Paper Lions leads pack of Music P.E.I. award nominees

Dave Stewart
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Paper Lions frontman John MacPhee belts it out during a performance of "Ghostwriters" at the 2013 Music PEI Awards Gala.

Paper Lions is a testament to the strength of the music industry on P.E.I., says the executive director of Music P.E.I.

The industry organization dished out the list of nominees Thursday in Charlottetown for the 2014 awards gala and Paper Lions was right at the top, with seven nominations.

Rob Oakie says it's proof that bands and artists can flourish on the national and international scene and still call P.E.I. home.

"It's definitely a challenge living and working from P.E.I. if you're (touring) but it can be done,'' Oakie said following a press conference to unveil the nominees. "Paper Lions is a great testament to that. They don't want to live anywhere else and they feel like they can still manage their career from here.''

Ashley Condon was close behind with six nominations while Dennis Ellsworth and Meaghan Blanchard each scored five nominations.

Other multiple nominees include Ten Strings And A Goat Skin (4), Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys (4), Barry O'Brien (4), Tim Chaisson (3), Jordan Cameron (3), Colour Code (3), Indian River Festival (3) and Dylan Menzie (3).

Scoring two nominations each are Old Stone Station, Two Hours Traffic, Jolee Patkai, Teresa Doyle, PixbyLorne, Chas Guay, Drea MacDonald, Wildcat and Fiona MacCorquodal.

CLICK HERE FOR NOMINEE HIGHLIGHTS

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL LIST OF NOMINEES

Music P.E.I. will celebrate Island music between Jan. 24 and Feb. 1.

"We've introduced a few new shows. One of them is two free shows at Confedertion Court Mall, Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. We're excited about that. We've always had ticketed events so it's kind of nice to be able to do something that's free to the public,'' Oakie said.

Island artists are also getting recognized on the international scene, evidenced by John Keane producing Blanchard's album. While Keane may not be a household name to music fans, the bands he has produced - Indigo Girls, REM - certainly are.

"He heard Meaghan and really fell in love with her voice. He met her in Memphis so he decided to produce the album.''

Tourism Minister Robert Henderson was on hand to announce a portion of the list of nominees. The provincial government contributes $136,000 to Music P.E.I. each year.

"The list of nominees . . . once again demonstrates not only the diversity but also the high caliber of music being created here on P.E.I.,'' Henderson said.

Awards will be handed out at various events throughout the week, capped off with the big gala on Feb. 1 at the P.E.I. Convention Centre (Delta Prince Edward hotel). Comedian and storyteller Patrick Ledwell is the host.

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: P.E.I. Brewing Company

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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