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Shoshana Wasser

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

Noosa Al-Sarraj receives 2017 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award

October 18, 2017

Singer-songwriter Noosa Al-Sarraj (a.k.a. Winona Wilde) is this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s (OAC) Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, for her song Pincushion Soldier. The award will be presented on Sunday, October 22, 2017, at Folk Music Ontario’s annual conference.

Noosa Al-Sarraj

About Noosa Al-Sarraj

  • A self-identified Iraqi-Ontarian, Noosa grew up playing classical music on piano, and listening to country artists like John Prine, Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn. By her teens, she discovered her ability to write songs in a similar style.
  • Her first album, Wild North, was released in 2013, and her second, You Lose Some, You Lose Some, followed in 2015. Her third album, the self-produced Wasted Time, came out in October 2017.
  • She has spent much of the past four years touring her music. Beginning in Dawson City, Yukon, she travelled to nearly every Canadian province and territory, most American states and parts of Europe.
  • She received a 2017 New Folk Award from the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, and was named BC Musician Magazine’s Songwriter of the Year in 2015.


The jury was unanimous in its choice. They stated: “Pincushion Soldier is an incredibly moving and thought-provoking song, at once evocative and bittersweet. Its beautiful lyrics immediately pull listeners into a character and her world, conveying powerful imagery and a strong sense of place.”


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 Sam Cassio (Sudbury), Chelsey June (Ottawa) and Abigail Lapell (Toronto).
  • Previous winners include Abigail Lapell (2016), Graydon James (2015) and Ken Yates (2014). Click here for a full list of past recipients.

For further information

Shoshana Wasser
Communications Coordinator
416-969-7434 | toll-free in Ontario 1-800-387-0058, ext. 7434