Kemptville student wins 2024 Ottawa Award in media category

Finn Vanderlinden holding his 2024 Ottawa award.
Double win! Finn Vanderlinden, a Grade 4 student at Kemptville Public School, is a two-time Ottawa Award winner for his popular weather podcast "Finn's Friday Forecast." Photo credit: Submitted.
Posted on: March 11, 2024


Kemptville Public School (KPS) student’s passion for weather has gained him a 2024 Ottawa Award for the second year in a row.

Finn Vanderlinden, a Grade 4 student at KPS, won the best Podcast/Podcaster category for his weekly ‘Finn’s Friday Forecast’ contribution on the audio streaming site Blast the Radio (BTR). He won the same award in 2023.

“It’s fun to be on the air and it helps people,” Finn said of his weekly forecasts, which air Friday afternoon and run through the weekend.

Finn began doing forecasting segments in 2019, and his on-air talent actually runs in the family.

“My Papa has his own Dutch jazz radio show in The Netherlands, and my mom has a few friends on the radio,” Finn said. “My Great Oma used to call into the Brockville radio station five days a week to give the Athens weather for decades. She was nicknamed the ‘Athens Weather Lady’, so it’s in my blood.”

The Ottawa Awards celebrate excellence in more than 300 categories, including business, food, politics, and media. It is the largest people’s choice awards in The Capital, and winners are chosen by the public.

Finn used his Facebook page to rally for votes, gaining traction from all over the world, including The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Spain, England, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia and the USA.

“Some of my friends at school don’t believe that I have my own weather forecast, because it airs when they are at school,” Finn said. “Some have heard the clips and think it’s pretty cool. It’s like having a secret identity.”

With his popularity growing, some classmates are now asking Finn when upcoming snow days will occur, surprising his mother with his forecasting ability.

“He came to me earlier this year and said it’s going to be a snow day tomorrow, and I look at the weather and said no way,” Tara Schouten-Vanderlinden said. “He said it’s going to be a snow day, 99 per cent, and he was right!”

Last week BTR asked Finn to expand his on-air presence and contribute a daily forecast from Monday to Thursday, while keeping Finn’s Friday Forecast through the weekend.

While Finn is unsure if his radio success will turn into a full-blown career, he has dreams of staying within the communications field as an air-traffic controller, or pilot.

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News