Amelia Curran, Ennis top MusicNL awards

Tara Bradbury
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The Ennis sisters’ mantelpiece just got a little heavier.
Though neither Karen, Maureen or Teresa were able to make it to Gander this weekend — Karen and Maureen are on tour in northern Ontario while Teresa is home with her three-month-old daughter — the ladies tied Amelia Curran for winning the most MusicNL awards.

The sisters won three in total, for two different albums: the Steele Communications Celtic/Traditional Artist/Group of the Year for their holiday record, “It’s Christmas” (featuring all three ladies), as well as FACTOR Album of the Year and Canadian AV Group of the Year for “The Fortunate Ones,” by Karen and Maureen.

“They will be thrilled to hear this,” Teresa told The Telegram by phone after the winners were announced. “For me, I was just involved with the Christmas CD and being back in the studio with Maureen and Karen was awesome for me. To be nominated and to win is really cool. Making music is something we’ve always done, and to win awards that are voted on by your peers is really special.”

The Ennis Sisters will begin their second annual Christmas show Nov. 27 and tour it around the province until two days before Christmas.

Curran is also on the road, but sent her thanks via e-mail for the Telegram Folk/Roots Artist/Group of the Year, SOCAN Songwriter of the Year and Coast 101.1 FM Female Artist of the Year awards, for her album, “Spectators.”

“There is no opinion that means more to me than a Newfoundlander’s, and there is no place in the world I would rather be connected to,” she wrote. “I’ll put it simply. I’ve travelled a lot, but our place is best.

“I offer you something my father said that reminds me how much I loved my job. ‘Amelia, my dear, you’ll never suffer for jobs in the taverns, ’cause you drives people to drive.’ So cheers, have one for me.”

Craig Young was the other multiple award winner of the night, taking home the trophies for Country Artist of the Year for his CD “Black Diamond Strings,” as well as Side Musician of the Year. The six members of RocketRocketShip — Jeremy Kelly, Matt Dines, David Shears, Kenney Purchase, Paul Brake and newcomer Tyrone MacNeil — had been nominated for four awards, and took home a big one, for Molson Coors Pop/Rock Artist/Group of the Year. There wasn’t a speck of disappointment among the guys for the awards they didn’t take home.

“We were up against some amazing talent, and to win one award is an absolute honour,” Kelly said. The band members plan to keep their first award in their jam space, and hope to be back at the MusicNL gala again next year with a new CD, currently in the works.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to music educator Maxine Stanley, who told the audience at the Gander Arts and Culture Centre she was “flabbergasted” to have won.

Other winners were Chris Picco, Adam McGrath and the Tearjerkers, Idlers, Lady Cove Women’s Choir, Dan Bursey, Gordon Quinton, The Once, The Rolling Kings and Blair Goudie, who won the award for Urban/Electronic Artist/Group of the Year, presented for the first time.

A handful of industry awards were given out at a brunch event earlier in the weekend: MightyPop’s Jud Haynes won the awards for Industry Professional and Volunteer of the year, Fred’s Records won the Company of the Year award, Tom Power won Media Person of the Year and Kathy Conway won Educator of the Year.

This year’s MusicNL week had a bit of a different twist: with a smaller number of albums eligible for awards this year, organizers decided to focus on young musicians, offering talent contest for teenagers in St. John’s and Gander, as well as an all-ages showcase and panels aimed at new and emerging artists; something not seen too often at music conferences.

“We thought we’d make the event a little different, a little more grass-roots, and it still turned out to be a great event,” explained Jen Winsor, MusicNL’s communications and program manager and executive assistant. She reckons because of the cycle of music production, there will be a plethora of eligible records next year. She plans to continue to engage youth, and hopes the conference will inspire new professional musicians.

“I also want to show them that there’s somewhere for them to go; there’s an organization that is available to them, that is there for support and funding and information, and can help them along the way.”

Twitter: @tara_bradbury



FACTOR Album of the Year: Ennis — The Fortunate Ones

Canadian AV Group of the Year: Ennis — The Fortunate Ones

Coast 101.1 FM Female Artist of the Year: Amelia Curran — Spectators

DC Design House Male Artists of the Year: Chris Picco — The Beach

SOCAN Songwriter of the Year: Amelia Curran — Years

Statoil Rising Star New Artist/Group of the Year: Adam McGrath — My Colour Red

Molson Coors Pop/Rock Artist/Group of the Year: RocketRocketShip — Your Best Kept Secret

Telegram Folk/Roots Artist/Group of the Year: Amelia Curran — Spectators

Alternative Artist/Group of the Year: Idlers — Idlers

Steele Communications Celtic/Traditional Artist/Group of the Year: Ennis Sisters — It’s Christmas

Classical Artist/Group of the Year: Lady Cove Women’s Choir — Heart’s Delight

Country Artist/Group of the Year: Craig Young — Black Diamond Strings

Gospel Artist/Group of the Year: Dan Bursey — Priceless

Instrumental Artist/Group of the Year: Gordon Quinton — A Guitar’s Story

Urban/Electronic Artist/Group of the Year: Blair Goudie — Death Beach Boat Club

Side Musician of the Year: Craig Young

Industry Professional of the Year: Jud Haynes

Volunteer of the Year: Jud Haynes

Company of the Year: Fred’s

Media Person of the Year: Tom Power — CBC

Public voted winners:

Bell Aliant: The Rolling Kings

CBC Entertainer: The Once


Source: Douglas M. Kirby Chartered Accountants

Organizations: Year and Canadian AV Group of the Year, The Telegram, Telegram Folk/Roots Artist/Group of the Year Rock Artist/Group of the Year Gander Arts Company of the Year

Geographic location: Gander.tbradbury

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