FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local artist Jenna Loren entered the CBC Searchlight contest and is looking for votes to move on to the next portion of the competition.

She has entered her song, You Can’t Give Up, into the contest. It’s about ten years old, but she says that it is relevant again with everything that the world has been through in the past couple of years.

“People have struggled. People have been really low and struggled a lot with mental health. And it’s just one of those songs that I hope can help people and make them realize that you can always start again, and there’s never a time in your life where you should feel like you have to give up,” Loren said.

The grand prize includes a spot in the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class, a recording residency at the National Music Centre in Calgary, a promotion distribution campaign, a performance slot at the CBC Music Festival, a gift certificate for Long & McQuade, and two additional prizes from Toyota.

Four of the top ten runners-up will receive a promotion distribution package, studio time, a Long & McQuade gift certificate, musical equipment and instruments, and a meeting with a mentor.

Three fan choice winners will also get a Long & McQuade gift certificate, a promotion distribution package and a meeting with a mentor.

Loren says that the contest will give her lots of exposure just by being involved.

“I’m just shooting for the stars. I’m putting it all out there and hoping, just spreading the word and hoping for the best,” she said.

Loren came across this contest due to a lot of support from her TikTok, which she started in late February.

“I think it was gaining that confidence and realizing that maybe I should be putting a little bit more effort into getting my music out there,” she explained.

She says that she put her music career on hold to start a family and has kept writing songs during this time.

“I have over 50 songs that haven’t been recorded … my Apple Music and Spotify have about 16 songs on there,” Loren said.

She says there are quite a few more that she’d like to record but that “it’s pretty costly to get something out that’s the radio quality that I was after.”

Loren attended Peterborough Collegiate Vocational School’s Integrated Arts Program in Ontario, she explained.

Loren says she went to school with many well-known Canadian musicians, such as Serena Ryder, Brock Stonefish, and Kelly McMichael.

“I moved out west to Victoria when I was eighteen, and one day when I was busking the inner harbour, fellow sing-songwriter, Kevin Woodward, stopped me,” she said, explaining how she got her start.

Woodward supported her and helped her get her first album out, titled Overabundantly.

She explains that about five years after that, she got the chance to record again and released It’s Perfect Timing, a six-song EP.

“It had some environmentally inspired songs on it. There’s one called What About the Ocean, that’s a beautiful song,” she said.

“There’s some upbeat tunes that are kind of a more pop style as well. And that’s the one that has You Can’t Give Up on it.”

Loren also mentions how she is playing at the Where the Wild Women Grow Festival alongside Lorissa Scriven.

“It’s going to be an incredible opportunity for women to gather and talk about their femininity, their strength, connecting with Mother Nature,” she said.

“There’s going to be some incredible healers and leaders there, as well as some music.”

To vote for Jenna Loren in the CBC Searchlight contest, click here before May 30th.

For more information on Loren, visit her website or check her out on TikTok @jennalorenmusic.

The full interview can be viewed below:

Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca. Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.