African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards celebrate brightest stars
'The month of February wasn't enough for us so we took some of March,' says ANSMA Charla Williams
The 17th annual African Nova Scotian Music Association Awards were handed out at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax Saturday night.
The sold-out event is recognized as an "unofficial end to Black History Month" and this year’s theme, "Celebration of Our Own," gave recognition to past and present members of the black community like Maurice Ruddick, one of 19 miners who survived the Springhill Bump in 1958.
"The month of February wasn't enough for us so we took some of March," said Charla Williams, ANSMA host of the evening, to the roaring applause of the crowd.
Rapper J Bru picked up the industry development award last night for his work with youth in the black community.
"It’s good to see all of the black talent that we have in Nova Scotia. It’s not just Halifax or Dartmouth it's all across the province and I’m amazed every year at the talent we see," Bru says.
Some other notable award winners last night were Keont'e Beals, a Grade 12 student at Auburn Drive High School who won in the emerging artist of the year category.
"Oh my goodness, I’m just very, very, very thankful," Beals said after he accepted award.
Reeny Smith, who won for artist of the year, believes that the gala helps shine light on music in the province that is quite often forgotten.
"If you look at the music industry it’s not dominated by people of African descent, but there is a place where we can shine," Said Smith
"Here in Nova Scotia we have our own awards, something we can call our own, for our people and I think that’s so incredibly important for us and for the future musicians from the African Nova Scotian community."