Organizers of the East Coast Music Awards are defending a decision to use the Trailer Park Boys as hosts.
Several people have voiced concern in Prince Edward Island newspapers, saying the TV characters use profanity and have no connection to music.
Show organizers say they have received several e-mails over the matter. The music awards show is to take place Feb. 27 at the Charlottetown Civic Centre. It will be broadcast nationally by CBC-TV.
Actors John Paul Tremblay as "Julian", Robb Wells as "Ricky," and Mike Smith as "Bubbles" are to host, while country star George Canyon, rock group Matt Mays & El Torpedo and fiddler Natalie MacMaster will perform.
"The selection of these actors. portraying foul-mouthed, drug-using, petty criminals as representative of East Coast music is ludicrous at best and an insult to every music-loving Canadian in general, and East Coasters in particular," writes Edward Marsh, of Charlottetown, in a letter to the editor, published in the Charlottetown Guardian on Wednesday.
Another letter writer asks what connection the Trailer Park Boys have to music.
But Campbell Webster, the chair of ECMA 2006, said the Trailer Park Boys are a perfect match for the show.
"They were chosen for a number of reasons. One of them is that they're one of Atlantic Canada's great success stories, and they have a deep connection to the music industry," Webster told CBC News.
The boys have been associated with some of Canada's favourite rockers. They were in the Tragically Hip video for The Darkest One and toured with Our Lady Peace. Smith also jammed with Rush and members of the Barenaked Ladies at the Canada for Asia concert.
"In fact Mike Smith who plays Bubbles used to have a band called Sand Box, which was nominated for an East Coast Music Award a few years back," Webster said.
"One of the things that the Trailer Park Boys are going to do is attract more attention to the ECMAs and we hope that Canadians get to learn a little bit more about East Coast music," he said, promising the event would be a family friendly broadcast, with no swearing.
Some letter writers have expressed support for the boys. "The Trailer Park Boys do swear, yes, but they have become as Canadian as beer or Don Cherry (who has worked with them as well)," writes Mark Boulter, of Charlottetown, in another letter to the editor.
For their part, the Trailer Park Boys can't wait to do the show.
"There are probably all kinds of record company people there and I'm hoping if I sing some of my songs to them they might want to sign me to a record deal and I could become a big Country & Western star," Bubbles (Smith) wrote in an earlier ECMA release. "Liquor and Whores is always a big hit down at the legion, so you never know!"
The Trailer Park Boys, which launches its sixth season this year, is co-produced by Halifax-based Topsail Productions and Trailer Park Productions. The surprise international hit follows the adventures of three boozy, swearing residents of a trailer park who always seem to come down on the wrong side of the law.