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‘Music is a healer:’ stroke does not keep Buell from accepting awards

Garnet Buell of Murray River walked away with two awards during the Music P.E.I. awards party in Charlottetown Sunday, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Community Contributor of the Year.
Garnet Buell of Murray River walked away with two awards during the Music P.E.I. awards party in Charlottetown Sunday, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Community Contributor of the Year.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Garnet Buell felt fortunate to be able to walk across the stage to accept two awards during the Music P.E.I. awards party in Charlottetown Sunday, after having a stroke earlier last week.

Buell of Murray River was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Monday after he noticed he was having a hard time reading the newspaper.

“The words were all jumbled up and I couldn’t make out what word it was unless I read it real slow, one letter at a time.”

This was Buell’s fourth stroke in the past year and a half. He was released from the hospital Friday afternoon.

And despite this health setback, the 84-year-old performed at the Murray River Community Hall Saturday night to a near capacity audience in a fundraising ceilidh for the QEH Foundation.

“I felt very fortunate and thankful,” said Buell. “I’m very lucky that I was able to perform.”

Buell said he was “thrilled” to be able to make it to the awards party and among Islanders who share his deep love for music. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Community Contributor of the Year. He also received the Stompin’ Tom Award during the ECMA’s in April.

“It’s fantastic, it blew me away,” said Buell on receiving these awards. “Music is a healer and when I get awards like this, it picks me up and keeps me going and I know I must be doing something right.”

Rowen Gallant and Jesse Périard of Ten Strings And A Goat Skin said they are impressed and inspired with Buell’s dedication to the P.E.I. music scene and his community.

“When you see a person like that who has dedicated their entire life to music and using this gift very specifically to make an immense difference in people’s lives that goes beyond all awards or recognition, I think that is probably one of the most important things you can do with your talent,” said Gallant.

Ten Strings And A Goat Skin took home three awards including HopYard Album of the Year, Roots Recording of the Year and tied with Paper Lions for Group Recording of the Year.

The group plays traditional music, specifically Franco-Canadian traditional music. They released their album Auprès du poêle last year.

“The real kicker was the album of the year, which I don’t think any of us were close to expecting,” said Gallant.

“My knees kind of dropped, I almost fell on my way up there,” laughed Périard.

Twenty-nine awards were handed out Sunday afternoon with Paper Lions also walking away with Pop Recording of the Year, Video of the Year and Digital Achievement of the Year.

A total of thirty Music P.E.I. awards were handed out during the May Run Music Festival 2017.

Rob Oakie, executive director for Music P.E.I., said everything went “fantastic” as they celebrated local talent.

“It’s just a great celebration you know and we’ve done away with the galas and the big production and it’s very relaxed and it’s a gathering of the community which I think is what everyone really wanted.”

Oakie said in addition to the numerous award presentations, there were also several tributes to people who’ve passed away this past year.

“I had a tough time not busting into tears. It was really emotional,” said Oakie.

Gallant also commended this year’s Music P.E.I. awards party.

“It was nice, really relaxed. I liked how fast paced it was,” said Gallant. “I think this is the best award ceremony I think I’ve seen for Music P.E.I.”

The May Run Music Festival wrapped up Sunday evening with the May Run Meltdown at the Florence Simmons Performance Hall in Charlottetown.

mcoulter@theguardian.pe.ca
Twitter.com/MaureenElizaC
 

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