Canadian singer/composer Loreena McKennitt is self-managed, self-produced, and the head of her own internationally successful record label, Quinlan Road. In a recording career spanning nearly two decades, McKennitt's "eclectic Celtic" music has won critical acclaim worldwide and gold, platinum and multi-platinum sales awards in fifteen countries across
Born in the province of Manitoba, Canada, Loreena moved to Stratford, Ontario, Canada in 1981, where she still resides. She has acted and sung in, and composed music for, Stratford Festival of Canada productions ranging from The Tempest (1982) to The Merchant Of Venice (2001).
Her recording career began in 1985 with the album Elemental. In the fledgling years of her label Quinlan Road, Loreena ran its operations from her kitchen table, selling recordings by mail order and producing her own concert tours across the country. Quinlan Road's catalogue is currently distributed around the world by The Verve Music Group (US), Universal Music (Canada and other territories including Italy and Spain) and a number of independents including Keltia Music (France) and SPV (Germany).
Loreena continues to manage her career from her Stratford base. An active member of her community, she has founded and oversees important charitable undertakings in the fields of water safety and family/childhood support services.
* Over 14 million albums sold worldwide, to date, over a catalogue spanning seven studio recordings, one double live CD and a DVD/two CD set.
* Canadian sales awards include one five-times platinum certification for sales of over 500,000 copies (The Visit), two four-times platinum certifications for sales of over 400,000 copies (The Mask And Mirror, The Book Of Secrets ), and four gold certifications for sales of over 50,000 copies (Elemental, To Drive The Cold Winter Away, Parallel Dreams, A Winter Garden: Five Songs For The Season).
* US sales awards include one double-platinum certification for sales of over two million copies for The Book Of Secrets, whose success was led by the radio-driven Top 20 Billboard success of hit single "The Mummers' Dance", which would go on to meet similar success worldwide. US sales awards also include two platinum certifications for sales of over one million copies (The Mask And Mirror, The Visit).
* Gold, platinum and multi-platinum sales awards in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand,
Spain and Turkey.
Composition and Music Use for
Theatre and Film
* Original music for The Merchant of Venice, The Stratford Festival of Canada, 2001.
* Original music for the National Film Board of Canada Studio D documentary series Women And Spirituality, 1985 - 1989.
* Film soundtrack contributions include Hollywood productions Highlander III and The Santa Clause, Jean-Claude Lauzon's feature film Leolo and the Canadian/Venezuelan feature film Una Casa Con Vista Al Mar.
* Television soundtrack use includes TNT's epic miniseries The Mists Of Avalon (2001), Due South, Northern Exposure.
Awards and Honours
* Juno Award, Best Roots/Traditional Album1992, for The Visit.
* Juno Award, Best Roots/Traditional Album 1994, for The Mask And Mirror.
* Billboard International Achievement Award, 1997.
* Headline performer for HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Golden Jubilee Celebrations,
Province of Manitoba, 2002.
* Honorary Doctor of Letters, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2002.
* Order of Manitoba, July 2003.
* Member of the Order of Canada,
* Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Manitoba, June 2005
* Canadian Ambassador, Hans Christian Andersen Bicentennary, June 2005
* Honorary Doctor of Laws, Queen's University, October 2005
* Investiture as Honorary Colonel, 435 Squadron, Canadian Air Force,
* Loreena founded The Cook-Rees Memorial Fund for Water Search and Safety in 1998 and raised nearly $4,000,000 Canadian for the Fund's initiatives in the fields of water safety education and research. A major portion of the money raised for the CRMF came from sales of the Loreena McKennitt recording, Live In Paris And Toronto.
* Donated monies raised by sales of Live In Paris And Toronto in Turkey and Greece to the earthquake relief funds of the Red Crescent Turkey and the Hellenic Red Cross, respectively.
* Purchased the Falstaff School in Stratford in 2000 and, in 2002, founded the Falstaff Family Centre, which offers facilities to a number of volunteer and not-for-profit community and family groups.
* Established The Three Oaks Foundation, a charitable body which gives money to cultural, environmental, historical
and social groups.
* Elemental (Quinlan Road, 1985)
* To Drive The Cold Winter Away
(Quinlan Road, 1987)
* Parallel Dreams (Quinlan Road, 1987)
* The Visit (Quinlan Road, 1991)
* The Mask And Mirror
(Quinlan Road, 1994)
* A Winter Garden: Five Songs For The Season (Quinlan Road, 1995)
* The Book Of Secrets
(Quinlan Road, 1997)
* Live In Paris And Toronto
(Quinlan Road, 1999)
* An Ancient Muse (Quinlan Road, 2006)
* Nights from the Alhambra
(Quinlan Road, 2007)
"A reverent, resonant blend of Celtic-rooted ballads and exotics." -The New York Times
"McKennitt skillfully weaves different strains of musical tradition into a tapestry that underscores her plea for diversity and acceptance."
-The Boston Globe
With a recording career spanning more than two decades and over 14 million albums sold worldwide, Canadian artist Loreena McKennitt continues to explore the many aspects of traditional Celtic music with the release of her forthcoming album, The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Due November 16 on Verve, the album marks a pointed return to the traditional Irish and Scottish music that began McKennitt's career, revisiting the age-old music of Elemental, her 1985 debut.
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