The Novaks take Rock Recording of the Year

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Published on March 08, 2010

Representing the host music community of Cape Breton, Carmel Mikol performs songs from her album "In My Bones" to an appreciative audience at the Capri Cabaret in Sydney on Friday.

Published on March 08, 2010

Volunteer Lydia Matthews sells East Coast Music Awards merchandise at the Capri Cabaret on Friday. Matthews said fleece jackets are the biggest seller, believeing it might be the cool weather - what she calls a typical March in Cape Breton.

Published on March 08, 2010

The members of St. John's-based Roundelay - (from left) Brad Nichols, Gerald Coleman, Michael Lahey, Joe Tucker - drop by the East Coast Music Awards' Discovery Stage on Friday to see some of the showcases (short sets) played by other Newfoundland and

Published on March 08, 2010

A high energy performance by Matthew Hornell and the Diamond Mines at the Discovery Stage at the Capri Cabaret on Friday earns the band a heaping of applause, whistles and hoots.

Published on March 08, 2010

One of the Diamonds Mines, Johnny Bungay, works up a sweat working the mandolin during a set with frontman Matthew Hornell at the Discovery Stage at the East Coast Music Awards in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Friday.

Published on March 08, 2010

From Conception Bay South, members of the all-female band Ashelin perform at the Capri Canaret in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Friday. Ashelin is a collection of Palmers and includes Kaliyan Palmer, Cassy Palmer, Joesie Palmer, Thea Palmer, and Shaelin Palme

Published on March 08, 2010

From Conception Bay South, members of the all-female band Ashelin perform at the Capri Canaret in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Friday. Ashelin is a collection of Palmers and includes Kaliyan Palmer, Cassy Palmer, Joesie Palmer, Thea Palmer, and Shaelin Palme

Published on March 08, 2010

Part of the East Coast Music Award conference events was "DIY: Indie Town Hall - 10 Things Indie Bands Should Be Doing Right Now!" The panel discussion was held at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. It featured (from left) moderator and indepen

Published on March 08, 2010

During a panel discussion on independent music, Allan Reid of MapleMusic Recordings (right) declares the CD to be on its way out, saying the latest generation of music fans sees no value in the disc.

Published on March 08, 2010

During a conference session at the East Coast Music Awards on Saturday, president of Urban Music Canada, Will Strickland (background) stirs the post-panel discussion by challenging major labels to develop on-staff expertise in a greater variety of genr

Published on March 08, 2010

Rising stars from Cape Breton packed the Daniel's pub early Saturday evening with fiddle music - some traditional, some with modern flares. Here, Rachael Davis (www.rachel-davis.ca) is just getting started, but will soon be surrounded by step dancers.

Published on March 08, 2010

A miss of here and there - fiddler Chrissy Crowley shows her blended fiddle background at Daniel's pub in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Saturday. Set to perform during the East Coast Music Awards gala, Crowley's fiddling is inspired by both her grandfather o

Published on March 08, 2010

At the Saturday East Coast Music Awards songwriter's circle, Tim Chaisson introduces "I'll Have You Now," explaining it is a song written for a friend who had discovered his girlfriend was cheating. Chaisson co-wrote the song with Joel Plaskett and Gor

Published on March 08, 2010

In addition to hosting the Saturday songwriters' showcase at the East Coast Music Awards, Amy Sky also performed a series of powerful ballads.

Published on March 08, 2010

Newfoundland and Labrador musician Chris Kirby provides a stripped-down version of "Day Job" to audiences at the Saturday East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) songwriters' circle. The song is on Kirby's ECMA-nominated album "Vampire Hotel" and was inspired

Published on March 08, 2010

While two members of Sherman Downey's accompanying band "The Ambiguous Case" were unable to make the showcase slot due to ferry troubles, Downey and the remaining members found some fill-in artists and went on with the show. Start to finish, the band a

Published on March 08, 2010

Performing with Halifax's Three Sheet, vocalist Vanessa Furlong adds a feminine touch to the rap/hip hop sound that had audience's at the Capri Club in Sydney taking notice.

