September 18, 2017
This year was a special one for BreakOut West: They celebrated the 15th anniversary of the event up in beautiful Edmonton. As awards events go, BreakOut West is considered by many to be an especially good networking opportunity for younger bands—they have access to mentors, artists they admire, and industry resources that they would normally have to spend a lot more time and energy tracking down. Here, they’re all in the same place. Before the weekend turned things into party mode (we can only imagine), they handed out the Western Canadian Music Awards for the artists.
The big winner this year—and not particularly a surprise—was indie folk darling Andy Shauf, whose record The Party has garnered him near universal praise. Last week it helped him bring home awards for Pop Artist of The Year and Songwriter of The Year (specifically for the track, “The Magician”), on top of being nominated for Producer of The Year as well. Winnipeg’s The Lytics nabbed the award for Rap/Hip Hop Artist of The Year; Albertan Corb Lund was named Roots Solo Artist of The Year; Vancouver-based songwriter Dan Mangan got Rock Artist of The Year; and 100 mile house, from Alberta, received Roots Duo/Group of The Year.
There were also a few special awards named in advance. The Heritage Award went to Ken Regan over at the CKUA Radio Network, the Hall of Fame Inductee was Paul Brandt, and the Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award was given posthumously to Kathy Kirby. Kirby was an Edmonton-based booker, manager, publicist, writer, and sound engineer who worked in the City of Champions over five decades. Check out the full list of winners at the BreakOut West website.
In Other News:
- Chavril reunited.
- Carly Rae Jepsen became the focus of a conspiracy theory.
- A former Canadian poet laureate was just accused of ripping off 2Pac.
- Drake’s security roughed up Shawn Mendes.
- A strange new beef appeared: Justin Bieber vs. Marilyn Manson.
- A guy from Vancouver is in jail for biting a teenager’s breast at a Green Day show in Portland.
- Toronto band Weaves gets two of their own shades of lipstick.