Nadeau brings Christmas classics to the Glesby

By Brian Oliver, The Graphic

Harpist Janelle Nadeau, pictured, will be performing Sunday at the Glesby Centre in Portage la Prairie. (Supplied)

Harpist Janelle Nadeau, pictured, will be performing Sunday at the Glesby Centre in Portage la Prairie. (Supplied)

Between sharing stages with artists like Kanye West and Diana Krall while pursuing her music career and manning the combine at harvest time on the family farm, Manitoba harpist Janelle Nadeau has one busy schedule.

Nadeau, a native of nearby Fannystelle, Man., located south of Elie, is halfway through her latest tour - The Nadeau Ensemble: A Prairie Christmas - and will be bringing the harmonies from her recently-released Christmas album to Portage la Prairie’s Glesby Centre this weekend.

“I find people bond over music and it especially is noticeable in small communities so I’m really getting excited for the show,” says Nadeau. “There’s such a nice energy in Manitoba and there’s something special about getting out of the cold and into a warm theater to listen to some great music.”

Virtually a harpist from birth, Nadeau doesn’t recall a time she didn’t have a harp by her side and credits her parents for immersing her in music at a young age.

“When I was a kid my mom and dad would take us to concerts all the time, and we would listen to music constantly,” she adds.

Nadeau’s latest album, Star of Night, is a collection of holiday classics and debuted with glowing reviews. Her music can be heard and purchased at janellenadeau.bandcamp.com and will be filling the halls of the Glesby Centre to cap off her holiday tour before returning to Vancouver, B.C. – where the harpist lives and teaches – to perform as part of the Goh Ballet Academy’s Nutcracker.

A prairie girl at heart, Nadeau returns home to Manitoba often to help her family tend to their farm.

“Manitoba is always going to be my home. My mom is from Elie and I lived my first few years in Elie then we moved to the farm,” she adds. “My parents still farm and I’m the combine driver. I come back for harvest all the time to help out.”

The Nadeau Ensemble: A Prairie Christmas tour winds down this week with shows in Fannystelle, Winnipeg and Pinawa before ending Sunday afternoon in Portage la Prairie. Nadeau’s Portage show is set for Sunday at 2 p.m., and tickets are available at glesbycentre.com and the Glesby Centre box office.

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