Published on March 08, 2010

Nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Rap/Hip Hop Single of the Year, Halifax-based group Three Sheet performed at the Capri Club in Sydney on Saturday.

Published on March 08, 2010

Storefronts like this one, for a clothing store on Charlotte Street in Sydney, were set with East Coast Music Awards-inspired displays this week.

Published on March 08, 2010

Members of Mercy, the Sexton rock out at Smooth Herman's nightclub on Saturday night.

Published on March 08, 2010

On the keys for Mercy, the Sexton, Duncan Major adds a retro twist to the standard rock sound heard from some of the other bands performing at Smooth Herman's nightclub on Saturday.

Published on March 08, 2010

Daniel's pub is packed for Chrissy Crowley (www.chrissycrowley.com) and a selection of top young fiddlers on Saturday, during the East Coast Music Awards weekend in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Published on March 08, 2010

If there is fiddle music playing in Cape Breton, there is soon step dancing along with it. At Daniel's pub, Skylar Boylan of Halifax gives the dance a go.

Published on March 08, 2010

The cello of Nova Scotia's Kevin Fox joined in on multiple songs from Tim Chaisson, Graeme Walker and Amy Sky during a songwriter's circle at Smooth Herman's club. Here, Fox performs one of his solo numbers, from his album "Songs for Cello and Voice."<

Published on March 08, 2010

Newfoundland and Labrador artists and representatives share a table at the Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion in Sydney on Sunday. The collection - including (from left) Amelia Curran, Phil Churchill, Geraldine Hollett, Angela O'Brien, Alan Ricketts, Andrew

Published on March 08, 2010

Prince Edward Island's Lennie Gallant accepts the award for Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year at a pre-gala show East Coast Music Awards event on Sunday.

Published on March 08, 2010

Amelia Curran, perched beside fellow songwriters' circle member Coco Love Alcorn, performs her song "The Mistress" from the album "Hunter, Hunter" to extended applause. The audience was made up of somewhere between 300 and 600 people.

Published on March 08, 2010

The SOCAN Songwriters' Circle is a premiere event at the East Coast Music Awards - a hot ticket. This year, the songwriters' circle was held at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion in Sydney and included (second from left) Melanie Morgan, Catherine MacLell

Published on March 08, 2010

The "big fiddle" is a favourite perch for the pigeons of Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Published on March 08, 2010

A monument to the musical prowess and tradition of Cape Breton, the "big fiddle" stands at the Joan Harris Cruise Pavilion on the Sydney waterfront. The steel monument was a favourite spot for photography at this year's East Coast Music Awards.

Published on March 08, 2010

The Novaks

Published on March 08, 2010

Joel Plaskett is seen following his first East Coast Music Award win during the gala event on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Plaskett would ultimately leave Sydney's Centre 200 with

Published on March 08, 2010

Moments after being named winners of the Fan's Choice ECMA, New Brunswick-based band The Motorleague take in the excitement of their second statuette. Their first 2010 ECMA

Published on March 08, 2010

Two wins in. Joel Plaskett answers question from the media after being presented with the East Coast Music Award for Male Solo Recording of the Year. - Photo by Ashley Fitzp

Published on March 08, 2010

Catherine MacLellan of Prince Edward Island holds her East Coast Music Award for Folk Recording of the Year. The category was filled with talent, said MacLellan, who gave cr

Published on March 08, 2010

Post-poem reading (Joel Plaskett created a rhyming ditty he then read on stage), the multi-award winner (left) poses for photos with regular collaboration artists of The Eme

Published on March 08, 2010

New Brunswick's The Divorcees took home the 2010 East Coast Music Award for Country Recording of the Year for their album "Last of the Free Men." - Photo

Published on March 08, 2010

Presented with the Director's Special Achievement Award, members of The Rankin Family stop for a photo with their latest East Coast Music Award statuette. - Photo by Ashley

Provincial artists have 24 nominations, one win at East Coast Music Awards

Newfoundland and Labrador artists were almost shut out at the 2010 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) Sunday night - almost.

