It’s fair to say that 2020 has not been an outstanding year for many – unless awfulness is the measure.
But it’s been a breakthrough year for White Rock singer Lovarra (also known as Corinne Friesen).
When last encountered in the pages of Peace Arch News, in May, she had won local attention for her nightly rooftop semi-quarantine concerts in the Five Corners area in support of essential workers.
The former CBC radio host and popular yoga blogger’s fame is spreading, however.
Last Thursday (Nov. 19) she was named jazz artist of the year at this year’s online version of the Fraser Valley Music Awards hosted by CIVL Radio.
“I’m super-excited to be recognized,” she told PAN.
“The FVMA and CIVL are a warm community and they are so welcoming. I’m deeply touched that they would be so encouraging of me this early in my career.”
It’s particularly notable recognition, since Lovarra only began performing seriously in public two years ago (her own self-recorded and mixed songs are currently streaming on platforms such as Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music).
Of 50 nominees across 16 musical categories in total in the FVMA, she was the only one from White Rock, she said.
The decision was based on assessment of three of her recent releases – Stronger Than You Know, Curiosity Box and Snap – out of a dozen, in a variety of genres, she has released over the past year.
“To add to the weekend’s excitement, I have a new release that just came out Sunday, called True Believers, which is about the visionary days of the 1960s, and a hope that we are reclaiming that spark,” she said.
Also brightening this year for Lovarra was the news, in September, that she was sharing in an Emmy award with other members of the HitRecord team – an online collaborative community of creative talent from around the world.
That was for “outstanding innovation in interactive programming” – for the show Create Together, headed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
In her nomination description for FVMA, Lovarra said that, while she grew up under the influence of the ‘crooners’, she soon “found so much of life hiding in all genres.”
“I thought my dad was Perry Como, he sounded just like him,” she wrote.
“I’d heard dad’s singing filling our home each night as I fell asleep. He passed his voice and love of music on to me. For that, I am forever grateful.”
But in addition to family and friends she mentioned in her online thank-you speech, Lovarra also took time to acknowledge her neighbourhood fan base.
“People of Five Corners in White Rock – this one’s for you!” she said.