Police officer inspires as mentor and musician

Cover of the first CD (compact disk) by Cory Cardinal from Kinuso.
Cover of the first CD (compact disk) by Cory Cardinal from Kinuso.

Richard Froese
Spotlight

A respected Aboriginal police officer and role model for youth, Kinuso musician Cory Cardinal has released his first compact disc (CD).

“North of Town Roads” features many songs he wrote and composed from a career that started two decades ago.

“I released the CD because it was simply an aspiration of mine, something I wanted to do to say I did it,” says Cardinal, 39.

“I’ve been an active musician for 20 years so I decided to put music out there that was from something I created, not to be rich or famous from it.”

His music has no real focus or message from the music.

“It is basically music I composed, and threw in some lyrics,” says Cardinal, a member of Swan River First Nation.
“This allowed me to express my creativity in writing and musicianship.”

After he realized he had the gift of writing, life blossomed.

“Once I began writing poetry and transforming them into songs is when it all came together,” Cardinal says.

“I was literally writing songs every night, some songs I wrote in a matter of hours and some of these songs have reached the National Aboriginal Music charts.”

That talent to communicate helps him to inspire youth and the community Cardinal serves.

He has been a police officer for 13 years, and a member of the Lakeshore Regional Police Service since 2009 when it opened and serves as community operations officer.

“I mentor youth through discussions, talking about real-life scenarios and understanding where they might be in their own lives,” Cardinal says.

That allows a connection to see someone speaking to them who has successful traits and demonstrates ambition to take on challenges so that they can compare whatever challenges they might have and power through them and still succeed.

“I believe that is what a role model is, someone who has shared similar life challenges and uses that knowledge to encourage youth or even adults who stray off course to rediscover their talents, their ambitions and fuel that drive to accomplish their goals one step at a time, this strengthens their self-identity,” Cardinal says.

Music is a hobby and therapy for him at times but most times it is just simply an expression of his talents and his career is his passion and the potential that it brings and to open doors.

“We have vision beyond expectation at the Lakeshore Regional Police Service, visions that strengthen our communities and diminish abuse and violence,” Cardinal says.

“We are pushing towards programs that heal in every aspect of crime from the offence itself, victim, to the offender.”

Speaking at the Driftpile Youth Conference in March, he shared his own story of youth as a bully after he was bullied.

Then a family member spoke with him that inspired him to hold himself accountable for his actions and then to those he hurt.

“From that point on, life was much easier being on the other side of that and becoming a helping and compassionate person,” Cardinal says.

“It is much tougher to face yourself and those you hurt then being punished by an outside source such as teachers at the age I was or in more extreme cases, the law courts.”

Circumstances he lived through in his younger years were hard and challenging but somehow through it all he became an observer, looking from the outside in.

As a result, he never fell into the addictions and violence he was experiencing almost on a daily basis.

“I continued with my education essentially on my own & surrounded myself with good people,” Cardinal says.
“I eventually pursued policing as a career and realized it was an easy process for me and a perfect fit to my character.”

He started to perform his musical talent with local bands and has moved up to play in pubs right up to festivals, his website describes.

Cardinal’s music is based on the genre of country but with the solid kick of rock and rhythm of blues.

That mixture is blended well with the style and creativity of his lyrics backed by his solid band and musical friends to deliver an entertaining and energetic live performance.

His band also includes Ian Rossiter on lead guitar, Tristan Galinski on drums, both Slave Lake paramedics, Peter Sound on rhythm guitar and Mat Patenaude on bass guitar, a Lac La Biche paramedic and firefighter.

“The overall project up to releasing my own album has been very expensive, extremely time consuming three-year adventure but I am satisfied with the end result,” Cardinal says.

“I was able to work with a couple of the most recognized and world established producers and musicians for this project.

“The best part of that was meeting and making friends with people who put their mark on my album but have toured the planet with acts such as KD Lang and Jan Arden and of course the very talented mark from the boys in my band.”

To purchase a CD for $20, email a request to [email protected]

 

Cory Cardinal, of Kinuso, performing his original songs on his guitar.
Cory Cardinal, of Kinuso, performing his original songs on his guitar.

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