Toronto Blues Society | » 26th Annual Maple Blues Awards

26th Annual Maple Blues Awards

Monday January 30th, 2023   7pm

Harbourfront Centre Theatre
231 Queens Quay West, Toronto







Check Out The Photo Gallery Here



Maple Blues Awards - Koerner Hall - January 15th, 2018


Congratulations to everyone who won at this year’s Maple Blues Awards! Winner names are highlighted as * WINNER in the nominee list below along with the sponsor.

Entertainer of the Year – TD Kitchener Blues Festival

*Blue Moon Marquee 

Bywater Call 

Crystal Shawanda 

Steve Marriner 

Sue Foley 

Electric Act of the Year – Music By The Bay Live


*Colin James 


Steve Strongman 

Sue Foley 

Acoustic Act of the Year – Folk Music Ontario

*Blue Moon Marquee 

Brandon Isaak 

Harrison Kennedy 

Matt Andersen

Suzie Vinnick 

Male Vocalist of the Year – Blues on the Rideau, The Cove INN, Westport On

Harrison Kennedy 

Jeff Rogers 

Kevin Harvey 

*Matt Andersen 

Steve Marriner 

Female Vocalist of the Year – Limestone City Blues Festival

Angelique Francis 

Crystal Shawanda 

Meghan Parnell 

Miss Emily 

*Suzie Vinnick 

New Artist / Group of the Year – Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle Blues and Jazz

*Angelique Francis 

Campbell & Johnston 

Lyle Odjick 

Marcus Trummer 

South Island Rhythm Kings 

Songwriter of the Year – Socan

*Blue Moon Marquee 

Colin James 

Colin Linden 

Harrison Kennedy 

Suzie Vinnick

B.B. King International Artist of the Year

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Erja Lyytinen

Ghost Town Blues Band

Larkin Poe

*Mavis Staples

Recording/Producer of the Year – Gypsy Soul Records

 Long River

        ARTIST: Angelique Francis

        PRODUCER: Angelique Francis / Kiran Francis

Midnight Blues

        ARTIST: Crystal Shawanda

        PRODUCER: Dewayne Strobel

Open Road

        ARTIST: Colin James

        PRODUCER: Colin James / Dave Mezaros

*Scream Holler & Howl

        ARTIST: Blue Moon Marquee

        PRODUCER: Blue Moon Marquee, Duke Robillard & Erik Nielsen

Thanks For Tomorrow

        ARTIST: Harrison Kennedy

        PRODUCER: Harrison Kennedy / Jesse O’Brien


Blues With a Feeling Award

(Lifetime Achievement Award) – Stony Plain Records

Alec Fraser

Bobby Dean Blackburn

Brent Parkin

Dalannah Gail Bowen

Danny Brooks

*Harrison Kennedy

Murray Porter

Tom Lavin

Guitarist of the Year – Long & McQuade Musical Instruments

Colin James

Jack de Keyzer

*Sue Foley

Teddy Leonard

Tony D

Harmonica Player of the Year – Lee Oskar Harmonicas

Guy Bélanger

Paul Reddick

Roly Platt

Shawn Hall

*Steve Marriner

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year

Ann Vriend

David Vest

Debra Power

*Jesse O’Brien

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Horn Player of the Year

*Alison Young

Chris Whiteley

Loretta Hale

Pat Carey

Richard Thornton 

Drummer of the Year

Chris Nordquist

Cory Blackburn

*Jim Casson

Matt Sobb

Tom Bona

Bassist of the Year

Alec Fraser

*Angelique Francis

Gary Kendall

John Dymond

Russell Jackson


Blues Booster of the Year – Patrick Monaghan

Haliburton resident and Canadian blues promoter/DJ Patrick Monaghan has been named Blues Booster of the Year by the board of directors of Toronto Blues Society. Monaghan, who has for over 40 years immersed himself in the music scene as a fan, researcher, promoter and radio host is well known as one of the biggest supporters of Canadian blues musicians through his travels and on his radio show “The Buckslide Blues Cruise” on Canoe-FM. 

