Manitoba's music community had a lot to celebrate as BreakOut West 2014 wrapped up its stellar four-day run in host city Winnipeg on October 5. Hometown talent picked up an unprecedented 17 awards in artistic and industry categories at the 12th annual Western Canadian Music Awards, which recognize and celebrate the best and brightest break out stars from across Western Canada.
Roots singer/songwriter Del Barber, the night's only double winner, continued his streak at the WCMAs with wins for Songwriter of the Year and Roots Solo Recording of the Year for his latest, Prairieography. No stranger to the awards, Barber won in the Roots Solo category last year with his album, Headwaters, and in 2011 for Love Songs for the Last Twenty, which also earned him Independent Album of the Year.
Genre-defying pop outfit Royal Canoe won Independent Album of the Year for its internationally-acclaimed debut LP, Today We're Believers. This was the first nomination for the JUNO Award-nominated six-piece, which is currently on a North American tour with dates across Canada and in several major American markets.
Other artistic winners from Manitoba included: Federal Lights for Aboriginal Recording of the Year for its full-length debut, We Were Found In The Fog; Blues Recording of the Year for The Perpetrators' Stick 'Em Up; marijosée for Francophone Recording of the Year for her latest, Pas tout cuit dans l’bec; Imaginary Cities for Pop Recording of the Year for its sophomore release, Fall of Romance; Roots Group Recording of the Year for Sweet Alibi's We've Got To; Moses Mayes for Urban Recording of the Year for its self-titled release with former Winnipeg-based vocalist, Maiko Watson; and World Recording of the Year for The Mariachi Ghost's self-titled mix of Mexican trad and prog rock.
With four wins in the Industry Award categories, Manitoba’s industry entrepreneurs and music companies also had an impressive showing in 2014. This year’s accolades included Manager of the Year for Pipe & Hat's Tim Jones; Live Music Venue of the Year for The Park Theatre; Engineer of the Year for Cam Loeppky; and Producer of the Year for Rusty Matyas (also of Imaginary Cities).
The WCMA also celebrated three legendary figures on Manitoba's music landscape with special awards this year. Singer/songwriter and children's entertainer extraordinaire Fred Penner was inducted into the Western Canadian Hall of Fame. Ron Paley -- band leader, composer, arranger, and musical mentor -- was given the Heritage Award. In an emotional tribute, Kevin Walters was honoured posthumously with the Industry Builder Award. In recognition of Walters' tremendous work in fostering and developing the music industry in Manitoba and beyond, the award has been renamed the Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award.
Hosted by CBC Radio personality Grant Lawrence, the gala was held at the newly-opened Club Regent Event Centre, and featured show-stopping performances from some of the night's award winners, including Del Barber, Federal Lights, marijosée, Ron Paley, and Fred Penner. The Industry Awards were given out at a brunch hosted by 103.1 Virgin Radio's Ace Burpee on October 4 at the Fairmont Hotel, which included a performance by The Bros. Landreth.
Many of this year's homegrown winners, both artists and industry, have been able to leverage Manitoba Music's programs and services throughout their careers, from professional development and mentoring to market development opportunities.
"It's been an incredible few days here in Winnipeg," says Manitoba Music's executive director, Sara Stasiuk, who also sits on the Board of BreakOut West's parent organization, the Western Canadian Music Alliance. "Manitoba's music community has shined throughout this event. We're so honoured to have the opportunity to work with such talented, dedicated, and innovative artists and industry entrepreneurs, and proud of the fantastic work our members do on a daily basis."
A highlight of Manitoba's Year of Music, the awards gala was the pinnacle event of BreakOut West, which took over Winnipeg, October 2-5. The event featured the two awards shows, a busy industry conference, and a two-day music festival with 70 showcasing acts in 15 venues. This year's festival included performances from many of this year's nominees, including a large local contingent.
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 and network with key industry stakeholders creating the opportunity for a new wave of exciting industry developments.
BreakOut West 2015 will take place in Victoria, BC September 17-20.
For a complete list of 2014 WCMA winners, please visit breakoutwest.ca.
2014 Western Canadian Music Awards - Manitoba Winners
ABORIGINAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Federal Lights - We Were Found In The Fog
BLUES RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Perpetrators - Stick 'Em Up
FRANCOPHONE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
marijosée - Pas tout cuit dans l'bec
INDEPENDENT ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Royal Canoe - Today We're Believers
POP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Imaginary Cities - Fall of Romance
ROOTS DUO/GROUP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Sweet Alibi - We've Got To
ROOTS SOLO RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Del Barber - Prairieography
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Del Barber - "Big Smoke" from the album Prairieography
URBAN RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Moses Mayes - Moses Mayes
WORLD RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Mariachi Ghost - The Mariachi Ghost
ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Cam Loeppky - Greg MacPherson, Fireball / Sweet Alibi, We've Got To / Federal Lights, We We're Found in the Fog / Slow Leaves, Second Chances / Les Jupes, Negative Space
LIVE MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR
The Park Theatre
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Tim Jones, Pipe & Hat
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Rusty Matyas - Sweet Alibi, Federal Lights, Slow Leaves
INDUSTRY BUILDER AWARD
HALL OF FAME