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Sechile Sedare show in New West to showcase sibling singer-songwriters

Juno Award winner promises “a full emotional journey, lots of storytelling, laugher and some tears” at upcoming show in New Westminster
Sechile Sedare will perform at Anvil Theatre on Saturday, April 20.

An acclaimed sibling singer-songwriters duo – Leela Gilday and Jay Gilday – will be sharing songs and stories during an upcoming show in New Westminster.

The siblings perform together as Sechile Sedare, which means “my younger brother, my older sister” in the Dene language. They’ll be performing at Anvil Theatre on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.

“Jay and I are really excited to come to the Anvil after our showcase there at Pacific Contact last year,” Leela said in a statement to the Record. “The audience should expect a full emotional journey, lots of storytelling, laughter and some tears.”

Leela is excited to be returning to New West – a city she once called home.

“I love New West, as it was one of the first places I lived temporarily when I moved to the West Coast in 2003,” she said. “Before I was able to move home to Yellowknife in 2008, I made one record there, and feel very happy to be able to bring this new duo project to audiences there.”

Leela, who was born and raised in the Northwest Territories, writes about the people and the land that created her.  Her list of accolades includes winning a 2021 Juno Award as Indigenous Artist of the Year.

Jay Gilday has explored a variety of musical genres, weaving his experiences as a half Dene/half Canadian-Irish youth travelling the roads of Canada and the daily ups and downs of work, family, and performance into his songs.

Through this musical collaboration, Jay and Leela have co-written and co-created a new repertoire.

“Writing our songs together was really a departure from anything that either of us had done before,” Leela told the Record. “Our personal influences are wide in range from Stan Rogers to Aretha Franklin, Gordon Lightfoot, or Indigo Girls, but what our songs are truly influenced by is our relationships with each other, with our family, and with the land and water. We are both passionate singers that love a great turn of phrase.”

Some of the siblings’ songs were created during lockdown in 2021 and during a residency at Banff Centre.

“I have written almost all my records at the Banff Centre at residencies in the Leighton Artist Colony,” Leela said. “It is a powerful location with lots of creative juice, but this particular residency was created during the pandemic to allow flexibility for artists to work at home.”

Leela said the residency allowed Jay to relocate his family of six from Edmonton to Yellowknife for seven months.

“Yellowknife is on Treaty 8 Yellowknives Dene territory, and though we are from the Sahtu (Treaty 11), YK is where our family home is, where we grew up and where I currently live,” Leela said. “During this time the residency afforded us, we were able to access studio space to create this project together, which was an unprecedented situation as we had not lived in the same city together since we were teenagers.”

In addition to winning the 2021 Juno Award as Indigenous Artist of the Year, Leela’s other awards and accolades include: 2021 Juno nominee for  Contemporary Roots Album of the Year (North Star Calling);  2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Award (Social Voice);  2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Nominee  for Roots Album of the Year (North Star Calling); 2021 Canadian Folk Music Award Winner  as Indigenous Songwriter of the Year (North Star Calling); and 2021 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee for  Single of the Year (K’eintah Natse Ju, North Star Calling)

Tickets for Sechile Sedare’s April 20 show range from $36.50 to $46.50, plus service charge. They’re available online.