Edmonton musicians join together to inspire single mothers
When women come together, strength happens. This is what Edmonton musician Erin Kay wanted to focus on when she created a benefit concert with fellow musicians around the city to showcase strong women.
“The whole idea is that ‘I am enough,’” Kay says. “So believing as a woman and a young girl that you don’t need a man or you don’t need someone else to complete you—that you’re enough just by yourself.”
As a single mother, Kay has found herself and close friends in situations of dependence on an unhealthy partner that turned into a cycle of abuse. But things changed, she says, when she had her daughter Lila, who’s now six.
“From personal experience, breaking away from that not ideal situation and knowing that you can do this—do it on your own—and knowing that there’s supports out there for you is so important,” she says.
Not long after she had her daughter, Kay found strength in her music career, both as an outlet to tell her story and as a financial backbone to support herself and her daughter.
“The ‘I am enough’ title really is for everybody as well because we need men to know that they’re enough as well in order to support women in being enough,” Kay says. “I just really want it to bring a special awareness without the negativity and victimization that’s so prevalently attached to it.”
Other Edmonton musicians that have experience with unhealthy relationships will be playing at the show. Some have been or still are single mothers, while others were raised by a single mom.
The proceeds from the event will go to Women United, an organization that educates and works with younger girls in an effort to break a cycle that can be extremely difficult to escape out of.
“Maybe these girls won’t have to go to women’s shelters with kids and end up having children too young,” Kay says.
Fellow Edmonton singer/songwriter, Celeigh Cardinal, who will be at the benefit concert, knows the cycle of abuse that can happen when you’re reliant on someone who is unhealthy to be around.
“I had my son pretty young—I was 23 when I had my son—so I definitely had many years of struggles being a musician and raising a child on my own,” Cardinal says.
One of the main things that held her back from leaving the unhealthy situation with her son’s father was the impending financial vulnerability that would go along with being a young, single mother without a partner to help.
“I struggled because I didn’t have child support when I was raising my son and I definitely had to use different resources where I was living in Grande Prairie,” she says.
Monetary dependence is unfortunately a common thread between women that stay in unhealthy relationships. But with courage and multiple supports women can break away from these situations, the same way Kay and Cardinal did.
The lineup of the showcase is meant to inspire and empower other women by showing single mothers that are successful and have made it to a place of stability.
Sun., Dec. 10 (6:30 pm)
I AM ENOUGH, featuring VISSIA w/ Erin Kay, Celeigh Cardinal and guests
St. Faith’s & St. Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church
$20 in advance