Manitoba’s music industry continued to shine at this year's Western Canadian Music Awards, picking up nine awards, including six in the artistic categories, at the 11th annual event. The hardware was handed out at a gala celebration on October 6 in Calgary, hosted by CBC Radio 3’s Grant Lawrence, and at an invite-only industry brunch the day before. Local artists and music companies landed 31 nominations in 20 categories at the annual celebration of music from the western provinces and territories.
KEN mode won in the brand new Metal/Hard Music Recording of the Year category for its fifth album, the Polaris Music Prize long listed Entrench. The acclaimed trio, which also won the inaugural JUNO Award for metal in 2012 for Venerable, just finished up a month-long European tour and next heads across Canada in October and November.
Del Barber won his second Roots Solo Recording of the Year award, this time for his latest album, Headwaters. Recently signed to True North Records, Barber won the WCMA in the same category, as well as Independent Album of the Year, for the JUNO-nominated Love Songs for the Last Twenty in 2011.
Also with a second WCMA win this year, Don Amero was on hand in Calgary to pick up Aboriginal Recording of the Year for his latest album, Heart On My Sleeve. The album has already landed a JUNO Award nomination and won at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards and Indian Summer Music Awards.
First time winner Mahogany Frog was also at the festivities to receive its Instrumental Recording of the Year award for SENNA, its sixth studio album. The quartet is featured in the new music documentary, Alors, t’as soif de quoi?, which is currently screening at film festivals in Canada. Click to download "Expo '67"
Steve Bell won his third WCMA, this time for Spiritual Recording of the Year for his Christmas album, Keening for the Dawn.
Manitoba's music industry also brought home top honours at the Industry Awards on October 5. For the tenth year in a row, Paquin Entertainment Group was named Booking Agency of the Year. Manager of the Year went to Paquin's president and CEO, Gilles Paquin, whose roster includes Del Barber, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Randy Bachman. Newcomers Procter Bros. Industries won for Video of the Year for JP Hoe's "Nothing's Gonna Harm You".
The awards gala is the pinnacle event of BreakOut West, which ran October 3-6. The event included an industry conference and music festival with showcases by over 50 acts. Eleven Manitoba acts, including several of this year’s WCMA nominees and winners, hit the stages, including Ça Claque!, Cara Luft, Don Amero, JP Hoe, Keri Latimer, Leonard Sumner, Mahogany Frog, marijosée, Mise en Scene, The Treble, and This Hisses. Click to listen to songs by this year's nominees and showcasing acts
Breakout West and the Western Canadian Music Awards will return to Winnipeg October 2-5, 2014.