Toronto, Canada – Toronto’s Ben Sures has picked up this year’s
John Lennon Songwriting Award in the folk category; he is the only Canadian
among the contest’s twelve winners.
Sures won the award for his song “Any Precious Girl,” a unique and
compassionate take on mental illness that appears on his CD,
Goodbye Pretty Girl.
“I was taken completely by surprise when I won the first round of this
contest, so this is a double whammy!” said Sures, “Prizes aside its
thrilling as a songwriter to have my work acknowledged, and as a result of
winning, a lot more people are listening to the song and that’s the best part of
The John Lennon Songwriting Contest is one of the most prestigious and
lucrative songwriting competitions in North America, attracting approximately
15,000 entries annually. Judges include Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas; Grateful
Dead co-founder, Al Weir; former Bee Gee, Robin Gibb and five-time Grammy
winner, Al Jarreau. Sures’ victory comes with a $5000 USD advance from EMI Music
Publishing and free pressing for the first 1000 units of his next CD. That’s in
addition to the $5500 in studio equipment and gift certificates he already
received for being a Grand Prize winner in the contest’s first round.
Ben Sures has been a fixture on Canada’s roots music scene for over a decade
now, touring regularly in the style of the stereotypical “folk troubadour,”
supplementing his big city appearances with a host of house concerts, small
festivals and gigs in out-of-the way places. He has also composed for a number
of film, radio and television projects, including the indie flick “Hunters
and Gatherers” and several segments of Sesame Street. Described by See
Magazine as “a deft finger picker and an engaging live performer,” Sures
entertains audiences with his self-assured, often comical stage persona,
humorous stories and quirky sing-along choruses.
With a repertoire that includes funny numbers like “In A Perfect World,” Sures
was a fitting opener for this winter’s Arrogant Worms tour. But, in his case, he
blends the humorous ditties with equally sensitive and disarming ones, like the
Tom Waitsish sounding “Holes” and the aforementioned “Any Precious Girl.”
Sures, who won his first songwriting competition in Kelowna in 1999, was born
in Regina to artistic parents and has lived all over Canada – most recently in
Edmonton and Winnipeg before settling in Toronto. In addition to music, Sures
has done narration work, acted in commercials and produced and hosted events
like the Prairie Music Industry Awards.
For more information, visit his web site