Award Recipients

Congratulations to our 2023 award recipients

Thank you to all who submitted your application for the 2023 Feme Sole Awards. Always keep your passion alive!

2023 Feme Sole Award in Music

John Daniel Vooys

John Vooys is a songwriter, performer, and choral composer based in Calgary. From a young age, he has been composing and playing music; originally as a piano player, but later for guitar and voice as well. John’s professional musical life has mostly been with choirs over the past ten years; his interest in vocal harmony developed long before, though, while listening to his parents’ Beach Boys and Simon and Garfunkel records.

When he isn’t looking for chances to perform on his own or with friends, John is the Associate Artistic Director of ARC (Adult Recreational Choir), and leads chapel music at Ambrose University.

John Vooys
Marisa Roggeveen

Marisa Roggeveen

Marisa is a passionate singer with a strong commitment to pursuing a career in music. She specializes in musical theatre and contemporary music styles, and is beginning her career in songwriting.

One of Marisa’s unique talents is her ability to interpret characters in a distinct and original performance, bringing a fresh perspective to each piece while staying true to the integrity of the music. She has received extensive training from Rachel Hop and voice professors in university, and has performed in a variety of concerts, showcases, competitions, and stages. She would like to thank all of those who have supported and guided her along her music journey.
In addition to her singing career, Marisa has also started exploring music production and hopes to create high-quality music that represents her unique style and voice. She is committed to giving back to the music community by mentoring younger singers and helping them overcome barriers to entry.

Marisa would like to express her gratitude to the entire Feme Sole Award team for their unwavering support and dedication to the music community. With their backing, pursuing music becomes less daunting and more attainable, allowing individuals like Marisa to take the time and necessary risks to pursue their dreams.

Trisha McKinney

Music for me has always been a large pillar of my being and personality. I began performing at a very young age touring with professional musical theater groups and choirs and have kept it an integral part of my life ever since. A large part of my appreciation is to help young children discover music is more than passive entertainment and they too have a voice to add to the experience. I have been leading Music based children’s programs for the past 30 years, receiving certifications from the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Musikgarten, and the Royal Conservatory of Music. I have my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and have trained in Kodaly, Orff, and Kindermusik. I am excited to reenter the world of performative arts now that my children have grown up.

Trisha Mckinney
Cynthia Gan

Cynthia Gan

Cynthia Gan is a 21 year old singer from Calgary, Alberta. She has a BAH in Psychology from the University of Calgary, where she studied classical and jazz voice with Dr. Laura Hynes and Johanna Sillanpaa. She has also earned two RCM ARCT Diplomas in piano and voice performance. Cynthia has been sharing her passion and joy for music with others since childhood, and she is excited to see how her music journey will continue to blossom in the future.

Vina Dimayuga

Vina Dimayuga is a classical voice major at the Canadian Mennonite University, working towards a Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree.

The 23-year-old Winnipeg performer has been taking voice lessons since the age of 6, learning a variety of genres, including musical theatre, classical, pop, r&b, and jazz. Vina is actively involved in Winnipeg’s Filipino music community and has also participated in international music competitions and festivals in Ottawa, Vancouver, Hollywood, and Chile.

As Vina completes her degree, she continues to share and use music to help heal and inspire others while promoting a more inclusive space for IBPOC musicians within the field.

Vina Dimayuga
Olivia Charlebois-Brandvold

Olivia Charlebois-Brandvold

Although a recent graduate of a master’s in music in classical voice from the University of Western Ontario, Olivia has always loved all styles of music, and is also an avid songwriter. Trained in musical theatre and Jazz, some of Olivia’s past roles include, the Sandman in Hansel & Gretel 2022, first spirit in the Magic Flute 2019, and Betsy Foster in the musical Tuck Everlasting 2022.

Olivia also has significant experience as a recording artist singing vocals in multiple projects that include her own and those of friends and colleagues, performing in various venues around Ottawa, Montreal, and London.

With a first undergraduate degree in International Development and Globalization and a background working and volunteering in the non-for-profit sector, it is Olivia’s dream to open her own music studio and continue to combine both her passions in a way that includes community involvement and fosters a sense of support and togetherness within the arts community.

Matt Blais

Roots-rock troubadour Matt Blais goes in search of authenticity, passionately advocating for connection. As a singer-songwriter, recording artist, and touring live performer, he has developed a purpose-driven creative life that inspires that connection in listeners. Performing meaningful songs with his signature belting vocals and harmonica work, Blais has built a full-time career with fans across Canada.

Matt Blais is the outgoing Calgary Songwriter in Residence, has collaborated with Sam Roberts, played over a thousand shows, opened for acts such as Blue Rodeo, at venues like the Coca-Cola Stage, and been awarded with “Male Artist of the Year” at the Calgary Music Awards and “Best Rock Song” at The Great American Song Contest, he continues to solidify his reputation as a musical force both on and off the stage.

Matt Blais

2023 Feme Sole Award in Publishing / Writing

Cossette Penner-Olivera

Cossette Penner-Olivera

Cossette Penner-Olivera is a graduate of Carleton University and an upcoming publishing graduate of Centennial College. In 2019, she joined her Carleton peers in self-publishing the anthology You Hit Me With Your Car (and Other Love Stories), a collection of queer and BIPOC romance stories, and she’s been committed to entering the publishing world ever since. This year, Cossette worked as a Section Editor and Sales Rep for Centennial’s On the Danforth magazine, and she can’t wait to see what her future career in publishing holds next. Outside of publishing, she loves cooking, musicals, and learning about Victorian fashion.

