Western Canadian Music and Industry Awards nominees

May 09, 2016

A few weeks ago, we told you all about the winners of the 2016 East Coast Music Awards, talking up Atlantic Canada, and its endless supply of very excellent music. Well, this week it’s the other side of the country’s turn (and the middle!), because they’re just as great and special and cool as their Eastern peers.

BreakOut West recently announced the nominees for the Western Canadian Music and Industry Awards, and they are, of course, an incredibly fine-sounding group. They also recognize artistic achievement up north: the WCMAs cover the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, as well as Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and B.C.

With three nominations each, indie pop artist Aidan Knight and English, French, and Cree language children’s duo Nadia Gaudet & Jason Burnstick are at the head of the pack. A smattering of artists received two nominations, including Vancouver’s retro-tinged rockers Yukon Blonde, Regina’s indie pop ensemble Library Voices, and Alberta country singer Brett Kissel. There is no general album of the year award—the WCMAs are broken up completely into categories—but there is the BreakOut Artist of the Year award, and the nominees are: Aidan Knight, Brett Kissel, We Are The City, The Bros. Landreth, and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.

The WCMAs also give out a couple lifetime achievement type of awards. The first is the Heritage Award, being presented this year to Saskatchewan artist John Arcand, whose music has had a significant impact on the preservation of Métis fiddle and dance traditions. The Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award—named after the Manitoba music scene legend—will go posthumously to Derek Bachman, who was a major force for Saskatchewan music and an inexhaustible champion for the province’s artists.

Check out the full list of nominees.

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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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