Janina’s father, Russell Desjarlais, around age 10, just before winning CJOB Radio Talent Contest
Janina grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba – daughter of a polish mother, and a metis father. Her father, who tragically died in a vehicle accident prior to her birth, turned out to have quite an influence in Janina’s
musical development. He was a songwriter and
musician, and was returning from a performance at the time of the accident.
From a very young age, Janina loved singing and dancing, writing poetry and short stories. She would listen to the radio and sing endlessly, and perform in the family living room. Teachers at school noticed that she had perfect pitch and a great musical sense, and she was often asked to sing solo in choirs and community events.
Eleanor, Janina’s mother….. the expression of love
in every way imagineable
recordings. The family had quite a musical
reputation, and had performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, with the fingerpicking and rockabilly style of the time, reminiscent of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.
Janina’s love of performing for children began around 20 years of age, when she would perform in parks in Winnipeg for free, and the children would follow her all around…not wanting her to leave This was the beginning of Janina’s intertwining of comedy and music, and the inspiration for the development of her many unique routines and skills in children’s
In 1989, looking for a fresh change in her creativity, she began singing for children at community centers and preschools. In 1991, she moved to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, and continued to perform for children at festivals and concerts, receiving excellent reviews.
Janina’s aunt, Gloria Desjarlais… a mentor
and a true friend
Janina doing what she loves….
entertainment business, as well as connections with other musicians, and producers. In 1993, Janina began writing the music and lyrics for her children’s album, Colours Of The Rainbow.
Simultaneously, she began the studio work of
recording the album. The album was completed in mid-1995, with the contributions of many
well-known musicians. The album was produced impeccably by Olav Rixen, at Alternative
Productions, in North Vancouver.
The end result was a top-notch compilation of musical sounds from around the world…..fun, yet educational…..and greatly enjoyed by people of all ages.
In 1995, just after the release of the album, Janina gave birth to her son, Aidan. Since that time, she has
continued to perform and entertain for children, often on large festival stages, and at times with her son, Aidan, joining her on stage. She has also often worked as a music teacher for groups of pre-school children, often in Montessori schools or in daycare centres
Janina and her son, Aidan (a comedian
in the making), on stage.