HALIFAX – Cape Breton country recording artist Drake Jensen has collaborated with the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia to create a fund for persons who identify with LGBTQI+ and work with the community.
“Being from Cape Breton has shaped the person that I am. No matter where I go, I carry the values of kindness and generosity vital to my upbringing,” said Jensen via a press release.
“For years we’ve been looking for ways to give back to my home province and the LGBTQI+ community; working with the RCFofNS was what we were looking for.”
Jensen’s powerful rendition of Cape Breton songwriter Leon Dubinsky’s iconic song Rise Again, featuring Rob Preuss, is available exclusively at Bandcamp drakejensen.bandcamp.com. Designated donations through www.rcfofns.com/donate-to-the-soaring-eagle-grant-program of $5 or more will receive a free Jensen online concert with special guests. An announcement will be in the future. Rise Again purchases and donations to the Soaring Eagle Fund will be entered to win prizes. The Soaring Eagle Fund Program is currently in fundraising status. “The support of the public is essential to the growth of this fund,” states Eirinn Fraser, chair of the fund.
On the heels of his successful single Burn The Floor, Jensen released his lead single, covering Corey Hart’s hit Never Surrender, slated to be on his upcoming fall album release “ICONIC.” The single and video, a duet with Ottawa artist Lisa Thompson, is a tribute to frontline workers during the first year of the COVID pandemic.
Both singles received immediate recognition in his primary market of Australia. On April 15, the second single off the upcoming album was released to radio in Australia, Jensen’s rendition of Prince Edward Island musician Lennie Gallant’s hit song, Pieces of You.
Jensen escaped the big city hustle and bustle during the pandemic and moved to the Quebec countryside. The beauty of his new surrounding inspired work on other musical projects, including two duets; a cover of Air Supply’s All Out of Love with Vancouver’s Patrick Masse and a cover of the Reba McEntire/Jennifer Nettles duet Enough with Brian Scott of Oklahoma.
“The past year has been one of the biggest challenges of my career. Cape Bretoners are strong-willed and adaptive! That’s how I’ve been able to record tracks and videos during lockdowns and curfews.”
Tune in to the live video release stream for “Rise Again” with Rob Preuss and Drake Jensen on May 5 at 8 p.m. ADT at www.facebook.com/DiversityInTheCapital. The RCFofNS fund announcement will be on May 6 at 2 p.m. ADT at www.facebook.com/RCFofNS.
Soaring Eagle Fund
The purpose of the Soaring Eagle Fund is to ignite a conversation on challenges facing the LGBTQI+ community in Rural Nova Scotia and identifying and implementing solutions. The fund will focus on these issues and unite the members of the LGBTQI+ community within Nova Scotia to resilience work led by others identifying with LGBTQI+ through conversation and projects within their communities. The initial emphasis of the fund will be on youth projects, but the emphasis will expand in future years to highlight projects led by other groups. In addition to grants to qualified donees and often in partnership with community organizations, The Soaring Eagle Fund Program will encompass convening, capacity-building, outreach, and other activities which further its goals.
“I grew up in Glace Bay at a time where there were no resources for kids like me. Severe bullying altered the course of my life. It will be great to educate people about this,” says Jensen.