The ECMAs weekend ended in Sydney, Nova Scotia with the annual gala of performances and awards presentations.

Newfoundland and Labrador artists were almost shut out at the 2010 East Coast Music Awards (ECMA) Sunday night - almost.

The ECMAs weekend ended in Sydney, Nova Scotia with the annual gala of performances and awards presentations.

Of 24 nominations for Newfoundland and Labrador musicians, only one resulted in an award win.

Saving grace

The Novaks' "Things Fall Apart" acted as the saving grace, taking home the ECMA for Rock Recording of the Year.

The band was also nominated for Group Recording of the Year, but lost out to Nova Scotia's In Flight Safety for "We Are An Empire, My Dear."

Joel Plaskett big winner

As for winners outside of this province, Nova Scotia's Joel Plaskett ran away with the bulk of the music note statuettes handed out, for work on his album "Three."

The artist took home ECMAs for Entertainer of the Year, Male Solo Recording of the Year, FACTOR Recording of the Year (for the single "Through and Through and Through"), Group Single of the Year (for "Through and Through and Through") and SOCAN Songwriter of the Year (for the same single) at the gala event.

As The Telegram reported online, Plaskett was also awarded Pop Recording of the Year at a pre-gala event earlier in the day and also received an industry award for Producer of the Year at an event earlier in the East Coast Music Awards weekend.

Asked if there was such a thing as too many wins, Plaskett answered reflectively,"Yeah."

"I'm really humbled to win 'em, but I'm in a community with so many of these fantastic musicians who are all my friends who I've seen nominated, so I feel kind of sheepish. But also I feel lucky to be acknowledged for the work and the time that I've put in on doing this. It took me a long time," said Plaskett.

Ferry troubles

As for artists from this province, travelling to Cape Breton came at a financial cost and was simply a headache for some- including two members of Sherman Downey's band who did not make their Saturday showcase set due to ferry troubles.

Still, said musician Chris Kirby - nominated for four awards and winning none - the trip was worth the trouble.

Part of the value is in the fun of it all, said Kirby, who also had family reunions as part of his Nova Scotia excursion.

"My dad is from Sydney and my grandmother, his mother, still lives here. So (Friday) night we stayed at the hotel Nanny Kirby and my folks are up for the trip too," he said. "It was a packed house."

Nanny Kirby's was not the only packed house for Kirby over the ECMAs weekend.

He played to hundreds at a Saturday evening songwriters' circle and joined with his regular band, The Marquee, to perform a midnight show at the Capri Cabaret to a house full of fans, fellows and ECMA delegates.

Networking important

In that sense, the value of the East Coast Music Awards was also in the networking and business side of things, said Kirby.

"There's work to be done and connections to be made and people come hear to make those deals and make money as well as have fun. So, as long as you keep your eye on the prize."

That prize is not always a statuette.

Professional exposure

The right kind of exposure and a chance to make business connections was possible for all Newfoundland and Labrador artists this weekend. From Sharona Clarke to Matthew Hornell and The Diamond Mines, many musicians took part in one-on-one sessions with industry delegates.

As well, while it may not have drawn the same audience as the Oscars in its first year of online broadcast, the East Coast Music Awards gala did reach an audience of potential new fans.

The Once on gala show

The gala show included performances by Kirby, country artist Karla Pilgrim and folk group The Once.

While it was a disappointing event in terms of awards for provincial artists, the gala show included standout performances as well as an announcement that Ashley MacIsaac had received funding for a new album.

Still, there is a sting in this year's ECMA results.

"They always say it's an honour to be nominated and it is. Winning is not what I do it for, but it's certainly nice," said Kirby.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Group Recording, Group Single, The Telegram The Once

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Sydney Cape Breton

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