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East Coast Music Awards announce return to Sydney in May 2021

Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman is promoting a Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada campaign focusing on women’s heart health.
Ryan Taplin - The Chronicle Herald
East Coast opera star Measha Brueggergosman accepted her 2020 East Coast Music Association's Director's Special Achievement Award online in July. Plans are now underway for the 2021 East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference to take place in Sydney next May. - Ryan Taplin FILE

Plans are well underway for the 2021 East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference, taking place in Sydney from May 5 to 9.

Artist submissions for awards and showcase performance opportunities can now be made up until Oct. 23 at 5 p.m., and there are some new changes in store for the awards and conference programming.

Among the changes which the East Coast Music Association has made to better reflect the diversity of its membership and Atlantic Canadian communities are the creation of a new African Canadian artist of the year award and the designation of the annual Bucky Adams Memorial Award, named for the Nova Scotia jazz pioneer, as an honourary award.

Three new members have been appointed to the ECMA board of directors — Delvina Bernard, Patricia Bourque and Eva George — who will lead committees for the African Canadian and Indigenous artist of the year awards and the Francophone recording of the year award. According to the ECMA announcement, these committees will also serve “to focus on outreach, relationship building, knowledge gathering, and collaborative recommendations within these marginalized communities.”

In 2021, the ECMAs will also see the return of the world recording of the year and children’s entertainer of the year categories, while award application fees will be reduced to $15 per award. There will also be a $20 flat fee for the Export Buyers Showcase applications and all showcase submissions will be accepted without a fee being charged. 

The ECMAs will also acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 upon the music industry with awards that address the recent shifts and recognize examples of innovation.

“We remain ever optimistic about returning to Sydney next year - adhering to the recommendations and guidelines established by public health officials - to continue shining a light on the world-class talent the East Coast has to offer,” said ECMA CEO Andy McLean in the announcement.

Other initiatives taking place during and around the 2021 ECMAs include the online Global Music Match, uniting 96 artists from 14 countries to collaborate and extend their reach and exposure internationally; the podcasts Radio ECMA and Luck, Grit & Hard Work, with a focus on emerging artists; the Isolation Sessions webinars and Mental Health One-on-One sessions focusing on mental health in the East Coast music industry.

There’s also the 2020 East Coast Music Awards program which was produced in quarantine and broadcast and streamed live on July 11, and will be available to watch via CBC Gem until July 2021.

For more info, visit the East Coast Music Association website.


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