Rachel Layne - A passion for music and the environment
Singer and song composer, Rachel Layne is using her passion and gift as a musician to raise awareness about the stewardship of our environment.
At an early age she showed a knack for performing, taking every opportunity to take to the stage in acting, singing and dancing. At the age of 11 she even got to sing with legendary Kenny Rogers at his Christmas Concert in Kelowna. The experience confirmed her idea, that music was something she really wanted to pursue. The “joy that it can bring to people is amazing” says Rachel. Rachel continued her studies in music and musical theatre proceeding through the Trinity Guildhall Musical Theatre Program with marks of distinction all the way through her final exams. Her love for music further took her down a path of writing and composing her own songs and into a new realm of performing including emerging artist showcases during Canadian Country Music Awards Week for the past three years.
Rachel’s passion for performing has led to her being featured at the Opening Ceremonies of the International Children’s Winter Games, performing at the Merritt Country Music Walk of Stars and having sang during a BC Lions Half Time Show for a Salute to Veterans. Perhaps over the past six years you’ve seen Rachel singing anthems for her local sports teams: the Kelowna Rockets, the West Kelowna Warriors, or the Kelowna Falcons. She also sang for the Vancouver Canucks, the Vancouver Canadians and the BC Lions.
Rachel’s love and appreciation of nature also began at an early age when her family would stay at a cabin in the woods where there were no electronics. “My brother and I would be outside exploring nature for hours on end. There was never a shortage of things to do.” Rachel recalls in Grade 5, taking a specific interest in the environment, when she wrote a speech on Global Warming. “It really opened my eyes and sparked a concern for the environment.”
In 2013 Rachel came across the Get to Know Organization and found a way to meld her love of music with her love for nature. The Get to Know Organization is all about making connections between youth and nature. The belief is that the more you know and appreciate the natural habitats around you, the more likely you are to care for them and preserve them for future generations.
The Get to Know Organization holds regular contests where artists of all kinds can submit their projects, whether it is a painting, sculpture, photography, video, music, drawing, or anything else you can think of. Rachel decided to put forward what she does best, writing and singing a song. Coincidentally, she was already working on one, which was inspired from a trip that her family and her took to Alberta the year before when they visited a small place called Horse Thief Canyon. Rachel ended up finishing the song, which describes the beauty and free spirit of the horses that are now so longingly missing from the lonely canyons.
As well as now being a Youth Ambassador for the organization, pursuing her music career and completing her last year of high school, Rachel is also gearing up for being one of the youth presenters at this year’s International Get to Know Unconference which is to be held in Kelowna from October 3-5th. The Unconference is open to the public and you can find out more information about it and registration at www.get-to-know.org.
For her presentation at the Unconference, Rachel has written another song. “This time around, I wanted to express how beautiful our earth is, so I wrote a song to invoke feelings of admiration for what’s around us.” She, along with other young artists from across North America, will be presenting their statement art on Saturday October 4th at the UBCO Theatre. Admission for this event is free, and it is an excellent opportunity to spark the environmental interest of kids and introduce them to some of the most promising young leaders and established environmental advisors.