All she knows for certain is the church — nominated for Venue of the Year — and the festival — up for Event of the Year — have yet to win one of the coveted trophies.
“This is coming on to my eighth season working with the festival and there have been very few years that we have not received at least a nomination in one or both of those categories,” said Anderson Gallant, the festival’s executive director. “We’re very happy every year it comes round. It gives us more visibility.”
For its 25th anniversary, East Coast Music Week is returning to its roots, the place where it all began — Halifax.
The week, which starts Wednesday, includes showcases and performances by nominees and up and coming artists, workshops featuring industry professionals from all over the world and culminates with the big awards show at the Cunard Centre Sunday night.
The 2013 Industry Awards, which includes 10 categories, will be announced at the MindSea Industry Awards Brunch on Saturday at 10 a.m. in Delta Halifax’s Baronet Room. The winner of the music award for Producer of the Year will also be named at that time.
The Indian River Festival and St. Mary’s Church are among a long list of Island performers, producers, venues and events with 2013 ECMA nods.
Tim Chaisson and Rose Cousins, who will co-host Sunday’s awards ceremony, are each nominated for four awards and both vying for Song of the Year.
Although it sounds cliché, Gallant Anderson said, win or lose, it’s an honour to be nominated for what’s considered the pinnacle award in the East Coast music scene.
“We’re absolutely delighted this year to have two nominations,” she added. “Certainly the venue is just so special. Those natural acoustics and the beautiful architecture, it’s just a venue you can’t find anywhere else.
“Yes, you could see Matt Anderson in a standard performance hall somewhere but to see and hear Matt Anderson in St. Mary’s Church, the sound is like nothing else. It just really creates this really special experience for people, both sight and sound all together in this one special place.”
Unfortunately, Anderson Gallant won’t be in Halifax if the festival and/or venue win an ECMA.
She’s currently finalizing plans for the Indian River Festival’s 18th season, the details of which she wouldn’t divulge, only saying it is going to be “another very exciting season” at St. Mary’s Church.
The season runs from early June to mid September with performances primarily on weekends, although the festival is expanding to include mid-week programming.
The list of performances for last year’s festival, the basis of the ECMA nomination, included Sarah Harmer, Matt Anderson, Lennie Gallant and Natalie McMaster.
“Over the years we have certainly grown in the programming. We started off as basically a classical event and we’ve just continued to expand every year so that any genre of music you can hear at St. Mary’s Church,” said Anderson Gallant of why she feels the festival and church continue to be nominated year after year.
“A wider audience base is starting to take note and coming out to a concert there, from jazz and world music to embracing our songwriters, folk, classical. There’s a lot to come and experience.”
She sees the festival only growing in the years to come and many more nominations in its and St. Mary’s Church’s future.
“It will only get better and better. We certainly have hit on what we feel is a winning formula for the festival,” said Anderson Gallant. “It’s just this combination of wonderful music in a wonderful venue.”
And, she added, it’s that winning formula that will hopefully be recognized by the East Coast Music Association with at least one treble clef award this weekend.