Toronto-based singer, songwriter and guitarist Suzanne Jarvie is this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)’s Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award for her song All In Place. The award was presented at Folk Music Ontario (FMO)’s annual conference.
Suzanne Jarvie, a mother of four and full-time lawyer, began songwriting in 2011 in the aftermath of a near-fatal accident suffered by her eldest son. In 2014, she found the courage to turn this painful journey into her debut record, Spiral Road. The album jump-started Suzanne’s music career. It garnered rave reviews from music critics in Canada, the United States and Europe, and was nominated for an Independent Music Award in the Best Concept Album category. Suzanne released her sophomore record, In The Clear, in 2019. Picking up where Spiral Road left off, it explores the ongoing effects of a family tragedy, touching on themes such as addiction, freedom and forgiveness. Suzanne recently completed a European tour in support of her new record and will be returning for more performances in late 2019 and 2020.
The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Council in 2003 by Peterson’s sister, Shirley Richardson, and her friend, singer-songwriter Laura Bird. The annual $1,000 award honours Peterson’s contribution to Canadian music by supporting and promoting the work of Ontario-resident emerging singer-songwriters in the roots, traditional, folk and country genres. Nominations are received from FMO’s Songs From the Heart competition. FMO also assembles the jury that chooses the award winner. Previous winners include Lora Bidner (2018), Noosa Al-Sarraj, aka Winona Wilde (2017) and Abigail Lapell (2016). Click here for a full list of past recipients.