The Manitoba music industry made its mark in Whitehorse this weekend, dominating the ninth annual Western Canadian Music Awards. Local artists and industry won an impressive 16 awards, including eight of nine industry awards. The awards were handed out at a gala event at the Yukon Arts Centre on October 23, hosted by CBC Radio 3’s Grant Lawrence, and an industry awards brunch on October 22.
Manitoba swept the Roots Recording of the Year categories this year, with wins for The Wailin’ Jennys and Del Barber for group and solo, respectively. Barber brought home two awards for his Juno Award-nominated album, Love Songs for the Last Twenty, which also snagged Independent Album of the Year. The Jennys, who won for their fourth full length, Bright Morning Stars, are also up for three Canadian Folk Music Awards, which will be handed out on December 4 in Toronto.
After a whirlwind year including European tours, an opening spot on the Pixies North American tour, and a nod from the prestigious Polaris Music Prize long list, Imaginary Cities picked up Pop Recording of the Year for its debut, Temporary Resident.
Singer/songwriter Don Amero landed the award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year for his work on The Long Way Home. The album is also up for a Canadian Folk Music Award, four Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, and won a Native American Music Award for Best Folk Recording earlier this month.
Roots rock singer/songwriter Romi Mayes was once again named Songwriter of the Year, this time for her latest effort, Lucky Tonight. This is Mayes’ third win in the category.
B.C. transplant and 2011 Canadian Country Music Award nominee Ridley Bent and his album, Rabbit On My Wheel, won for Country Recording of the Year.
Latin jazz act Trio Bembe won in the World Music Recording of the Year for its sophomore effort, Oh My Soul, which is also up for a 2011 Canadian Folk Music Award.
Several of this year's winners performed during the gala, which was streamed live, including Ridley Bent, Romi Mayes, Don Amero, Del Barber, and Ruth Moody.
It wasn’t just the artists getting all the glory in Whitehorse. Manitoba’s music companies and professionals nearly swept the industry categories, winning eight out of nine awards. Paquin Entertainment Group and CEO Gilles Paquin were named Agency of the Year and Manager of the Year, respectively. Producer and singer/songwriter Arun Chaturvedi won for Producer of the Year. Cameron Loeppky, who worked on Imaginary Cities’ winning album, was named Engineer of the Year. Talent Buyer of the Year went to the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Chris Frayer while the West End Cultural Centre was named Live Music Venue of the Year for the fifth time. The Independent Record Label award went to Head In The Sand, which is home to Les Jupes, Royal Canoe, Rococode, and more. Christine Fellows’ performance film Reliquary/Reliquaure, by Performance Pictures, won the Multi Media ward.
The awards gala is the pinnacle event of BreakOut West -- held October 20 to 23, 2011. The event featured a conference and music festival with 50 showcasing acts in addition to the two awards shows. BreakOut West presents an incredible opportunity for emerging and established artists to be a part of the western Canadian music community. Participating artists and other music professionals have the chance to meet key industry stakeholders creating the opportunity for a new wave of exciting industry developments from record deals to international tours.
2011 WESTERN CANADIAN MUSIC AWARDS - MANITOBA WINNERS
ABORIGINAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Don Amero – The Long Way Home
COUNTRY RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Ridley Bent – Rabbit On My Wheel
POP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Imaginary Cities – Temporary Resident
ROOTS DUO/GROUP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Wailin' Jennys – Bright Morning Stars
ROOTS SOLO RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Del Barber – Love Songs For The Last Twenty
WORLD RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Trio Bembe – Oh My Soul
INDEPENDENT ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Del Barber – Love Songs For The Last Twenty
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Romi Mayes – “Ball and Chain”
AGENCY OF THE YEAR
Paquin Entertainment Group
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Gilles Paquin - Paquin Entertainment Group
TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR
Chris Frayer – Winnipeg Folk Festival
LIVE MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR
West End Cultural Centre
INDEPENDENT RECORD LABEL
Head In The Sand
Christine Fellows - Reliquary/Reliquaire
For a complete list of 2011 WCMA winners, please visit breakoutwest.ca.