Many know Heather Rankin as their neighbour, others are related to her, yet all of us know and love the Rankin Family’s music.
Heather kept the audience engaged with her humorous narrative of growing up in a family of 12, in Mabou, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, amidst numerous financial hardships. At their mother’s insistence, all the Rankin’s played in The Rankin Family Band, many times reluctantly. When the older siblings went to university, the younger siblings took their place. The Rankin Family, of course, went on to have an international career.
The Rankins were able to rise from their humble beginnings of selling records out of the back of their car to winning 15 East Coast Music Awards, six Juno Awards, four SOCAN Awards, three Canadian Country Music Awards and two Big Country Music Awards. “Fare Thee Well Love” in 1992, went quadruple platinum, selling over 500,000 copies; the title track was Top 4 singles in Canada.
Whether musically or personally, The Rankins have always banded together, and in 2005 with no prior restaurant experience, opened The Red Shoe, a seasonal restaurant that has become a musical destination for tourists, established and up-and-coming musicians.
Despite her many accomplishments, Heather said her proudest moment was hiring their mother full-time to manage The Rankin Family fan club, allowing her to finally quit her job of many years.
Heather credits her mother for the family’s success in all areas of their lives. Heather’s message was one of gratitude for the influence, ingenuity, and resourcefulness of her mother and the Famous 5 women whose vision, perseverance and support ensured both their families and specifically women would have the opportunity to enjoy a better life.
Many know Heather Rankin as their neighbor, others are related to her, yet all of us know and love the Rankin Family’s music.