called "Watch Me Fly", written for a dear friend who passed away from Parkinson's Disease. "He loved hiking, sailing and all things Nature. I like to believe he's out there free as a bird." Joining Carolyn on the song is award winning Singer Songwriter, Engineer & Co-producer Andrew Smith from Kelowna and playing acoustic guitar and a '64 Precision' bass is Guitarist, Singer Songwriter and Entertainer, Toronto's, Wendell Ferguson a multiple CCMA winner, Juno nominee and a recent inductee to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. The song “Watch Me Fly” was awarded Finalist in both the Singer Songwriter Category and the Country Category of the UK International Song Contest.
Carolyn released her second full length album, 'Wishes, Dreams & Centuries' in September 2018 to a sold out crowd in Vernon BC. On the album, “The Goose Song” was a 2018 Top Five Winner in the Special Music Category of the Great American International Song Contest. Another song on the album “Bring That Mountain Down” was awarded a Finalist position in the Country Category of the 2017 Great American International Song Contest and was a Finalist in the 2017 UK International Songwriting Contest.
Carolyn credits Singer Songwriters, Roy Forbes (Bim) and Bill Henderson (Chilliwack), in helping her learn the craft of songwriting during the many ‘George Ryga Songwriting Workshops’ they facilitated, in Summerland, BC. Carolyn felt grateful and honoured to be selected, along with a few other songwriters to perform with Bill and Roy on stage in the songwriter showcases through out that time period.
Post pandemic, Carolyn continues to hone her craft, having just returned from a California retreat facilitated by Andrea Stolpe. “A retreat is a great kick-start, now that the kids are older and more independent, I have more time to write and perform.”
Carolyn currently resides in Vernon, B.C. with her husband, teenagers and the family cat and performs for charities, benefits, festivals, showcases, house concerts, galleries, wineries, etc.