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Eileen McGann:
Songwriter & Traditional Singer

Vancouver Island-based Eileen McGann has long been acclaimed as one of Canada’s finest singers and songwriters. She has been nominated for a Juno Award for Best Roots & Traditional Album, and was a 2011 nominee for a Canadian Folk Music Award (CFMA) as “Traditional Singer of the Year”.  For more than 25 years she has toured across Canada, the US, Great Britain and Ireland, bringing her rich, poetic lyrics and soaring melodies to festivals, clubs and concert halls.  

Born in Canada to Irish parents, she began her professional career as a singer of the traditional songs she grew up with, but soon also became known as an outstanding writer of songs that, while often showing Celtic influence, are strongly and distinctively Canadian.  

Thematically, Eileen’s songwriting shows unusual breadth, from incisive political and environmental anthems, to story songs from modern and ancient sources; from celebrations of the Canadian wilderness to powerful songs of the spiritual journey.  These diverse songs are united by strong, singable choruses, flowing melodies, rich humour, lyrical depth and a clear unified vision that make her in many ways a “songwriter's songwriter”.

Her accomplishments as a songwriter have been recognized in a distinctive way recently: the 172-page, comprehensive Eileen McGann Songbook was released as part of Ontario publisher BerLen Music’s “Essential Canadian Songwriter Series”. 

Known for her clear, expressive voice, powerful and literate songwriting as well as her rich interpretations of the songs of the Celtic traditions, Eileen McGann has been called "a Canadian national treasure" and her performances bring together the Celtic and Canadian traditions in a unique and striking way.

Born and raised in Ontario, Eileen spent a decade in Calgary before moving to Vancouver Island in 1999 and she continues recording and touring from there.  She teaches workshops on songwriting, voice, traditional music, painting, Celtic knotwork art and creativity. 2014 will include a five-week tour of the UK, as well as performances in Ontario, BC and Alberta.

Her seven solo CDs have received international 5-star reviews, and many “top ten of the year” listings, from The Boston Globe, among many others.  Eileen’s latest CD, Pocketful of Rhymes, has garnered her a CFMA nomination, and her CD Beyond The Storm was nominated for a 2002 Juno Award as “Best Album: Roots & Traditional”.  She has been the recipient of numerous awards, grants and accolades, including multiple awards for overseas touring from External Affairs Canada, as well as from Canada Council, SOCAN, AFA, FACTOR and the BC Arts Council. She has performed multiple times at most of the major folk festivals across Canada and Great Britain, as well as many major US venues and festivals, and her songs have been performed and recorded by artists on both sides of the Atlantic and included in numerous CD compilations.


“This singer-songwriter has earned her place in the hallowed halls of the Canadian folk scene.
Her exquisite voice soars with every song...
Eileen’s songs are a compelling exploration of the depths of human compassion and courage. She has mastered the ability to draw us into her songs, to make each of us participants in a universal drama. Her latest release is an outstanding example of the strength of her songs, the immediacy of her sound, and her good humour and passion.”
- Vancouver Folk Festival

Eileen tours solo, (voice & guitar) or with acclaimed multi-instrumentalist sideman David K, on Irish bouzouki, bass, National tri-cone, guitar and harmony vocals. Both performers make their home on rural Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada,

Vancouver Island, Canada
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