Manitoba Music


Doc Walker Named Group of the Year

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Doc Walker has continued its domination of the country music world this year. The country rock trio was named Group of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Country Music Awards on September 13. The win was announced on September 13 in Vancouver, at the nationally-broadcast gala hosted by Jason Priestley. Doc Walker performed live on the show and played the CCMA’s popular FanFest event on September 12.

Doc Walker guitarist, Murray Pulver, also took home the CCMA All Star Band Award for Guitar Player of the Year. The band’s website, created by Winnipeg-based company House of Bands, was named Website of The Year.
Described as Canada's hardest working country band, Doc Walker took home 11 awards at last year’s CCMAs in Winnipeg, including hardware for the coveted Group of the Year award. The band also picked up the 2009 JUNO Award for Country Recording of the Year in last March for Beautiful Life.

On September 8, Doc Walker released its latest album on Open Road Recordings, Go, and kicked off its Speed of Life Tour, which will take the band across Canada with a stop in Winnipeg on October 9 at the Pantages Playhouse. “Coming Home,” the first video from Go,...

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Manitoba Film & Music Programs Manager, Barbara Sedun Returns to EMI Publishing in Toronto

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It’s with regret that MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC announces the resignation of Barbara Sedun as Manager, Music Programs. Barbara’s last day with MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC will be September 20, 2009. Since Barbara joined the MFM staff from Toronto in December 2007, she has lent support and shared her two decades of experience in the music industry with many Manitoba musicians. While employed at MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC, Barbara was involved in Manitoba’s music scene as a Board member for Manitoba Music and the Western Canadian Music Awards.  

It is with warmest personal regards that we wish Barbara every success as she returns to Toronto, where she will assume her new position as head of the EMI Music Publishing Canadian office.


MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC CEO, Carole Vivier expressed, “While Barbara brought a broad national scope to the position it’s her absolute love of music and discovering and mentoring creative talent that will always stand out in my mind.  Barbara left EMI Publishing to work at MANITOBA FILM & MUSIC and now it is EMI Publishing that she is going back to as Head of EMI Publishing's Canadian office. Canada is blessed to have someone so ...

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Cancellation of Canada Council Grant Deadlines

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Grants for Specialized Music Sound Recording, and
Grants for Specialized Music Distribution 

On July 31, 2009, the Department of Canadian Heritage (PCH) announced that, as of April 1, 2010, the $1.3 million administered by the Canada Council for the Arts under the Canadian Musical Diversity Component of the Canada Music Fund on behalf of PCH since 2001 will be reallocated to the redesigned Canada Music Fund. As a result, the Canada Council Grants for Specialized Music Sound Recording and Grants for Specialized Music Distribution programs will no longer exist as of April 1, 2010.  

The Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts had been administering recording funds on behalf of PCH since the late 1980s. This funding has benefited numerous artists, ensembles and groups and produced many recordings of artistic and cultural significance. The distribution function was added in 2002 and assisted specialized music labels and distributors to promote their catalogues. 

The October 1, 2009, deadline will be the last deadline for the Canada Council Grants for Specialized Music Sound Recording program. All eligibility...

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Bluebird North - October 6 @ Park Theatre

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To Manitoba’s musical community, they are known on a first name basis: Jaylene, Keri, Alana and Romi. Now, all four will appear on stage together for the first time during the Songwriters Association of Canada’s famed Bluebird North event.

            With Jaylene Johnson, Keri Latimer, Alana Levandoski, and Romi Mayes
When: Tuesday October 6, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Park Theatre (698 Osborne Street)

Bluebird North: Where Writers Sing and Tell is a songwriters' showcase presented by the Songwriters Association of Canada (S.A.C.). Every show features a different line-up of talented Canadian songwriters, who take turns sharing songs and stories in an informal, acoustic atmosphere.
Veteran radio host, Howard Mandshein (92 CITI FM, 101.5 UMFM) will host the October 6th event, which gives fans a chance to meet and greet the performers.

In Winnipeg, Bluebird North is produced by Chris Burke-Gaffney for the S.A.C. This event also takes place in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and St. John’s. Bluebird North is sanctioned by the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville,...

