Eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter Rebecca Lappa was the lone local artist to take home hardware on Sunday night as Edmonton was host to the Canadian Folk Music Awards for the first time since 2006.
Lappa won the Young Performer of the Year award for her most recent album, Tattered Rose. The MacEwan University student has been nominated four times for her four previous albums, but last night was her first win. She was also the only winner from Alberta.
The Citadel Theatre gala hosted by celebrated musicians Connie Kaldor and Benoit Bourque was dominated by artists from eastern Canada – Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces – who took top honours in 17 of the 19 categories.
Among Ontario’s five awards, New York-based, former Torontonian Kiran Ahluwalia won for World Solo Artist of the Year. Two Toronto-based bands, 16-piece Lemon Bucket Orkestra and roots-rockers the Young Novelists, received the World Group of the Year and the New/Emerging Artist of the Year honours respectively.
St. John’s, N.L. was over-represented with five awards in total, including Matthew Byrne’s Traditional Album of the Year win for Hearts & Heroes, and Vocal Group of the Year going to the duo Fortunate Ones.
St. John’s Amelia Curran and Charlottetown’s Catherine MacLellan were the night’s only double-winners. Curran’s alt-country-imbued album They Promised You Mercy won her both the Contemporary Singer of the Year and English Songwriter of the Year awards, while MacLellan claimed the Contemporary Album of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year awards for her intimate, relatively stripped-back effort, The Raven’s Sun.
Married couples also went home winners, but not the duo most people were expecting to do well. British Columbia’s bluegrass band Pharis & Jason Romero went into the awards with the most nominations (four), but came out empty-handed.
The successful husband-and-wife teams were Raven Kanetakta and ShoShona Kish, a.k.a. Digging Roots, from Winneway (Long Point First Nation), Que., who took home the Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year award; and Inverness County, N.S. Scotia fiddlers Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy, who won for Instrumental Group of the year.
Despite not taking home any hardware, the Romeros were among the night’s performers, along with former CFMA winners and nominees such as Jeffery Straker and Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra.
Sunday night’s gala was the culmination of three nights and two days of open-to-the-public workshops and artist showcases in Edmonton.
Here, a full list of the night’s winners:
Ensemble of the Year: Big Little Lions – A Little Frayed, A Little Torn
Young Performer of the Year: Rebecca Lappa – Tattered Rose
Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year: Adrianna Ciccone – The Back of Winter
Pushing the Boundaries: Kevin Breit – Ernesto and Delilah
World Artist of the Year: Kiran Ahluwalia – Sanata: Stillness
World Group of the Year: Lemon Bucket Orkestra – Moorka
New/Emerging Artist of the Year: The Young Novelists – Made Us Strangers
Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year: Digging Roots – For The Light
French Songwriter of the Year: Louis-Jean Cormier – Les grandes artères
Traditional Singer of the Year: Michael Jerome Browne – Sliding Delta
Producer of the Year: Jenn Grant – Compostela
Instrumental Group of the Year: Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy – ONE
Contemporary Singer of the Year: Amelia Curran – They Promised You Mercy
English Songwriter of the Year: Amelia Curran – They Promised You Mercy
Vocal Group of the Year: Fortunate Ones – The Bliss
Traditional Album of the Year: Matthew Byrne – Hearts & Heroes
Children’s Album of the Year: The Swinging Belles – More Sheep, Less Sleep