Caption: Grade 9 student Cole, rocking his mocs, with Logan Staats during a recent performance at Hagersville Secondary School
The tour dates may have been unofficial, but singer-songwriter/rock star Logan Staats – who took home the top prize on CTV’s The Launch where he was mentored by Shania Twain earlier this year – has been making the rounds in Grand Erie. Despite his new stardom and regular performances in front of bigger crowds these days, the former Grand Erie student (Staats attended Grandview Central Public School and Brantford Collegiate Institute and Vocational School) says stage fright is still a very real thing.
“Schools are the scariest,” admitted Staats to a crowd of Hagersville Secondary School Grade 9 students on a recent visit.
Staats performed four songs, and in between, answered questions from students, who were taking part in the culmination of a month-long project called Walk a Mile in My Moccasins. The project brought together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Grade 9 students in learning about and exploring aspects of Indigenous culture, art, and history. The project’s schedule brought in guest speakers and got students out visiting significant sites, even having a traditional meal in a longhouse. It also included a hands-on lesson crafting a pair of moccasins, which several students proudly wore during Staat’s visit.
The project aligns with Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, which includes Equity as one of its foundational pillars, prioritizing the building of welcoming, inclusive environments where each student has what they need to succeed.
“My grandparents went to this terrible place called the residential schools, and I wrote this song about it because that’s what I do when I feel something,” Staats told the group as he introduced his song “Simple Man.”
“It’s still something I’m not that comfortable talking about,” Staats said afterward. “But I’m realizing that it’s not something we should shy away from because it helps start important conversations.”
Staats is proudly sharing his story with Grand Erie students, and his Six Nations roots are a strong part of his identity as an artist. Other stops in Grand Erie have included Cayuga Secondary School, Central Public School and Russell Reid Public School.
Staats, who started singing and writing songs in his teens, was chosen out of 10,000 applicants to appear on the first season of The Launch. His win helped further establish his career, and helped him make stronger connections within the music industry.
“Anything’s possible,” Staats said at the end of his visit with Hagersville Secondary students. “If I learned anything on The Launch, that’s it.”