The 2014 East Coast Music Awards — the showcase of music from across Atlantic Canada — officially kicked off Wednesday in Stratford with an event that offered musicians under 20 the chance to show their talent to industry professionals.

The Soundwaves Battle of the Bands event is about pairing emerging artists with seasoned talent, said ECMA executive director Andria Wilson.

Chelsey Amber

Halifax singer Chelsea Amber hopes to learn from other artists at the ECMAs. (CBC)

"We're having a local band Ripped Paper, some young guys who've won our [Soundwaves] Battle of the Bands that are performing tonight on an awesome bill of ECMA artists," said Wilson.

Participant Chelsea Amber is a Halifax musician who has come to the Island to learn from fellow artists.

"When I watch performances, I'll be like, 'Wow they really know how to engage people.' And I'll just kind of, make mental notes of how I can improve in that area too," said Amber.

"I think it's an amazing opportunity for artists to actually meet each other and pair up to do further tours together and stuff like. You can learn, not every part of the country has the resources we have here.'

Between now and Sunday artists will try to win over new fans at more than 45 shows.

Industry seminars, workshops, meetings and showcases are also a major part of the week.

The final award show takes place in the P.E.I. Convention Centre, Sunday at 8 p.m.

For mobile device users: Will you be attending any ECMA events?