Few ECMA nominations for N.L. musicians
Very few local musicians even apply, representative says
The nominations for this year's East Coast Music Awards this week contained surprisingly few nominations for artists from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Out of roughly 200 nominations, only 14 of them went to artists from this province.
Some people in the industry have raised concern that the nomination process favours the Maritimes over Newfoundland and Labrador, but Erin Best of the East Coast Music Association disputes that theory.
"That claim would be false," she said in an interview with CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.
"This year I'm the chair of the jury committee and I personally oversaw the entire jurying process and made sure that each region was equally represented," said Best, who said she ensured that for each category there was the same number of jurors from each region.
Cape Breton has region status
Best, a St. John's lawyer who is also well known as the singer of the band Rasa, said that any province is outnumbered when the other regions are combined, but some concerns may stem from the fact that Cape Breton has the status of a region.
All the regions have equal judging representation, said Best, "but some people argue that it's unfair the Nova Scotia technically has two votes."
Some provinces are taking steps to try to change the structure from five regions to four provinces, but Cape Breton hopes to maintain its regional status.
Best said a number of other factors affected why nominations for Newfoundland and Labrador were so low. Most of all, there are simply not enough artists applying.
"Very few Newfoundlanders or Labradorians applied this year," she said.
"We only had 24 Newfoundland artists who applied for awards out of 480 artists who submitted in the whole east coast region."
Other factors Best pointed to include the requirement to release a record during the qualifying time period (June 1 to Oct 1) and a lack of industry support compared to the other regions.
"I think it has to do with the fact that out of all the east coast provinces Newfoundland and Labrador probably has the least industry support" in terms of artist managers and record labels that help artists to succeed, she said.
"That of course that goes back to a lack of funding there," she said. "If there was a bit more funding, maybe we'd see a few more records out."
But she said for there to be more nominations from this province when the East Coast Music Awards return to St. John's in 2015, more people simply must apply.