Manitoba music was all over Edmonton at the 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards, landing eight awards at this year’s festivities. The artistic trophies were handed out at a gala event on October 19 at the Myer Horowitz Theatre on the University of Alberta campus and the industry awards were held at a brunch on October 19. Local artists accounted for 28 nominations in 20 different artistic and industry categories, including 19 artistic nods.
This year’s big winner was indie rock outfit The Weakerthans, which brought home hardware for Outstanding Independent Album and Songwriters of the Year for its latest Epitaph/Anti- release, Reunion Tour, and Video of the Year for “Civil Twilight.” The quartet is fresh from some high profile accolades, including the 2008 ECHO Songwriting Prize, the XM Satellite Radio’s Verge Music Awards prize for Artist of the Year, and a spot on the prestigious Polaris Music Prize short list. [Download The Weakerthans' "Night Windows" from The Loudspeaker until October 23.]
The 2008 gala also handed out three awards to emerging Manitoba acts. The Liptonians’ self-produced, self-titled debut landed Outstanding Pop Recording. Outstanding Aboriginal Recording went to country chanteuse Tracy Bone and her debut release on Arbor Records, No Lies, produced by Paul Scinocca and Phil Deschambault at 441 Studios. Hard-touring roots duo Twilight Hotel took home Outstanding Roots Recording (Duo/Group) for its sophomore full-length, Highway Prayer.
Juno-winning singer/songwriter Steve Bell rounded out Manitoba’s artistic awards with Outstanding Christian Recording for his latest effort with Signpost Music, The Symphony Sessions, which features the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Booking agency, Paquin Entertainment, brought home the industry award for Agency of the Year for the fifth year in a row. Paquin, which operates offices in Winnipeg and Toronto, won the same honour at this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards.
The awards gala was the pinnacle event of the sixth annual Western Canadian Music Week - held October 16 to 19, 2008 in Edmonton - which also featured an industry conference and three-day music festival. Participating artists and music professionals had the chance to meet and network with key industry players creating the opportunity for a new wave of exciting industry developments from international tours to prime European showcasing opportunities.
The WCMA Festival featured thirteen Manitoba acts at various Edmonton venues. Showcasing this year were award winners Twilight Hotel, Tracy Bone, The Liptonians, and blues rock outfit The Perpetrators, singer/songwriters Cara Luft and J.P. Hoe, bluegrass band House of Doc, Francophone act Deuxième Take, acoustic pop duo Keith and Renee, and indie rock acts Quinzy, The Telepathic Butterflies, Boats, and Tele.
The WCMAs are set to return to Manitoba when they take over Brandon in 2009.
For a complete list of 2008 WCMA winners, please visit www.westerncanadianmusicawards.ca.
2008 WESTERN CANADIAN MUSIC AWARDS MANITOBA NOMINEES
OUTSTANDING ABORIGINAL RECORDING
Tracy Bone – No Lies
OUTSTANDING CHRISTIAN/GOSPEL RECORDING
Steve Bell – The Symphony Sessions
OUTSTANDING POP RECORDING
The Liptonians – The Liptonians
OUTSTANDING ROOTS RECORDING ~ DUO/GROUP
Twilight Hotel – Highway Prayer
OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT ALBUM AWARD
The Weakerthans – Reunion Tour
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
The Weakerthans – Reunion Tour
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
The Weakerthans - "Civil Twilight"
AGENCY OF THE YEAR