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Five Nods for Manitoba Acts at Native American Music Awards

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Four hometown acts are up for hardware at this year’s Native American Music Awards (NAMMYs). Juno-winning rock outfit Eagle & Hawk, singer/songwriters Leanne Goose and Ray St. Germain, and hip-hop outfit Team Rezofficial are up for five awards at the 11th annual celebrations.

Eagle & Hawk has picked up two nods this year, for Group of the Year and for Best Rock Recording for its album, Sirensong. Country crooner Ray St. Germain is up for Best Country Recording for his latest release, Life Ain’t Hard. Team Rezofficial, which has members in Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia, has been nominated for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Recording for The World & Everything in It. Pop/rock singer Leanne Goose is up for Best Pop Recording for her effort, Anywhere.

Manitoba-based Aboriginal music label Arbor Records has three out-of-town artists up for trophies this year: Stevie Salas for Best Producer and Best Rock Recording, and Northern Wind for Best Pow Wow Recording.


The NAMMYs feature a diverse group of over 125 nominees with origins as far as Alaska and Hawaii and New Zealand in 25 categories. The Native American Music Awards is...

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Teenage Singer Primed to be YTV's Next Star

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YTV is looking for the next big thing to hit music and a teenager from northern Manitoba just might be it. Darrelyne Bickel has made her way into the top six of YTV’s popular youth series, The Next Star. The 15-year-old country/rocker from The Pas was chosen out of 3,000 hopefuls from across the country and is the only contestant from Manitoba.

“It’s a really great experience and I am so happy to have had this opportunity,” says Bickel. “I hope that this competition will take me further in my career. I know that it has already taken me farther than I could have taken myself, and I hope it continues in this direction. If just a few more people like my music, I will be happy. It is all about the music.”

Despite her young age, Bickel has built a name for herself performing throughout Manitoba over the past eight years. She released her debut EP, M.I.A., last December. Featuring six original tracks, the release has solidified the singer/songwriter as one to watch out for. She was encouraged to audition for the show by CBG Artist Development’s Chris Burke-Gaffney, who discovered Chantal Kreviazuk and McMaster & James and runs neuroBurke Studios, where Bickel recorded her EP...

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WCMA Announces Keynote Interview, Nic Harcourt

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Nic Harcourt will be sharing his insight on today's music industry.

Nic will be interviewed by music maven Ritch Esra.

Open only to registered WCMA delegates on Friday Sept.18th.

Regarded as being the ultimate musical “tastemaker” in music and named the “most influential DJ in America”, NIC HARCOURT has been an innovator as Music Director over last ten years at the influential Los Angeles radio station, KCRW, and as the host of the highly acclaimed music programs, “MORNING BECOMES ECLECTIC” and "SOUNDS ECLECTIC”.


Nic’s talents have made him uniquely suited to select innovative music for motion pictures, television and commercials.  Nic has worked as a music consultant and/ or music supervisor for such television shows as “90210”, “QUEER AS FOLK”, “LIFE AS WE KNOW IT", "IN JUSTICE", “WHAT ABOUT BRIAN” AND “LOVE MONKEY” (for which he was also a Co-Producer), as well as...

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WTO Ruling Could Help Open Lucrative Chinese Media Market

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Last week, the WTO released details of a ruling in favour of the United States in a decision that US media companies should not have to go through Chinese state-owned companies in order to access the Chinese market place.

Behind the scenes are many smaller rulings supporting record labels, digital music companies, and movie studios. This ruling also fuels speculation that Apple will launch a Chinese iTunes.

Meanwhile, digital music giant The Orchard has announced a deal with Chinese company ZTEMT to bring music to Chinese wireless users. They are one of many companies trying to exploit China’s massive market of 388 million internet and mobile internet users.

The Chinese government, as expected, has moved to appeal the ruling.

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Manitoba Music presents... Stage 8/29

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On August 29, 2009, Manitoba Music will say farewell to summer by taking over The Forks’ Scotiabank Stage for one last musical extravaganza, dubbed Stage 8/29.

The concert’s formula is simple: five DJs, five bands, five hours. But into that brisk format, Manitoba Music has packed some of the most explosive performers from the keystone province. Stage 8/29 will feature turntable sets by DJs Mike B., Penny Lane, Dlo, Bmac, and Solidaze, as well as blistering live performances from rap'n'roll collective Grand Analog, roots darling Alana Levandoski, ska kings The Afterbeat, electronic pioneers LeBeato, and rockers Novillero.

