All the pieces are coming back together for Tara MacLean
After more than three decades of life on the mainland Tara MacLean is feeling the magnetic pull of her ancestral home.
The singer-songwriter and producer of Atlantic Blue felt the tug to return home get stronger last winter. She was back to perform in Confederation Centre of the Arts’ mainstage Christmas production when a theatre dresser told her she remembered dressing MacLean’s mother – actress Sharlene MacLean – when she was pregnant with Tara.
“It was a beautiful moment, feeling that connection,” MacLean said.
“You’re a piece of a puzzle here when you come back to Prince Edward Island - you fit right in where you’re supposed to be.”
MacLean left the Island at age 13 when her family’s Charlottetown home burned to the ground in May 1987. She and her three siblings were pulled from their burning Queen Street home by Constable David Cheverie, who received the Cross of Valour for saving their lives. MacLean went to live temporarily with her father in Victoria, BC.
MacLean was signed by Nettwerk Records in April 1995 after employees heard her singing on the top deck of a BC ferry. After several hit songs as a solo artist she became a member of Shaye with Kim Stockwood and Damhnait Doyle from 2002 to 2007. The group was named after MacLean’s sister who was killed in a car accident.
MacLean and her family (a husband and three daughters, Sophia, 16, Stella, 12 and Flora, 10) have been spending summers on the Island for the past few years as she performs Atlantic Blue at the Guild three nights a week.
“It’s a dream. I created my own job and felt so supported and loved, everyone wanted to be a part of it,” she said.
“Now I get to spend my days at the beach and my nights on stage and sleep in my own bed.”
She will be returning next summer with Atlantic Blue’s third season. She is planning to spend much of this winter on Prince Edward Island recording a new album of original material. Her oldest daughter Sophia is set to attend grade 12 at Colonel Gray High School. Her partner Ted Grand (director and co-founder of Moksha Yoga) and their two younger daughters will commute for now, and so will Tara.
The whole family will be here June through September.
“I always imagined I would come back home eventually and now I have this feeling in my gut that tells me it’s time to be here,” she said.
“Prince Edward Island is a very inspiring place –it feels like everyone cares about each other, and we want each others’ children to succeed. It’s safe, it’s home.
“I’ve been all over the world, and PEI is the best.”
Learn more about living on Prince Edward Island.