Mount Allison’s Facility and Alum Take Home Some Hardware at the 25 ECMAs.
This year, in coordination with Eastlink, the twenty-fifth annual East Coast Music Awards’ gala was completely televised, along with a number of events throughout the week. This year Halifax played host to the annual event, which brings in dozens of up-and-coming and well-established artists from all four Atlantic provinces. Over the last week, Halifax was the site of countless musical acts and performances all over the city for East Coast Music Week. The festivities were capped off by an awards gala that was broadcasted on Eastlink TV So even if you could not make it, for the first time, anyone (who has Eastlink cable) could check into all of the excitement.
This year’s awards gala was co-hosted by David Myles and Rose Cousins, who steered the event in the Canard Center. The presentation honoured some of the East Coast’s top artist with awards – David Gunning won song of the year for “These Hands” and Matt Mays won best album of the year with Coyote. A number of big name acts such as Jimmy Rankin, Jen Grant, Rich Aucoin, and up-and-coming Newfoundland electronic band, Repartee, all preformed during the awards. Another highlight of the night’s festivities was when the East Coast Music Award’s academy honoured artists such as The Rankin Family, Rita MacNeil, and the Barra MacNeils with outstanding achievement awards. As well, the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award went to the late jazz sax master Bucky Adams, and was accepted by his three children.
The Barra MacNeils – Mount Allison Alum – also performed after they were given their award. In another Mt. A connection, and one a bit closer to home, music department professor Dr. Helen Pridmore, along with Wesley Ferriera, won Best Classical Recording of the Year for Between the Shore and the Ships. A further Sackville connection can be found in the Blues category: the Tantramar Blues Society bought Charlie A’Court into town this past January, and he won Blues Recording of the Year.
The gala was not the only place where award were being presented. During the week a number of awards were given out at small events as a part of East Coast Music Week. Ben Caplan won Rising Star Recording of the Year for In the Time of The Great Remembering. The Rock Recording of the year went to Joel Plaskett for Scrappy Happiness. And a couple of Prince Edward Island artists took home some hardware: English Words’ Red Potion won Electronic Recording of the Year and Nova Scotia group Coyote won the FlyHalifax.com and Porter Airlines’ People’s Choice Rising Star award. These two great Island acts will be looking to make lightening strike two years in a row when the 2014 EMCAs roll into Charlottetown.