Derek Andrews, President of Toronto Blues Society had this to say “A champion enthusiast like few others, Patrick Monaghan is a classic Blues Booster.  Canoe FM is lucky to have Patrick as an advocate, as are all blues musicians who benefit from his passion.”

 In addition to his radio programming, Monaghan is the President of the newly formed Highlands Buckslide Blues Society, has volunteered as Artistic Director for the Monarchs & Music Blues Festival in Haliburton, followed by becoming the Assistant Artistic Director for the Stonebridge Wasaga Beach Blues Festival, talent buyer for McKeck’s Tavern in Haliburton, and Mulligan’s in Minden, Ontario. 

 “I would like to thank the Toronto Blues Society for choosing me for this prestigious award. I am honoured and thrilled to receive the Blues Booster of the Year Award,” said Monaghan. “I would also like to thank my peers, colleagues and the blues community for their support. Many kind and helpful people have helped me along the way. About four years ago, I was diagnosed with a serious illness, again many members of the blues community stepped up to the plate ready to help in any way that they could. I am very grateful for their efforts. I consider my job as “Keeping The Blues Alive” but the last few years the blues have been keeping me alive!”


Quisha Wint is the co-founder and president of QW Productions whose mission is to provide outstanding and professional entertainment in a classy and nostalgic atmosphere, while providing a platform for artists and musicians to showcase their awesome gift in music. She aims to educate both the public and upcoming artists on the importance of keeping the music from the past alive, music that touches our hearts.

Quisha was born to sing and entertain. She grew up in a Jamaican/Canadian home listening to Reggae, Motown, Gospel, R&B, then entered the jazz program at Humber College in the mid ’90s. From there she embarked upon her dream of performing with well-known musicians, which took her to exciting overseas hotel engagements. Since then, Quisha has sung in many parts of Asia, Europe, North America, and Caribbean.

With a bright personality and strong emotive vocal abilities, Quisha is one of Toronto’s most sought-after session vocalists. She also performs regularly at corporate gigs. Currently living in the GTA, Quisha is well established in the tight-knit music industry. She is a phenomenal and expressive vocalist who also inspires others to live out their dreams.

Not only is she an entrepreneur, producer, director, songwriter, arranger, worship director and a mother, Quisha just began her journey into speaking at corporate events to empower and enrich corporation employees.

Quisha released her 1st EP entitled My Life in 2021 with rave reviews. Her 1st single Black Shoes, off her grassroots project recently hit #1 on the Indie Music Artists charts.

Quisha is an inspiration to many, and her hope is to live out her life knowing that many lives have been transformed positively through her works.



Meghan Parnell & Dave Barnes (Bywater Call)

Singer Meghan Parnell and slide-guitarist Dave Barnes are the co-leaders and co-writers for  Maple Blues and International Blues Award Nominated, 7-piece band Bywater Call.

The band released their Sophomore Album “Remain” on September 2, 2022.

With Bywater, Meghan and Dave have toured all over Europe and played on many Canadian Festival Mainstages.  In December 2022, the band made their debut in the US with several well-received performances in New York State and New Hampshire.  Bywater Call will travel to Athens, Greece in August 2023 to participate in Joe Bonamassa’s Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea III.

Meghan has also performed as a featured vocalists at the Women’s Blues Review at Roy Thompson Hall.

Blue Moon Marquee

Blue Moon Marquee write and perform original compositions influenced by anything that
swings, jumps or grooves. A.W. Cardinal (vocals/guitar) and Jasmine Colette a.k.a. Badlands
Jass (vocals/bass/drums) have played for a vast gamut of crowds at jazz clubs, Lindy Hop
dance halls, folk venues, blues haunts, hospitals, prisons, markets, motorcycle joints, dive bars
and prestigious festival stages.

Colette not only commands the upright bass but also brings the rhythm with her feet on a
custom foot drum kit, all while singing in her signature honey dipped tone. Cardinal’s distinctive
and soulful vocals barrel out like a raging bull while his guitar crackles with the swinging energy
of jazz-tinged blues.

