Who wants to be a festival star?

Erica Dee will work with aspiring musicians at the youth centre

Mentors are important, especially in the music industry.

When Kootenay singer Erica Dee was first coming up, she benefited from having artists such as Pigeon John encourage her and invite her along on tour. Now she’s hoping to fill a similar role for Nelson youngsters.

“I’ve had the courage to believe in myself from a young age, and to believe in what I love and what drives me. Singing and writing music and performing in front of people has been the one thing that makes me feel closest to dreaming,” the Selkirk College grad told the Star.

“That’s been my fuel and my passion and my love.”

So in July, Dee will be working with kids between the ages of 10 and 18 to write, perform and record their own songs for her summer camp Music and Me. Free spots for low-income youth are being offered by Shambhala Music Festival, so there’s no excuse for aspiring musicians not to sign up.

“Over the course of five days, the students will get an overall understanding of how to put their thoughts and feelings and ideas into a piece of music, gain a larger understanding of the history of music, and learn some new skills,” she said.

Then the kids will perform their piece for their friends and family.

“These kids are going to have an experience that will carry them forward in their artistry and their independence.”

Dee released her album New Skies in 2016. She’s performing at a number of festivals this summer, including Kaslo Jazz and Shambhala.

For more information, call the youth centre at 250-352-5656.