Skip to content

Fiddler Julie Kennedy up for music award

Canadian Country Music Association nominates former Powell River resident
Julie Kennedy
FIRST-CLASS FIDDLER: Nominated for Canada’s top prize for country music fiddle players at this year’s Canadian Country Music Association awards, Powell River’s Julie Kennedy lives life at home, in the studio and on the road with her twin sister Carli. Jesse Edmonds Photography

If Julie Kennedy wins the 2016 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) award for fiddle player of the year, she joked that she might send her sister Carli up to accept and “nobody would know the difference.”

If they were to do that, the audience might very well be fooled because, as their group name Twin Kennedy suggests, the sisters are identical twins.

According to Julie, she and Carli have successfully switched a few times, but did not fool anyone when they were growing up in Powell River.

“We never could pull it off because everybody knew there were two of us,” said Julie.

The twins started their musical career playing in the Kennedy Family Band, with their dad and younger sister.

“We would play for the cruise ships that would visit Powell River and we played at Canada Day and Sea Fair and all kinds of things,” said Julie. “That’s how we had our start performing.”

Julie said not only do she and her sister finish each other’s sentences, they also read each other’s minds musically and are very similar in what they like and where they choose to go in a songwriting session or studio.

“That’s a great thing because you don’t end up butting heads to make musical decisions; you like the same things,” said Julie. “When we were choosing songs for our new album we wrote down our top picks from over a hundred tunes we had written and we chose the same top six.”

In addition to touring together for weeks on end, the sisters live together, splitting time between Nashville, Tennessee, and Sooke on Vancouver Island. It’s a way of life that cannot easily be described, said Julie.

“You just have kind of a built-in best friend, at least that’s how it’s been for us,” she said. “We both wanted to do the same thing as a career and be a group together. You have somebody who understands you, you never get tired of it. It’s a wonderful thing to have in your life.”

Julie is up against some veterans and repeat nominees from last year’s CCMAs, including fiddler of the year Denis Dufresne, former winner Shane Guse, Ali Raney and Tyler Vollrath.

“I remember looking up to older kids in the fiddle groups and then when you go away to school you look up to people on the big stage and dream of the day when you get to play up there,” said Julie. “Now to be recognized along with many of those people you looked up to is really exciting.”

Both sisters will attend Country Music Week together in London, Ontario, from September 11 through to the night of the award presentations on September 18. “We’re going to have a blast,” said Julie.

Twin Kennedy also returns to Powell River on Saturday, September 30, at Max Cameron Theatre. Tickets are $35 and available at the Peak office. For more information, go to