Canadian Musician


David Francey & Jadea Kelly among 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award Winners

December 5th, 2016

Bruce Cockburn and other during the CFMA Gall finale. [Photo by Mike Bourgault]

Bruce Cockburn and other during the CFMA Gala finale. [Photo by Mike Bourgault]

The recipients of the Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs) were announced on Saturday night at the 12th anniversary gala event at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto. Hosted by musicians Jean Hewson and Benoit Bourque (La Bottine Souriante) in a bilingual gala event, Canada’s folk music community came together to celebrate Canadian folk music with performances by Bruce Cockburn, Colin Linden, The Ennis Sisters, Sultans Of String, Red Moon Road, and Klô Pelgag.

Nineteen award categories were presented at the gala. Songwriter and guitarist David Francey who is based in McDonalds Corners, ON, came away with two awards – winning Solo Artist of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year for his album Empty Train.

Alongside David Francey, Ontario had a strong showing this year, winning seven other awards during the evening. Jadea Kelly was named Contemporary Singer of the Year for her album Love & Lust, an atmospheric and emotional folk album. Sarnia’s Donovan Woods, well known for his songwriting talent, having written for performers ranging from Tim McGraw to Alan Doyle, was lauded as English Songwriter of the Year for his record Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled. Innovative and forward thinking banjo-picking artist Kaia Kater, now a resident of Toronto, was awarded The Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award for her album Nine Pin. The vibrant genre-straddling group Sultans of String were named World Group of the Year. The Andrew Collins Trio won Instrumental Group of the Year for their mash-up of classical, bluegrass, jazz and celtic sounds on their recent release And It Was Good. Vineland, Ontario’s David Gillis was presented with the award for Producer of the Year for his work on Corin Raymond’s record Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams. Twin Flames, a collaboration between Ottawa’s Chelsey June and Nunavik’s Jaaji Quataq, were named Aboriginal Songwriters of the Year.

Quebec’s folk scene was also appreciated throughout the weekend. Longtime McGarrigle collaborator and Montreal professor Chaim Tannenbaum was awarded Traditional Singer of the Year for his debut self-titled album. Les soeurs Boulay were named French Songwriters of the Year for their beautiful lilting album 4488 de L’Amour and Musique à Bouches’ traditional quebec folk harmonies on their album Jusqu’aux oreilles were honoured as Vocal Group of the Year. Yann Falquet and Pascal Gemme were recognized for the Traditional Album of the Year for Princes et Habitants.

Looking to eastern Canada, Newfoundland’s Duane Andrews was named Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year for his work on his album Conception Bay which takes local traditional folk and blends with manouche jazz and Russian classical inspirations. The Young Performers of the Year, from St John’s, are Blues duo Nick Earle and Joe Coffin. Nova Scotia’s Hillsburn were revealed as the New/Emerging Artists of the Year for their contemporary in-your-face radiant folk on their album In the Battle Years and Prince Edward Island’s The East Pointers were named Ensemble of the Year for their beautifully immersive debut album Secret Victory.

The Kerplunks, from Gabriola Island, BC, won the Children’s Album of the Year for their album Pants & Mammals. Steve Edge, one of the founders of the Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club was also honoured with a special category award as the Unsung Hero for 2016.

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