Kiesza joins Selkirk College gala

This year’s annual showcase of Selkirk College talent on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus will feature a prominent alumna.

Selkirk College contemporary music and technology program alumna Kiesza performing on Good Morning America this past June with former instructor Gilles Parenteau on keys. Kiesza returns to Nelson in late November to visit the classrooms where she honed her craft.

This year’s annual showcase of Selkirk College talent on Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus will feature an alumna who started to piece together a blossoming international pop star career while studying in the West Kootenay.

The Selkirk College gala 2015 will take place on Nov. 28 at Mary Hall and feature a three-course meal prepared by the professional cook program students and served by the resort and hotel management program students. The black tie event features entertainment by students in the contemporary music and technology program and this year’s class will be joined on stage by Selkirk College alumna Kiesza.

“We’re thrilled to have Kiesza coming back to join us on this special evening,” says music program instructor Gilles Parenteau. “It wasn’t too long ago that she was a student in our classrooms and performance spaces. It’s going to bring a special touch to what is always a great evening of fine food, community building and music.”

Kiesza arrived to Selkirk College from Calgary as an 18-year-old bursting with talent. Honing her craft in the studios at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus, she graduated in 2009 and continued her music studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2014, Kiesza arrived on the international stage with her hit song “Hideway” which featured an incredible video that has more than 250 million views on YouTube.

Over the last two years, Kiesza has released a full-length album, captured three Juno Awards, toured the world and collaborated with some of the world’s biggest stars like Rhianna. She recently took part in a concert for the David Foster Foundation in Toronto where she performed alongside Stevie Wonder.

Kiesza is taking time out to stop into Nelson to reconnect with her former instructors and will be giving a workshop for current students. She will perform a set at gala 2015 on Saturday evening and take part in a Sunday afternoon meet-and-greet with fans of all ages.

“This is a great opportunity to have a former student come back to a program which helped her achieve her musical goals,” says Parenteau, who corresponds with his former student on a regular basis and this past summer performed with her live in New York City on Good Morning America. “It’s also going to be pretty cool to see current students perform with her on the Gala stage.”

Money raised at the Sunday meet-and-greet will go towards a special bursary being established in Kiesza’s name. It will be a way to recognize the former student and her accomplishments in the music industry.

“We are proud of every one of our graduates,” says Selkirk College donor and alumni coordinator Joleen Kinakin. “A bursary like this will help future students achieve their goals and perhaps provide a little inspiration along the way.”

The theme of gala 2015 is Created By Community which is a nod to all the people who have helped make Selkirk College a vital part of post-secondary education in the West Kootenay-Boundary for almost 50 years.

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