The gear is plugged in, the lights are up, the beer is cold, and the musicians are on their way to Brandon, Manitoba. The Wheat City is playing host to the 2009 Western Canadian Music Awards, which kick off on September 17. Now celebrating its seventh year, WCMA includes a popular two-night music festival, an industry conference, youth career day, and two awards shows. And an awful lot of great music...
The fun starts at 6pm on the 17th when downtown Brandon will be transformed into the Rock The Block party with performances by The Sheepdogs, Library Voices, Mariannas Trench, State of Shock, and Default. Audiences can catch local showcasing act Boats at the official WCMA after party at The Roadhouse.
This year's WCMA Festival, which runs September 18 and 19 across seven Brandon venues, offers up over 70 chances to hear music from some of the best acts western Canada has to offer, including more than 20 artists and bands from Manitoba. This year's home team features several nominees for the 2009 WCMAs, including Scott Nolan, Oh My Darling, Daniel ROA, Romi Mayes, JP Hoe, and Billy Joe Green.
Manitoba artists and industry have 41 chances to pick up hardware at the 2009 awards. Industry and special recognition awards will be handed out at an invite-only brunch on September 19. Composer Robert Turner will be honoured with the Heritage Award and Paquin Entertainment Group founder and CEO Gilles Paquin will be given the Industry Builder Award. Grammy-winning Brandon-born James Ehnes will share the International Achievement Award with B.C.'s Michael Buble. Internationally-acclaimed artist, Morden-born Loreena McKennitt, who will be inducted into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame, will speak at the brunch.
The artistic awards gala, which is open to the public, will hit the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium on September 20 with performances by Romi Mayes, a one-time-only collaborative song by Record of the Week Club, Loreena McKennitt, and many more. Musician and CBC Radio 2 host Tim Tamashiro will co-host the gala with actress/musician Andrea Menard.
Romi Mayes will also take part SOCAN Songs & Stories, a songwriters circle at 3pm on September 20 at The Roadhouse, with Gordie Tentrees, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Codie Prevost. The event will give the audience a rare opportunity to hear the story behind the songs from the people who wrote them.
Meanwhile, the WCMA's popular music industry conference offers up several informative workshops and panels, including a keynote address by legendary radio personality Nic Harcourt. The conference features innovative speakers from across Canada as well as some top names from the U.S. and Europe.
The WCMAs are heading to Kelowna next year, October 14-17.
MANITOBA MUSIC AT THE 2009 WCMA FESTIVAL
Boats - WCMA After Party @ The Roadhouse, 12:30AM
Scott Nolan @ The Roadhouse, 9PM
Oh My Darling @ The 40, 9PM
Daniel ROA @ Houstons, 9PM
Dominique Reynolds @ SUDS, 9PM
Effect and Cause @ Clancy's, 9PM
Romi Mayes @ The 40, 11PM
JP Hoe @ Clancy's, 11PM
Boats @ SUDS, 12AM
JD Edwards @ The Roadhouse, 12AM
Don Amero @ Double Decker, 1AM
Billy Joe Green @ The Roadhouse, 1AM
Quinzy @ Clancy’s, 1AM
Alexander Tselyakov @ Lorne Watson, 8PM
Richard Tyborowski @ Lorne Watson, 8PM
JP Hoe @ SUDS, 9PM
Oh My Darling @ City Centre Hote, 10PM
Take With Audio @ The 40, 10PM
The Liptonians @ SUDS, 10PM
Jaylene Johnson @ Double Decker, 11PM
Quinzy @ SUDS, 11PM
Alana Levandoski @ The Roadhouse 12AM
Flying Fox & the Hunter Gathers @ SUDS, 12AM
AM Glory @ The 40, 1AM
Hot Live Guys @ SUDS, 1AM
Don Amero @ Clancy’s, 1AM
Click here for the full festival schedule.