Paul Reddick & Kyle Ferguson 

Paul Reddick is a Juno Award winning Singer, Songwriter, Harmonica player.

Kyle Ferguson is a twice Juno Award nominated Guitarist and Songwriter. 

Paul and Kyle have been writing and playing music together since 1991 as Co-Founders of the influential Blues Rock band The Sidemen.

They continue to compose and perform their unique style of blues based music in The Paul Reddick Band and will release an album of new material in the spring of 2023.  

AV (Ann Vriend)

AV (Ann Vriend) is a two-time Maple Blues Award songwriting recipient, a Maple Blues Keyboardist of the Year nominee, an Edmonton Music Award and Alberta Centennial Award recipient, and has sold nearly 30,000 albums off-the-stage in her under-the-radar yet critically acclaimed international career, where she has had as song in the Top 100 on commercial radio.  Her sound is reminiscent of the vintage, rootsy, soul style of Stax Records and Muscle Shoals recordings, while also contemporary and commercially viable. She is also a passionate advocate for empowerment and respect for the members of her inner city neighborhood of McCauley, Edmonton.  

Kevin Harvey & Neil Elsmoe (Durham County Poets)

Durham County Poets are a “band” in the truest sense of the word!

It all started in a small café in Ormstown, Quebec, after which the band continued to percolate
and spread onto the Canadian music scene allowing them to tour across Canada and on into
the United States. Each member writes and arranges and brings something unique to the table.

You’ll hear a variety of genres and a broad range of styles. Be it Blues, Soul, Folk, R&B or
Gospel, it all weaves seamlessly together to create a truly authentic contemporary Canadiana sound.

Kevin Harvey & Neil Elsmore have been performing together in one form or another since the mid 90s. Writing songs, creating music is a passion they each share. Friendship, love, shared faith, and respect for one another and for Blues music as an art form has been the glue that has kept them together for over 30 years now! “Blues/Gospel & Roots music in general will always be with us. And we, for one are humbled and overjoyed to be able to be part of this
amazing musical scene.”

Their fourth album “Hand Me Down Blues” would build remain on Roots Music Report’s
top 50 charts in Canada for more than 12 months. And was nominated for a JUNO AWARD for (Best Blues album of the year 2020)


These incredible blues artists will be supported by the award gala’s house band, The Maple Blues Band, who have been a cornerstone of the annual Maple Blues Awards Ceremony since 1999. The Maple Blues Band features a who’s who of musicians including the ceremony’s musical director and bandleader Gary Kendall on bass, Teddy Leonard on lead guitar, Pat Carey on tenor saxophone, Al Lerman on harmonica & acoustic guitar, Howard Moore on trumpet, Jim Casson on drums, Lance Anderson on piano, organ & accordion, Alison Young on baritone saxophone, Meirion Kelly on trombone and Roshane Wright on percussion.




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 some 53 blues experts who form the MBA Nominating Panel. Co-chaired by the steering committee consisting of Cindy McLeod, Terry Parsons, Yanick Theriault, 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.

The Maple Blues Award winners will be announced on January 30, 2023 at the LIVE Maple Blues Award Show to be held at Koerner Hall in Toronto.

*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 Maple Blues Awards program is proudly organized by the Toronto Blues Society. 


Toronto Blues Society has received valuable input from the members of the Canadian blues community regarding the Maple Blues Awards procedures and voting process – and have developed policies and protocol to ensure the Maple Blues Award system is responsive and evolving. Please note the following rules:

  • Songwriter Of The Year Category: Changes to this category have been made to ensure that the nominated artist(s) has contributed 50% or more towards the song writing on the recent album to be eligible in this category.
  • Social Media Advertising Banned: While getting nominated for a Maple Blues Award is a wonderful achievement and excitement, not all of the nominees are regular users of social media or some may not have the budgets to execute a successful advertising campaign to solicit votes. In the pursuit of fairness for all of the nominees and transparency,
  • PAID social media advertising by the MBA nominees is BANNED during the public voting period.  Anyone who breaches this rule will be disqualified!

