Terry Kelly
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Terry Kelly


Band Folk Christian


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"A Mere Two Minutes For Our War Veterans"

November 2, 2006

He just got out of bed on the wrong side of the world. He is jetlagged and tired, but still he wants to talk about his great dream.

Terry Kelly sees the entire country - all of Canada - coming to a complete stop. Cars pulling over on the highways, elevators coming to a halt, coffee shops going quiet, classes shutting down, even passenger jets falling silent as they float through Canadian airspace.

For two minutes, that's all.

As Terry Kelly says and sings, A Pittance of Time.

The Canadian entertainer is in Wellington, New Zealand, invited there by that country's equivalent of the Canadian Legion, and this week he will sing his song in a 34,000-seat rugby stadium before what is certain to be the largest audience of his career.

It is a song that was intended as a rant, a little "venting" by the blind singer-songwriter concerning an incident he overheard seven years ago this coming week in a Shoppers Drug Mart in Dartmouth, just across the harbour from his home in Halifax.

He was in the store the morning of Nov. 11, 1999, when an announcement came over the public address system that the store would be following the legion's "two minutes of silence" initiative and fall quiet at 11 a.m. to honour those who had fought, and often died, for their country.

At the 11th hour, the store went quiet. Clerks stopped stocking shelves. Cashiers stepped back from their registers. Shoppers paused and lowered their heads.

Except for one man.

He was there with his young daughter, and he was in a hurry.

He demanded a clerk's attention. He insisted on going through the cash. He was loud and obnoxious and destroyed all hope of reflection for everyone within his sound range.

When the man completed his purchase, he hustled his little girl out the doors, but not before Terry Kelly - whose superb hearing compensates for his lack of sight - picked up her plaintive "Daddy - that was embarrassing!" as the doors swung back closed and, finally, allowed the store to fall quiet.

Outraged, Kelly went home, sat down with his guitar, and slowly worked out a tune and words:

"They fought and some died for their homeland
They fought and some died now it's our land
Look at his little child, there's no fear in her eyes
Could he not show respect for other dads who have died?
"Take two minutes, would you mind?
It's a pittance of time
For the boys and the girls who went over
In peace may they rest, may we never forget why they died.
It's a pittance of time . . ."

In the song, Kelly unleashed his anger ("God forgive me for wanting to strike him") and celebrated the Canadian soldier, from those who sent letters back from the Great War to those who today send e-mails home from Afghanistan. He sang about the swift passage of time ("May we never forget our young become vets") and about the significance of that small moment we mark at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

A Pittance of Time.

Warren Sonoda, a Toronto filmmaker, took the song and produced a remarkable video of Kelly performing in a Shoppers Drug Mart while the ignorant young man interrupts the silence. As the man rails at a bewildered clerk, others in the store stare in shock, including his upset daughter. And then - in a scene reminiscent of the parting of the cornstalks in Field of Dreams - a parade of veterans slowly emerges into sharp focus. Backs stiff, heads held high, shoulders squared, steps sometimes hobbled - the veterans, accompanied by soldiers from various eras, keep moving through the store until, finally, the obnoxious young man realizes what he has been disrupting.

It is a most powerful video (www.terry-kelly.com/pittance.htm ) and has moved everyone from elementary-school children to hardened Canadian senior officers to tears. It will play on the scoreboard of the Wellington rugby arena as Terry Kelly sings this week.

"It's all about respect," he says.

If his dream were to come true, he would have this entire country come to a stop on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. Two minutes where every Canadian pauses - even those anxious to get through the checkout counter - and thinks about those who have worn the country's uniform.

Kelly himself once dreamed of this life - he wanted to be in the air force and fly - but he and three siblings had an inherited condition that left him totally blind and his siblings with partial vision. He was sent from St. John's to Nova Scotia to attend a special school for the blind. There he lived with "house parents" who came from the military, and they taught him to be respectful, to be disciplined, and to believe in yourself.

"For me," he says, "it was a blessing."

He never did get to fly in the air force, of course. But he has served his country, all the same.

- The Globe and Mail

"Song Honours People Touched by Cancer"

Halifax, N.S., May 24, 2006

Singer / songwriter Terry Kelly, in partnership with Cancer Care Nova Scotia, launched today, Celebrate Life, an original song written and performed by Terry Kelly, to honour and recognize those whose lives have been affected by cancer.

The themes Terry explores in Celebrate Life are in keeping with his own thinking. “I am grateful for the gift of gratitude,” said Terry. “I am grateful for the life that I have lived, for the life that I am living and for whatever life I have left to live. I am especially grateful for the loved ones and acquaintances that have shared are sharing and have yet to share the joys and sorrows of the world with me. I am also grateful for the gift of choice, to choose between celebrating life or not.”

