St. Marys Journal Argus
Vernon, BC-based musician Jodi Pederson, who has St. Marys-area roots and played to a packed audience at the former Black Angus Restaurant back in 2011, has advanced to the final level of a prestigious competition aimed at giving a BC-based independent artist a big boost in their career.
Last week at Vancouver’s Fortune Sound Club, explains Jodi’s mom and former St. Marys-area resident Helma (she was Helma Peeters when she lived in this area), the 12 finalists in the Peak Performance Project contest took to the stage before a group of judges to perform an original song and a cover version of a song by a Canadian artist. Helma says Jodi wowed the audience with a version of Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild,” written by the band’s drummer Mars Bonfire — a man with whom she shares an Oshawa, Ontario, birthplace.
Now, contestants are awaiting the outcome of a crucial online voting segment which runs until Friday, Oct. 24.
“I’m getting her incredible, loving, 92-year-old grandmother to make an email address,” joked Helma, referring to her own Mom, who still lives in Ontario and doesn’t use a computer. “She says ‘yes Helma, I do anything for my Jodi’!”
When Jodi Pederson stopped in St. Marys during her 2011 eastern tour, she had recently made a connection with Toronto-based producer Jack Lenz. The recordings she proceeded to create with Lenz’s assistance garnered significant acclaim, and one of them — “Christmas With You” — received considerable radio attention across the country.
The Peak Performance Project, however, is geared specifically towards boosting the British Columbia music industry — not just the contestants themselves, but also other participants in the industry who might also get involved as a result of the contestants winning the top prize. So, if Pederson emerges atop the field of 12 finalists — out of an initial application field of about 250 — she will be expected to spend her winnings of $102,700 (the contest was created by a radio station named 102.7 The Peak) on building her career within the province.
Second prize is $75,000; third is $50,000.
Already, explains Helma, the 12 finalists were handed $5,000 apiece — not in cash, per se, but rather to be used “in kind” within the music industry to go towards what the contestants were asked to set aside as their “five challenges.” For Jodi, some of those challenges have already been brought to fruition, in the form of hiring a “radio tracker” to promote her music to radio stations, creating promotional material, and setting up personal interviews with people who have already succeeded in music careers.
A portion of that $5,000 has also been set aside for Jodi to do another Canadian tour — hopefully in the spring of 2015; and hopefully, says Helma, to include a return to St. Marys.
“They’re investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into these musicians...because they are that good,” Helma says of the radio station contest sponsors.
Jodi’s music can be experienced at the Peak Performance Project website, located at http://bc.peakperformanceproject.com/. And, while you’re there, vote for Jodi up until 5 p.m. Vancouver time on Friday, Oct. 17, at http://bc.peakperformanceproject.com/vote.
The top three finalists in the competition will be announced Monday, Nov. 3.