To bring visual life to the vibrant sounds, there will also be live art demonstrations by a crew from progressive downtown art studio The Graffiti Gallery.

Manitoba Music executive director Sara Stasiuk believes that Stage 8/29 will help foster a new generation of local-culture fans. “We’re thrilled to present this exciting event at The Forks,” Stasiuk says. “Manitoba has an internationally-recognized reputation for having some of the best music around and this is our chance to showcase it for our enthusiastic local audiences. Manitoba also has a...

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WCMA Updates

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The conference schedule for both Youth Career Day and the main Delegate Conference is up on the WCMA website. New panelists (Farley Flex, Chris Frayer, Gilles Paquin) have been added as well as the announcement of this year's Keynote Interview with Nic Harcourt, hosted by Ritch Esra. There are more panelists and panels added daily so please check the website frequently!

The One-On-One meetings listed in the Delegate Conference schedule are pre-arranged, so delegates need to contact Melissa Kaminsky at 510-7475 ahead of time to arrange any meetings with the industry professionals listed. The WCMAs will be posting the bios for all of the one-on-ones shortly to make it easier for delegates to select who they would like to meet.

The WCMAs are still accepting registration forms for Youth Career Day, which is FREE to sign up for! The registration forms are available at

Interested participants only have until September 1st to take advantage of Advance Delegate Registration ($250).  After September 1st the cost of delegate passes is $275 and remains...

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Western Canadian Music Awards and festival set to descend upon Kelowna in 2010

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City of Kelowna to welcome over 300 music industry delegates, and performances by some of Western Canada’s finest artists.

After much anticipation we are excited to announce that the 2010 Western Canadian Music Awards have been awarded to Kelowna.  This is an exciting opportunity as it is the first time Kelowna will host a major music event of its type. The event consists of three main components: a conference, festival and awards show, with all three components open to the public. Mark your calendars for this large scale music event to be held October 14 -17, 2010. 

The WCMAs provide participants opportunities to share knowledge of the music industry, enjoy the talents of Western Canadian artists and collectively celebrate great achievements in the industry. The festival will showcase local Kelowna and British Columbian musicians as well as those from the Yukon, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The next big musical acts are consistently invited to play the festival. Over three nights the festival will feature over 70 bands playing in venues across the city, making the WCMAs one of the hottest tickets in town. The weekend will be capped when the hardware is handed...

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Manitoba Artists Land 46 Nods for 2009 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards

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With a record 46 nominations in 20 categories, artists from Manitoba are poised to dominate the 2009 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards (APCMA). The nominees for the fourth annual awards gala were announced on August 20 by the Manito Ahbee Festival Inc. at Winnipeg’s McPhillips Street Casino.

The APCMAs features an online voting system, which gives Aboriginal music fans from around the world the chance to vote for their favorite act in each of the 22 categories. The winners will be announced at a nationally-televised award show on November 6 at the MTS Centre and on November 5 at McPhillips Street Casino. The awards are part of the Manito Ahbee festival, now in its fourth year. The final round of online voting for the APCMA is now underway and will come to an end on October 1.

Leading this year’s nominees with six nods each are Dauphin country band the Chris Barker Band, including Best Country CD, Best Rock CD, Best Group or Duo, Best New Artist, Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year, and Best Album Cover Design for Six String Highway. Winnipeg rap outfit

Da Skelpa Squad
is up for five awards, this year for Best Rap or Hip-Hop CD, Best Group or Duo, Best Producer or...

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Six Manitoba Bands Vie for Verge

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XM Canada's The Verge Music Awards are back and there are plenty of Manitoba acts up for top honours. The awards' aim is to celebrate the best indie music Canada has to offer, giving artists a chance to win more than just accolades. The Artist of the Year winner will get $25,000, as will the Album of the Year winner.

Music fans can vote online for their favourite artists and albums, including Novillero, Inward Eye, The Morning After, The Perms, The Waking Eyes, and The Weakerthans. Novillero's A Little Tradition, The Perms' Keeps You Up When You're Down, and The Waking Eyes' Holding On To Whatever It Is are all up for Album of the Year. The Weakerthans took home Artist of the Year in 2008.

