Toronto Blues Society | » 16th Annual Maple Blues Awards

16th Annual Maple Blues Awards

Nominees and Winners

Internationally Renowned Canadian  Blues Artists Honoured with Maple Blues Awards

Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk, Toronto’s Suzie Vinnick and Hamilton’s Steve Strongman Win Multiple Awards

(January 21, 2013) Toronto, ON – Internationally renowned Canadian Blues Artist from Coast-to-Coast were honoured by their peers at the 16th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto last night as a sold out crowd of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall.

Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk and its members took home three awards, including, Electric Act of the Year, Harmonic Player of the Year (Steve Marriner) and Drummer of the Year (Matt Sobb).  Hamilton guitar slinger Steve Strongman also received three awards including Songwriter of the Year, Recording of the Year for his recent release “A Natural Fact” and Guitar Player of the Year. Now based in Toronto, Saskatoon native Suzie Vinnick won awards for Acoustic Act of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year.

Nova Scotia’s Matt Minglewood was honoured with the Blues With a Feeling (Lifetime Achievement Award). Minglewood’s extensive career as a blues performer, spanning nearly four decades, makes him widely considered to be a Canadian music icon. John Valenteyn, a founding member and tireless volunteer of the Toronto Blues Society received the Blues Booster of the Year award, a very special Maple Blues Award honouring outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues music industry, presented by internationally recognized blues artist and Maple Blues Award winner Shakura S’aida and former Toronto Blues society vice president, “Blues Doctor” Julie Hill. Mrs. Laureen Harper wife of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, alongside blues guitarist Jack de Keyzer, presented the awards for Harmonica Player of the Year to Steve Marriner and Horn Player of the Year to Jon Wong.

Hosted by Raoul Bhaneja, a Toronto actor and musician most noted for his work performing Shakespeare’s Hamlet solo and his blues band Raoul and the Big Time, the Maple Blues Awards included outstanding performances from Maple Blues Award nominees past and present, including Matt Minglewood, Nanette Workman, Carlos del Junco, Harrison Kennedy, Suzie Vinnick, Steve Strongman and The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, all backed by gala house band, The Maple Blues Band.


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

Entertainer of the Year

*Colin James
Matt Andersen
Shakura S’Aida
Steve Strongman

Electric Act of the Year

Anthony Gomes
Paul Reddick
Steve Strongman

Acoustic Act of the Year

Harrison Kennedy
Michael Jerome Browne
Ray Bonneville
Steve Strongman
*Suzie Vinnick

Male Vocalist of the Year

Chuck Jackson
Harrison Kennedy
*Matt Andersen
Paul Reddick
Steve Marriner

Female Vocalist of the Year

Dawn Tyler Watson
Nanette Workman
Shakura S’Aida
*Suzie Vinnick
Treasa Levasseur

New Artist or Group of the Year

Ben Racine
Boogie Patrol
Conor Gains Band
*Steve Kozak
The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer

B.B. King International Artist of the Year

*Tedeschi Trucks Band
Michael Burks
Dr. John
Curtis Salgado
Joe Louis Walker

Guitar Player of the Year

David Gogo
Garrett Mason
Kevin Breit
*Steve Strongman
Teddy Leonard

Harmonica Player of the Year

Carlos del Junco
David Hoerl
Guy Bélanger
Paul Reddick
*Steve Marriner

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year

*David Vest
Julian Fauth
Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
Lance Anderson
Michael Fonfara

Horn Player of the Year

Al Lerman
Chris Whiteley
Frank Thiffault
*Jon Wong
Pat Carey

Drummer of the Year

Bucky Berger
Chris Nordquist
*Matt Sobb
Sam Harrisson
Tom Bona

Bassist of the Year

Alec Fraser
*Gary Kendall
Omar Tunnoch
Stephen Barry
Terry Wilkins

Songwriter of the Year

Julian Fauth
Paul Reddick
Shakura S’Aida & Donna Grantis
*Steve Strongman
Treasa Levasseur

Recording of the Year

*”A Natural Fact” Steve Strongman (Independent) Producer – Rob Szabo
“Checkered Past” The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer (Independent) Producers – Matthew Rogers & Shawn Hall
“Time” Shakura S’Aida (Electro-Fi) Producers – Shakura S’Aida & Howard Ayee
“Broad” Treasa Levasseur (Slim Chicken) Producers – Treasa Levasseur, Ken Whiteley, Steve Marriner, Terry Wilkins and David Baxter
“Wishbone” Paul Reddick (Independent) Producer – Colin Cripps

Blues With A Feeling (Lifetime Achievement Award)

Alec Fraser
Danny Brooks
Ellen McIlwaine
Joe Murphy
Ken Whiteley
Michael Fonfara
Stephen Barry
Tom Lavin
Michael Jerome Browne
*Matt Minglewood
Brent Parkin
Bob Walsh
Jim Zeller
Nanette Workman
Theresa Malenfant
John Dickie

Blues Booster

*John Valenteyn

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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.