Recipient of the West Vancouver Arts and Culture Award, Karen Fowlie is a singer songwriter with deep musical roots in her community. Fowlie has been entertaining audiences with her melodic songs about Western Canadian life and has also been recognized by BC’s Attorney General for her songwriting. Karen has opened shows for super bands Trooper and Streetheart and often performs locally in her band project, “Karen Fowlie – The Originals” (KFO).
Karen’s current lineup features well seasoned musicians that bring out the unique subtleties in her large repertoire of original compositions. It was just over year ago that Karen, Terri Breeze, Owen Thomas and Mal Temple decided to work together as a band. They all met at Karen’s open mic jam at Hugos Restaurant and had played with various other groups in the area for years. You’ll find that Karen brings more of a rock edge to her Country sound while Owen’s traditional Country guitar twang mixed with Terri’s progressive rock bass lines and Mal’s folk/roots dynamic drum style create a modern Westcoast sound.
2019 was a banner year for KFO! Highlights of the group’s first year together include a televised broadcast to China and an appearance on “Leisure Talk” talk show. In June they released “The Moon Represents My Heart” in Chinese (Mandarin) as her way to bring the people in their community closer together. In Spring/Summer, the performed in several festivals (Harmony Arts Festival, Taste of the Bay, West Vancouver Community Day, Art in the Garden, Lonsdale Quay Summerfest). KFO performed at the BC Songwriter’s showcase and later enjoyed a performance at the BC Country Music Association Awards kickoff party. Then at Christmas, the group released a lyric video of Karen’s song “Fly”.
Karen’s first solo release was "Pushing the Edge" and came out in 2007. Songs from her CD were added to the “Make a Case Against Racism” CD, “Thunderstruck 9” extreme snowmobiling DVD and songs were featured in the Province Newspaper Playlist. Karen’s songs also represented BC in a trade mission to Japan. Karen was later distinguished by BC’s Attorney General Wally Oppal when he acknowledged her song writing in “Tell Me”, a song about overcoming bullying. Karen has opened for Trooper and Streetheart, and has also been recognized by BC’s Attorney General for her songwriting.
In 2007 Karen became a mother and spent the next years raising her son and helping other musicians in her community find a place to play. She hosted a weekly jam at the Troller Pub at Horseshoe Bay, then Hugos Restaurant in Eagle Harbour, the Eagles in North Vancouver and finally Bay Moorings. After a decade of weekly gigs, Karen 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 ended up that year by writing, producing and performing a Christmas play, also held at the Kay Meek Centre of the Performing Arts.
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 by the community.
In 2018 Karen released “A Caulfeild Cove Christmas” featuring two original Christmas songs and one song recorded live during the group’s Christmas show at Caulfeild Cove Hall. (No, it’s not a typo! “Caulfeild” is named after Sir Francis Caulfeild!)
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.
Karen has been writing new songs and the band is excited about recording and performing live in 2020. Karen will be launching new releases this year and is excited to connect with friends and fans in her community.
Please follow the group! You can find the band’s adventures on social media and stream Karen’s songs for free on Spotify.