HALIFAX — Prince Edward Island will have a strong presence at the East Coast Music Awards in Halifax this weekend.
Artists from P.E.I. will showcase on 13 different stages starting today, when Bad Habits, Dennis Ellsworth, Ten Strings And A Goatskin, Colour Code, Rose Cousins, Jenn Grant and Paper Lions all play their first shows.
In addition to those scheduled showcase spots, Island artists will also be featured in performance on Radio ECMA, the gala awards show and the gala post show party.
“We’re going to have a very good mix of Island artists in Halifax,” Music P.E.I. executive director Rob Oakie said in an interview earlier this week. “There will be a lot of our emerging artists, people just starting to make a name for themselves like The Meds, Bad Habits and Coyote, as well as more established artists like Paper Lions and Dennis Ellsworth.”
demonstrate both the depth and the diversity of the music industry in P.E.I.
“It’s a very interesting mix,” Oakie said. “They represent a lot of different music scenes and a lot of different levels. In that regard I think we can be pretty happy about things.”
Oakie said a number of familiar faces will be missing this weekend from the P.E.I. contingent though.
“We’re missing Catherine MacLellan, for example. She’s on tour. Meaghan Blanchard won’t be showcasing either. This is an in-between year for Meaghan, her new record isn’t out yet.”
While Blanchard won’t be showcasing she will still be travelling to the ECMAs for some face-to-face business meetings.
Oakie said he expects to draw good numbers at Music P.E.I.’s own showcase, which goes Friday and Saturday night at Durty Nelly’s at the corner of Argyle & Sackville Streets.
An ECMA official partnered stage, Music P.E.I.’s Island Sessions will feature virtually every Island artist showcasing in Halifax this weekend.
The Friday night version of Island Sessions will feature, in order, Jordan Cameron, Ten Strings And A Goat Skin, Coyote, Paper Lions (acoustic), Bad Habits and English Words.
The Saturday night sessions will feature, again in order, Dennis Ellsworth, Nudie, Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys, Tim Chaisson, The Meds and Seventh Stone.
The venue is ideal for these sessions, Oakie said.
“We’ll get 150 people or so in there.”
Showcases can prove golden if the right talent buyers and promoters catch your set and like what they see.
While showcases top the list for a number of Island artists this weekend, others hope to go home with a little something more.
Artists from P.E.I. are nominated for more than a dozen ECMA Awards.
Singer-songwriters Rose Cousins and Tim Chaisson lead the P.E.I. nominees with four nominations each.
Cousins is nominated for folk recording of the year and solo recording of the year for We have Made A Spark.
She also has nominations for song of the year for The Darkness and songwriter of the year for Go First.
Chaisson was nominated for fan’s choice entertainer of the year and for fan’s choice video of the year, the latter for Beat This Heart.
Chaisson is also nominated for roots/traditional solo recording of the year, for The Other Side; and song of the year, for Beat This Heart.
Three other P.E.I. acts have multiple ECMA nominations: Jenn Grant, Vishtèn and Paper Lions.
Grant received nominations in three categories: album of the year, pop recording of the year and solo recording of the year for The Beautiful Wild.
Paper Lions are nominated for pop recording of the year and group recording of the year for At Long Creek.
Vishtèn, which includes band members Emannuelle and Pascalle LeBlanc, originally from P.E.I., is up for francophone recording of the year and roots/traditional group recording of the year for Mōsaïk.
Two other P.E.I. acts have single nominations, English Words, nominated for electronic recording of the year; and Ian Toms, nominated for jazz recording of the year.
Those awards will be handed out through the weekend.
Eyes will also be fixed on the ECMA’s Industry Awards Brunch which takes place Saturday.
The industry awards recognize individuals, companies, and organizations that have made outstanding achievements developing, promoting and showcasing East Coast music.
There are five industry award nominees from P.E.I. this year.
Doug Gallant, news and entertainment reporter with The Guardian, has been nominated for media person of the year.
The Festival of Small Halls and the Indian River Festival are nominated for event of the year.
St. Mary’s Church and the Trailside Café & Inn are nominated for venue of the year.