A hometown band triumphed at the East Coast Music Awards in Corner Brook on Sunday night, with Newfoundland and Labrador's Hey Rosetta! picking up a trio of honours at the annual celebration of Atlantic Canadian music.
The up-and-coming, six-member indie rock band was honoured for its album Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood) snagging the FACTOR recording of the year prize, as well as group and alternative recording of the year.
Taking the awards podium for the third time, Hey Rosetta! frontman Tim Baker quipped that he had "already given the speech that I prepared, twice."
However, he added thanks to "basically any funding body and anyone who lobbies for the arts and in favour of the arts. Sometimes it's not a lot of money [we receive], but it means a lot and it means you can make something beautiful and meaningful.... [It] keeps the process really pure. Thank you for that."
The band also took the stage to deliver an energetic performance of their hit New Goodbye.
|2009 ECMA winners|
Entertainer of the year: Joel Plaskett Emergency
Recording of the year: Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood), Hey Rosetta!
Female Solo Recording: Chances, Jill Barber.
Male Solo: Something in Between, Matt Andersen.
Group: Into Your Lungs, Hey Rosetta!
Rising Star: You Will Land with a Thud, The Tom Fun Orchestra.
Creative Single: We Are Young And So Is The Night, Gordie Sampson.
SOCAN Songwriter: Gordie Sampson with J. Smith and JT Harding, We Are Young and So Is The Night
DVD: SQUID: The Evolution, directed by Ryan Fraser, Mark Jamieson, Daniel St. Pierre and Ian MacMillan, Squid.
Video: Weighty Ghost, directed by Sean Wainsteim, Wintersleep.
Alternative: Into Your Lungs, Hey Rosetta!
Bluegrass: The Grass Mountain Hobos, The Grass Mountain Hobos.
Blues: Something in Between, Matt Andersen.
Children's: Shine, Rik Barron.
Classical: A Child's Cry from Izieu Oskar Morawetz, complete works for violin and piano, Jasper Wood.
Country: Chasing the Sun, Tara Oram.
Folk: On the Line, David Myles.
Instrumental: Raindrops, Duane Andrews.
Jazz: Chances, Jill Barber.
ECMA 2010 Cape Breton Loud: Creator of Scars, Iron Giant.
Pop: Two Hearts, Christina Martin.
Rock: Terminal Romance, Matt Mays & El Torpedo.
Roots/Traditional Solo: Endless Memories, Brenda Stubbert.
Roots/Traditional Group: When Here Meets There, Troy MacGillivray & Shane Cook.
World: Against The Grain, Ryan LeBlanc.
Aboriginal: This is the Life for Me, The Flummies.
Francophone: J'ai Trouve Dans Une Chanson, Ronald Bourgeois.
Gospel: The Reason We Sing, The Burkes.
Rap/Hip-Hop Single Track: The Main Event, Hotbox feat. Spesh K & Y-Rush.
Fan Choice Award: Classified.
Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award: Dick Nolan.
Halifax singer Jill Barber was another of the evening's multiple award-winners, picking up an early ECMA award for jazz recording of the year for her album Chances, which was also named female solo recording of the year later on in the telecast.
"I'm sitting in the audience... remembering a time not so long ago [when I was just] dreaming about being here," Barber, now based in Vancouver, told the audience.
"We have so many talented women on the East Coast of Canada, it is astonishing. I'm so proud to be part of that community," she said, adding a tribute to her fellow nominees and a host of other East Coast female artists.
Cape Breton singer-songwriter, producer and perennial ECMA-winner Gordie Sampson also nabbed a pair of trophies. Though not at the ceremony, the Nashville-based artist nonetheless sent his mother to the gala, where he won single of the year for We Are Young and So Is the Night as well as SOCAN songwriter of the year.
Two ECMA awards also went to New Brunswick blues guitarist and singer Matt Andersen, with his album Something in Between recognized as male solo recording of the year and blues recording of the year.
Former Canadian Idol competitor and country singer Tara Oram, who kicked off the television broadcast with a lively performance, won country recording of the year for Chasing the Sun and delivered an emotional acceptance speech that echoed that of British actress Kate Winslet at the Oscars a week ago.
"I've been practising this speech since I was a little girl and this was a shampoo bottle," Oram said, gesturing with her ECMA trophy. "This is a little heavier than a shampoo bottle."
Premier revs up crowd
The night began with a skit featuring Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams revving up the people of Corner Brook for the awards, with singer Damhnait Doyle and CBC Radio personality Jian Ghomeshi continuing the evening as co-hosts.
Many of the evening's winners also delighted the audience by taking the stage to perform, including Jill Barber, Christina Martin, Ryan LeBlanc, David Myles and Troy MacGillivray. Others on the performance-packed bill included Meaghan Blanchard, Rawlins Cross, MIR and Ron Hynes.
In addition to the slate of traditional awards, organizers also named Nova Scotia rapper Classified the winner of the ECMA Fan's Choice Award, a publicly voted honour introduced this year.
The ceremony also included Ron Hynes paying tribute to and introducing a musical medley honouring the late Dick Nolan, the Corner Brook country and western pioneer known for both quirky songs like Aunt Martha's Sheep as well as his early covers of Johnny Cash. Nolan's family accepted his trophy for the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award.
Four days of musical celebrations culminated in the Sunday night awards show held by the East Coast Music Association.
The 2010 East Coast Music Association Conference and Awards will be held in Sydney, N.S., from March 4 to 7.