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Manitoba artists take top honours at music awards

WINNIPEG, MB – Artists and industry from Manitoba picked up hardware in nine categories at this year’s Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA) in Regina. Celebrating the accomplishments of some of Western Canada’s best and brightest, the envelopes were opened at a gala event on October 13 that kicked off the BreakOut West festivities, at an industry brunch on October 15, and at venues throughout the festival.

Emerging singer/songwriter William Prince, who performed at the gala, was on hand to accept his award for Aboriginal Artist of the Year. A multiple past winner, Romi Mayes, picked up Blues Artist of the Year. JUNO Award-winning outfit The Bros. Landreth landed the honour for BreakOut Artist of the Year. Bilingual duo Nadia Gaudet & Jason Burnstickwon for Children’s Artist of the Year. Jocelyne Baribeau, who is also up for a Canadian Folk Music Award this year, was named Francophone Artist of the Year. JUNO nominee Curtis Nowosad and his quintet won for Jazz Artist of the Year.

Manitoba’s industry entrepreneurs and music companies earned accolades at the Industry Awards. Paquin Artist Agency was recognized for its Impact in Artist Development. The West End Cultural Centre picked up the Community Excellence Award for its programs focusing on youth and the community. JUNO-winning designer Roberta Hansen landed honours for Excellence in Visual Design for her work on The Small Glories Wondrous Traveller.

The awards were part of BreakOut West, which was held October 13-16, and also featured an industry conference and two-night music festival. Winners Prince, Gaudet & Burnstick, and Baribeau, were among this year’s festival acts, along with Adam Hanney & Co., Dirty Catfish Brass Band, Don Amero, Ghost Twin, JP Hoe, Justin Lacroix Band,Micah Visser, Quinton Blair, Slow Leaves, The Mariachi Ghost, and The Proud Sons.

BreakOut West presents an important opportunity for emerging and established artists to be a part of the Western Canadian music community. Participating artists and other music professionals have the chance to meet key industry stakeholders, creating the opportunity for a new wave of exciting industry developments from record deals to international tours.

For a complete list of 2016 WCMA winners, please visit breakoutwest.ca.

Rachel Stone, Manitoba Music

Photo of William Prince – manitobamusic.com

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