Shania Twain's Netflix Documentary Credits An Ontario Resort & It's Where She Got Her Start

"It was pretty scary, I didn't really know what I was doing at all."

Ottawa Staff Writer
Shania Twain singing early in her career. Right: Shania Twain album cover for "Not Just A Girl".

Shania Twain singing early in her career. Right: Shania Twain album cover for "Not Just A Girl".

The Netflix documentary Shania Twain: Not Just A Girl dropped on July 26 and it reveals the inspiring backstory behind the beloved Canadian artist.

From her humble beginnings in the city of Timmins, Ontario, to becoming the international success and icon that she's known as today, the documentary takes viewers on a journey through the early days of the singer’s life. A big turning point in Shania Twain's story actually occurred at an Ontario resort.

After the tragic death of her parents in 1987, Twain moved back home to take care of her younger siblings. She thought about quitting her musical pursuits to "get a real job" so she could support her family, but her mentor Mary Bailey encouraged her to work as a performer at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario.

"I learned to respect and appreciate that I did have a talent that would be a shame to throw away and not pursue,” Twain says, referring to her time spent at the resort. When she wasn’t working and taking care of her siblings, she spent her time writing songs. "There was no other way to get ahead besides working my a** off really."

"It turned out that live performing was going to pay better, even at this level, than working a regular day job... I was able to support my brothers, I was able to make enough money to put food on the table singing at this resort," Twain recalls in the Netflix special. At the time, the resort presented off-broadway shows and Vegas-style musical performances.

"I had to learn fast", Twain states, recalling her time performing in the resort shows which were different from anything else she had done up to that point. Wearing heels and singing at the same time was no easy feat, it turns out. "It was pretty scary, I didn't really know what I was doing at all."

Once she realized her own talent, she continued to work, write songs and demo, hoping that her big break would come. She and Bailey credit this time spent at Deerhurst for allowing her to discover who she was and what direction she wanted to take in her career and life.

This inspired her to move to Nashville, Tennessee shortly after where she signed her first recording contract in 1992.

The documentary of her incredible story and rise to fame is now streaming on Netflix Canada, and you can watch her entire journey from a Northern Ontario girl to a Canadian icon.

Shania Twain: Not Just A Girl 

Rating: 6.3/10

Why You Need To Watch It: From growing up poor in Timmins, Ontario to becoming an international success in both country and pop music genres, Shania Twain's documentary is one of a small-town Canadian girl blazing her own trail.

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