Winners will be announced from a live-to-air concert at Toronto' s Mod Club on September 22. The show will feature performances by The Weakerthans, Metric, and Hey Rosetta! If you don't happen to be in Toronto, you can catch it  on The Verge - XM 87.

Voting closed August 31. Click here to vote.

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Western Canadian Music Awards Delegate Registration

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The 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards weekend is just a month away!

Hotels are filling up quickly so now’s the time to register as a delegate if you haven’t already done so.

The 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards will be held September 18-20. Hosted at the Keystone Center and the Canad Inns Hotel in Brandon Manitoba.

The WCMA’s will feature an Industry Conference, Music Festival, Industry Brunch as well as the Western Canadian Music Awards Gala.

To purchase a full delegate pass (which will allow you access to all the events) please complete and submit the registration form available at

Nominees, please note the price for nominees to register is $200. Please clearly mark "Nominee" on your form to obtain the discount.

Festival performers, please note that solo performers who were selected for this year’s festival will receive one (1) performers delegate pass, which will allow access into the festival and conference for the weekend.

Bands selected to play the festival will receive two (2) interchangeable performers delegate passes, which will also allow access into the festival and conference for the...

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Music community lends support with an H1N1 Fundraiser in Winnipeg

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Nathan, Don Amero, and Darren Lavallee with the Norman Chief Memorial Dancers will perform at a fundraiser for First Nations in Manitoba affected by the Swine Flu. The event is set for Friday, August 21 at the West End Cultural Centre from 8pm-11pm and has been organized by volunteers Wabanakwut Kinew and Alan Greyeyes.

Tickets are $20 and available at the door along with locations around Winnipeg. All profits will be donated to the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs who will be purchasing H1N1 medical kits for First Nations households throughout Manitoba.

DATE: Friday, August 21, 2009
PLACE: West End Cultural Centre, 586 Ellice Avenue
TIME: 715pm – 11pm
TICKETS: $20 at the door

1. The Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, 227 Portage Avenue (at the front desk)
2. Prairie Architects, 200-141 Bannatyne Avenue (ask for Destiny Seymour)
3. Manitoba Music, 1-376 Donald Street (ask for Alan Greyeyes)
4. NCI FM, 1507 Inkster Boulevard (at the front desk)
5. The Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, 203-350 Portage Avenue (at the front desk)
6. The Winnipeg Folk Festival Music Store, 211 Bannatyne Avenue (at the sales counter)
7. The...

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The New Age of Music Marketing… is it really new?

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I had the great experience of being able to attend the Seymour Stein/Richard Gottehrer Interview at the Park Theater over this past weekend. I am sure all of us attending felt that not only were their stories great, but we also sensed that these two men were really iconic hero’s in the music industry who weren’t afraid to break the rules, to take chances and, thereby, to bring to global audiences what, in fact, were some of the greatest musical acts of our times.

While listening to their experiences, I was trying to relate some of their past marketing ideas to this new age of music that we live in - an age of digital delivery, the internet, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter - and in doing so, realized that what they did in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s really is nothing too different than what we can do now, except we have at our disposal a far greater level - a far greater means - of exposing artists to the masses in a more effective and efficient way than what was available to them.

The new age of marketing is not much different than the old age because it still revolves around the same premise: that there is no right or wrong, there are no rules, there is only one thing a band...

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Five Year Commitment to Canada Music Fund Announced

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"We should be proud of what we as Canadians have created. It is unique, it is distinct and it is working." Heather Ostertag, President & CEO of FACTOR said today, in response to an announcement made in Montreal by the Department of Heritage.

The Honorable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced that the Government of Canada is further ensuring stability for the arts by renewing the Canada Music Fund for a five year term.

Minister Moore emphasized that the government is changing the structure of the Canada Music Fund.

"The music industry generates billions of dollars' worth of economic activity every year. Our Government is proud to offer greater stability in these uncertain economic times by stabilizing resources dedicated to Canadian music, while helping maintain thousands of jobs," said Minister Moore.

Information with specific details on these changes will be provided at a later date.

Heather Ostertag, also stated, "We are fortunate to have strong leadership and vision from our current government which recognizes the importance of supporting sustainable business models and believes in the cultural component and...

