The Maple Blues Awards

About Nominees 2014 Winners Tickets Maple Blues Band Performers Press Archive Wiki


Event Details. The 19th Annual Maple Blues Awards will be held at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall on Monday, January 18th, 2016 at 7:00pm in Toronto. 

Winners of the 19th Annual Maple Blues Awards will be announced at the annual Maple Blues Awards Gala on Monday, January 18th, 2016. This very special evening is Canada’s national annual celebration of homegrown blues talent.

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.

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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. 

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

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 all categories, except the instrumental categories, will be selected by blues fans across Canada. Winners in the  guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drum, and bass categories will be determined by the Nominating Panel. 


There is no “application” for the Maple Blues Awards. Nominations are drawn from the expertise of the nominating panel suggestions. Members of the nominating panel are required to be familiar with Canadian blues artist activity and CD releases.  Artists are encouraged to service CDs to all blues radio djs, journalists and industry professional to increase their national profile.

Entertainer Of The Year. Group or artist who showed the most overall success in the previous year. This could include a combination of live performances, touring, airplay, media coverage, and public acceptance.

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 during the eligibility period. 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 reviews a list of CD releases at the beginning of September which leads to the creation of a ballot published at the beginning of October for public voting.


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

Brant Zwicker* At the Crossroads, syndicated Kamloops, BC
Vince Almond CFBX Kamloops, BC
William “Billieboy” Lucas CHLY Nanaimo, BC
Earl Krushelnicki Blues Underground Network Prince George, BC
Rod Dranfield White Rock Blues Society Surrey, BC
Ron Simmonds CFRO Vancouver, BC
Paul Norton CFRO, CiTR Vancouver, BC
Jim Burnett Code Blue, CiTR Vancouver, BC
Brent Morrison Rockin’ Blues, CJSF Vancouver, BC
Cindy McLeod Calgary Blues Music Association Calgary, AB
Chris Martin CBC Saturday Night Blues Edmonton, AB
Grant Stovel CJSR/CKUA Edmonton, AB
Peter North Dead Ends & Detours, CKUA Edmonton, AB
Gord MacAulay Canadian Blues Alliance Saskatoon, SK
Al Wood Saskatoon Blues Society Saskatoon,SK
Ronnie Lindsay Bluesday on Tuesday, CKUW Winnipeg, MB
Ken Wallis Blues Blast, The HAWK Hamilton, ON
Paul Panchezak Breakfast of Champions, CFMU Hamilton, ON
James Doran Choose The Blues Productions Kenmore, ON
Bruce Hall Grand River Blues Society Kitchener, ON
Claude Cloutier Kitchener Blues Festival Kitchener, ON
Vince Vitacco Everyday I Have the Blues, CHRY North York, ON
Larry Kurtz Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival Orangeville, ON
Liz Sykes Ottawa Blues Society Ottawa ON
Deborah Cartmer CFBU St. Catharines, ON
Stew Laing Stew’s Blues Stratford, ON
Phil Hordy Thunder Bay Blues Society Thunder Bay, ON
Danny Marks BLUZ-FM, JAZZ.FM Toronto, ON
John Valenteyn* John Valenteyn’s Blues, CIUT Toronto, ON
Patricia Lever Midday and Howlin’ Blues (synd), DAWG Toronto, ON
Eric Thom Music Writer Toronto, ON
Julie Hill Radio Regent Toronto, ON
Yannick Lambert Donnacona Blues Festival Donnacona, QC
Yves Trottier* DAWG Gatineau, QC
Debra Thornington Ottawa Blues Society Gatineau, QC
John Detcheverry Cha Cha Cha In Blue, CKUT Montreal, QC
Jean-Pierre Petit L’Hôtel Du Blues 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
Christian Gamache Trois Rivieres en Blues Trois Rivieres, QC
Bob Mersereau CBC Radio One Fredericton NB
Sandy MacDonald Freelance Music Writer Halifax, NS
Terry Parsons* Blind Lemon Radio, CHMR St. John’s, NL
Steve Hussey Fred’s Records St. John’s, NL

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