What had already been a good week for singer-songwriter Dennis Ellsworth got even better Saturday night when his Dusk Dreams record was named album of the year at the Music P.E.I. Awards Gala at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown.
The much-prized award was Ellsworth’s third of the week.
Earlier this week he took home honours for the roots contemporary recording of the year and the SOCAN songwriter of the year.
Twelve awards in total were handed out at the gala, which brought the most ambitious and most successful Music P.E.I. Week yet to an end.
Musical performances by many of this year’s nominees and award winners highlighted the gala, staged at the centre’s Homburg Theatre.
Ellsworth, with three awards, was the week’s big winner, but several other artists were close behind him.
Catherine MacLellan picked up two awards at last night’s gala, entertainer of the year and touring artist of the year.
MacLellan has been touring relentlessly across Canada, the US, Europe and the UK establishing a reputation as one of Canada’s premier singer-songwriters.
English Words also came away from the show with two wins, netting awards for video of the year for People I Love, directed by Millefiore Clarkes, and for pop recording of the year for Red Potion.
Bad Habits, one of P.E.I.’s premiere blues bands, brought their tally for the week to two by winning new artist of the year honours.
Earlier in the week they won the people’s choice Bell Aliant Weekend Warrior award.
Music teacher Jonathan MacInnis of Montague Intermediate School was named educator of the year.
MacInnis has been a strong advocate for students in the geographical area of the Montague Family of Schools, searching for ways to support their need to become greater musicians.
Paper Lions, who recently saw their video for Travelling pass three million hits on YouTube, picked up the award for group recording of the year for their EP At Long Creek.
Earlier this week Paper Lions’ Colin Buchanan received the sound production of the year award for his work on North Lakes latest release, Grand Prix, as well as Paper Lions’ At Long Creek.
Entrepreneur and successful business owner Steven Barber was selected by the Music P.E.I. board of directors for the industry person of the year award.
Barber was chosen for the tremendous support he’s shown for Island musicians, booking them for shows at his three Charlottetown venues, Hunter’s Ale House, The Factory and Globe World Flavours.
Charlie Hansen, a founder of the P.E.I. Music Awards Association received the lifetime achievement award for a music career spanning over 50 years.
Hansen has been a musician, songwriter, broadcaster, columnist, sound engineer, producer and studio owner.
His work establishing the association helped lead to what is now known as Music P.E.I.
Saturday night’s other award recipients included Aaron Crane, named musician of the year, and Jenn Grant, who received the Rooted to the Island award.
“Metro Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week 2013 has been our most successful to date as a weeklong festival celebrating the best music made here on the Island and the people who make it,” - Rob Oakie, executive director of Music P.E.I.
That award is given to artists with Island roots who are pursuing their careers elsewhere.
Previous winners have included Rose Cousins and Lennie Gallant.
Music P.E.I. Week has grown to an Island-wide event that brings together artists, the music industry and the public for a jam-packed week of concerts, workshops and panels, capped off by the gala awards show at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
The industry workshops brought music industry professionals to the Island from as far away as Los Angeles.
“Metro Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week 2013 has been our most successful to date as a weeklong festival celebrating the best music made here on the Island and the people who make it,” said Rob Oakie, executive director of Music P.E.I.
“In a tradition that started 12 years ago, the event continues to grow along with the industry here. The conference workshops during Music P.E.I. Interactive presented by Ticketpro and organized by Shannon Pratt, were by far the best we have had yet with great educational and networking opportunities.”
Be sure to pick up a copy of The Guardian on Monday for more sights and sounds from this year’s Music P.E.I. Week.