Sun, Nov 18, 2012.
String supergroup The Fretless walked away the big winners at this year's Canadian Folk Music Awards, held Saturday night at The Imperial Theatre in Saint John. The western Canadian quartet, made up of violin, viola and cello players, took two trophies, for Instrumental Group of the Year, and for Ensemble of the Year. Plus, member Trent Freeman won as Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year for his own album.
The night was a musical celebration from coast to coast to coast, but certainly Atlantic Canada was given an extra chance to shine. Moncton-based ballet troupe The Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada performed a unique piece with harmonica ace Mike Stevens, who was also named the 2012 Innovator of the Year. Local favourite Matt Andersen performed two songs, including one with his occasional partner Stevens. In the most touching moment of the night, Nova Scotia's Cindy Church and Susan Crowe prefaced their performance with words about the strength of their long-time partner Raylene Rankin. This was scheduled to be her next performance, with Church and Crowe, before her untimely death from cancer earlier this year.
While it was a successful event for Saint John, unfortunately the province's musicians were shut out for awards. Andersen, Lisa LeBlanc and Shaun Ferguson were all nominated, but it wasn't their year. Here is the full list of winners:
Henri Godon, Children's Album of the Year for Chansons pour toutes sortes d'enfants
The Fretless, Instrumental Group of the Year, for Waterbound
The Once, Vocal Group of the Year, for Row Upon Row of The People They Know
Rob Szabo, Producer of the Year, for A Natural Fact by Steve Strongman
Trent Freeman, Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year, for Rock Paper Scissors
Michael Jerome Browne, Solo Artist of the Year, for The Road Is Dark
The Fretless, Ensemble of the Year, for Waterbound
Rose Cousins, Contemporary Singer of the Year, for We Have Made A Spark
Sagapool, Pushing the Boundaries, for Sagapool
Mes Aïeux, French Songwriter of the Year, for À l'aube du printemps
Catherine MacLellan, English Songwriter of the Year, for Silhouette
Lucas Chaisson, Young Performer of the Year, for Growing Pains
Lenka Lichtenberg, Traditional Singer of the Year (the Sue Goldberg Award), for Songs for the Breathing Walls
Pharis & Jason Romero, New/Emerging Artist of the Year, for A Passing Glimpse
Sultans of String, World Group of the Year, for MOVE (
Metis Fiddler Quartet, Traditional Album of the Year, for Northwest Voyage Nord Ouest
The Deep Dark Woods, Contemporary Album of the Year, for The Place I Left Behind
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).