ECMA gala event tonight

Tara Bradbury
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Saturday's events included awards, success at MusicNL stage

After five days of gigs, meetings, workshops and networking, the East Coast Music Awards and conference will come to a close tonight in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

The conference will officially end with a gala awards show at Charlottetown's Confederation Centre of the Arts, hosted by country star George Canyon and featuring performances by Hey Rosetta!, The Trews, Matt Anderson, David Myles, Carmen Townsend and more, as well as a special tribute to Haywire.

The awards for Bell Aliant fan's Choice Entertainer and Video, Children's Recording, Rising Star, DVD, Francophone and others will be presented tonight, with a number of Newfoundland and Labrador acts in the running.

Awards have been presented throughout the week at official showcases and partnered stages- something that's a relatively new thing for the ECMAs. So far, three local musicians have been given hardware: Ennis won the Roots/Traditional Group of the Year award for their album "Lessons Learned;" Duane Andrews and Dwayne Cote won the Jazz Recording of the Year award for their self-titled CD; and The Idlers won the World Music Recording of the Year award for their album "Keep Out."

Shelley Chase of St. John's-based Garrison Hill Entertainment - which manages acts like The Once, The Dardenelles and Snook - was presented with the ECMA for Manager of the Year.

"Wow, I got an award for being bossy," Chase joked as she accepted her award.

Saturday saw local acts performing and venues all over the city, including the MusicNL stage at the Delta Prince Edward. The Mountains and the Trees, Mary Barry, Evry 7th, Andrew O'Brien, Jerry Stamp and Andrews and Cote played to an appreciative audience.

Stamp had arrived in Charlottetown Wednesday but got sick with a stomach bug, ending up in hospital on an IV at one point. He was forced to back out of all his performances, apart from the MusicNL stage.

He told The Telegram he was feeling a bit better, after having survived the past four days on crackers and Gatorade.

"I missed everything I was supposed to do this week- gigs, meetings, schmoozing: gone," Stamp said.

Stamp was supposed to perform at the MusicNL show with fellow singer/songwriter Ian Foster, but Foster, who is sharing a hotel room with Stamp, had caught the big Saturday and was unable to play. 

Today is a relatively quiet day at the ECMAs, with everyone gearing up for tonight's gala and simultaneous Gala Satellite Party, with the exception of the SOCAN Songwriters' Circle talking place in the Delta ballroom this afternoon, with musicians Rose Cousins, Lennie Gallant, Jenn Grant, Brooke Miller, Jessica Rhaye, Dean Brody and Bruce Guthro.

See a slideshow of photos from The Telegram taken at this weekend's events.

Organizations: ECMA for Manager of the Year, Confederation Centre, Bell Aliant Roots Traditional Group of the Year Garrison Hill Entertainment Delta Prince Edward Gatorade Gala Satellite Party

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's

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