Thunder Bay

Shy-Anne Hovorka, singer-songwriter, to retire from performing

The award-winning Aboriginal singer-songwriter plans to stop touring and focus on teaching young people in northwestern Ontario.
Northern Ontario singer-songwriter Shy-Anne Hovorka won six awards at the Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards in 2012. She is now retiring from performing to focus on teaching. (Facebook)

A popular Aboriginal singer-songwriter is retiring from performing, saying she wants to focus on a new opportunity to teach youth in northwestern Ontario.  

Shy-Anne Hovorka of Nipigon, Ont., has mentored aspiring young musicians throughout her career.

On Sunday, she told CBC News she will expand her education role in September and start teaching at George O'Neill Public School in Nipigon and at Nipigon-Red Rock District High School in Red Rock.  

"As everybody knows I have a huge passion for youth and for kids and education," she said. "So I figured I'm going to take ... [this] opportunity.  But I've done the teaching thing alongside of the music thing and you can't do both effectively."

"Those students really deserve 100 per cent."

Hovorka said she's been thinking about quitting touring for a while.

"About a year ago it started to ... hit me that I wasn't enjoying the travelling as much [as before]," she said. "I enjoyed the performing but I wasn't enjoying the travelling and being away from home."  

Hovorka said she also wants to focus on her upcoming marriage to Ben Bartlett in September.  

'You can't take the writer out of me'

Although Hovorka is "taking a step back from the performance aspect," she will continue to write music. 

"You can't take the writer out of me," she said. "My head is always ... creating little melodies and little tunes and little lyrics. So I'll still do that."

But Hovorka doesn't plan to put out any albums of her own in the near future.

"I think I'll probably just give the songs to the youth that I'm working with that are hoping to start performing and creating and help them revamp the songs for themselves." 

Hovorka released her latest album, Bones, earlier this year. She has received many honours for her music, including six Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards in 2012. The artist was a top 16 finalist in the 2013 CBC Searchlight competition. 

Horvorka is completing her Master's degree in education, with a thesis on aboriginal music and education.  


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