True to their name, the Town Heroes triumphed at the Music Nova Scotia Awards Sunday in Truro.
The Cape Breton duo of Mike Ryan and Bruce Gillis picked up five crystal trophies at the Music Nova Scotia Music and Industry Awards Brunch at the Holiday Inn Truro for their second album Sunday Movies. Their honours include the fan-voted entertainer of the year, as well as group and rock recording of the year for Sunday Movies, video of the year for Holdin’ Up Grants (directed by Dillon Garland) and digital artist of the year.
“We’re doing pretty well for a couple of idiots,” grinned Ryan, who was glad both of their moms had made the trip down from Cape Breton for the event.
“We want to thank our parents who inspired us to work hard and do our best. We just want to represent Cape Breton and Nova Scotia wherever we go.
“This is the best day of our lives so far.”
It turned out to be a good day overall for the band’s label and management company GroundSwell Music, which saw several other awards go to its artists. Singer-songwriter Carleton Stone, who had five nominations, saw his Howie Beck and Jason Collett-produced album Draws Blood named recording and pop recording of the year, while the Stanfields picked up folk recording of the year for its unplugged album For King and Country.
GroundSwell itself earned a pair of industry awards; founder and Rawlins Cross member Ian McKinnon was named manager and industry professional of the year.
The awards’ top nominees Kim Harris and Adam Baldwin, with six apiece, didn’t go home empty-handed either. Newfoundland native Harris picked up the prestigious SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award for her song The Weight of It All, and her acclaimed album Only the Mighty earned female artist and new artist recording of the year prizes.
Harris was especially proud of the SOCAN honour for a song that was was written after the death of her mother, and how it talks about coping with grief and forms of mental illness.
“We need to keep the conversation going about these issues,” said Harris, who also expressed a wish that gender-divided awards categories would eventually become a thing of the past.
To that end, there were a few landmark awards Sunday with the first-time presentations of the DJ and live-technician awards to women, Jules Bangsworth and the Company House’s Georgia Richards.
Baldwin, who had a busy weekend playing his own tunes as well as joining his pal Matt Mays for a packed-to-the-rafters Royal Canadian Legion show, picked up male artist recording of the year for his self-titled debut, and also the musician of the year award given to the scene’s key supporting players.
“There are a lot of people in this room that are going through tough times right now. It’s not always the easiest life, so let’s keep an eye on each other and look out for one another,” said Baldwin, referring to the issue of mental health for musicians that was a key topic of discussion at the weekend music conference.
Multiple wins in the industry awards also included Dalhousie campus-community radio station CKDU 88.1 FM, which was named radio station of the year, while its East Coast music-themed show Halifax Is Burning won radio program of the year. Halifax’s Carleton Music Bar & Grill was named venue of the year, and its co-founder Mike Campbell took home the promoter of the year award.
This weekend was Nova Scotia Music Week’s first visit to Truro, after taking place in a variety of locales between Yarmouth — where it will return in 2015 — and Sydney over the years. The event was marked by a busy music industry conference, with a host of delegates from the United States and overseas, and capacity crowds at several local venues.
The event wrapped up Sunday with a songwriters’ circle at the Holiday Inn at 3 p.m. and a concert Sunday night featuring Canadian roots rock legends Blue Rodeo and award winners Carleton Stone and Adam Baldwin at Truro’s new Rath Eastlink Community Centre at 7 p.m.
For more information, visit www.nsmw.ca.
THE WINNERS LIST
Devonian Coast Wineries - Jost Vineyards Entertainer of the Year: The Town Heroes
Female Artist Recording of the Year: Kim Harris - Only The Mighty
Group Recording of the Year: The Town Heroes - Sunday Movies
Male Artist Recording of the Year: Adam Baldwin - Adam Baldwin
Music Video of the Year: The Town Heroes - “Holdin’ Up Grants” (Director: Dillon Garland)
New Artist Recording of the Year: Kim Harris - Only The Mighty
Recording of the Year: Carleton Stone - Draws Blood
SOCAN Songwriter of the Year: Kim Harris - “The Weight Of It All”
Aboriginal Artist of the Year: Angelo Spinazzola and the First Nations Songwriting Sessions
Acadian/Francophone Artist of the Year: Maxim Cormier
African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year: Cam Smith
Alternative Recording of the Year: Willie Stratton & The Boarding Party - Deserter
Americana/Bluegrass Recording of the Year: The Modern Grass - City Ghosts
Blues Recording of the Year: Chris Martin Trio - Young Blood
Country Recording of the Year: Jimmy Rankin - Back Road Paradis
Digital Artist of the Year: The Town Heroes
DJ of the Year: Jules Bangsworth
Electronic Recording of the Year: Joshua Van Tassel - Dance Music: Songs For Slow Motion
Folk Recording of the Year: The Stanfields - For King and Country
Hip Hop Recording of the Year: Ambition - Man of the Year
Inspirational Recording of the Year: Christina Martin - Remember Me
Jazz Recording of the Year: Gypsophilia - Horska
Loud Recording of the Year: Like A Motorcycle - #motorpool EP
Musician of the Year: Adam Baldwin
Pop Recording of the Year: Carleton Stone - Draws Blood
Rock Recording of the Year: The Town Heroes - Sunday Movies
Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year: Còig - Five
Urban Recording of the Year: Cyndi Cain - Soul Food
Booking Agent of the Year: Stephanie Purcell, LimeLight Group
Community Presenter of the Year: Deep Roots Music Cooperative
Company of the Year: SpinCount
Corporate Sponsor of the Year: Casino Nova Scotia
Educator of the Year: Erin Costelo
Event of the Year: Halifax Pop Explosion
Industry Professional of the Year: Ian McKinnon, GroundSwell
Live Technician of the Year: Georgia Richards
Manager of the Year: Ian McKinnon
Media Professional of the Year: Stephen Cooke, The Chronicle Herald
Producer Of The Year: Joel Plaskett
Production Company of the Year: Tour Tech East
Promoter of the Year: Mike Campbell
Publicist of the Year: Matt Charlton, Pigeon Row
Radio Program of the Year: Halifax Is Burning, CKDU 88.1 FM
Radio Station of the Year: CKDU 88.1 FM
Recording Studio of the Year: The Sonic Temple
Studio Engineer Of The Year: Charles Austin
Venue of the Year: The Carleton Music Bar & Grill
Visual Artist of the Year: Mat Dunlap
Volunteer of the Year: Heather Doran