  • Regular “thank-you” posts by the nominees as well as reminders to fans for the voting deadline on social media are all still good and will also help us promote the Maple Blues Awards more! Our aim is to prevent manipulation on public voting through sponsored posts (specifically asking for votes) which may cause an inequity as we realize not all the artists may have the same budget.



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. The list of the Panel members can be found on our website (bottom of this page) with a link to their organizations.

Recording/Producer Of The Year. Nominated recordings in this category must be released during the eligibility period: September 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022.

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.

Click here to download the communication sheet for the Panel. 

First Name Last Name Organization Town Prov
Al Forrie Hornby Island Blues Society Hornby Island BC
Brant Zwicker* At the Crossroads, syndicated Kamloops BC
Brent Morrison Rockin’ Blues, CJSF Vancouver BC
Grant Payne CHLY Nanaimo BC
Paul Norton One O’Clock Jump, CFRO | Code Blue, CiTR Vancouver BC
Rod Dranfield White Rock Blues Society Surrey BC
Vince Almond CFBX Kamloops BC
Cora Price Fraser Valley Blues Society Chilliwack BC
Deb Rhymer Victoria Blues Society Victoria Island BC
Chris Martin CBC Saturday Night Blues Edmonton AB
Cindy McLeod Calgary Blues Music Association Calgary AB
Holger Petersen CBC Saturday Night Blues, CKUA Edmonton AB
Cam Hayden CKUA Edmonton AB
Al Wood Saskatoon Blues Society Saskatoon SK
Andrew Galloway Electro-Fi Records Toronto ON
Bruce Hall Grand River Blues Society Kitchener ON
Claude Cloutier Kitchener Blues Festival Kitchener ON
Deborah Cartmer CFBU St. Catharines ON
Eric Thom Freelance Music Writer Toronto ON
Jan MacDonald Downtown Kingston Limestone City Blues Festival Kingston ON
John Emms Freelance Music Writer Timmins ON
Julie Hill Calling All Blues, CIUT FM Toronto ON
Ken Wallis Blues Source Canada, The Hawk Hamilton ON
Lee Evans Blueswater Blues Show, 91.3 FM Hanover ON
Liz Sykes Ottawa Blues Society Ottawa ON
Lori Murray Music By The Bay Live Uxbridge ON
Nick Harding Photographer Wasaga Beach ON
Paul Panchezak Breakfast of Champions, CFMU McMaster Radio Hamiton ON
Rick Clarke Bruce County Blues Society/Lighthouse Blues Festival Kincardine ON
Stevie Connor The Sound Cafe Magazine | Blues & Roots Radio Mississauga ON
Daisy Hanna Montreal Blues Society Montreal QC
Dave Brennan Ottawa Blues Society Gatineau QC
David McCabe Montreal Blues Society St-Urbain Premier QC
Debra Thornington Ottawa Blues Society Gatineau QC
John Detcheverry Cha Cha Cha In Blue, CKUT Montreal QC
Louis Brunet CKMN-FM 96,5 Rimouski QC
Yannick Lambert Donnacona Blues Festival Donnacona QC
Yanick Theriault* Plus 90.7 FM (cfbo rebrand ) New Brunswick NB
Terry Parsons* Blind Lemon Radio, CHMR St. John’s NFLD
Bruce Morel Music Marketing International Inc. Dartmouth NS
Cathy Prothro East Coast Blues Society Dartmouth NS



*The panel is led by a steering committee consisting of Cindy McLeod, Brant Zwicker, Yanick Theriault and Terry Parsons.

LIVE at The HarbourFront Center Theatre



Donate Join TBS Volunteer

©2024 Toronto Blues Society. Design by Janine Stoll Media.
TBS logo and WBR artwork by Barbara Klunder

The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from FACTOR< and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Broadcasters, The Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.