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About Maple Blues Awards


27th Annual Maple Blues Awards


Monday February 12th, 2024   7pm




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



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 40+ blues experts who form the MBA Nominating Panel. Co-chaired by the steering committee consisting of Cindy McLeod, Brent Morrison, 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 February 12, 2023 at the LIVE Maple Blues Award Show 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, 2022 to September 30, 2023. Qualifying recordings must contain at least six tracks or 20 minutes of music.

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. 

Al Forrie Hornby Island Blues Society; 3590 Harwood Road, Hornby Isand Bc V0R1Z0 Hornby Island, BC 1 – British Columbia
Brant Zwicker* At the Crossroads, syndicated; Attn: Brant Zwicker, PO Box 3002, Kamloops, BC V2C 6B7 Kamloops, BC 1 – British Columbia
Brent Morrison* Rockin’ Blues, CJSF; #205-130 11th St. East, North Vancouver, BC, V7L 4R3 Vancouver, BC 1 – British Columbia
Grant Payne CHLY; 537 Selinger Place Ladysmith BC V9G 2C5 Nanaimo, BC 1 – British Columbia
Paul Norton One O’Clock Jump, CFRO | Code Blue, CiTR; 314 – 1422 E 3rd Avenue, Vancouver BC V5N 5R5 Vancouver, BC 1 – British Columbia
Rod Dranfield White Rock Blues Society; 15798 38A Ave. Surrey BC V3Z 0K9 Surrey, BC 1 – British Columbia
Ron Simmonds CFRO; 3218 Yukon St, Vancouver, BC. V5Y 3R9 Vancouver, BC 1 – British Columbia
Vince Almond CFBX; 110 Robson Drive,Kamloops, B.C. V2E 1V9 Kamloops, BC 1 – British Columbia
Cam Hayden CKUA; 3204-44C Ave NW Edmonton AB T6T 1G5 Edmonton, AB 2 – Alberta
Chris Martin CBC Saturday Night Blues; c/o CBC Box 555 Edmonton AB T5J 2P4 Edmonton, AB 2 – Alberta
Cindy McLeod* Calgary Blues Music Association; #188 A6433 Bowness Road NW Calgary, AB T3B 0E6 Calgary, AB 2 – Alberta
Holger Petersen CBC Saturday Night Blues, CKUA; 9963-83 St. Edmonton, AB, T6A 3N3 Edmonton, AB 2 – Alberta
Al Wood Saskatoon Blues Society; 407 – 150 Pawlychenko lane, Saskatoon, SK S7V 0B4 Saskatoon, SK 3 – Saskatchewan
Andrew Galloway Electro-Fi Records; 185 Legion Rd N, Suite 2217, Toronto ON M8Y 0A1 Toronto, ON 5 – Ontario
Bruce Hall Grand River Blues Society; 54-19 Garden Ave Brantford Ont N3S0A1 Kitchener, ON 5 – Ontario
Claude Cloutier Kitchener Blues Festival; 836 Butternut Avenue Waterloo, Ontario, N2V 2M4 Kitchener, ON 5 – Ontario
Deborah Cartmer CFBU CFBU 103.7 FM, c/o 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, Ontario, L2S 3A1 St. Catharines, ON 5 – Ontario
Eric Thom Freelance Music Writer; 18 Arlene Crescent, Scarborough, ON M1P 3L9 Toronto, ON 5 – Ontario
Jan MacDonald Downtown Kingston Limestone City Blues Festival; Downtown Kingston! BIA, 200-353 King Street East, Kingston, ON K7L 3B5 Kingston, ON 5 – Ontario
John Emms Freelance Music Writer; John Emms 167 Columbus Ave. Timmins Ontario P4N 3H7 Timmins, ON 5 – Ontario
Julie Hill Calling All Blues, CIUT FM; 1053 Menominee Lake Road, Lake of Bays, Ontario P1H 2J3 Toronto, ON 5 – Ontario
Ken Wallis Blues & Roots Radio, INDI 101.5 Hamilton, ON 5 – Ontario
Liz (Elizabeth) Sykes Ottawa Blues Society; 481 Avalon Place, Ottawa ON K1G 4C8 Ottawa ON 5 – Ontario
Lori Murray Music By The Bay Live; 4580 Concession 6, Uxbridge ON L9P 0K7 Uxbridge, ON 5 – Ontario
Nick Harding Photographer; 658 Oxbow Park Drive, Wasaga Beach, Ont. L9Z 2V2 Wasaga Beach, ON 5 – Ontario
Paul Panchezak Breakfast of Champions, CFMU McMaster Radio; 373 Cochrane Rd, Hamilton, Ont. L8K 6C2 Hamiton, ON 5 – Ontario
Rick Clarke Bruce County Blues Society/Lighthouse Blues Festival; 9 Cathcart St. Kincardine ON N2Z 0B3 Kincardine, ON 5 – Ontario
Daisy Hanna Montreal Blues Society; 37 Saturn rd, Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec H9B2P8 Montreal, QC 6 – Quebec
Dave Brennan Ottawa Blues Society P.O. Box 35043 – RPO Westgate, Ottawa, ON K1Z 1A2 Gatineau, QC 6 – Quebec
David McCabe Montreal Blues Society 50 Rang Double, Saint-Urbain-Premier QC J0S 1Y0 St-Urbain Premier, QC 6 – Quebec
David Bush Royal Blues with Dr. Dave, K1037; P.O. box 346. Kahnawake, Quebec, J0L 1B0 Kahnawake, QC 6 – Quebec
Debra Thornington Ottawa Blues Society; 47 rue St Medard, Gatineau, QC J9H 1Z4 Gatineau, QC 6 – Quebec
John Detcheverry Cha Cha Cha In Blue, CKUT;; John Detcheverry, Cha Cha Cha In Blue, 6670 24th Avenue, Montreal QC H1T 3M7 Montreal, QC 6 – Quebec
Louis Brunet FLOFM 96,5 (formely CKMN-FM 96,5); 516, rue principale ouest, Saint-Anaclet (Quebec) G0K 1H0 Rimouski, QC 6 – Quebec
Yannick Lambert Donnacona Blues Festival; 216 Godin, Donnacona, Qc G3M 1V8 Donnacona, QC 6 – Quebec
Yanick Theriault* CODIAC FM 93.5; 153 Jordan Crescent, Moncton, NB, E1C 0S5 New Brunswick 7 – New Brunswick
Gene Bellows Voice of Bonne Bay; PO Box 48, Norris Point, NL, A0K 3V0 Norris Point, NL 8 – Newfoundland
Bruce Morel Music Marketing International Inc.; 178 Silistria Drive, Dartmouth, NS B2W 6B1 Dartmouth, NS 9 – Nova Scotia
Cathy Prothro East Coast Blues Society; 351 Pleasant St, Dartmouth, NS B2Y3S4 Dartmouth, NS 9 – Nova Scotia

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



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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.