Born and raised in West Bay Road, Inverness County, Shelly has been playing traditional Cape Breton music for over 25 years. She was influenced by local fiddlers Stephanie Wills, Theresa MacLellan, Gertie Coffin and Alex Francis MacKay to name a few. Since her early fiddling years, Shelly has played for many community gatherings, pubs and concerts and is a popular player for dances. Her playing is powerful, lively and graceful and deeply rooted in the traditions she grew up listening to. She teaches Cape Breton style fiddling locally in private lessons and has taught in workshops throughout Cape Breton, Scotland, and Ireland. Shelly also has an avid interest in the Gaelic language and culture and its preservation in Cape Breton. She is a school teacher in Whycocomagh, teaching Gaelic as well as other Junior High subjects.