Local Roots Acts Land Award Nods, Hit Important Showcases

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Landing numerous award nods and showcases in October, Manitoba’s roots acts are keeping pretty busy this month: three Manitoba bands received five Canadian Folk Music Awards nominations earlier this month, yet another was a finalist in a popular American songwriting contest, and eight have traveled east to showcase at the influential Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Conference.

For the second year in a row, three Manitoba acts have been nominated for five trophies at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. The year's nominees include singer/songwriter Lindsay Jane, who picked up nods for English Songwriter of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year for her latest album, Lovers Find Reasons. Vocal group Chic Gamine is up for New/Emerging Artist of the Year and Vocal Group of the Year for its self-titled debut release. Compadres, which includes Manitoba singer/songwriter James Keelaghan, has a nod for World Group of the Year for Buddy Where You Been?. The CFMAs will announce winners will be announced at a gala on November 23 in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Roots act Jacob and Lily landed the general round finalist spot the Folk Alliance-presented 2008 Mountain Stage NewSong Contest. As a result, the duo was also selected to perform on the October 12 broadcast of West Virginia's popular Mountain Stage show, which reaches a wide American audience.

OCFF will host a strong line-up of Manitoba acts at its 22nd annual conference, which runs October 23-26 in Ottawa. Manitoba Music (formerly MARIA) has organized showcasing opportunities for the Manitoba acts to present themselves both on stage and off to some of this country’s most influential members of the national folk, traditional, and roots music scene. The annual conference features four days of performances, workshops, special events and panel discussions.

Manitoba Music will host its annual “Manitoba at OCFF” showcase featuring seven of this year’s hometown artists on October 24 and 25. This year’s performers include singer/songwriters Ann Walton, Serena Postel, Kerri Woelke, Matt Epp, Michael Peters, and Don Amero, children's music act Mr Mark, and folk quintet Dust Poets. Artists will also take part in a trade show, networking with top festival and talent buyers, recording labels, managers, and more. The Manitoba artists performing at OCFF have accessed the Market Access Program - a shared program of Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music - which provides funding to local acts that are showcasing in markets outside Manitoba.

Earlier this week, Americana duo Twilight Hotel and singer/songwriter Steve Bell brought home the hardware at this year's Western Canadian Music Awards. Fellow folk acts Cara Luft and Compadres were also up for WCMAs this year.

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