The Maple Blues Awards

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Event Details
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 always popular Maple Blues Band. This year’s performers will be announced in November 2016 once the nominees have been determined.

For media inquiries, please download and fill in the Media Accreditation Request. Media requests must be submitted to Sarah French by January 9, 2017.

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

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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 Vancouver, BC
Paul Norton CFRO, CiTR Vancouver, BC
Ron Simmonds CFRO Vancouver, BC
Cindy McLeod Calgary Blues Music Association Calgary, AB
Chris Martin CBC Saturday Night Blues Edmonton, AB
Peter North Dead Ends & Detours, CKUA Edmonton, AB
Grant Stovel CJSR/CKUA Edmonton, AB
Gord MacAulay CJSR/CKUA 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
James Doran Choose The Blues Productions Kenmore, 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
Julie Hill Radio Regent | Blues and Roots Radio Toronto, ON
Patricia Lever Midday and Howlin’ Blues (synd), DAWG Toronto, ON
Danny Marks BLUZ-FM, JAZZ.FM Toronto, ON
Eric Thom Freelance Music Writer Toronto, ON
John Valenteyn* 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
Yves Trottier* DAWG Gatineau, QC
Alexandre Petit Viree Blues Boreale Hull, QC
John Detcheverry Cha Cha Cha In Blue, CKUT Montreal, QC
Daisy Hanna Montreal Blues Society Montreal, QC
Randy Renaud The Black Cat Alley, CHOM Montreal, QC
Greg Torrington The Blues, Stingray Music Montreal, QC
Michel Dubois CKRL Quebec City, 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
Sandy MacDonald Freelance Music Writer Halifax, NS
Terry Parsons* Blind Lemon Radio, CHMR St. John’s, NL

*The panel is lead by a steering committee consisting of John Valenteyn, Brant Zwicker, Terry Parsons and Yves Trottier.