With her soaring voice, engaging stage presence and songwriting talent, Colleen Peterson has made a lasting presence for herself on both the Canadian and international music scene.
Peterson’s first public appearance was at a 1966 audition for the Mariposa Folk Festival. She was discovered by Canadian legend, Bruce Cockburn, with whom she began to tour with at the age of 17.
Peterson moved to Nashville where she cut her first album, ‘Beginning to Feel Like Home’ in 1976. Her signature song, ‘Souvenirs’ earned her a chart position on the US Billboard Country Charts. Peterson was brought to even wider attention when her song, ‘Carolina Sun’ was recorded by Anne Murray.
During the next few years, Peterson began recording with Gilles Godard, which earned her several more Juno and CCMA Award nominations.
While in Nashville, Colleen sang background vocals on albums by the Charlie Daniels Band, Marty Stuart, Roger Miller and Janie Fricke.
Over the course of her career, Peterson worked with a remarkable list of musicians, including Anne Murray, Sylvia Tyson, Ronnie Prophet, Gordon Lightfoot and Alannah Myles. She won two Juno Awards for ‘Most Promising Female Vocalist’ in both 1967 and 1977, but perhaps her most successful and personally rewarding music collaborating occurred in 1993 when she performed live at Toronto’s Harbourfront with Sylvia Tyson, Caitlin Hanford and Cindy Church. The four recorded their first album, ‘Quartette’, which earned them both CCMA and Big Country Award nominations. In 1996, the group received a CCMA Award for ‘Best Vocal Collaboration’ and in 1995, were nominated for a Juno Award for ‘Best Country Group’.
Peterson was heavily involved in the local music scene, donating her time and talent to many local charities. She wrote, performed and donated her song, ‘Together’ for the local United Way campaign and participated in numerous events for the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society.
Colleen Peterson passed away on October 9, 1996 at the age of 45.