Jaylene Johnson Wins National Songwriting Contest

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Local singer/songwriter Jaylene Johnson has another honour to add to an already impressive list of accomplishments. Her song “Prairie Girl” was recently named as the winter of the Communities of Note national songwriting contest, a Canadian Heritage programme sponsored by Communities in Bloom. Communities of Note is an initiative designed to combine the power of music with pride in one's home town, to benefit both musicians and their communities.

Canadian songwriters and composers from all across the country were invited to write an original in any genre. Submissions were judged by an impressive list of industry professionals and musicians, including Edwin (I, Mother Earth, The Pressure), Mitch Dorge (The Crash Test Dummies), Sean Mulligan (Executive Director of the Songwriters' Association of Canada), Fred Turner (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) and Dale Russell (The Guess Who, award-winning Songwriter, Producer, and organizer of this contest). Songs had to name and describe a beautiful Canadian community, region, or the entire country and describe what makes that chosen place special. Johnson had no trouble describing the beauty of Manitoba.

“I wrote a song last year to, in a small way, capture my love for the prairies,” explains Johnson, who received $1500 and equipment for her prize. “I have always loved the prairies. A lot of people who move away or who live elsewhere mock the flatlands, but where else do you see such a sky?”

Johnson will fly to Stratford, Ontario next week to participate in the Communities in Bloom festival and banquet.

“I am really honoured. I sent the song in on a whim, not even thinking it the strongest song I've ever written,” Johnson says, humbly. “I was surprised that it did so well, but it is really encouraging to be acknowledged in this way.

Next up for Johnson is the release of her sophomore album Sit Awhile, expect for spring 2004. With a new distribution deal with CMC distribution as well as a partnership with a Calgary-based booking agency, Johnson’s fans have a lot to look forward to in coming months.

Find out more about Jaylene Johnson by visiting at www.jaylenejohnson.com

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