Just Prince receives 2023 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award

Folk singer-songwriter Just Prince is this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council (OAC)’s Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award for his song “Kamli.”

Just Prince will receive the award as part of the Ontario Folk Music Awards on Sunday, October 15th. The event is taking place at Folk Music Ontario’s annual conference, held this year in London, Ontario.

Just Prince is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter who blends Hindustani classical music with Western elements of folk, rock and blues. His musical influences include Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan Sahab, Ustad Puran Chand Wadali and Begum Akhtar, as well as Western performers such as Chris Cornell, Tool and D’Angelo. “Kamli” is one of seven songs featured on Just Prince’s first album, Nacheez, which was released in September 2022. He describes this album as being about “insignificance” and an expression of different perspectives through a stream-of-consciousness approach to composition. Just Prince also performs and writes with the band Running Rivers, whose forthcoming album is currently in production.

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’s emerging singer-songwriters in the roots, traditional, folk and country genres. Nominations are received from Folk Music Ontario’s Songs From the Heart competition. FMO also assembles the jury of musicians and industry professionals that chooses the award winner. Previous winners include Camie (2022), Julie Title (2021) and Danielle Knibbe (2020).