Western Canada Flexes Its Muscle at BreakOut West and the 2016 WCMAs

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It’s time to fold up the CN Tower and put eastern Canada in the overhead storage bin for a bit. The 14th annual 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards, in conjunction with festival BreakOut West, recently celebrated the best of western Canadian music and its industry. To quote from the organization’s website, “BreakOut West and the Western Canadian Music Awards are the primary events hosted by the Western Canadian Music Alliance (WCMA) – an organization created by the Music Industry Associations (MIA’s) of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory – to promote and celebrate western Canadian music.”

From October 13-16, 2016, awards were given out, in this year’s host city of Regina, at various ceremonies and venues interspersed with concerts and showcases. Six-time JUNO winning bluesman Colin James of Regina was this year’s Hall of Fame Inductee. Throughout the four provinces and two territories, Alberta’s Lexi Strate was crowned pop artist of the year largely for her first-rate EP Waves. BC’s Indo-Celtic collective Delhi 2 Dublin was named electronic/dance artist of the year, Manitoba’s Romi Mayes blues artist of the year, Alberta’s Brett Kissel country artist of the year, Edmonton’s The Wet Secrets rock artist of the year, and Vancouver’s David Morin urban artist of the year for his beautiful R&B album Every Colour. BC’s Yukon Blonde took home the trophy for recording of the year—On Blonde. The Bros. Landreth of Manitoba were named breakout artist of the year. Find a full list of winners below.

POP ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Lexi Strate (AB)

ELECTRONIC/DANCE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Delhi 2 Dublin (BC)

FRANCOPHONE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jocelyne Baribeau (MB)

ABORIGINAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
William Prince (MB)

BLUES ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Romi Mayes (MB)

BREAKOUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Bros. Landreth (MB)

CHILDREN’S ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Nadia Gaudet & Jason Burnstick (MB)

CLASSICAL ARTIST/ENSEMBLE OF THE YEAR
Couloir (AB)

CLASSICAL COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR
Along the King’s Road – Jason Cullimore (SK)

COUNTRY ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Brett Kissel (AB)

INSTRUMENTAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Pugs and Crows (BC)

JAZZ ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Curtis Nowosad Quintet (MB)

METAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Striker (AB)

RAP ARTIST OF THE YEAR
SonReal (BC)

RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Yukon Blonde – On Blonde (BC)

ROCK ARTIST OF THE YEAR
The Wet Secrets (AB)

ROOTS DUO/GROUP OF THE YEAR
Northern Beauties (AB)

ROOTS SOLO ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Frazey Ford (BC)

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Colin Stewart / Hive Studios – Yukon Blonde “On Blonde” (BC)

SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Pharis Romero – “A Wanderer I’ll Stay” from Pharis & Jason Romero A Wanderer I’ll Stay (BC)

SPIRITUAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Yvonne St. Germaine (SK)

URBAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR
David Morin (BC)

VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Ft. Langley – Aidan Knight “All Clear” (BC)

VISUAL MEDIA COMPOSER OF THE YEAR
Alec Harrison – 2014 FIFA World Cup Open (ESPN) (AB)

WORLD ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Tasman Jude (AB)

AUDIO ENGINEERING AWARD
Nygel Asselin – Jon Bryant “Twenty Something” (BC)

COMMUNITY EXCELLENCE AWARD
The West End Cultural Centre (MB)

EXCELLENCE IN VISUAL DESIGN
Roberta Hansen – The Small Glories (MB)

IMPACT IN ARTIST DEVELOPMENT
Paquin Artists Agency (MB)

IMPACT IN LIVE MUSIC
Rawk Entertainment Group (SK)

IMPACT IN MUSIC MARKETING
Live Nation Canada (BC)

HERITAGE AWARD
John Arcand

KEVIN WALTERS INDUSTRY BUILDER AWARD
Derek Bachman (posthumously)