The OCFF presents three major annual awards: the Estelle Klein Award, the Songs From the Heart: Galaxie Rising Stars Award, and the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award. The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award is presented in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council.
Songs From the Heart Competition
The competition is now closed. If you applied online by the deadline, of if your entry was sent by mail and postmarked by Friday, May 10, it will be accepted. Over the next several weeks, the jury will be considering the entries and selecting the winning songs. Thank you to all who applied.
The Ontario Council of Folk Festivals is pleased to present the 19th annual OCFF Songs From the Heart songwriting competition, generously sponsored by Galaxie, Your Musical Universe. This event highlights the creations of songwriters and provides an opportunity for the winners to showcase their work for the OCFF community. The competition is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, as defined by the boundaries indicated by the black dotted line on this map.
A jury will select two grand prize winners: one English and one French. The winners will each receive a Galaxie Rising Stars Award of $1,000.00, and one registration for the OCFF conference in Mississauga, ON, October 17 – 20, 2013. Prizes of $100.00 OCFF credit will be awarded to the winners of each of five sub-categories: Children’s, Humorous, Instrumental, Multicultural and Political.
The English and French Songs From the Heart Award winners, sub-category winners and the Colleen Peterson Award winner will be invited to showcase their winning songs at the 2013 OCFF conference.
The 2012 OCFF Songs From the Heart grand prize winners were:
Galaxie Rising Stars Award – English:
Tucker Finn for “Totally Headed for Nowhere”
Galaxie Rising Stars Award – French:
Philippe Flahaut for “Seul dans l’auto avec la radio”
In addition, five sub-category winners were selected by the Songs From the Heart juries:
|Children’s||“Scat in the Hat by Chris McKhool|
|Multicultural||“Ana El Nah” by Jaffa Road|
|Humourous||“The Facebook Waltz” by Dan Latner|
|Political||“Open for Business” by Mike Ford|
|Instrumental||“Waterfall” by Jaron Freeman-Fox|
Past Overall Winners
- 2011 – English: Brenley MacEachern & Lisa MacIsaac- “The Ransom”
- 2011 – French: Yvan Vollé- “Solitude”
- 2010 – English: Ambre McLean – “Me, My Heart, And The Moon”
- 2010 – French: Louis-Philippe Robillard – “Le Pommier”
- 2009 – English: David Leask and Bruce Madole – “While I Still Breathe”
- 2009 – French: Cindy Doire and Colin Linden – “Pêché de la mer”
- 2008 – English: Michael Laderoute – “A River I Know”
- 2008 – French: Amélie Lefebvre – “Je t’attends”
- 2007 – English: Catherine McInnes – “Waltzing on Eggshells”
- 2007 – French: Charlie Sohmer – “Marie Anne Lagimodiere”
- 2006 – English: Ana Miura – “He Swallows Whiskey”
- 2006 – French: Phil Lafrenière – “Je Pleure et Je Perds”
- 2005 – English: Melwood Cutlery – “Ballad of the Moonlight Lady”
- 2005 – French: Jean-Guy ‘Chuck’ Labelle – “Le Calumet de la Paix”
- 2004 – English: Michelle Rasky – “Into the New”
- 2004 – French: Darryn Grandbois – “Oh! Canada” and Michel Payment – “Ouendaké”
» See the complete list of awards presented in the Songs From the Heart competition since its inception in 1995.
The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award
The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award was established to help support and promote the work of Ontario-resident emerging singer/songwriters in the genres of roots, traditional, folk and country music. The annual recipient is chosen by an Ontario Arts Council (OAC) selection panel from nominations put forward by the OCFF’s Songs From the Heart competition jury.
Ontario singer-songwriter Colleen Peterson had a soaring voice, engaging stage presence and a proven songwriting talent. The recipient of two Juno Awards, Colleen collaborated with a long list of folk, roots and country musicians, and was a founding member of the celebrated group Quartette. After a year-long battle with cancer, Colleen passed away at the age of 45 in 1996, and was inducted posthumously into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Ariana Gillis lives in the Niagara region and tours extensively to various folk music festivals and other venues in the province and abroad.
