Kindale brings singer-songwriter Justin Hines to Vernon

Hines is about to show his indomitable spirit to the North Okanagan when he performs in a fundraiser for the Kindale Development Assoc.

Singer-songwriter Justin Hines performs  at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre March 3 for a Kindale Development Association fundraiser.

Singer-songwriter Justin Hines performs at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre March 3 for a Kindale Development Association fundraiser.

At 14, Justin Hines won a vocal competition to sing the national anthem— both the Canadian and American –– at a Toronto Raptors basketball game, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Thrown in the deep end, Hines, who has performed professionally ever since, including at both the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics, realized he could not only survive, but thrive.

And he has continued to wow audiences with his voice.

Hines who has Larsen Syndrome, a joint dislocation condition that confines him to a wheelchair, is about to show his indomitable spirit to the North Okanagan when he performs in concert as a fundraiser for the Kindale Development Association, March 3.

“The reality is I don’t really look at my situation as that big a deal,” said Hines in his bio. “We all have our things that challenge us, just some people’s are a little more visible in the forefront. Mine is very apparent, whereas others wear it on the inside.”

While Hines admits his condition has provided challenges, he primarily sees the good it has brought him and the inspiration he can provide others.

“There have been so many blessings. It’s afforded me so many other opportunities. It’s a bit of an attention grabber,” he said. “But then my job is to keep people interested and keep their attention with my music.”

Their attention has been captured with the release of Hines’ recent album, Days to Recall. His fourth album released in Canada and his U.S. debut, Days to Recall is a collection of heartfelt songs about life and love, especially apt now that Hines has been married for three years.

“I don’t want to pretend that dark times don’t exist, but I have a hard time leaving things negative,” he said. “I think every challenging situation leads to something better. When I’m writing I don’t do it consciously in the songs, it’s just how they evolve.”

The album’s August release in the U.S. coincided with a PBS special of Hines in concert taped at Toronto’s Royal Cinema with special guests Ron Sexsmith, Natalie MacMaster, Donnell Leahy, Sierra Noble and the Canadian Tenors.

The U.S. version of Days to Recall includes Say What You Will, an uplifting song that appeared on Hines’ second Canadian album and took on a life of its when the song was used as part of a South African campaign to build 20 schools in 11 days.

Hines performed in South Africa this spring and saw the schools that will educate more than 22,000 students.

“It’s so beyond an honour knowing that a song we did was part of this, that we get to be part of that beauty,” he said.

As enjoyable as the studio experience has been for Hines, performing live is where he gets the most pleasure.

“I’ll never be a guy who relies on choreography,” he joked.

“I get transformed to a different place when I perform. I hope it just makes people feel something. Hopefully, that helps form an intimate connection with the audience. I embrace those moments because it feels like you’re having a unique conversation with people.”

Hines takes the stage at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre March 3 at 7 p.m. All seats are $30 and tickets go on sale Tuesday at the Ticket Seller box office, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.