Meet the Board

Joan Besen (Toronto, Ontario)
Director

After a varied career of performing and writing, which included seven years as a member of Sylvia Tyson's band, Joan Besen became a member of Prairie Oyster in 1982. Her unique keyboard playing is a strong element in the band's distinctive and familiar sound, and can also be heard on the recordings of many other national and international artists.

Besen is the songwriter behind many of Prairie Oyster's best-known songs, including Did You Fall in Love with Me, One Precious Love, Will I Do 'Til the Real Thing Comes Along and many more. Over the years her songs have received the majority of awards that the Canadian music industry has to offer. On One Kiss, Prairie Oyster’s newly-released and critically acclaimed CD, Joan contributed three of 12 tracks. She continues to tour with the Oysters and enjoys playing with singer/songwriter David Celia.

Besen is a founding member of the S.A.C. and has participated in teaching workshops for this organization. She is on the board of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and also succeeded Frank Davies as chairperson of the SOCAN Song of the Year Committee for CARAS, a position that she held for six years. In addition to playing and writing music, Joan enjoys participating in activities in support of Canadian music.