There will be plenty of chances to celebrate homegrown talent when the Western Canadian Music Awards roll into Winnipeg this fall. Manitoba artists and industry picked up an impressive 44 nominations in 28 categories for the 12th annual celebration of music from the western provinces and territories with talented acts from Manitoba’s aboriginal, Francophone, roots and world music communities dominating their respective categories. The hardware will be handed out at a gala event on October 5 in Winnipeg at the newly-opened Club Regent Event Centre.
For the third year in a row, the Franco-Manitoban scene is a strong leader, with four local albums up for Francophone Recording of the Year. This year’s nods went to powerhouse pop artist marijosée, rapper Tresor Ezoman, playful multi-lingual folk group Chez Willi, and children's act LuLu et le Matou.
Manitoba’s aboriginal music community continues to shine, landing three out of five nods for Aboriginal Recording of the Year again this year. The diverse list of nominees includes JUNO-nominated country chanteuse Desiree Dorion, indie pop/rock outfit Federal Lights, and young pop singer/songwriter Cassidy Mann.
The local roots community strengthened its reputation for releasing acclaimed music, snapping up five nods in the group and solo categories. Roots/pop trio Sweet Alibi, pop/alt-country newcomers The Bros. Landreth, and JUNO nominees Little Miss Higgins & The Winnipeg Five are all up for Roots Duo/Group Recording of the Year. Last year's Roots Solo Recording of the Year winner, Del Barber, is up for the award again this year, along with acclaimed singer/songwriter Ruth Moody. Barber and The Bros. Landreth also picked up nominations the competitive Songwriter of the Year category.
Barber, a three-time nominee this year, is also up for Independent Album of the Year, along with the genre-defying Royal Canoe, a JUNO nominee this year, which also picked up a nod for Pop Album of the Year, as did soul/pop duo Imaginary Cities.
Manitoba's world music community picked up three nominations for World Recording of the Year, including a first-time nod for The Mariachi Ghost for its mix of Mexican trad and prog rock, Victoria/Winnipeg-based Persian/western classical/jazz duo Moody Amiri, and 2012's winner, Brazilian jazz guitarist Marco Castillo.
Other artistic award nominees include The Perpetrators for Blues Recording of the Year; Madame Diva and Seanster and the Monsters for Children's Recording of the Year; T. Patrick Carrabré for Classical Composition of the Year; the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra with Isabel Bayrakdarian for Classical Recording of the Year; Iskwé for Electronic/Dance Recording of the Year; Jeff Presslaff for Jazz Recording of the Year; Noire for Metal/Hard Music Recording of the Year; and Moses Mayes for Urban Recording of the Year.
With a nod in all nine Industry Award categories, Manitoba’s industry entrepreneurs and music companies also have an impressive showing in 2014. This year’s nominees for Manager of the Year include Paquin Entertainment Group's Gilles Paquin (Del Barber, Bachman & Turner, Buffy Sainte-Marie) and Tim Jones of Pipe & Hat (Mise En Scene, The Noble Thiefs, The Revival). Pipe & Hat, meanwhile, also landed a nod for Independent Record Label while Paquin Entertainment Group added its 11th nod for Agency of the Year.
Manitoba's live music scene takes centre stage this year, with the West End Cultural Centre and The Park Theatre both vying for Live Music Venue of the Year, and Chris Frayer (Winnipeg Folk Festival), Jason Hooper (West End Cultural Centre), and David Schellenberg (Union Sound Hall) earning nods for Talent Buyer of the Year.
The local recording scene was recognition with three nominations. Past winner Cameron Loeppky landed a nod for Engineer of the Year for his work on several albums by local artists, including Greg MacPherson, Sweet Alibi, Federal Lights, Slow Leaves, and Les Jupes. Rusty Matyas earned his first Producer of the Year nomination for his work on various local releases (Sweet Alibi, Federal Lights, Slow Leaves) and also shares a second nod in the same category with BC's Howard Redekopp for Imaginary Cities' latest.
Other industry nominees include Album Design of the Year nominee Roberta Hansen for her work on The Bros. Landreth's Let It Lie, and Milos Mitrovic for his video for Latka's "The Arrival."
A highlight of Manitoba's Year of Music, the awards gala is the pinnacle event of BreakOut West, which will be held October 2-5, 2014. The event features a conference and three-day music festival with 50 showcasing acts in addition to the two awards shows. 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 key industry stakeholders creating the opportunity for a new wave of exciting industry developments from record deals to international tours.
2014 Western Canadian Music Awards - Manitoba Nominees
ABORIGINAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Federal Lights - We Were Found In The Fog
Desiree Dorion - Small Town Stories
Cassidy Mann - Blue Skies and Bright Eyes
BLUES RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Perpetrators - Stick 'Em Up
CHILDREN'S RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Madame Diva - Viva la Diva
Seanster and the Monsters - Yay!
CLASSICAL COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR
T. Patrick Carrabré - Inuit Games
CLASSICAL RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Isabel Bayrakdarian and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Anne Manson, conductor - Troubadour & the Nightingale
ELECTRONIC/DANCE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Iskwé - Iskwé
FRANCOPHONE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
marijosée - Pas tout cuit dans l'bec
Tresor Ezoman - Nouveau monde, Nouvelles Perspectives
Chez Willi - I Saw The Wolf
LuLu et le Matou - Le Chat Botté
INDEPENDENT ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Del Barber - Prairieography
Royal Canoe - Today We're Believers
JAZZ RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Jeff Presslaff - The Complete Rebirth of the Cool
METAL/HARDMUSIC RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Noire - Dark Reverence
POP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Imaginary Cities - Fall of Romance
Royal Canoe - Today We're Believers
ROOTS DUO/GROUP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Sweet Alibi - We've Got To
The Bros. Landreth - Let it Lie
Little Miss Higgins & the Winnipeg Five - Bison Ranch Recording Sessions
ROOTS SOLO RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Del Barber - Prairieography
Ruth Moody - These Wilder Things
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Del Barber - "Big Smoke" from the album Prairieography
The Bros. Landreth (Joey Landreth, David Landreth) - "Greenhouse" from the album Let it Lie
URBAN RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Moses Mayes - Moses Mayes
WORLD RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Mariachi Ghost - The Mariachi Ghost
Moody Amiri - Safar
Marco Castillo - Zabelê
AGENCY OF THE YEAR
Paquin Entertainment Group
ALBUM DESIGN OF THE YEAR
Roberta Hanesen / Renee Design - The Bros. Landreth - Let it Lie
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
INDEPENDENT RECORD LABEL
Pipe & Hat
LIVE MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR
West End Cultural Centre
The Park Theatre
MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Tim Jones, Pipe & Hat
Gilles Paquin, Paquin Entertainment Group
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Rusty Matyas and Howard Redekopp - Imaginary Cities
Rusty Matyas - Sweet Alibi, Federal Lights, Slow Leaves
TALENT BUYER OF THE YEAR
David Schellenberg, Union Sound Hall
Jason Hooper, West End Cultural Centre
Chris Frayer, Winnipeg Folk Festival
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Milos Mitrovic - Latka, “The Arrival”
Listen to SCENE with host Bruce Ladan on Saturday June 7 for music featuring some of the WCMA nominees. The show airs from 5 - 6 p.m. on CBC Radio One, 89.3 FM/990 AM/97.9 FM in Brandon.