Street closures around NAC during the Ottawa International Jazz Festival

Willows (Geneviève Toupin)

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Geneviève Toupin has announced the August 26 release of her eponymous debut album under her alter ego (and stage name), Willows. Willows was born of Geneviève’s desire to reconnect with her Franco-Manitoban roots and Métis heritage while remaining true to the particular folk sound that has been consistently her own from the very beginning.

Her Willows persona emerged after a period of intense reflection culminating in Geneviève’s decision to make the leap with this third album, decidedly her most accomplished and most personal to date. With its muted ambiance, inspired and inspiring melodies, and lyrics that chronicle the pursuit of happiness, Willows’ debut album is a balm for the soul in these uncertain times.

Geneviève Toupin was born in the small village of Saint Claude in southwestern Manitoba. From her very first album, released in 2009, her fresh musical sound has won praise across Canada, the USA and Europe and has earned her numerous awards, including the Western Canadian Music Award for Francophone Album of the Year, the SPACQ’s Édith Butler Prize, and the Révélation (“Discovery”) award at the Pully-Lavaux Festival in Switzerland.

Based in Montreal since 2003, she’s also a community builder: in 2010 she launched a Web series, La tournée des cafés, in which she performed her songs with various guest artists in socially responsible cafés around Montreal. The project was nominated for the ADISQ award for Best Music Series and aired on the TFO television network.

Known for her many crossover projects, including the live show Danse Lhasa Danse, in 2012 she released her first English-language album, The Ocean Pictures Project.

Equally at ease in English and French, Geneviève Toupin (a.k.a. Willows) creates work that is straightforward and genuine. Her songs are infused with a sense of freedom that evokes the wide open spaces of her native Manitoba, and her sublime voice has captured many a listener’s heart.

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The Slaight Family Foundation

The NAC Foundation is grateful to The Slaight Family Foundation for their support of emerging artists.