Local Music Community Earns Western Canadian Music Awards in 14 Artistic and Industry Categories, Gerry Atwell Honoured with Posthumous Heritage Award
Manitoba’s music industry is in the spotlight at this year’s Western Canadian Music Awards. Artists and music companies picked up hardware in 14 categories that recognize those making a significant impact in Western Canada’s music scene and beyond.
The awards were revealed during a special live streamed event on September 25, which included a performance for double winner The Mariachi Ghost, who picked up Global Artist of the Year and Visual Media Composer of the Year.
Musician, mentor, composer, and champion Gerry Atwell was posthumously honoured with the 2020 Heritage Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the music industry over the course of their career. Atwell, a beloved member of the music community in Manitoba, passed away in November.
JUNO-winning singer/songwriter William Prince swept his categories this year, with top honours for Recording of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Roots Artist of the Year. Pop powerhouse Begonia was named BreakOut Artist of the Year.
Pop/R&B/soul artist Kelly Bado won the Francophone Artist of the Year award, her second career WCMA. Rock outfit Dizzy Mystics picked up Metal & Hard Music Artist of the Year. Psychedelic jazz rockers Apollo Suns won their second Instrumental Artist of the Year award. JUNO-nominated blues legend Big Dave McLean won for Blues Artist of the Year. Private Ear Recording's John Paul Peters won Producer of the Year and the Audio Engineering Award. The Winnipeg Folk Festival took home the award for Impact in Live Music. Video and live stream production team and promoters The Village Idiots won for Impact in Music Marketing.
The awards event kicks off the virtual BreakOut West: Home Edition conference which opened with an Indigenous Welcome Ceremony at noon and will host music industry panels and networking events over the next 14 days.
Many of this year’s winners from Manitoba have participated in Manitoba Music’s professional, market, and Indigenous music development programs during their careers, accessing assistance to develop their business skills, showcase in new markets, and make critical industry contacts. Manitoba Music’s programs are supported by the Province of Manitoba, FACTOR through the financial support of the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters, and Manitoba Film & Music.
Blues Artist of the Year
Big Dave McLean
BreakOut Artist of the Year
Francophone Artist of the Year
Global Artist of the Year
The Mariachi Ghost
Instrumental Artist of the Year
Metal & Hard Music Artist of the Year
Producer of the Year
John Paul Peters
Recording of the Year
Roots Artist of the Year
Songwriter(s) of the Year
Visual Media Composer of the Year
The Mariachi Ghost, Octavio is Dead!
Audio Engineering Award
John Paul Peters
Impact in Live Music
Winnipeg Folk Festival
Impact in Music Marketing
The Village Idiots
2020 Heritage Award
For a complete list of 2020 WCMA winners, please visit breakoutwest.ca.