Kelly Fraser…..don’t forget….

Kelly Fraser…..her name has been ricocheting around in my head since her death was splashed all over social media and the news this past December. It took a while to sink in and connect the dots as to who she was. She was so very young and her death was so far out of left field that my brain couldn’t fathom putting the face, the name and the two performances I literally just saw, together. Everyone and I mean everyone, from her family to the music community were blindsided and shocked…..still are. It’s rather surreal. She was only 26 and in the midst of planning her next album.

I wrote about Fraser in a couple of columns not even two months ago after watching her perform at Indie Week…..twice. Powerful in her beliefs with a fierce determination, proud of her people and her culture….honest and caring, soft-spoken off stage, her passion and her music carried her through. Music was her vehicle, her channel, her release; her voice a potent instrument to help her and others heal and move forward.

Kelly Fraser, Fight for the Rights – CBC, The National

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On December 30 her family formally announced Fraser had taken her own life on Christmas Eve. Fraser had tried desperately to comfort and protect others but was unable to comfort and protect herself. In an interview with CBC Fraser speaks openly and candidly about her life, her demons, the life of her family and her people. I think it’s heartbreaking we won’t hear that voice again.

Fraser left behind many wonderful gifts….love, music, magic, strength, pride, passion, belief in others, hope, compassion, kindness….so if we are to remember her, keep her memory alive by passing on the gifts she gave to us.

See Rock Live had the opportunity to interview Fraser during Indie Week 2019. A laid-back conversation with Peter and Dean in the See Rock Live RV outside Indie Week’s pre-launch festivities at The Hideout Toronto. Fraser walked off the stage and literally, into the driver’s seat. She talks about her upcoming album and passion for singing. Sadly, it was to be Fraser’s last formal interview.

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If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression or any mental disorder, struggling to stay afloat, don’t wait….reach out….for yourself or for others. NEVER be afraid to ask or offer support. Time is of the essence. UNISON Benevolent Fund assists those in the music business across Canada. For immediate assistance call  1-855-986-4766 or 1-855-9UNISON. Their website is https://unisonfund.ca/home. Crisis Services Canada provides suicide prevention and support available 24×7, 365 days a year and can be reached at 1-833-456-4566.

— Patricia Blythe