We had the good fortune of connecting with Celeigh Cardinal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Celeigh, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I grew up the daughter of a car salesman. The life of a salesman can be feast or famine, so it was almost as if at an early age I was trained for the life of an artist/entrepreneur. Risk has never been that scary to me. It’s always been an important factor in moving forward. The willingness to do whatever it takes to do what you love as a living. In fact, it was riskier for me to no pursue my dreams, as anytime I worked for others, or in a ‘regular’ job, I would become quite depressed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My songs are really just the stories of my life. I couldn’t say that anything set me apart besides this is just authentically me. I am most proud of my ability to be vulnerable and to share truths that can be difficult to share. It took me a while to get to this place professionally because I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ability for a long time and I didn’t feel entitled to take up space. Growing up indigenous in a white community is not easy. I grew up feeling safest when I was not standing out. The lessons that I learned along the way were about understanding why I didn’t feel confident or worthy, and unlearning the racist beliefs and internalized shame and self hate that I had. It really just took a lot of shows, a lot of writing, and a lot of living to get to this place where I was confident enough to stand on stage and take up as much space as I wanted to. It also took a good amount of therapy. Lol.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m all about that fine dining and fancy cocktail life. So if I had a friend visiting me I would take them to all of the spots in the city that I’ve think have exactly these things. We’d visit Clementine, Boxer, Smokey Bear, Pip and Woodwork because these places have it ALL. If we wanted to see live music we would go to The Aviary. A cozy venue in Edmonton that hosts great shows and events.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Singer/Songwriter/Community builder/Mentor/so much more – Leela Gilday is a artist who empowers other artists around her. She truly changed my life when she brought into a new community of Indigenous artists and spoke so kindly of me to others that I began to have new opportunities and new contacts in a way that immediately escalated my career. She is champion of others, while being an incredible performer and writer as well. A beautiful soul I am so lucky to have encountered in my journey.