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15 Young Canadian Composers Win a Total of $27,000

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The SOCAN Foundation (the Foundation) today announced the recipients of the 18th Annual SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers. Maxime McKinley captured first prize in the Sir Ernest MacMillan Awards category and shared second and third prizes in two other categories. Aaron Gervais was awarded first prize in the Godfrey Ridout Awards and Pierre-Marc Beaudoin won first prize in the Hugh Le Caine Awards category while sharing second prize in that same category. Eight of the 15 winners are based in or currently studying in Quebec.

This year’s competition attracted 212 entries from various regions throughout Canada, judged anonymously over three days in Toronto by a jury comprising distinguished composers Gary Kulesha, Vincent Ho and Martin Bédard. The annual SOCAN Foundation Awards recognize Canadian composers under 30 years of age for specific musical works in six categories of concert music.

“We were stunned by the orchestral performances in the submissions this year,” says Gary Kulesha, a senior lecturer in composition in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. “This years submissions demonstrated originality with submissions ready to be enjoyed widely.”...

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Four Canadian Country Music Award Nods for Manitoba Acts

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The nominations are out and two Manitoba acts stand to take home a combined four Canadian Country Music Awards.

Country rockers Doc Walker are up for three CCMAs this year, including Group of the Year, Songwriter(s) of the Year for their song "One Last Sundown," and the Fan's Choice Award. Described as Canada's hardest working country band, Doc Walker took home 11 awards at last year’s CCMAs in Winnipeg and recently won a JUNO Award for Country Recording of the Year.

Fans' can vote online until September 6 for the Fan's Choice Award on CMT's website.

Country singer/songwriter Ridley Bent, who recently re-located to Manitoba from B.C., got a nod for Roots Artist of the Year. In 2008, Bent received three Canadian Country Music Award nominations.

Winnipeg-based company House of Bands is up for a couple of industry awards for 2009 CCMA Web Developer of the Year, for sites for Tara Oram and Doc Walker.

Winners will be announced during the CCMAs on September 13 in Vancouver. Hosted by Jason Priestley, the show will be broadcast nationally on CBC Television with encore broadcasts on CMT in Canada.

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Will Mobile Streaming Audio Kill the Ipod?

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Spotify is not available in Canada, but in countries where is it licensed to operate, it's turning a lot of heads and gaining a lot of fans.

The service offers streaming audio of music that the user picks from a huge catalogue of (mostly) major label releases. Spotify isn't so much about discovery or social networking, like other streaming audio services. It's more like a library of music that users can access at any time, not to download and own, but to listen to.

The idea of streaming music, rather than buying it, downloading, and storing it, is becoming more and more popular, as broadband becomes faster and more ubiquitous. But the real jump in streaming audio comes when it becomes more accessible on personal devices like cell phones. And that's where Spotify is right now.

The Swedish music company plans to launch an iPhone app very soon. The big question is whether Apple will turn down the app's application, because it poses too much competition to the iTunes store.

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Online Voting Now Open for 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards

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Help choose the winners of the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards

Are you a member of your province’s music industry association? If so, you are entitled to vote for this year’s Western Canadian Music Awards.

Music industry association members are qualified to vote in 14 artistic award categories, ranging from Independent Album of the Year to Blues Recording of the Year. Your ballot will be instrumental in choosing the winners of the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards, which will be handed out in Brandon, Manitoba on Sept. 20, 2009.

Who qualifies
Members of western Canada’s five music industry associations: Alberta Music, Manitoba Music, Music BC, Music Yukon and SaskMusic

How it’s done
Eligible members will receive ballot instructions via email - Subject: 2009 WCMA Voting

Deadline to vote is Friday August 14, 2009.

If you haven’t received your email voting form, you may want to check your junk mail folder. Some of our members have found their WCMA ballot in their junk mail. Eligible voters will be provided with a username and password - allowing you to cast your vote for each of the WCMA categories electronically.


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Manitoba Music presents... Stage 8/29

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Manitoba Music presents...
STAGE 8/29
Saturday, August 29, 2009 | 4-9pm
Scotiabank Stage at The Forks
Novillero, DJ Bmac, The Afterbeat, DJ Dlo, LeBeato, DJ Mike B., Solidaze, DJ Penny Lane, Alana Levandoski, and more to be announced

On August 29, 2009, Manitoba Music will say farewell to summer by taking over The Forks’ Scotiabank Stage for one last musical extravaganza, dubbed Stage 8/29.

