It’s easy to forget that Airdrie’s Eden Regier is only 19. This vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and local basketball phenom already has an impressive list of accomplishments.
”When I tell people I was in Young Canadians, and I played basketball and I did this and that, they say, ’You’re too young to have done all that.’”
Regier, a graduate of George McDougall High School, plays the keyboard, percussion, saxophone, baritone ukulele, and bass guitar. She credits her father for her musical passion and her mother for her love of sports. She also credits McDougall’s music teacher, Jordan Harris, for providing the perfect musical outlet.
“I was that kid who wanted to play every instrument. If I ever need to give credit down the road, Jordan Harris is on the list.”
She poured the same enthusiasm into basketball, playing in the Alberta Summer Games and in numerous tournaments with her twin sister, Ava – but her true passion is music.
“She’s the athletic one, and I am the artsy-fartsy one,” she explains, laughing. ”When I was 15, I was like, ’Okay, I don’t see myself going to university for basketball. I don’t love this as much as my sister does.’”
By this time, she was a regular performer in Airdrie coffee shops and became known for her smooth vocals and skillful guitar and piano playing. Always one to push herself, she auditioned for and was accepted into the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts in 2019.
“My experience with the Young Canadians was excellent,” she says, but Regier found it challenging to balance school, sports, and music.
“I thought basketball was hard, but I got into this, and it was a whole other level. Even with COVID, the work it takes, the mental game, and how you have to prepare for it if you want to be a musician and make a name for yourself.”
Her expertise on the basketball court also came into play.
“I could sing, but I had no dance experience. I had to work hard and rely on my athleticism, and adapt.”
When the Young Canadians returned to in-person performances at the Calgary Stampede in 2021, Regier was one of six featured vocalists. Her vocals were prerecorded, but she was able to perform on stage to the soundtrack.
“Seeing that big audience, with so many people since COVID, it was overwhelming hearing my voice and dancing to it. I was like, ’Okay, I see why people do it and why they put in the hours.’”
It was also the moment she realized she could launch out on her own. She left the program at the end of her third year.
“At the end of the day, I knew I wouldn’t be a pop star dancer. Deep down, I’m still that girl that played the piano at coffee shops. The credit I give my band teacher for music, I give the same credit to the Young Canadians for giving me the confidence to pursue my craft.”
Though high school graduation was less than a year ago, Regier hasn’t taken any time off. She works a part-time job, has fifteen music students, and regularly plays gigs in Airdrie and Calgary. Working with Stagehand, a group that pairs organizations and musicians, she’s been performing in places as diverse as the Calgary Public Library, YYC, breweries, and other public venues that give her the exposure she needs. She’s also been nominated for the Youth Artist Award in this year’s Airdrie Mayor’s Night of the Arts, held February 11.
Working as a server and teaching music, Regier says she is taking a year to discover who she is as a musician.
“This has been a year of learning to market myself, of being a professional and knowing who the right people are.”
Regier says she starting to make enough money that she may have to quit her part-time job.
“I’m 19 years old, and I never expected this.”
Recently, she’s been jamming with fellow musicians and performing at open mics, and has been co-writing with local songwriters including her vocal coach, Brian Farrell.
”Brian’s one of my mentors. He said to me a while back, ’I go to work and I’m happy every single day,’ That’s my goal, to walk in with my head up and know who I am.”