The Maple Blues Awards
20TH ANNUAL MAPLE BLUES AWARDS
QUEBEC Blues Artists SWEEP Maple Blues Awards
The Paul DesLauriers Band and Angel Forrest win multiple awards
The fast paced performance rich gala featured a moving memorial video tribute to John Mays (Fathead), Brian Cober and past Blues With A Feeling Award Winner Bob Walsh
(January 23, 2017) Toronto, ON – Canadian blues artists from coast-to-coast were honoured by their peers at the 20th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto last night as a crowd of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall.
Quebec blues artists swept the awards with honours going to trio The Paul DesLauriers Band who won Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Drummer of the Year for Sam Harrisson, and Bassist of the Year for Greg Morency. Blues belter Angel Forrest took home three awards including Female Vocalist of the Year, Recording/Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. The Blues With a Feeling award for lifetime achievement was awarded to Stephen Barry, who has been a fixture on the Quebec blues scene for over 40 years. Montreal-based Frankie Thiffault of Ben Racine Band took home the hardware for Horn Player of the Year.
British Columbia blues artists were well recognized with awards going to David Gogo for Guitarist of the Year, Harpdog Brown for Harmonica Player of the Year and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne for Piano or Keyboard Player of the Year.
Other winners at the sold-out gala event were Manitoba’s Big Dave McLean for Acoustic Act of the Year, Ontario’s 17-year old newcomer Spencer MacKenzie for New Artist or Group of the Year, New Brunswick’s Matt Andersen for Male Vocalist of the Year, and Joe Bonamassa for International Artist of the Year.
Edmonton’s Cam Hayden, a long-time broadcaster on CKUA and co-founder of the Edmonton Blues Festival was presented with the Blues Booster of the Year award, a very special Maple Blues Award honouring outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues music industry.
In addition to the Maple Blues Awards, the third annual Cobalt Prize Contemporary Blues Composition Award was handed out last night to Ann Vriend for her song “All That I Can”, with runners up Michael Kaeshammer for his song “Sweet Grace and The Harpoonist And The Axe Murderer for their song “Father’s Son”. A cash prize of $1000 was presented to Vriend with second and third place winners each receiving $250 courtesy of the benefactor The Unicorn Project.
Hosted by Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk, the 20th annual Maple Blues Awards included outstanding performances from nominees past and present, including Calgary’s Tim Williams, Toronto’s Sugar Brown and Shakura S’Aida, British Columbia’s Michael Kaeshammer and The evening’s big winners, The Paul DesLauriers Band along with the awards gala house band, The Maple Blues Band.
Winners of the 20th Annual Maple Blues Awards
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
The Paul DesLauriers Band
ELECTRIC ACT OF THE YEAR
The Paul DesLauriers Band
ACOUSTIC ACT OF THE YEAR
Big Dave McLean
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
NEW ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
RECORDING/PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Angel’s 11 (Morningstar) Artist: Angel Forrest. Producers: Angel Forrest and Denis Coulombe
BLUES WITH A FEELING AWARD (Lifetime Achievement)
BB KING INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
GUITARIST OF THE YEAR
HARMONICA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
PIANO/KEYBOARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
HORN PLAYER OF THE YEAR
DRUMMER OF THE YEAR
BASSIST OF THE YEAR
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
Angel Forrest & Denis Coulombe
BLUES BOOSTER OF THE YEAR
For more information contact:
Sarah French Publicity
416-566-4188 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toronto Blues Society
416-538-3885 | email@example.com
ABOUT THE MAPLE BLUES AWARDS
The 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.
2015 MAPLE BLUES AWARDS VIDEO
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.
2016 MAPLES BLUES AWARDS NOMINATING PANEL
The Nominating Panel consists of industry professionals from across Canada who volunteer their time to participate.
|ORGANIZATION | PROGRAM & STATION||CITY||PROV|
|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|
|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|
|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 led by a steering committee consisting of John Valenteyn, Brant Zwicker and Terry Parsons. Administration is managed by the Toronto Blues Society office.