Originally from the coastal Cree community of Fort Albany First Nation, off the coast of James Bay, Rosary Spence is a well-recognized Indigenous singer, steeped in time-honoured Aboriginal rhythms and styles. Spence has performed at public events such as the ImagineNative Film Festival, Planet IndigenUS, as an opening act for various events and conferences, and has also performed as a special guest at private functions. Spence prides herself as an established self-taught vocalist, but has also studied vocals at The Banff Centre For The Arts, and has participated in vocal training with a diverse group of artists at various times throughout her professional career. Spence has been a featured artist on a variety of albums and collaborations with various artists throughout her musical career, most recently a 12-track compilation titled "Women's Voices For Attawapiskat" dedicated to the people of Attawapiskat First Nation.
Spence's debut album (released May 2015) is titled Maskawasiwin, a Cree word for Strength. It is dedicated to all of the teachings and teachers whom have provided her with strength thus far in her life's journey. These teachers include her children, the wisdom of her peers and mentors, her family and friends, and last but not least, her maternal grandparents Frederik and Fabiola Spence whom were alive during the creative process of this recording, but whom have both since passed onto the Spirit World. Produced by Marc Marilainen at Marilainen Music, Maskawasiwin brings forward a recording that depicts the range of Spence's musical ability, from traditional vocables, to acoustic rhythms, and modern urban fusions.
Spence's newest release, titled I Fell in Love, is a single released May 8, 2020, is an upbeat pop track Rosary wrote in homage to love. I Fell in Love talks about all the little moments that happen when you just know that you have fallen in love. From a look in the eye, to a shared dance, to laughing together, it's that moment that is so magical and memorable. It is Rosary's wish that anyone listening to the song can take themselves to moments in time where they have fallen in love.
As an actor, Spence has performed with Jumblies Theatre Company in "Like An Old Tale" (2011) and "Nigamo" (2012, 2014), in Native Earth Performing Arts 26th Weesageechak Festival (2013), "Treaty 9" by Falen Johnson (2014), and in television series Paranormal Witness: Season 4 (2014). Spence has also added the title of playwright in her repertoire of skills and abilities with “N'Mooshum Ayamehewin”, a play dedicated to her late grandfather, Frederik Spence, debuted in the Animikiig program during Native Earth Performing Arts 24th Weesageechak Festival in 2011. In 2012, Spence collaborated with South-Asian writer and story-teller Sharada K. Eswar in "When the Fish Met the Turtle" which was showcased during the 25th Annual Weesageechak Begins To Dance Festival (2013).
As a designer, Spence has been designing jewelry and custom leather works from a very young age. She was taught how to bead and create handmade leather works by her grandmother, Fabiola Spence. Her inspirations include her Cree heritage, urban culture, vibrant colours and elements. In 2007, Spence released self-labelled fashion line titled Designs by Rosary which includes Indigenous fashion and footwear, graphic apparel, jewelry, and accessories. In 2014, Spence designed limited edition footwear and contributed original one-of-a-kind footwear as a Storyboot Artist for global shoe company, Manitobah Mukluks. In 2015, Spence joined Indigenous apparel brand Urban Nish as a brand ambassador and design consultant. In 2017, Spence joined international eyewear company, Dreamcatcher Eyewear, as a designer.
Rosary Spence currently resides in Toronto, Ontario.