Terry Kelly’s enthusiasm for life and sheer determination have gained him international recognition as an accomplished athlete; an award-winning singer, songwriter, and entertainer; a professional speaker; and a lover of life.
As a musician this Newfoundland native has released seven full-length recordings, resulting in seven East Coast Music Awards and nominations for four Canadian Country Music Awards and a JUNO. Terry has shared the stage with Symphony Orchestras, and has performed his original music in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and for the troops in Afghanistan. He is most recognized for his inspirational song, “A Pittance of Time”.
Terry is a recipient of the King Clancy Award, and Honorary Doctorates in Civil Laws and in Fine Arts. He has received the Canadian Country Music Association’s Humanitarian Award and is a member of the Order of Canada.
In the athletic field, Terry has distinguished himself as the third blind person in the world to run the mile in under five minutes.
Terry Kelly is a storyteller who finds it natural to tell his stories through songs. His songwriting is the artistic discipline for which he will be remembered and honoured as time passes. Terry’s songs are crafted with the utmost care. His use of language, melody and imagery is skillful and the elements come together in a way that leaves a lasting impression. He is not afraid to use emotion to make his point, but manages to accomplish that without a sense of undue sentimentality. His melodies are not only memorable and very sing-able, but will undoubtedly stand the test of time. His highly developed skills as a vocalist and an instrumentalist place him in a very special category. Fellow musicians and songwriters pursue opportunities to perform with Terry because he adds so much to any performance. His joy for life and his sense of humour shine through his work in a way that is rare and very special.
The role of the artist in society is to force us to look in the mirror or to reflect what is happening in the world. Terry has always done that with his songs. His contribution to cultural life is special in that he has crafted and performed songs that make us think about many aspects of society. He has written a song to celebrate the Canadian Navy, a song honouring veterans and their families, songs about abilities and literacy, songs to raise awareness about cancer and poverty and many songs about home and family. His art has enriched our lives here at home and has represented us in a positive way across the country and around the world. His strong sense of social responsibility comes though in all his work and ultimately reflects Atlantic Canada as a warm and caring society and a wonderful place to live.
Terry Kelly’s artistic achievements are many and varied. They range from awards via his peers such as his seven ECMA’s to unique special projects that were commissioned to celebrate events or draw attention to issues in society. In addition to his seven solo full-length recordings, he has appeared as a guest on numerous others. His honourary degrees, Order of Canada induction and the Queen’s Silver and Diamond Jubilee Medals were attained for “outstanding achievement and public service”. These achievements are important because they recognize that Terry has excelled in his artistic discipline and represented his country and his province at the highest level.
When Terry was seven years of age, his parents made the emotionally difficult decision to send him from his home in St. John’s, Newfoundland to the Halifax School for the Blind. It was not easy for either Terry or his parents, but the difficulties initiated Terry’s quest for challenge, developed his love of life and nurtured his musical talent. Terry learned to play the accordion, clarinet, guitar and piano and was a founding member of a very successful high school band, The Stringbusters. Always busy, he worked his way through Saint Mary’s University performing in clubs and bars with the popular rock group Janus, while studying for a degree in psychology.
Terry’s persistence and commitment to his work were first recognized at the 1993 East Coast Music Awards. It was here that Terry set an ECMA record by winning in every category in which he was nominated. His tally included “Album of The Year” for his “Divided Highway” project; “SOCAN Song Of The Year” for the first single, “In My Father’s House”; “Male Vocalist”; “Country Artist”; and “Live Act (Entertainer of the Year)”.
Terry Kelly has performed his original music in places as far away as Australia, Spain, and Afghanistan; has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, the Edmonton Symphony, and the Stadacona Band of Maritime Forces Atlantic ; has shared the stage with such artists as Rita MacNeil, The Rankin Family, Faith Hill and Ray Charles.
Terry has presented his performances at the 1988 Winter Olympic Gala Dinner; for Princess Margaret during her royal visit to Nova Scotia; for the Wayne Gretzky Celebrity Sports Classic 10th Anniversary; at Expos in Vancouver, British Columbia / Brisbane, Australia / and Seville, Spain; for their Royal Highnesses, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh at a Prime Minister’s Dinner held in their honor; in schools, colleges, universities and concert halls; and for conventions, festivals, and fairs.
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Full Length Recordings
Olde Tyme Christmas (2004)
The Power of the Dream (2002)
Far Cry From Leaving (1996)
Divided Highway (1992)
Face To Face (1988)
On the Move (1985)
Heroes’ Hall of Honour (2013)
Portraits of Honour (2012)
This House Has Room (2009)
Merci Louis (2009)
Listen to the Children (2008)
That All May Read (2008)
Celebrate Life (2006)
A Pittance of Time (2005)
C’est si peu de temps (2005)
Ties That Bind (1991)
Dawson’s Creek 3rd Season DVD (2003)
Factor 20th Anniversary Compilation (2002)
Friends and Lovers (Sony) (1997)
Remembering Stan Rogers I (1995)
Remembering Stan Rogers II (1995)
An East Coast Christmas