“The Celebrate Life song is about survivorship, but it embraces the full range of emotion we all work through when we learn someone close to us has cancer,” said Dr. Andrew Padmos, Commissioner, Cancer Care Nova Scotia. “It also speaks to the great strength and resolve of cancer patients, their family and friends in pulling together and fighting the disease by taking an active role in their treatment, getting answers to their questions to allay fears and truly appreciating each and every moment and day they have together. Terry, a cancer survivor himself, has successfully captured the essence of these many emotions.”

Commissioned by Cancer Care Nova Scotia, Celebrate Life builds on the survivorship theme and recognizes the strength of community, friendship, faith and love in the face of challenge. Celebrate Life was written for Cancer Care Nova Scotia’s signature event to mark National Cancer Survivors Day. Terry Kelly will sing the song at the event, Celebrate Life 2006, on Sunday, June 4 at Pier 21 in Halifax.

Cancer Care Nova Scotia is a program of the Department of Health, created to reduce the burden of cancer on individuals, families and the health care system through prevention, screening, education and research.
- Press Release


Olde Tyme Christmas > full-length CD
A Pittance of Time > single - eCD/DVD set
The Power of the Dream > full-length CD
Far Cry From Leaving > full-length CD
Divided Highway > full-length CD
Face to Face > full-length CD
On the Move > full-length recording



Terry Kelly

Terry Kelly’s enthusiasm for life and sheer determination have gained him recognition as an accomplished athlete; an award-winning singer, songwriter, and entertainer; a professional speaker; and a lover of life.

Terry was a double silver medallist at the 1979 Canadian Track Championships; a member of the Canadian Track Team that competed in the 1980 Paralympics; has distinguished himself as the third blind person in the world to run the mile in under five minutes; and was honoured by carrying the Olympic Torch as part of the Cross-Canada Torch Relay for the 1988 Winter Olympics.

This Newfoundland native has been making music since his childhood years; has recorded six full-length recordings; has performed his original music in places as far away as Australia and Spain; has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia and the Edmonton Symphony; was nominated for four Canadian Country Music Awards and a JUNO; and has received seven East Coast Music Awards.

Terry’s full-length recording ,“The Power of the Dream”, is the first commercially-produced music CD in the world that includes Braille on the liner notes and is packaged so that the entire text contents can be independently accessed by the blind, the visually-impaired and sighted alike from the enhanced disc.

The most recent single from Terry Kelly’s “The Power of the Dream” recording was “A Pittance of Time”. “A Pittance of Time” was written for and about veterans, peacekeepers, and the heroes at home. This song has been adapted to the French language and titled “C’est si peu de temps”. Music videos for both audio tracks and a musical drama production (“Two Minutes of Silence – A Pittance of Time”) for stage have been created from “A Pittance of Time”

In addition to his concert performances, Terry Kelly has developed and has delivered his “We Can Do Anything” and “The Power of the Dream” motivational presentations to tens of thousands of students, teachers, parents, government and business employees throughout Canada and the United States. Using personal anecdotes peppered with humour, songs and audience participation, Terry encourages individuals to develop their own values and strategies for living and working happily and healthily.

On February 12, 2000, Terry Kelly, along with Stephanie McClellan and Walter Gretzky, was presented with the prestigious King Clancy Award. The University of King’s College and Saint Mary’s University also acknowledged Terry and his work and on May 17, 2001 and on May 24, 2002 respectively, bestowed upon Terry Kelly Honourary Doctorates in Civil Laws and in Fine Arts, “for his contribution to humanity”.

On January 17, 2003, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, included Terry Kelly as one of her new appointments to the Order of Canada (C.M.). Her Excellency formally presented Terry with The Order of Canada at the October 24, 2003 Investiture Ceremony at Rideau Hall.

On September 12, 2005, in Calgary, Alberta, the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) presented Terry Kelly with the 2005 CCMA Humanitarian Award during their Industry Awards Gala. This award is voted on by the Board of Directors of the CCMA and is presented to a person(s) and/or event(s) that have made an outstanding contribution involving extraordinary time and energy in the support of humanitarian causes through country music.

From school classrooms to corporate boardrooms, from the recording studio to international conferences, from national radio shows to the pilot seat of an aircraft, from the controls of a Seadoo to the running of a sub-five-minute mile, Terry Kelly has been there. He has used these life experiences to motivate tens of thousands to live their own lives to the fullest and, by his example, overcome personal challenges of all types.