New Brunswick

Back with a vengeance: ECMAs announce 2017 nominees in Saint John

For the first time in 15 years, the ECMAs are coming to Saint John, where the East Coast Music Association announced the 2017 nominees on Tuesday.

The ECMAs are back in the Port City for the first time since 2002 — and the nominees are in

Chuck Teed of InterAction School of Performing Arts introduces Saint John musician Adam Washburn at the ECMA nominee announcement in Saint John on Tuesday. (Julia Wright /CBC)

For the first time in 15 years, the ECMAs are coming to Saint John. 

The East Coast Music Association announced the 2017 ECMA nominees at Market Square in Saint John on Tuesday.

The awards show, hosted by comedian James Mullinger, will be held April 27 at Harbour Station.

"A lot has changed since 2002," said Andy McLean, executive director of the ECMAs for the past three years. "The whole music business has changed and the energy of the city is incredible. We're so glad that we're here in 2017."

Cross-section of regional talent

Ashley MacIsaac, right, performs with Neon Dreams to open the 2016 East Coast Music Awards Gala in Sydney, N.S. (The Canadian Press)

The awards are pan-Atlantic, McLean said.

"We have representation from every region, and we're very happy that we have such a strong New Brunswick contingent this year."

Forty-four New Brunswickers, 14 Cape Bretoners, 99 Nova Scotians, 27 Prince Edward Islanders and 27 nominees from Newfoundland and Labrador were announced. 

Performing artists at the East Coast Music Awards will include Classified, David Myles, Paper Lions, Reeny Smith, Ria Mae, Jason Benoit, Les Hôtesses d'Hilaire, Caroline Savoie, Repartee, Tomato/Tomato, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Còig, the Motorleague, and Adam Baldwin. 

Supporting local artists

Part of the whole point of the ECMAs, is to "allow East Coast musicians to make a living while staying in the region," McLean said.

"We generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of new business for East Coast music artists."

It's a good thing for the local economy, in addition to the music scene. 

"There are people coming in, the hotels are going to be full, the restaurants are going to be busy, and people will be partying and enjoying themselves," McLean said. 

"We're looking forward to wonderful things not just during the event but continuing for months afterwards in terms of the effect that it has on the region."