CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Blue light and the soft music of Island Jazz created a relaxing vibe in the Georgian Room of the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel for the 2019 Music P.E.I. awards party.
Seated at tables around the room, Music P.E.I. nominees, along with sponsors and music industry members, waited patiently to hear the names of this year’s award winners.
“We’re here this afternoon to celebrate the successes, triumphs and contributions of our Island musicians and industry members,” said Tara MacLean, who hosted the afternoon event.
And the wait was well worth it.
By the end of the three-hour event, which included an intermission where mini pizzas, bacon-wrapped scallops and seafood chowder were served, 33 awards were presented.
In the end, Vishtèn and The East Pointers were the biggest winners.
Both groups garnered three awards each.
Vishtèn received the francophone artist, group recording and roots traditional recording awards. The group consists of Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc from P.E.I.’s Evangeline region and Magdalen Islands native Pascal Miousse.
The East Pointers received the Bandzoogle digital achievement, HopYard entertainer and Fly P.E.I. touring artist awards. The group consists of P.E.I. cousins Tim and Koady Chaisson, as well as Ontario-based musician Jake Charron.
Both groups are currently touring the U.K. and were not in attendance.
Brent Chaisson, Tim’s brother, accepted the awards on behalf of the East Pointers. He expressed the band’s appreciation to Music P.E.I. and told the audience about what the band is doing for tourism in their home province.
“I met a lot of people from Australia and New Zealand who came to P.E.I. just to hear the music, after hearing the East Pointers talk so passionately about P.E.I.”
“I’m just so humbled. I’m also excited. I’m really proud of this project. But it’s a community effort, and I wouldn’t be here without the help of my friends.”
Passion was also in the words of nominees Rachel Beck, Meaghan Blanchard and Dennis Ellsworth, who were this year’s double winners, as well as Jon Matthews who won producer of the year while his studio, The Sound Mill, won studio of the year.
Beck was moved by her double win.
“I’m just so humbled. I’m also excited. I’m really proud of this project. But it’s a community effort, and I wouldn’t be here without the help of my friends,” says the nominee who took home hardware for the Holland College/Lloyd Doyle new artist of the year and Downtown Charlottetown Inc. pop recording of the year for her album, “Rachel Beck”.
Ellsworth was also humbled when, after winning SOCAN Songwriter of the Year on Thursday night, he was invited to the podium to receive the award for HGS Song of the Year for “She’s Never Wrong”.
“Thanks very much for this. I don’t know how Rachel Beck didn’t win this because she has a great song, which was played all over the country, all year long,” says Ellsworth, referring to Beck’s first single, “Reckless Heart”, which debuted at No. 13 on the CBC Music Top 20 chart in early March of 2018, moving up to the No. 1 spot on March 8.
Blanchard was also “shocked” when she was called up to the podium twice to receive Credit Union album of the year and roots contemporary recording of the year for her album, “The Great Escape”.
“It could have been any of us in those categories winning,” says the P.E.I. singer-songwriter, her voice tinged with emotion.
The awards mean “a lot” to her.
“It’s very rewarding. I’m also so thankful to be part of Music P.E.I.”
The following is a list of Music P.E.I. Award winners:
Credit Union Album of the Year- Meaghan Blanchard – The Great Escape
Country Recording of the Year – Lawrence Maxwell – Not Your Outlaw
Cover Band/Artist of the Year – Danny Drouin
Bandzoogle Digital Achievement of the Year – The East Pointers
Electronic Single Recording of the Year – Russell Louder - Showdown
HopYard Entertainer of the Year – The East Pointers
The Buzz Event of the Year – P.E.I. Mutual Festival of Small Halls
Congrès Mondial Acadien 2019 Francophone Artist of the Year – Vishtèn
The Buzz Group Recording of the Year – Vishtèn - Horizons
Live Music Programmer of the Year – Pat Deighan
ArsenaultBestCameronEllis Musician of the Year – Evan McCosham
Holland College/Lloyd Doyle New Artist of the Year – Rachel Beck – Rachel Beck
Downtown Charlottetown Inc. Pop Recording of the Year – Rachel Beck – Rachel Beck
Producer of the Year – Jon Matthews
Long & McQuade Recording Studio of the Year – The Sound Mill Recording Studio
3rd Degree Training Rock/Loud Recording of the Year – Andrew Waite - Tremors
Roots Contemporary Recording of the Year – Meaghan Blanchard – The Great Escape
P.E.I. Tea Co. Roots Traditional Recording of the Year - Vishtèn - Horizons
SOCAN Songwriter of the Year – Dennis Ellsworth – She’s Never Wrong
Solo Recording of the Year – Dylan Menzie – As the Clock Re-Winds
HGS Song of the Year - Dennis Ellsworth – She’s Never Wrong
Fly P.E.I. Touring Artist of the Year – The East Pointers
Urban Recording of the Year – Vince The Messenger- Self Sabotage
SOCAN Venue of the Year – Trailside Music Café & Inn
Video of the Year – Kinley – Golden Days (Director Jenna MacMillan)
Visual Artist of the Year – Brendan Henry.
A number of awards are annually given out by the Music P.E.I. board of directors. This year the recipients are:
Community Contributor of the Year – Phase II
Maritime Electric Educator of the Year – Christine Blanchard
Industry Person of the Year - Debbie Atkinson
Live Music Production Professional of the Year - Chris Knox
Lifetime Achievement - Paul Bernard
Deep Roots Distillery Rooted to the Island - Tracy Cantin
Volunteer of the Year - Mary Lee Little