Surrey’s Good For Grapes reaches the top in Peak Performance Project

SURREY — Surrey’s Good For Grapes took home $102,700 on Thursday night (Nov. 20) after the band’s win at the Peak Performance Project’s finale show at the Commodore Ballroom. The local folk sextet competed with The Tourist Company and Derrival, the other Peak Performance Project top-three bands.

This marks the second year in a row that a Surrey artist has earned the top prize. Surrey-based singer/songwriter Rykka won the 2013 Peak Performance Project, earning herself more than $100,000.

The project, overseen by Music BC and 102.7 The Peak radio station, is a seven-year, $5.2-million commitment to fostering music in the province. The initiative just wrapped its sixth year.

“All three (bands) just nailed it,” said Music BC executive director Bob D’Eith.

“There was no question (Good For Grapes) were on a trajectory for the top three from the beginning. It was just a question of where they were going to place; that was the key. They needed to do everything 100 per cent, and they did.”

The band placed fourth in 2013’s Peak Performance Project and, after a lineup change and a renewed energy, came back swinging in this year’s competition.

“I think the thing with Good For Grapes was, last year they were in our program and they came in fourth, and it was tough on them,” D’Eith revealed to the Now.

“They were doing really well and I think they, in some respects, they were even saying it was a bit of a wakeup call… they were so focused this year and it was like they had that in their mind and they achieved it. It was pretty amazing to see.”

The band consists of singer-guitarist Daniel McBurnie, Graham Gomez, also on guitar and vocals, Alexa Unwin on piano and vocals, Robert Hardie on bass and vocals, Alex Hauka on cello and Will Watson on percussion.

In an earlier interview with the Now, Good For Grapes frontman Daniel McBurnie revealed the band put their all into their second year in the PPP.

“We decided this time, we said, ‘OK, we know what’s going on.’ We were discussing that if we’re going to do it again, we’re going to do it wholeheartedly and just work our butts off and make sure that we’ve done the best we could,” McBurnie said.

The singer also noted that Good For Grapes would be spending a chunk of their change on high-quality recordings and touring. According to D’Eith, Music BC and The Peak radio station mentor the winners through to 18 months of their prize money.

“That money is not just a cheque we write. That money, they work with us when they spend (it),” he said. “They have to come back to us, they give us a plan and we talk about it. Most of the time we say, ‘Yeah, that’s a great plan.’”

With the money well-spent and ongoing mentorships with PPP winners, D’Eith said that the program, coming to an end next year, has already had great success stories. Good For Grapes, he said, is sure to be another one.

“They’re working hard, having a good time, enjoying what they’re doing, enjoying the ride and I think they’re in a really healthy space to be really successful,” he said.

For updates or to listen to the band’s music, visit

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