Loreena McKennitt is a self-managed, self-produced singer/composer and the head of her own successful recordlabel, Quinlan Road since 1985. In a recording career spanning nearly two decades, McKennitt's electric Celtic music has won critical acclaim world wide - and gold, platinum and multiplatinum sales in fifteen countries.
Loreena McKennitt has acted and sung in and composed music for Stratford Festival productions ranging from The Tempest (1982) to The Merchant of Venice(2001).

An active member of her community she has founded the Cook-Rees Memorial Fund for Water Search and Safety which supports a range of initiatives involving water safety education as well as search, rescue and recovery exercises in Canada and oversees. Loreena McKennitt has also established the Falstaff Family Centre, which a centre for community and children's activities.

Says Loreena McKennitt:
"I am pleased and honoured to serve as Hans Christian Andersen ambassador on behalf of the many millions of Canadians who grew up with his wise, witty and compassionate stories. I hope that this year of celebration will enable us to work toward increasing literacy around the world, as well as offering the gift of his delightful stories to a new generation of readers.

I also hope for a rediscovery of H.C. Andersen's perceptive, thoughtful and ground-breaking travel writing which recounts his many journeys to the Mediterranean and the Islamic world in an age in which such explorations were rare and arduous indeed. Works like "A Poet's Bazaar" remind us that we all have much to share with, and much to learn from, our fellow humans regardless of faith, nationality or skin colour."