I met Shannon Kelly at a workshop for Métis entrepreneurs who were interested in growing their business. And that is where I learned about her magazine for women entitled Vintage Gipsy. In case you’ve never heard of Shannon, I’m sure you will be hearing it often soon so, let me introduce you. Born in North Battleford, Shannon has lived in Prince Albert for over ten years. She’s a busy mom with strong cultural roots to her Mètis roots. In addition to the magazine, she also volunteers quite a bit of her time to our community, using workshops and other teaching opportunities to help bridge the gap between the non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal community. A writer from childhood, Shannon writes daily because she is a “lover of the written word. Writing for me is a healing journey. The paper always listens.” With no one to inspire her magazine idea, Shannon decided to pursue her passion for writing.
Vintage Gipsy began from the women Shannon had met who each had an amazing story to tell but they didn’t have a place to tell their story. The magazine is meant to give women a voice and a “platform to share their stories and inspire others. Sharing our stories inspires and empowers us all to create positive change in our communities” Shannon explains. If you haven’t seen the magazine, look for it soon as it is now a part of Magazine Canada and will be on shelves in major cities across Canada. As if that doesn’t keep Shannon busy enough, she is also one of the founding members of Women Empowered (WE).
WE is a women’s network here in Prince Albert which is intended to encourage all women to connect with other women in our community to find opportunities to market their small business. Shannon says, “I like to think we can also offer opportunities for fun, growth and friendship.” With four community events planned each year one such learning opportunity comes this March 23 at the Golf and Country Club. The Mad Hatter Spring Brunch features special guests, Sherri Hrycay and Meghan MacFarlane. For more information and to purchase tickets, I’ll leave Shannon’s email address at the end of this article.
For me, one of the newest endeavours Shannon is doing is leading the Artist in the Community position that opened when Lynda Monohan retired. Shannon volunteers her time to mentor other artists in our community at the public library. She has a dreamcatcher workshop that people can register for in person or by calling J M C Library. Shannon is hoping she can use her role to “bring some unique workshops and projects to the library” and they will be available to everyone.