Heather Longstaffe Wins National Songwriting Prize

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The trip to Toronto was hardly a waste of gas for Heather Longstaffe. The country singer/songwriter picked up the top prize in the Canadian Radio Star National Songwriting Competition for her song called, you guessed it, "Waste of Gas."

Longstaffe won the Manitoba portion of the competition back in January, via Hot 103, which sent her to showcase at Canadian Music Week in Toronto. On March 12, she was picked from a pool of 11 other national candidates as the winner of the grand prize, which comes with $10,000 in cash, a $5,000 national radio promotion package, 30 hours of mixing and mastering time courtesy of Metalworks, and quite of bit of gear.

"I am genuinely shocked to have won," says Longstaffe "Up until the last day of submissions I intended on entering a different song. I knew I was entering a country song into a pop contest so winning, to me, didn't even seem like a possibility. This is the first time I have been recognized for my songwriting ability so it is very, very special and means a lot to me. I am stoked and so grateful!"

After releasing her EP, Back To Reality, last year, Longstaffe has been spending time co-writing in Nashville since January. Longstaffe hopes to take advantage of writing opportunities in Toronto and releasing her Radio Star-winning song across Canada. She has a full length album in the works. You can download "Waste of Gas" from Longstaffe's website.

Expat Sherry St. Germain, daughter of the legendary Ray St. Germain, was a regional winner for Richmond, Ontario.

Longstaffe wasn't the only Manitoban to leave CMW with a prize. Quirky pop duo Ash Koley landed the Canadian Radio Music Award for est New Group or Solo Artist Hot A/C with the song, "Don't Let Your Feet Touch Ground." 

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