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Vernon woman in the running for high-stakes music contest

Jodi Pederson plays a gig at Vernon's Bean to Cup Coffee House Monday, Sept. 29.
September 29, 2014 - 7:28 PM

VERNON - She got her start playing open mic nights at the El Portillo Coffee House in Vernon. The Vernon Performing Arts Centre welcomed her to its stage, and her voice carried through Polson Park on Canada Days passed.

Now, Vernon’s Jodi Pederson, 26, is one of 12 artists picked out of 250 applicants across B.C. to compete in the 2014 Peak Performance Project.

“I was totally taken aback when they announced my name,” Pederson says. “It was my birthday and I just lost my mind. I’ve never been so happy.”

As part of the project, the 12 artists receive an intensive, one week training program in the music business, fine tuning skills in everything from songwriting to marketing and promotion. All will get the chance to perform live in Vancouver, and the top three artists will be showcased at a finale concert. The first place winner receives $102,700; the runner up $75,000 and the third place contestant $50,000.

Pederson says the competition has been the best kick in the butt she’s had in her musical career.

“I had three songs, no band,” she says with a laugh. “I had two weeks to put everything together.”

She recruited Luca Fogale, Alana Klatt, Matt Mazur, Eric Banerd and Dakota Poncilius to be part of her band and set to work making music. In the last couple of weeks, she’s written some 20 new songs, five of which will be featured on an upcoming EP.

There was always a record playing in the house when Pederson was a kid, and she credits her family with setting her musical roots. Her career was launched in the unlikely setting of a family reunion in Saskatchewan when she was 17.

“We were jamming and a guy passing through town heard me sing,” Pederson says. “He invited me to Toronto to record an album.”

When she’s not working as a nanny, Pederson—who has moved to Vancouver—is constantly progressing her career as a musician. Her music is available on iTunes and Bandcamp. She took some time Monday to play for some Vernon folks at Bean to Cup.

“I love coming home to Vernon, it just fills my heart,” she says.

Part of the overall assessment for the Peak contest involves input from the public. You can vote online for Pederson between Oct. 17 and 24. The Peak Performance Project is designed to educate, promote, develop and hopefully launch the careers of some of B.C.’s emerging artists. The contest is also held in Alberta.

Video Credit: YouTube

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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