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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
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Abigail Lapell receives 2016 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award

October 19, 2016

Abigail Lapell
Photo: Jen Squires

Singer-songwriter Abigail Lapell is this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, for her song “Jordan.” The award will be presented on Sunday, October 23 at Folk Music Ontario’s annual conference.

About Abigail Lapell

  • Abigail is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto. She spent her formative years in Montreal, where she began writing, performing and collaborating with various bands and theatre groups.
  • Abigail’s debut solo record, Great Survivor, came out in 2011; her sophomore record, Hide Nor Hair, will be released in January 2017. Exploring themes of love and loss through the lens of geography and travel, it will feature “Jordan” as its lead single.
  • Abigail has toured across North America and Europe, sharing stages with artists such as First Aid Kit, tUnE-yArDs and Rae Spoon. She has appeared at many festivals, including North by Northeast, Pop Montreal and Sappy Fest.
  • Abigail has also toured using many unconventional modes of transportation. She has completed two tours entirely by bicycle (Tune Your Ride Tour), two by canoe (Fish Quill Canoe Tour), and one by train across Canada (as part of VIA Rail’s Artists on board Program).


The jury was unanimous in its choice, stating that “’Jordan’ is a beautifully written song that evokes a strong sense of place.” Praising the song’s “unique yet comforting sound,” they applauded the “sophisticated relationship between its lyrics, music and emotional content.

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. The OAC assembles the jury that chooses the award winner.
  • This year’s jury consisted of Jimmy Breslin (Thunder Bay), ShoShona Kish (Barrie) and Suzie Vinnick (Wainfleet).
  • Previous winners include Graydon James (2015), Ken Yates (2014) and Leila Goldberger (2013). Click here for a full list of past recipients.