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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 53 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.

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
Brent Morrison Rockin Blues Show Vancouver BC
Cora Price Fraser Valley Blues Society Chilliwack BC
Vince Almond Blues Boogie & Bop on CFBX Kamloops 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
Cathy Prothro East Coast Blues Society Dartmouth NS
Bruce Morel Music Marketing International Inc. Dartmouth NS



*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.