There are changes coming to the 2016 Music PEI Awards, including new award categories and changes in the voting process.

New awards this year include Volunteer of the Year, Presenter of the Year, Digital Achievement of the Year and Live Music Programmer of the year.

Rob Oakie

Rob Oakie is the executive director of Music PEI. (Karen Mair/CBC)

Rob Oakie, the executive director of Music PEI, said there is also a new award for Cover Band of the Year.
"They are a huge part of the music community," said Oakie. "People go out every week and take in some great cover bands and just because they haven't written the material doesn't mean that there's not amazing musicians playing it.

"So it's an opportunity to celebrate some of that great musicianship that we hear."

Oakie said the Francophone Recording of the Year category has been changed to Acadian/Francophone Achievement of the Year because there aren't always a lot of new francophone recordings but the artists are still making significant contributions.

There are also changes to the voting process: fifteen awards will still be voted on by the membership, but 17 will now be decided through juries of industry professionals.  

More than 30 awards will be given out to musicians and industry professionals during Music PEI week, which runs from May 18 to 22 at venues across P.E.I. 

The concert line-ups will be announced once the nominations are made.

Submissions for nominations are being accepted until Feb. 19. Any member can submit a nomination.