The folk music community came together in Edmonton this past weekend to celebrate the vibrancy of the Canadian folk music scene as they handed out the 11th Canadian Folk Music Awards. The weekend events included nominee showcases, a live broadcast on the CKUA radio network and the awards gala itself hosted by Connie Kaldor and Benoit Bourque (La Bottine Souriante). This year, artists from Newfoundland and Ontario received the most honours, each taking home five wards. Quebec artists followed, with three awards. Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia were recipients of two awards each with Alberta and British Columbia artists collecting one award each. Congratulations to all the nominees and recipients. Read on for all the details.
Women were a force at the awards this year. Newfoundland’s Amelia Curran took home Contemporary Singer of the Year and English Songwriter of the Year for her album “They Promised You Mercy”. PEI’s Catherine MacLellan won Contemporary Album of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year for the awesome “The Raven’s Sun”. Edmonton local and five time CFMA nominee Rebecca Lappa finally got the nod for Young Performer of the Year award for her album “Tattered Rose”. Ontario’s Kiran Ahluwalia was awarded World Solo Artist of the Year for the mesmerizing “Sanata: Stillness” and Ontario fiddler Adrianna Ciccone won Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year for her album “The Back of Winter”.
Big Little Lions (Cincinnati’s Paul Otten and and past CFMA recipient Comox Valley BC’s Helen Austin) won Ensemble of the Year for “A Little Frayed, A Little Torn”. St. John’s Newfoundland’s Fortunate Ones (Catherine Allan and Andrew James) known for their fabulous harmonies, won Vocal Group of the Year for “The Bliss” and the awesome live band Digging Roots – husband and wife duo Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish took home the Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year award for their album “For The Light”. And another musical couple Nova Scotia’s fiddle duo Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy received the award for Instrumental Group of the Year for their album “ONE”.
In the traditional folk categories, Newfoundland’s Matthew Byrne was awarded Traditional Album of the Year for his album Hearts & Heroes and Quebec’s Michael Jerome Browne won Traditional Singer of the Year for his 1920’s blues-inspired album “Sliding Delta”.
The New/Emerging Artist of the Year went to Ontario’s The Young Novelists (Graydon James and Laura Spink) for their album “made us strangers”. The Lemon Bucket Orkestra took home the award for World Group of the Year for the new worldy-klezmer “Moorka” and the Children’s Album of the Year went to St John’s, Newfoundland’s The Swinging Belles (Erin Power, Laura Winter and Duane Andrews) for “More Sheep, Less Sleep”.
The French Songwriter of the Year award went to Louis-Jean Cormier‘s heart-wrenching second solo album “Les grandes artères”. Kevin Breit took home the Pushing the Boundaries award for his album “Ernesto & Delilah” and the Producer of the Year award went to Nova Scotia’s Daniel Ledwell for his work on “Compostela” by Jenn Grant. Ottawa’s Arthur McGregor was honoured as this year’s Unsung Hero, a special award that highlights the exceptional contributions of an individual, group, or organization to the Canadian folk music scene.
The 2016 edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards will take place in Toronto, Ontario from Thursday, December 1 to Saturday, December 3, 2016. The awards gala takes place at the Isabel Bader Theatre on the Saturday night. For more information, visit folkawards.ca.