It’s been about a decade since Karen Fowlie’s accoladed album “Pushing the Edge”. After taking time off to raise her child, Karen has re-entered the music industry with a new recording. It’s not often you see a Country/Rock artist tackling a song in Mandarin and Karen released a cover of the Chinese folk song “the Moon Represents My Heart” on June 1, 2019. It's Karen's wish bring people in her community together through music and TV talk show host Eileen Fong recently Karen to appear on her talk show "Leisure Talk"as a special guest ( Youtube link:
Karen’s path to music has not been typical of artists in the Country genre. Karen studied music all through primary school and completed studies in Psychology/Sociology at the University of Calgary. Later in life, Karen’s degrees would come in handy talking to audiences as she pursued a professional music career in the arts.
After a concert at an Amnesty International benefit one night, Karen was deeply moved by several ladies performing in the name of their relatives who had disappeared in the 1990s. Canadian University Students Overseas (CUSO) presented Karen with a post in Chile and shortly thereafter Fowlie accepted the offer. In Chile, Karen taught elementary students in an underfunded school and Latin musical influences found their way into Karen’s songwriting.
When it was time to return to Canada, Karen went to the Mount Royal Conservatory, studying guitar and theory. She took voice lessons, joined the Bach choir and also the Philharmonic chorus. A first soprano, Carmina Burana was one of Karen’s favourite classical pieces to sing.
An opportunity to work with producer Dale Penner (Matthew Good Band, Nickelback) presented itself, and Karen moved to Vancouver, BC. She released her first solo album called "Pushing the Edge" in 2007 and received notable local and national exposure for the work. Songs from “Pushing the Edge” were added to the “Make a Case Against Racism” CD, the “Thunderstruck 9” extreme snowmobiling DVD, and several songs were featured in the Province Newspaper Playlist. Consumers of Hevy D popcorn across Canada downloaded Karen’s songs and her music represented BC in a Trade Mission to Japan. Karen was distinguished by BC’s Attorney General Wally Oppal when he acknowledged her songwriting of “Tell Me”, a song about overcoming bullying.
In 2007, Karen became a mother. She continued to play music in her community but stayed close to home to raise her child. From 2007-2017 you’d see Karen hosting weekly jams at the “Troller Pub” or “Hugos” and also began to create performance opportunities for young musicians. She appeared on hundreds of stages including performing at British Columbia’s Mountainfest and was the opening act for “Trooper” at the Great Canadian Bike Rally. Fowlie had several mini tours of the BC interior and played in Merritt BC's Country Music Hall of Fame.
In 2017, Karen founded the Fowlie and Friends Entertainment Society. The group created several local variety shows and spearheaded a large community event in Horseshoe Bay– a “Tribute to Canadian Women in Music” on Canada Day. Sarah McLachlan sent Karen a note of support to read to the gathered festival attendees and the event was well received.
Karen went on to spearhead four open microphone events in the Kay Meek Centre for the Performing Arts and invited emerging artists to the large stage to present their show. She would end up that year by writing, producing and performing a Christmas play, also held at the Kay Meek Centre of the Performing Arts.
All in all, over 100 North/West Vancouver musicians took part in the events she envisioned from 2017-2018 and late in 2018, Karen was presented with the Arts and Culture Award for West Vancouver.