The concert’s formula is simple: five DJs, five bands, five hours. But into that brisk format, Manitoba Music has packed some of the most explosive performers from the keystone province. Stage 8/29 will feature turntable sets by DJs Mike B., Penny Lane, Dlo, Bmac, and Solidaze, as well as blistering live performances from ska kings The Afterbeat, electronic pioneers LeBeato, and rockers Novillero. The complete line-up will be announced August 17.

To bring visual life to the vibrant sounds, there will also be live art demonstrations by a crew from progressive downtown art studio The Graffiti Gallery.

Manitoba Music executive director Sara Stasiuk believes that Stage 8/29 will help foster a new generation of local-culture fans. “We’re thrilled to present this...

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Two decades of latin rhythms... not bad for the middle of the prairies.

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This week on the show, Wab Kinew is bringing an hour of hot Latin sounds to the radio.

As soon as you mention the name Papa Mambo, dance floor enthusiasts react with excitement. Celebrating its 20th anniversary on July 30, Papa Mambo has spent years providing high-caliber music and performances on stage, radio, TV, and on CD across Canada.

This weekend, tune in for a concert they played at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, filled with their signature blend of jazz and Latin music, getting Winnipeggers out of their seats and onto the dance floors.

A Latin jazz ensemble made up of 11 of some of Winnipeg’s most sought-after musicians, the group is led by the charismatic Rodrigo Muñoz. Their diverse array of jazz-inflected Latin rhythms and progressive musical ideas promises a performance full of hot solos, driving ensemble work, and tempo-shifting dance floor madness. So tune in!

Listen to:
The (204) with Wabanakwut Kinew
Saturdays 5-6 p.m. on CBC Radio 1

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The Summer of Festivals Continues

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Summer in Manitoba wouldn't be the same without a plethora of festivals. Jazz Fest and Folk Fest have rolled up their trumpets and tents, and Fringe Fest's outdoor stage winds down on July 26. Whether you're looking for a day trip or you've already started airing out your tent, there are still a number of chances to catch some great live music in a festival setting...

Brandon Folk, Music and Art Festival | July 24-26
Brandon Folk Fest celebrates its 25th birthday this year. Located at the Keystone Centre Grounds, the festival features main stage performances, workshops, visual arts, famiy entertainment, concessions, and more. This year, you can catch sets by Manitoba acts Katie Murphy, Cheering for the Bad Guy, Ingrid Gatin,  Jessee Havey and the Quirks, Tribe of One, Dust Poets, as well as touring acts Veda Hille, Mihirangi, and Constantines.

Fire 'N' Water Music Fest | July 24-26
The Lac du Fire 'N' Water Music Fest in Lac du Bonnet, billed as a festival organized for artists by artists, has been building a steadily following over its three-year lifespan. Running at the same time as Brandon Folk Fest, this year's line-up includes The Magnificent 7s, Twilight Hotel,...

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Doc Walker Nominated for CCMA Fans' Choice Award

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Country rock favourite Doc Walker is once again again up for the Canadian Country Music Awards' Fan's Choice Award. The hard-touring trio took home the hardware for the award at the 2008 CCMAs in Winnipeg.

Fans will be able to vote online for their favourites -- also including George Canyon,  Jessie Farrell, Aaron Pritchett, and Johnny Reid -- starting July 24 on CMT's website. Voting closes on September 6 and the winner will be announced during the CCMAs on September 13 in Vancouver. The show will be broadcast nationally on CBC Television with encore broadcasts on CMT in Canada.

Described as Canada's hardest working country band, Doc Walker took home 11 awards at last year’s CCMAs and recently took home a JUNO Award for Country Recording of the Year.

Nominees for the rest of the CCMAs will be announced at a media conference in Toronto on July 29.

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My Mother's Red Soundtrack

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I always thought Garden State's soundtrack was better that the movie itself. Funny or Die has taken this concept to the extreme with a fun little video featuring Alanis Morissette, Alicia Silverstone, a red hat, and a soundtrack that I'd guess a bunch of people wish really existed. Which it pretty much does on KEXP. And iPods. Click here to watch it.

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The (204) with the Fringe on top.

