Three Prince Edward Islanders are among the recipients of the 2019 Honorary East Coast Music Awards.
Award-winning singer/songwriter Lennie Gallant will receive the Directors’ Special Achievement award, the late Peter Chaisson will receive the Musician’s Achievement award and Rob Oakie is one of five Atlantic Canadians to receive the Stompin’ Tom Award.
The awards were announced Tuesday by the East Coast Music Association. They will be presented in Charlottetown next week during the 2019 East Coast Music Awards.
- Hubert Francis, who was born on the Elsipogtog First Nation of New Brunswick, will receive the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement
- Yolande Bourgeois of New Brunswick will receive the Industry Builder award
- Stompin’ Tom Awards will also go to Donnie Campbell, Cape Breton; Jeff Liberty, New Brunswick; Anita Best, Newfoundland and Labrador; and Jerry Granelli, Nova Scotia
Recognized by his peers as one of Canada’s best performing songwriters, Gallant has released 12 albums (10 in English and two in French) of original songs which have won him a host of awards and nominations from the Junos, Les Prix Éloizes and the East Coast Music Awards, including being named the ECMA Entertainer of the Year in 2017. His double CD and multimedia hit production, “Searching for Abegweit”, which ran for 140 shows, also won him an ECMA. He was named Canadian folk artist of the year in 2016 and his song, "Peter’s Dream", was voted one of the Top Ten East Coast Songs of All Time by CBC Music. A recipient of the Order of Canada, Gallant is an international touring artist who has performed all over North America, in Europe, for the troops in Afghanistan and at the XXI Winter Olympics.
Chaisson was a renowned musician and music teacher from Prince Edward Island who has had a profound impact on the East Coast fiddling community. He was the co-founder and organizer of the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival, an annual event created to preserve Prince Edward Island’s tradition of music. The festival has continued for over four decades now and has welcomed a host of world-class fiddlers to its iconic main stage including Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, Richard Wood, Troy MacGillivray, Jerry Holland, The East Pointers and, of course, The Chaisson Family.
Oakie, currently the executive director and a founding board member of Music P.E.I., has been instrumental in the current growth of P.E.I.’s music industry. Since helping to establish the organization in 2008, the number of P.E.I. exporting and internationally touring artists has grown by over 400 per cent. Oakie has served on numerous boards, including Folk Music Canada, FACTOR NAB, CCMIA, and Culture P.E.I. Under his direction, Music P.E.I. has also created two internationally recognized conferences – Showcase P.E.I. and the Canadian Song Conference – as well as artist exchange programs with England, Denmark and Wales. Since 2014, he has produced the Classic Music Reignited Series at the Watermark Theatre. He also plays the mandolin when time allows.