The Maple Blues Awards

About Nominees 2015 Winners Tickets Maple Blues Band Performers Press Archive FAQ Wiki



The 20th Annual Maple Blues Awards will be held at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall on Monday, January 23th, 2017 at 7:00pm in Toronto.

Each year, attendees of the Maple Blues Awards Gala enjoy performances from a selection of current nominees, accompanied by the Maple Blues Band. This year’s performers include Michael Kaeshammer, Shakura S’Aida, Sugar Brown, Tim Williams, the Paul DesLauriers Band, and MonkeyJunk’s Steve Marriner!

Member/Nominee/Delegate Discount
TBS Charter/Family/Student/Benefactor Members, nominees, and Blues Summit Eight delegates can access best available seats for $35. Please contact us to retrieve the required promo code.

The Maple Blues Awards is a gala event. Formal attire is encouraged but not required.

Purchase Tickets


Winners of the 20th Annual Maple Blues Awards are determined by public vote. Voting was open from Nov 2 to Dec 2, 2016 and is now closed.

Entertainer of the Year
Angel Forrest
Cécile Doo-Kingué
Matt Andersen
Paul DesLauriers Band

Electric Act of the Year
David Gogo
Paul DesLauriers Band
Steve Hill
The 24th Street Wailers

Acoustic Act of the Year
Al Lerman
Big Dave McLean
Harrison Kennedy
Jimmy Bowskill & Carlos del Junco
Tim Williams

Male Vocalist of the Year
Duane Blackburn
Harpdog Brown
Harrison Kennedy
John Mays
Matt Andersen

Female Vocalist of the Year
Angel Forrest
Dawn Tyler Watson
Samantha Martin
Shakura S’Aida
Suzie Vinnick

New Artist of the Year
Andre Bisson
Blue Moon Marquee
Debra Power
Mark Crissinger
Spencer MacKenzie

Recording/Producer of the Year
Angel Forrest – Angel’s 11 (Morningstar); Producers: Angel Forrest & Denis Coulombe
David Gogo – Vicksburg Call (Cordova Bay); Producer: The Pérignon Partnership
David Vest – Devestatin’ Rhythm (Ark-O-Matic); Producers: David Vest & Gary Kendall
Dawn Tyler Watson – Jawbreaker! (Self); Producers: François Thiffault
Harpdog Brown – Travelin’ with the Blues (Dog House Records); Producer: Little Victor

International Artist of the Year
Beth Hart
Joe Bonamassa
Shemekia Copeland
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Mavis Staples

Guitarist of the Year
Colin James
David Gogo
Paul DesLauriers
Steve Hill
Tim Williams

Harmonica Player of the Year
Carlos del Junco
Harpdog Brown
Jerome Godboo
Roly Platt
Steve Marriner

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year
David Vest
Duane Blackburn
Jesse O’Brien
Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
Michael Kaeshammer

Horn Player of the Year
Al Lerman
Chris Whiteley
Frankie Thiffault (Ben Racine Band)
Jon Wong
Mat “Moose” Mousseau (Ben Racine Band)

Drummer of the Year
Chris Nordquist
Lindsay Beaver (The 24th Street Wailers)
Matt Sobb
Sam Harrisson (Paul DesLauriers Band)
Tom Bona

Bassist of the Year
Alan Duffy
Alec Fraser
Gary Kendall
Greg Morency (Paul DesLauriers Band)
John Dymond (Colin Linden)

Songwriter of the Year
Angel Forrest & Denis Coulombe
Cécile Doo-Kingué
Paul Reddick & Colin Cripps
Ross Neilsen
Sugar Brown

Blues With A Feeling (Lifetime Achievement)
Stephen Barry
Diana Braithwaite
Danny Brooks
Michael Jerome Browne
Michael Fonfara
Alec Fraser
Tom Lavin
Ellen McIlwaine
Joe Murphy
Brent Parkin
Ken Whiteley


Maple Blues Awards Statue Photo - E-Southside_Maple_Blues_Award___Content cropThe Maple Blues Awards is Canada’s national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field. Winners in all categories (excluding the instrumental categories*) are decided by blues fans across Canada. Voting occurs online each November. 

Nominating Panel & Steering Committee. The nominees are selected by a distinguished panel of approximately 50 blues experts who form the MBA Nominating Panel. Co-chaired by the steering committee consisting of Terry Parsons, Yves Trottier, John Valenteyn and Brant Zwicker, the panel includes radio hosts, journalists, and festival organizers regionally distributed across Canada. Members of the Nominating Panel are not eligible for any of the awards. 

*Instrumental Categories.  Winners in the guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drum, and bass categories are not open for public vote. Instrumental or “craft” categories are determined by a panel of experts drawn from the nominating panel. 