Miriam Gallou

Miriam Gallou loves to write realist stories with haunting narratives and incredible soundtracks. Her short story “Graceland” was a finalist for the Curt Johnson Prose Award for fiction in 2019, and her short story “Goodnight, Irene” featured in december magazine, won the award in 2022. In addition to maintaining a steady diet of reading and writing, she is on the editorial board of PRISM magazine. In no order, she loves black coffee, performing Prince songs at karaoke, Chloe Brown for mayor, sleeping in on Sundays, her friends, and that “the point is to live everything” (Rilke). She shares a birthday with Marvin Gaye, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She currently lives in Toronto.

Miriam Gallou
Hélène Crowley

Hélène Crowley

Hélène is a queer musician, editor, and writer. She holds a BMus from Wilfrid Laurier University and an MSt in Musicology from the University of Oxford. Currently, she is actively involved in the Canadian publishing industry through volunteering, book selling, and freelance editing, as well as earning her publishing certificate from Centennial College. She aims to work in academic publishing for the arts and humanities. When she has free time, Hélène loves to go for runs, play piano, crochet, and travel.

Meg Bowen

Meg Bowen is currently completing a post-graduate certificate in publishing at Centennial College. She also completed post-graduate education in screenwriting and graduated from The Humber School for Writers with distinction. She currently works as an Editorial and Production Assistant at Inanna Publications, one of Canada’s few remaining independent and feminist presses. Meg worked as a Section Editor on On the Danforth’s Spring 2023 issue and was a contributing writer.

Meg Bowen

Congratulations to our 2022 award recipients

Thank you to all who submitted your application for the 2022 Feme Sole Awards. May your dedication to your passion carry on!

2022 Feme Sole Award in Music

Lauren MacKay

Lauren MacKay is 21 years old and is from Peterborough, Ontario. She has been actively involved in the music community in her town since she was 13 years old. Lauren has been writing songs since she was 15 and has yet to put down her pen. Writing songs, singing, playing the guitar and piano are what bring her the upmost joy. Lauren is looking forward to what the future brings for her career in music.

Lauren MacKay

2022 Feme Sole Award in Publishing / Writing

Emily Standfield

Emily Standfield

Emily Standfield has a BA in political science and an MA in global governance, and she is currently finishing a graduate certificate in publishing from Centennial College. Emily was a section editor and graphic designer with On the Danforth magazine as well as an editorial intern at Broadview magazine. She enjoys editing and writing about current events, social justice, and culture. After she graduates, she hopes to work at a magazine that focuses on underreported issues and highlights diverse voices.

Ned Seager

Ned Seager is a fiction writer and graduate of Centennial College’s Publishing Program. He lives in Toronto.

Ned Seager
Alexandra Kernerman Vogelhut

Alexandra Kernerman Vogelhut

Ever since discovering a passion for writing at an early age, Alexandra has surrounded herself with stories. She began writing seriously in 2017, and to date has written over 350,000 words. She’d like to think some of them are good. Currently, she fulfills this passion by writing a historical fantasy novel and constantly learning all she can about the craft.

Alexandra transitioned to the publishing industry in an effort to fill her life with the written word. This journey began after joining a writing group online and providing critiques on unpublished manuscripts. There, she discovered how joyful it can be to give back to other writers; as a source of support, assistance, guidance, and encouragement. From there, she realized that this kind of work could be her career, and enrolled in the Centennial Publishing program shortly after. She’s made sure that each and every day she’s helping other writers achieve their dreams.

Her first publication is an article titled, “Voices in Rare Books: Can We Uncover History?” appearing in the Summer 2022 issue of On The Danforth magazine.

Puja Lad

In the year 2021, Puja applied and was accepted into the Publishing- Book, Magazine, and Electronic program at Centennial College. She published her very first article, “ Deities Escaped Olympus; Dripped onto the Streets,” and worked as a Section Editor for On the Danforth Magazine.

As a publishing student with a teaching background in both Drama and English, Puja not only knows the complexities and hard work that create a writer and publisher, but is also well-versed in the different aspects that make a publishing corporation flourish as she’s taken on leadership positions and initiatives in her class and community.

From the city of Mississauga, Puja is a true patron of the arts as a former recipient of The Outstanding Arts Award in her youth. A hopeless romantic and avid reader, she fell in love with literature and lived out most of her fairy tales in books: from the intrinsic storylines of fantasy/romance novels to challenging her inner convictions with self-help books, and engrossing in the occasional fashion magazine.

Puja Lad

Congratulations to our 2021 award recipient

Thank you to all who submitted your application for the 2021 Feme Sole Awards. Our team of adjudicators has selected the ‘sole’ winner for this year in music. Please visit us again in the fall to learn more about when the next application window will open.

2021 Feme Sole Award in Music

Viviane (Cardinal) Martin

In Viviane’s life, there is music. Viviane comes from a varied and diverse musical background; her career has seen her sing everything from folk to rock, classical to funk and her love, jazz. She is continually growing and learning.

She is a Calgary based vocalist, songwriter, performing artist, recording artist, producer and clinician.

Aside from her musical accomplishments Viviane is an artist working in mixed media creating some breathtaking abstract art.

Viviane is recognized as one of Canada’s finest vocalists. Her first recording Out of a Dream received a nomination for “Best Jazz On Record” for the 1994 Alberta Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Awards. With her 2nd release and first CD The Blue In You, she is recording with some of Canada’s finest musicians including Juno Award winner Phil Dwyer.

Viviane’s second CD of original music with husband, composer and producer Daniel Guy Martin  features Juno Award winner Hugh Fraser on trombone plus Dave Restivo on piano, Jim Vivian on bass and Owen Howard at the drums. The Calgary Herald gave this CD a review with 4 out of 4 stars!

She brings warmth, intensity, a resonant tone and fluid, idiosyncratic phrasing to her interpretations of both standards and more offbeat material.

— Festival Int’l De Jazz De Montreal

Viviane Cardinal Martin

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