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UPDATE: P.E.I. groups nab two awards at ECMAs

Members of Paper Lions accept the ECMA for Pop Recording of the Year during the East Coast Music Awards Show in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 2, 2019.
Members of Paper Lions accept the ECMA for Pop Recording of the Year during the East Coast Music Awards Show in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 2, 2019. - Nathan Rochford

Audience engages with host Jonathan Torrens and talent lineup during 2019 East Coast Music Awards Show

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

High-energy music by Pineo and Loeb created a lively atmosphere in the Confederation Ballroom in the moments leading up to the 2019 East Coast Music Awards show on Thursday night.

So, by the time host Jonathan Torrens arrived on stage, audience members were ready to have some fun.

“I’m writing a musical with a friend about growing up on P.E.I. call ‘Sleepy Hollow’. Do you want to hear a few lines?” asked the P.E.I. raised actor, known for his role as "J-Roc" in “Trailer Park Boys.”

The crowd applauds enthusiastically. The lights are dimmed and Torrens turns to his keyboard and sings:

“They found me lying by the Peter Pan, shirtless in the snowbank, Canton eggroll in my hand. Woodleigh Replicas had always been my plan; squatting in a tiny church, living off the land. Sleepy Hollow … Sleepy Hollow.”

Giggles can be heard in the audience.

When the lights come up again he’s joined by Rose Cousins and The Once, who sing and harmonize on the other colourful verses with him.

It’s one of the memorable moments in the thoroughly entertaining show.

Another was Lennie Gallant singing “Sequoia,” his ode to the giant trees that were destroyed in California wildfires.

Lennie Gallant performs during the East Coast Music Awards Show in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 2, 2019.
Lennie Gallant performs during the East Coast Music Awards Show in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Still others were Rachel Beck’s passionate performance of “Hearts on Fire” backed up by the Atlantic String Machine and Dave Gunning’s rendition of “Wish I was Wrong,” a song inspired by the grassroots movement against pollution caused by Northern Pulp.

The evening also featured live performances by hometown talents Catherine MacLellan and Vishtèn. Also taking the stage were Classified, Fortunate Ones, Hillsburn, Jimmy Rankin, Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire, Mallory Johnson and Reeny Smith.

By the end of the show Prince Edward Island groups had taken home two awards.

Pop recording of the year went to Paper Lions – “At Long Creek II”, while song of the year was taken by The East Pointers - "Two Weeks" (producer: Gordie Sampson).

Paper Lions front man John MacPhee’s voice was filled with gratitude as he accepted the award. “We’ve been a band for 15 years and it’s great to be (at home) in Charlottetown for the ECMAs. We want to thank so many people.”

For the East Pointers, the win came as a surprise.

“We weren’t expecting this,” says Tim Chaisson, holding the award up for his fellow band members to see.

Fellow band mate Jake Charron was moved. “It’s amazing. You’re beautiful people. Thank you.”

The Barra MacNeils, Makayla Lynn, Gunning & Cormier and Mallory Johnson were also honoured during the live national broadcast.

The remaining 2019 East Coast Music Awards, including the industry awards, will be handed out on May 5 as part of the East Coast Music and Industry Awards celebration taking place in the Confederation Ballroom at Delta Hotels by Marriott Prince Edward at 7:30 p.m. The evening features performances by Paper Lions, Rose Cousins, Old Man Luedecke and Postdata.

Classified, with his daughter on stage, accepts the ECMA for Album of the Year during the East Coast Music Awards Show in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 2, 2019.
Classified, with his daughter on stage, accepts the ECMA for Album of the Year during the East Coast Music Awards Show in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Pop recording of the year went to Paper Lions – “At Long Creek II”, while song of the year was won by The East Pointers - "Two Weeks" (producer: Gordie Sampson).

The Barra MacNeils, Makayla Lynn, Gunning & Cormier and Mallory Johnson were also honoured during the live national broadcast hosted by comedian Jonathan Torrens and held in the Confederation Ballroom at Delta Hotels by Marriott Prince Edward.

"What an incredible show! A huge congratulations is in order for all the awards winners and nominees. Thank you to tonight’s amazing performers and to Jonathan Torrens, who once again proved to be a hilarious and gracious awards show host," said Andy McLean, CEO of the ECMA. "The week is still young, and we have so many more fantastic events lined up, including the ECMA Friday and Saturday Night concerts, the Trinity Sessions showcases, the Celtic Brunch and much more. We’re excited to see the streets of Charlottetown come alive with music all weekend long."

Members of the East Pointers accept the ECMA for Song of the Year during the East Coast Music Awards Show in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 2, 2019.
Members of the East Pointers accept the ECMA for Song of the Year during the East Coast Music Awards Show in Charlottetown on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

The evening featured several live performances, including by Islanders Catherine MacLellan, Lennie Gallant, Rachel Beck and Vishtèn. Also taking the stage were Classified, Dave Gunning, Fortunate Ones, Hillsburn, Jimmy Rankin, Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire, Mallory Johnson and Reeny Smith.

The remaining 2019 East Coast Music Awards, including the Industry Awards, will be handed out on May 5 as part of the East Coast Music and Industry Awards celebration taking place in the Confederation Ballroom at Delta Hotels by Marriott Prince Edward at 7:30 p.m. The evening features performances by Paper Lions, Rose Cousins, Old Man Luedecke and Postdata.


Following are the ECMAs presented Thursday evening

  • Album of the year: Classified – “Tomorrow Could Be The Day Things Change” (producer: Luke Boyd)
  • Bucky Adams Memorial Award: Reeny Smith
  • Country recording of the year: “Mallory Johnson” - Mallory Johnson
  • Enregistrement francophone de l’année: Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire - Viens avec moi
  • Fans' choice entertainer of the year: The Barra MacNeils
  • Fans' choice video of the year: Makayla Lynn - "Joyride" (director: Scott Simpson)
  • Folk recording of the year: Gunning & Cormier - Two
  • Group recording of the year: Les Hôtesses d’Hilaire - Viens avec moi
  • Indigenous artist of the year: Jeremy Dutcher
  • Rap/hip-hop recording of the year: Classified - Tomorrow Could Be The Day Things Change
  • Rising star recording of the year: Jeremy Dutcher - Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa
  • Pop recording of the year: Paper Lions – “At Long Creek II”
  • Song of the year: The East Pointers - "Two Weeks" (producer: Gordie Sampson)

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