Austin 'shocked' to win first Juno Award

Comox Valley singer-songwriter Helen Austin poses with Fred Penner, who presented her Saturday with a Juno Award for Children
Comox Valley singer-songwriter Helen Austin poses with Fred Penner, who presented her Saturday with a Juno Award for Children's Album of the Year.
— image credit: Photo submitted

It's an honour to be nominated, but Comox Valley songstress Helen Austin is now officially a winner at Canada's version of the Grammy Awards.

This past Saturday, the popular children's singer won her first Juno Award for her album Colour It, a nominee for Children's Album of the Year at the annual gala celebrating Canadian music, held this year in Winnipeg.

“I was totally shocked when I heard my name because I was seriously rooting for another artist who I thought were so hard-working and fun,” said Austin.

“I was glad that I remembered to thank everyone that I wanted to thank in my speech, including the Comox Valley … and my husband and kids, of course. It’s a very nerve-wracking experience.”

Last year, Austin was nominated for her previous album Always Be A Unicorn in the same category.

“Waking up the next day was great … just to remember that I had won," she said of her first Juno. (It was a) very relaxing feeling after all the buildup,” she added.

Before turning her sights on songwriting, Austin, who moved to the Comox Valley in 2002 from the U.K., was a regular headliner on the British comedy circuit.

In addition to performing and MCing at Vancouver Island MusicFest, Austin also scooped up the Session II Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the children's category for the single Colour It.

“I can’t believe that I won the John Lennon Songwriting Grand Prize again. This time it is nice to share the prize with my Big Little Lions band member, Paul Otten. It was Colour It that started our collaboration,” she explained. “Winning is way more fun than not winning.”

A new CD by Big Little Lions will be released in early May.


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