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Wab won’t be around this weekend; he is missing and believed to be wandering the garbage-strewn grounds of the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Kidding, kidding. But seriously, he’s not going to be around this upcoming episode. That’s because theatre junkie Joff Schmidt is bringing the Winnipeg Fringe Festival to the radio. Inaccurate historical facts, love in the beer tent and animal crackers are all part of this week’s Fringe (204).

Learn the local history they DIDN'T teach you in high school, as Joff takes a historic - and questionably factual - tour of the Exchange District with actors from "Gingers' Walk." Fringe veterans Graham Ashmore (The Darling Family) and Trish Cooper (The Comment Card, Homely Woman #2) play a brother and sister team, Johnny and Mary Frances who are expert tour guides.

Plus an in-studio comedic performance from Winnipeg improv group Outside Joke. They'll pull out the big guns with an improvised scene inspired by Joff's love of animal crackers. Catch their improvised "anti-musical" "Outside Joke Makes It Up To You."

And, the story of how one man came to the Fringe from New York, and left with a family. NYC's Ryan Paulson was doing a show here in...

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Manitoba Acts Nab 43 Nods for Seventh Annual Western Canadian Music Awards

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When Manitoba welcomes the Western Canadian Music Awards back to the province this September, homegrown artists will be ready to bring home numerous awards at the seventh annual event. The city of Brandon is set to host this year’s awards gala for the first time on September 20, when winners in 28 artistic and industry categories will be announced. Manitoba acts account for 43 nominations in 25 different categories, 30 of which are artistic awards.

This year’s artistic award nominations include several double nominees, as well as a clear domination of the roots, Aboriginal, and children’s music genres.

Fusion folk/rockers The Duhks, roots singer/songwriter Scott Nolan, acoustic pop troubadour J.P. Hoe, twang-tinged singer/songwriter Romi Mayes, pop/rock outfit The Waking Eyes, and composer Sid Robinovitch are all up for two awards each. 2009 JUNO Award winner Chic Gamine, The Duhks, Nolan, and newcomer Oh My Darling take four of five spots for Roots Duo/Group Recording of the Year. Nolan and The Duhks are also up for Songwriter of the Year, along with Mayes and Hoe. The Waking Eyes stand to take home hardware for Rock Recording of the Year and Independent Album of the...

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Sierra Noble Opens for Paul McCartney

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Sierra Noble was a bit sad that she'd be missing the Winnipeg Folk Festival this weekend, but she has a pretty good reason. The young singer/songwriter is in Halifax playing a little show on Saturday opening for some guy named Paul McCartney.

Noble got the call from show promoter Nikki Shibou from 9INEmanagement on Tuesday and a day before the concert, it still hasn't quite sunk in.

"I've been thinking a lot about what it means to me to be opening for Paul McCartney, trying to sort out the emotions that keep rushing," muses Noble. 
"All it takes is thinking about his career, all of the songs he's been responsible for writing, and how instrumental he was in forming popular music as we know it today, and somehow he heard and liked my music and thought that this little singer/songwriter from Winnipeg deserves to share his stage. It's the biggest honour of my musical life so far."

While only 19 years old, Noble's musical life is already pretty impressive. The internationally-acclaimed fiddler has performed across the globe, won numerous accolades, was featured in a music documentary, had her music go up in space, and has played for dignitaries like Governor General...

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Winnipeg Folk Festival Kicks Off 36th Year

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By Jen Zoratti

Tamara Kater is one of the proudest Winnipeggers you’ll ever talk to -- and she’s not even from around here.

The 38-year-old Montreal native took the reins of the Winnipeg Folk Festival as executive director last December, replacing longtime ED Trudy Schroeder who is now at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Prior to her current gig at the Winnipeg Folk Fest, she was executive director of the Ottawa Folk Festival, where she spearheaded a successful revenue diversification strategy.

So what made her decided to apply for the Folk Fest job in the ‘Peg? Turns out, the city itself played a big role.

“There were so many things. I’m passionate about folk music, and I’m passionate about festivals. I felt like I really found my calling at the Ottawa Folk Festival,” Kater says, over the phone from her Old Market Square office. “But I had the opportunity to visit Winnipeg a few years ago and I really fell in love with it. So when you combine all those things, it was win, win, win.”

Though Kater’s first trip to Winnipeg was in 2007 -- and her first Folk Fest experience was in 2008 -- she immediately felt like she belonged here.
“That was one of the things...

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