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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
Toll-free in Ontario: 1-800-387-0058

Graydon James receives 2015 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award

October 14, 2015

Graydon JamesSinger-songwriter Graydon James is this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s (OAC) Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, for his song “Couldn’t Be Any Worse.” The award will be presented on Sunday, October 18, 2015, at Folk Music Ontario’s annual conference.

About Graydon James

  • Born and raised in a small town north of Kingston, Ont., Graydon currently resides in Toronto. His songwriting often explores themes of small-town life, as well as relationships both traditional and non-traditional.
  • Graydon’s band, The Young Novelists, have released an EP, two studio albums and a live album. Their latest album, made us strangers, has received two Canadian Folk Music Awards nominations. They also won the 2015 Connecticut Folk Festival Grassy Hill Songwriting Competition.
  • The Young Novelists have toured across Canada, the Midwestern and Northeastern United States, and just completed their first European tour. They have played the Mariposa Folk Festival, Summerfolk and the Halifax Urban Folk Festival, along with several American festivals.
  • Graydon is also an author, and published his first novel, The Mall of Small Frustrations, in 2013.

Listen to "Couldn’t Be Any Worse"


“‘Couldn’t Be Any Worse’ is a completely perfect song,” said the jury, which was unanimous in its choice. “It’s a beautifully crafted story of the kind of relationship we’ve all had – the one that didn’t work out and still haunts you. We wanted to listen to it again and again!”

About The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award

  • The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Council in 2003 by Peterson’s sister, Shirley Richardson, and 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 Folk Music Ontario’s “Songs from the Heart” competition. OAC assembles the jury that chooses the award winner.
  • This year’s jury consisted of Sean Conway (Peterborough), Sarah Smith (London) and Kristine St-Pierre (Ottawa).
  • Previous winners include Ken Yates (2014), Leila Goldberger (2013) and Ariana Gillis (2012). Click here for a full list of past recipients.