Donny Parenteau is living his dream, but for him, that’s not enough. The Juno-nominated artist wants to inspire kids to follow their own dreams, and is touring schools with his It Starts with a Dream tour to do just that. He was recently at Dr. Brass school to talk to the kids and perform his music.
Parenteau says the goal of the tour is to inspire kids. He also says it’s a way to use his own life to show kids how someone who works towards their dream can make it come true.
“At the age of fourteen, the first time I picked up a fiddle I had a dream of playing at the Grand Ole Opry. Ten years later, that dream came true, and I explain to the kids how I did it,” he says.
He also wants to make a difference in the every day life of kids right now, and says that he’s got two major subjects which kids today need to speak about. One is bullying, something he says he hopes he can help get rid of in schools. The other is communication, and he says that kids need to talk to each other and their parents more in their lives.
“Communication I feel is being smothered and disappearing because of technology. They’re communicating more with Facebook and texting than speaking, so instead of Facebook it should be face to face,” Parenteau says.
The inspiration for the tours came from the birth of Parenteau’s daughter, and his desire to make the world a better place for her.
“I started to look around and thought the only way to change things is to make the world a better place for her. It doesn’t matter what I do musically anymore, it’s not what I do for me anymore, it’s what I leave behind for her... Am I going to make a difference? I don’t know, but I’m making the attempt, and I’m trying to get through to these kids and explain that the world is not a great place right now, and the way to change things is get to the young ones... They’re the ones that can make the change,” Parenteau says.
Parenteau says that the tour has been going well, and that he’s been talking to a wide range of kids. He says that the response has been great, and he knows he’s been reaching kids when they send him messages and tell him about how his tour has changed their outlook on life.