At age 19, Ariana Gillis independently released her debut album titled To Make it Make Sense in 2010.
She has performed with many artists including, Sarah Slean, Ron Sexsmith, Jadea Kelly, Eddie Schwartz and Kevin Breit.
In 2009 Ariana won a Canadian Folk Music Award for Young Performer of the Year, and the Niagara Music Award for Songwriter of the Year. That same year she was nominated for three Hamilton Music Awards.
The jury remarked that Ariana’s song contains “a strong story well supported by the music with a brilliant and unexpected bridge.” The jury was made up of singer-songwriters Crissi Cochrane, ElizaBeth Hill and Joëlle Roy.
Candidates for the Colleen Peterson Award are provided to the Ontario Arts Council by the OCFF, from the roster of entries to our annual Songs From the Heart competition.
- 2011: Alise Marlane – “L’aurore boréale”
- 2010: Lynne Hanson – “Rest of My Days”
- 2009: Kyrie Kristmanson – “Song X”
- 2008: Chris MacLean – “Feet Be Still”
- 2007: Brooke Miller – “Two Soldiers”
- 2006: Andy Sheppard – “Until Next Time”
- 2005: Lori Cullen and Brian Macmillan – “Away So Long”
- 2004: David Gillis – “A Mouse’s Crumb”
- 2003: Evalyn Parry – “The Stone and The Bumblebee”
Estelle Klein Award
Each year, the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) honours the work of an individual or group that has made significant contributions to Ontario’s folk music community. The award is named after Estelle Klein, a long-time advocate of Canadian folk music and one of the early founders of the folk festival scene in this country.
The 2012 Estelle Klein Award recipient was Arthur McGregor. Arthur has booked, stage-managed and performed in numerous folk festivals, run coffee houses, concerts and workshops, played in a show for kids, helped develop the Canadian Folk Music Awards, published great songbooks, taught various instruments, and, for the past 37 years, run the Ottawa Folklore Centre.
Nominees for the Estelle Klein Award must reside in Ontario or the National Capital Region, as defined by the boundaries indicated by the black dotted line on this map.
- 2011: Paul Mills
- 2010: Grit Laskin
- 2009: Sharon, Lois & Bram
- 2008: Bernie Finkelstein
- 2007: Stan Rogers
- 2006: Richard Flohil
- 2005: Ken Whiteley
- 2004: Sylvia Tyson
- 2003: The Friends of Fiddler’s Green
- 2002: Ian Tamblyn
- 2001: Jackie Washington
- 2000: Estelle Klein
Estelle Klein Award videos
The OCFF Taylor Mitchell Bursary
In 2010, in memory of her daughter Taylor Mitchell, the burgeoning Canadian songwriter who died October 28, 2009 from a coyote attack while hiking in Cape Breton, Emily Mitchell established The OCFF Taylor Mitchell Bursary for participants in the OCFF Youth Performer program.
Annually for five years (2010 – 2014 inclusive), one young performer will be chosen to receive up to $500 towards costs associated with attending the conference and participating in the OCFF Youth program. All candidates chosen by jury to participate in the program are eligible for the bursary. The recipient is determined according to need by a group of musical mentors who knew and loved Taylor.
The recipient of the 2012 OCFF Taylor Mitchell Bursary was Emily Kohne of Thunder Bay, ON. A singer-songwriter with oodles of passion, Emily writes songs people can’t get out of their heads. She brings laughter, tears and smiles! Her solo concerts as a singer songwriter are a joy to experience, and her love of performing is as obvious as the smile on her face.
- 2011: Binaeshee-Quae Couchie-Nabigon, Pic River
- 2010: Maria Tullio, Port Hope