PROFILE | Newfoundland & Labrador



business and passion

Photography by Thornhill and Taylor Photography
Article by Adam Hodnett

When the brother and sister duo, “Shana & Dillon Music,” were 9 and 10 years-old, they took their love of music to the next level with the help of their local CBDC and learned some lessons that will last a lifetime.  

Their journey literally began on the road.  

Shana Brown and her older brother, Dillon, would often end up on 90-minute car rides to St. John’s. Sometimes they would do these trips regularly, like during soccer season. They would usually be listening to music and singing along.  

Their mother, Leila, teaches music at the school and gives music lessons in their home. So, she had a few tips for the budding talents, from time to time.   

“As I saw them accomplish something musically, I would try a little bit more,” she said.  

Even Leila was surprised at how quickly they took to it all, though.  

“The saying goes, ‘sibling harmonies can’t be touched,’ for how pure they are,” she said.  

”Because they had such a good ear for vocal harmonies, eventually they had enough talent in them that they could transfer it to the instrumental part of it too, so their instrumental songs could be just as intricate.” 

The influences began to be pulled in from all over, but the kids took a particular interest in Irish and Newfoundland folk songs. There happens to be a lot of opportunities to perform this kind of music, living in Whiteray, Newfoundland.  

Early on, Shana remembers visiting their aunt, who was camping with a bunch of friends. Their aunt opened a guitar case and turned it around.  

“They started throwing money in, and it was like we were busking, you know,” said Shana.  

“From there it kind of started,” said Leila. “‘Maybe this could be a little summer job.’” 

As they found more and more places to play, opportunities opened up. Through a workshop the kids impressed one person, who invited them to play at a birthday party, where they impressed more people, and were invited to play the junior stage at the Newfoundland and Labrador Music festival.  

“Our name got out there more, and we got invited to play in more places,” Shana said. “It just kind of grew and grew.” 

With more gigs, the next step was clearly to record.  This opened up the business side of music — budgeting, hiring, managing inventory, tracking sales.   

Before they made their first CD though, they were told that they should talk to CBDC. They weren’t even thinking about a potential loan.  

“It was kind of suggested, to use more-or-less, for the promotion and encouragement,” Leila remembered.  

CBDC helped with everything, and the kids were able to access a Youth Business Loan to make their first CD, “Shillon Traditions”. But they also helped the two develop a business plan, set goals, learn about networking and making connections in the community, and accessing different seminars and workshops to help with every aspect of the business. 

“We took advantage of any opportunities we could,” Shana said. “It helped a lot.” 

The duo went back to CBDC when they set out to record their second CD, “Favorites From Home”, five years later. And when the two kids both separately started developing their own visual arts businesses, they went straight to CBDC, again. 

“It wasn’t a burden for us to go talk to these people, ask for an idea or anything like that,” said Leila. “The relationship that came from it, we almost feel like we’re family to each other.” 


“We took advantage of any opportunities we could.” 

Shana Brown
Shana & Dillon Music

Ambitions is a publication of the Atlantic Association of CBDCs intended to promote and celebrate small business and entrepreneurial success in the communities we serve.

We let our clients tell our story.

Get In Touch

Atlantic Association of CBDCs
459 Murray St., Suite 200
Mulgrave, NS B0E 2G0

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.

Scroll to Top