Kelowna’s Heartland Celebrity Shaun Johnston donating music profits to Habitat for Humanity Okanagan

Local celebrity's fundraiser

Sarita Patel

Canadian actor and Kelowna resident Shaun Johnston is looking to showcase his many talents and raise money for the Habitat for Humanity Okanagan Chapter. 

Known as “Grandpa Jack” on the show ‘Heartland’, Johnston is giving fans an in-depth look at the music he’s written and performed for the program. 

“We call the project, ‘The Book of Shaun - Story behind his Heartland music’ and there will be various episodes,” explains Johnston.

The music project explores the ideas and stories behind the tracks he has created for Heartland. Johnston takes the listener behind the scenes and describes how the songs got started and evolved into the final versions you hear on the show. 

The first episode is called ‘Double Shot,’ after the song he wrote and performed during season five of Heartland. 

‘Heartland’ has been on air for 13 seasons, becoming the longest-running one-hour drama in Canadian television history. Johnston thought the fans would be interested to know how he came about writing some of the music for the show. 

“You go through the different phases of how I wrote the song, there are a few little clips here like ‘this is when I recorded this in my kitchen,” laughs Johnston. 

Johnston and his wife Sue have called Kelowna home for the past five years but their love for the valley began long before that. The couple spent their honeymoon in Kelowna over 35 years ago and have vacationed here every year since. 

Johnston has worked on many charity events in the past but this is the first fundraiser he’s done in Kelowna. 

‘I chose Habitat for Humanity because of the humanity of the organization,” said Johnston. 

He says he’d eventually like to help the charity by volunteering his time to build housing, explaining he knows how to work with his hands. 

Shaun met Kathleen Lemieux, the director of fund development for Habitat, at a neighbourhood party and offered to support the group with the fundraiser.

“At the time, I wasn’t sure what we would do, but I was very interested in working with Shaun and thought he was so generous and down to earth,” explains Lemieux.

Johnston says he’s been in the industry for over 30 years and still gets romanced by the behind-the-scenes aspect of music making and hope the fans of the show will appreciate the story-telling.

Although the song was written for Heartland, this project is not affiliated with the show. 

Each episode includes two downloadable audio files, the first is a narration by Johnston including details about the song and the second file is the song in its entirety.

You can purchase the package for $3.99 with all profits going to Habitat for Humanity Okanagan.

More Kelowna News