Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

A Message of Hope

Winning singer-songwriter Shy-Anne Hovorka (HB Music’00, BEd’03) and her bandmates Jordan Elcheson (HB Music’08, BEd’10) and Rob Benvegnu (HBA’08) are inspiring the next generation of Aboriginal musicians

Published April 28, 2011

Jordan Elcheson, Shy-Anne Hovorka, and Rob Benvegnu

For the past three years, Shy-Anne Hovorka, her band, and a group of like-minded artists have visited a number of troubled northern Ontario communities to give a day-long mentoring program aimed at Aboriginal youth. Her message of hope, targeted to those at risk for suicide, is uncompromising − young people must choose to reject the violence, despair, and drug abuse they see around them, take control of their lives, and make a positive change.

Hovorka grew up in Red Lake, Ontario, and after graduating from Lakehead spent two years teaching English as a second language in Seoul, South Korea. She now lives in Thunder Bay, balancing her life as a performer, a teacher, and one who “creates opportunities for others.”

When she is not on stage performing or organizing her tours, she juggles two part-time teaching jobs (teaching music and Ojibway), works as a substitute teacher, and is involved in delivering two distinct arts programs for schools in the public and separate school boards.  

On the music front, 2010 was a very good year for Shy-Anne Horvorka. Her single “Can’t Change the World” placed fifth on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown Album Review, and she performed the song at the opening of the G8 Interfaith Summit at the University of Winnipeg and at the 2010 Winnipeg Folk Festival.

At the 2010 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards in November, Hovorka was named Female Aboriginal Entertainer of the Year and best Producer/Engineer for her second album, Pseudo.

“Young people ask me how I got to where I am today, and my answer is – work! You have to take advantage of every opportunity and work even harder after every achievement. The way I measure my own success is by asking ‘How many lives have I affected?’ ” 

Watch  the  video “Can’t Change the World” on YouTube and learn more about Shy-Anne Hovorka  on her website:


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