The awards program is proudly organized by the Toronto Blues Society. 


Internationally renowned Canadian Blues artists from coast to coast were honoured by their peers at the 19th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto January 18th, 2016 as a full house of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall. 

Hosted by radio and television personality Gill Deacon, the 19th annual Maple Blues Awards included outstanding performances from The Maple Blues Band and Maple Blues Award nominees past and present, including David Gogo, Colin Linden, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Harrison Kennedy, Cecile Doo-Kingue, and John Campbelljohn. 


There is no application process for the Maple Blues Awards. Nominations are drawn from the expertise of the MBA Nominating Panel. Members of the nominating panel are required to be familiar with Canadian blues artist activity and CD releases. Artists are encouraged to service new releases to all blues radio DJs, journalists and industry professionals across Canada to increase their national profile.

Recording/Producer Of The Year. Nominated recordings in this category must be released during the eligibility period: September 1, 2015 to October 1, 2016.

New Artist Or Group Of The Year. Group or individual, new to the national blues scene, who has made considerable advances artistically and/or commercially over the previous year. The nominee should be performing under its/his/her name on a regular basis and must not have been nominated in any Maple Blues Awards category previously. The award recognizes the group or individual. 


The Nominating Panel consists of industry professionals from across Canada who volunteer their time to participate. 


Vince Almond CFBX Kamloops BC
Brant Zwicker* At the Crossroads (syndicated) Kamloops BC
William "Billieboy" Lucas CHLY Nanaimo BC
Earl Krushelnicki Blues Underground Network Prince George BC
Rod Dranfield White Rock Blues Society Surrey BC
Brent Morrison Rockin’ Blues (CJSF | CJMP) Vancouver BC
Paul Norton CFRO | CiTR Vancouver BC
Ron Simmonds CFRO Vancouver BC
Cindy McLeod Calgary Blues Music Association | The Blues Witness (CJSW) Calgary AB
Cam Hayden The Friday Night Blues Party (CKUA) Edmonton AB
Chris Martin Saturday Night Blues (CBC) Edmonton AB
Peter North Dead Ends & Detours (CKUA) Edmonton AB
Grant Stovel CJSR | CKUA Edmonton AB
Jeff Corbett Redbeard's Blues (CJTR) Regina SK
Gord MacAulay Canadian Blues Alliance Saskatoon SK
Al Wood Saskatoon Blues Society Saskatoon SK
Ronnie Lindsay Bluesday on Tuesday (CKUW) Winnipeg MB
Paul Panchezak Breakfast of Champions (CFMU) Hamilton ON
Ken Wallis Blues Blast (The HAWK) Hamilton ON
Claude Cloutier Kitchener Blues Festival Kitchener ON
Bruce Hall Grand River Blues Society Kitchener ON
Larry Kurtz Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival Orangeville ON
Liz Sykes Ottawa Blues Society Ottawa ON
Deborah Cartmer CFBU St. Catharines ON
Phil Hordy Thunder Bay Blues Society Thunder Bay ON
Julie Hill Blue Remedy (Radio Regent | Blues and Roots Radio) Toronto ON
Eric Thom Freelance Music Journalist Toronto ON
John Valenteyn* John's Blues Picks (Maple Blues) | John Valenteyn’s Blues (CIUT) Toronto ON
Yannick Lambert Donnacona Blues Festival Donnacona QC
Debra Thornington Ottawa Blues Society | Dawg'On Blues (DAWG) Gatineau QC
Alexandre Petit Viree Blues Boreale Hull QC
John Detcheverry Cha Cha In Blue (CKUT) Montreal QC
Daisy Hanna Montreal Blues Society Montreal QC
Phil Brisse Montreal Blues Society Montreal QC
Randy Renaud The Black Cat Alley (CHOM) Montreal QC
Greg  Torrington The Blues (Stingray Music) Montreal QC
Michel Dubois Rue D'Auteuil (CKRL) Quebec QC
Louis Brunet CKMN Rimouski QC
Jean Sicotte Les Productions Kazou Sutton QC
Bob Mersereau CBC Radio One Fredericton NB
Roger Jean Rosie's Juke Joint (CHSR) Fredericton NB
Conrad Mead 95.7 The Wolf Fredericton NB
Yanick Theriault Cigare & Whiskey (CFBO) Grand Moncton NB
Sandy MacDonald Freelance Music Journalist Halifax NS
Gene Bellows Blues in the Night (VOBB) Bonne Bay NL
Terry Parsons* Blind Lemon Radio (CHMR) St. John’s NL

*The panel is lead by a steering committee consisting of John Valenteyn, Brant Zwicker and Terry Parsons. Administration is managed by the Toronto Blues Society office.