An Island songwriter’s talent was recognized last night in Georgetown.
Dennis Ellsworth was named SOCAN Songwriter of the Year during the SAC Songwriters Concert at the Kings Playhouse for his song Electric Stars.
The concert was part of Metro Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week, a week that recognizes those who have made their mark on the Island’s music scene.
This is Ellsworth’s second award this year. He received the Roots Contemporary Recording of the Year Award Wednesday night in Summerside during the Country Jubilee at the Harbourfront Theatre.
The award-winning songwriter is nominated for yet another award for album of the year for his new release, Dusk Dreams. That award will be presented during the 12th annual Music P.E.I. awards gala tomorrow night.
The SAC Songwriters Concert, presented by AIRS with media sponsor The Eastern Graphic, is a popular event during Music P.E.I. Week. Each year, the Island’s SOCAN Songwriter of the Year nominees gather on stage and share their music.
Joining Ellsworth in this year’s category were John MacPhee from Paper Lions, Nathan Gill from North Lakes, Nudie and Tim Chaisson.
Last night’s show was hosted by Colin MacDonald, who is the principle songwriter and lead singer for the Canadian rock band The Trews. It also featured a performance from last year’s award recipient, Catherine MacLellan, along with performances from the nominees.
During the event, a total of four Music P.E.I. awards were handed out.
Chaisson, who has received many Music P.E.I. awards in past years, can add male solo recording of the year to his collection. He received this for his new album, The Other Side.
Chaisson led the pack of award nominees this year for a total of seven nominations.
Colin Buchanan of the Island pop band Paper Lions, received the Sound Production of the Year Award.
It was also decided last night that the best venue on P.E.I. over the past year is the Trailside Café & Inn in Mount Stewart.
Co-owned by Pat and Meghann Deighan, the Trailside Café & Inn picked up the award for venue of the year.
So far the week has seen performances from many local artists, as well as workshops, panels and a tradeshow.
Music P.E.I. executive director Rob Oakie couldn’t be happier.
“We have had a great week so far with three well attended events,” he said. “The winners this year typify the fantastic depth of the music industry here on P.E.I.”
Oakie added that two more events are still to come, starting tonight with Friday Night Live which sees more than 20 performances at nine venues across the province.
The awards gala, the most anticipated event of Music P.E.I. week, will cap off the celebrations tomorrow night at the Homburg Theatre at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown.
The gala, hosted by CBC radio personality Grant Lawrence, will feature performances by Eddy Quinn, Jenn Grant, Two Hours Traffic and more.
The remaining 12 Music P.E.I. awards will also be handed out during this time.
Tickets are almost sold out, so music fans are encouraged to get theirs today.
For more information, go to www.musicpei.com.