Manitobans sweep WCMAs
MOOSE JAW, Sask. – Music artists from Manitoba took home the most hardware at the Western Canadian Music Awards presented Sunday night in Moose Jaw, Sask., capturing eight trophies.
Among them was country band Doc Walker, who won outstanding independent album of the year and dedicated the win to leader singer Chris Thorsteinson’s mother, Betty, who died last week.
“She was the backbone basically of this band I think from the beginning,” said guitarist Murray Pulver.
Pulver half-joked that the band might be “a mess” without Betty Thorsteinson.
“She took care of day-to-day things that the rest of us would not be aware of and was really sort of the heart and soul of a lot of it … the whole business part of it. She was passionate about music too.”
Doc Walker also snagged the trophy for outstanding country recording and seemed surprised by the double win.
“It’s always unexpected,” said Doc Walker’s Dave Wasyliw.
“I think after the CCMAs and things like that we realized that anything can happen and you should probably have a speech in your pocket, but you don’t. You don’t listen to yourself that’s for sure,” laughed Wasyliw.
“You never learn. You go up there and you fumble your way through it.”
In September, Doc Walker took album of the year honours at the Canadian Country Music Awards held in nearby Regina.
Other Manitobans to win Sunday night included Romi Mayes, who won outstanding roots recording solo and songwriter of the year. The quartet Nathan – which had five nominations – won outstanding roots recording duo or group for their album “Key Principles.”
“It feels great, ’cause we’re just gonna continue to pump out what we do so if people are willing to put up with it …” singer and guitarist Shelley Marshall said, adding a laugh.
“It’s awesome, we’re really happy.”
Lead singer and guitarist Keri Latimer echoed those comments, saying it’s nice to know Nathan is still resonating with the audience.
Not to be outdone by Manitoba, artists from British Columbia followed with six awards. Among them, Joel Kroeker won outstanding pop recording and Jim Byrnes won outstanding blues recording. Neither was in attendance.
Saskatchewan-born The Blood Lines made their home province proud, capturing the award for outstanding rock recording.
The awards, held at the Snowbirds Hangar 6, opened with an emotional presentation as Buffy Sainte-Marie was honoured with her induction into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
With a career spanning more than 40 years and numerous international awards, honours and platinum recordings to her credit, Sainte-Marie proudly remembered her roots.
“I’m very proud, very proud to be a working musician from Western Canada,” Sainte-Marie told the crowd, which gave her a standing ovation.
“I’ve had a lifetime of going back-and-forth from Canada, across Canada, through Canada and I’m so very proud of the traditions that are coming to light so that all Canadians might understand and appreciate the music that comes from this area.”
Regina’s Queen City Kids were also honoured with an induction into the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
This year’s awards ceremony saw Nelly Furtado, Diana Krall and Jann Arden all receive international achievement awards. All three accepted their honours via pre-recorded video.
The Western Canadian Music Awards recognizes and celebrates the best recording artists from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C. and the Yukon in 18 categories.
Here is the list of winners from the Western Canadian Music Awards presented Sunday night in Moose Jaw, Sask.:
Outstanding Aboriginal Recording: Leela Gilday, Sedze.
Outstanding Blues Recording: Jim Byrnes, House of Refuge.
Outstanding Children’s Recording: Pied Pumkin, Pumkids.
Outstanding Christian Recording: Fresh I.E., The Warren Project.
Outstanding Classical Composition: Owen Underhill., Canzone di Petra.
Outstanding Classical Recording: James Ehnes, Barber Korngold Walton.
Outstanding Country Recording: Doc Walker, Doc Walker.
Outstanding Francophone Recording:Johnny Cajun, Johnny Cajun.
Outstanding Instrumental Recording: Moses Mayes, Second Ring.
Outstanding Jazz Recording: Kent Sangster, Obsession.
Outstanding Pop Recording: Joel Kroeker, Closer To The Flame.
Outstanding Rock Recording: The Blood Lines, The Blood Lines.
Outstanding Roots Recording, Duo/Group: Nathan, Key Principles.
Outstanding Roots Recording, Solo: Romi Mayes, Sweet Somethin’ Steady.
Outstanding Urban Recording: Skavenjah, El Ritmo de la Vida.
Outstanding Album/Independent Artist: Doc Walker, Doc Walker.
Songwriter of the Year: Romi Mayes, Sweet Somethin’ Steady.
Video of the Year: Kris Demeanor, I Have Seen The Future.
International Achievement Awards: Jann Arden, Nelly Furtado, Diana Krall.
Hall of Fame: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Queen City Kids.
Manitobans sweep WCMAs