“It’s like another reason to exist.”

That’s the way singer/songwriter Donovan Woods described what winning a Juno means to him. At Saturday night’s Gala before Sunday’s televised show, his album “Both Ways” was named Contemporary Roots Album of the Year. Born and raised in Sarnia, Ont., Donovan said, “It’s just a mile-marker hopefully on the way to something else.” Those “somethings” are bigger shows, bigger hopes and bigger ambitions.

He’s had some pretty big successes so far, from landing a song in the 2007 Mathew Perry movie “Numb,” to getting another on TV’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” to having another used in Grey Cup commercials. And that’s in addition to the five albums he’s released in the past dozen years.

And then there’s his continuing success as a country songwriter. Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley have recorded some of Donovan’s co-writes. He was both funny and informative when I first saw Woods last year at the final set of the Songwriters’ Sessions just before Canadian Country Music Awards in Hamilton. “Chills,” the James Barker Band’s huge it, and Chad Brownlee’s current single, “Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere,” also have Donovan Woods credited as a co-writer. Of Chad and his song, Donovan says, “I love that song. I was there when he sang it and watched him sing the hell out of it. And that guy, he grips it and rips, that dude.”

Being in London for the Junos brought back memories for Woods, memories he shared with me on the red carpet of getting beat up in “a drunk kid way.” He laughs now about what he called “dicey nights on Richmond (Street)” which was “customary for university kids.”

After Satuday night’s Gala, I spotted Donovan outside the Convention Centre and went over to say hi and congratulate him. Right away he surprised me saying, “I recognize you from photos of country stars visiting your radio station.” He explained, “I like to look at the photos of country stars coming around and I like to think about whether it’s an add or not. I see the vibe of the picture and I go, ‘That’s an add right there. That’s a power rotation add right there.’”

Nice to see him getting adds as a writer and as a performer in different genres.