Supporting the growth and development of folk music in Ontario since 1986.

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Art Beat

The OCFF presents three major annual awards: the Estelle Klein Award, the Songs From the Heart: Galaxie Rising Stars Award, and the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award. The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award is presented in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council.


Paul Mills

Each year, the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) honours the work of an individual or group that has made significant contributions to Ontario’s folk music community. The award is named after Estelle Klein, a long-time advocate of Canadian folk music and one of the early founders of the folk festival scene in this country.

Renowned record and radio producer, folk community leader, Paul Mills is the 2011 recipient of the Estelle Klein Award. His outstanding reputation has been earned over the course of a long and accomplished career.

Read the full press release here.

Past Winners:
2010: Grit Laskin
2009: Sharon, Lois & Bram
2008: Bernie Finkelstein
2007: Stan Rogers
2006: Richard Flohil
2005: Ken Whiteley
2004: Sylvia Tyson
2003: The Friends of Fiddler's Green
2002: Ian Tamblyn
2001: Jackie Washington
2000: Estelle Klein

Deadline: CLOSED

The Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) is pleased to present the 17th annual Songs From the Heart songwriting competition. This event highlights the creations of songwriters and provides an opportunity for the winners to showcase their work for the OCFF community. The competition is open to residents of Ontario and the National Capital Region, as defined by the boundaries indicated by the black dotted line on this map.

A jury will select two grand prize winners: one English and one French. The winners will each receive a Galaxie Rising Stars Award of $1,000.00, and one registration for the OCFF conference in Niagara Falls, October 13 – 16, 2011. Prizes of $100.00 OCFF credit will be awarded to the winners of each of five sub-categories: Children’s, Humorous, Instrumental, Multicultural and Political.

The English and French Songs From the Heart Award winners, sub-category winners and the Colleen Peterson Award winner will be invited to showcase their winning songs at the 2011 OCFF conference.

Overall Winners:
2010 - English: Ambre McLean - “Me, My Heart, And The Moon”
2010 - French: Louis-Philippe Robillard - “Le Pommier”
2009 - English: David Leask and Bruce Madole - “While I Still Breathe”
2009 - French: Cindy Doire and Colin Linden - “Pêché de la mer”
2008 - English: Michael Laderoute - “A River I Know”
2008 - French: Amélie Lefebvre - “Je t'attends”
2007 - English: Catherine McInnes - “Waltzing on Eggshells”
2007 - French: Charlie Sohmer - “Marie Anne Lagimodiere”
2006 - English: Ana Miura - "He Swallows Whiskey"
2006 - French: Phil Lafrenière - "Je Pleure et Je Perds"
2005 - English: Melwood Cutlery - "Ballad of the Moonlight Lady"
2005 - French: Jean-Guy 'Chuck' Labelle - "Le Calumet de la Paix"

Taylor Mitchell

Deadline: CLOSED

In 2010, in memory of her daughter Taylor Mitchell, the burgeoning Canadian songwriter who died October 28, 2009 from a coyote attack while hiking in Cape Breton, Emily Mitchell established The OCFF Taylor Mitchell Bursary for participants in the OCFF Youth Performer program.

Annually for five years (2010 - 2014 inclusive), one young performer will be chosen to receive up to $500 towards costs associated with attending the conference and participating in the OCFF Youth program. All candidates chosen by jury to participate in the program are eligible for the bursary. The recipient is determined according to need by a group of musical mentors who knew and loved Taylor. The first bursary was awarded in 2010 to Maria Tullio, a young songwriter from Port Hope.

If you are interested in the OCFF Youth Program or know someone who is between 15 and 21 years old, a resident of Ontario or the National Capital Region of Quebec and an aspiring folk/roots performer, please contact Chris MacLean, Community Outreach Manager, or call 1-866-292-6233.


Estelle Klein

The Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award was established to help support and promote the work of Ontario-resident emerging singer/songwriters in the genres of roots, traditional, folk and country music. The annual recipient is chosen by an Ontario Arts Council (OAC) selection panel from 15 nominations put forward by the OCFF's Songs From the Heart competition, excluding overall winners of the Galaxie Rising Stars Awards.

Toronto, October 14, 2010 – The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) is pleased to announce Lynne Hanson as the 2010 recipient of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award for her song “Rest of My Days.”

Lynne Hanson is an Ottawa-based singer/songwriter whose career has earned her devoted fans in Canada, the US, Europe and Australia. In 2009, Hanson received a nomination for the Canadian Folk Music Award and was a finalist in the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition. Her third album, Once the Sun Goes Down was released on September 15, 2010.

The jury remarked on the powerful imagery evoked in Hanson’s music and noted, “Lynne’s songs have a beautiful, haunting feeling, into which you can sink and be enveloped.”

To download a PDF of the full press release from the Ontario Arts Council, please click here.

2010: Lynne Hanson - "Rest of My Days"
2009: Kyrie Kristmanson - "Song X"
2008: Chris MacLean - "Feet Be Still"
2007: Brooke Miller - "Two Soldiers"
2006: Andy Sheppard - "Until Next Time"
2005: Lori Cullen and Brian Macmillan - "Away So Long"
2004: David Gillis - "A Mouse's Crumb"
2003: Evalyn Parry - "The Stone and The Bumblebee"


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Phone: 613-560-5997 • Toll Free: 1-866-292-OCFF (6233) • Fax: 613-560-2001