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Shine on Mélanie Mathieu

Our next Shine On winner is Mélanie Mathieu, founder of the Covid Karaoke Cafe. She was nominated by Johanne Boisvenu-Henry and Antonio DiRienzo

Not being able to sing or dance has brought a lot of gloom to artists and karaoke enthusiasts in the Ottawa community. Citizens of this big town look for communities to be a part of and the pandemic has affected many. In March 2020, Mélanie started a group called Covid Karaoke Cafe on Facebook for her friends and family to join where they could post videos, still see each other and create that sense of togetherness. For Antonio DiRienzo, "it has been a lifeline of creative expression and support. What started as a small idea grew to become a caring community group." Today, the group has over 770 members! Some watch/comment, some post. The group varies from children to adults, and average to professional singing (Orpheans included). With the help of 3 moderators, they post and create excitement and motivation (via props, costumes, themes, challenges). She also holds draws where she asks members who can afford to donate to contribute so a member who is struggling financially can gain a little while doing what they love. Mélanie has kept this community growing strong. It has helped so many of us to come out of our shell and spread the love of music. On top of it all, new friendships have come from this group. I myself have made many new friends and am so very grateful for everything this group has given me. She's even been on CBC radio to share her story but this person deserves more praise for her contributions to this community. Antonio likens her work here to many musical theatre plots: "A lot of musicals are about one person making a difference or overcoming circumstances. She has done that for us all. "Shine on, Mel! 🌟‍🎤


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