Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

FARE FOR THE YOUNGSTERS – Claire Ness and the Swing Sets perform Saturday at The Old Fire Hall for the BreakOut West children’s show.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

WEEKEND TUNES – Children’s performer Ginalina (a.k.a. Gina Lam) performs Saturday at The Old Fire Hall during BreakOut West.

Yukoners get awards at BreakOut West

The Western Canadian Music Awards, hosted last Thursday evening in Whitehorse as part of BreakOut West, honoured 34 Canadian artists and industry professionals.

By Gabrielle Plonka on October 7, 2019

The Western Canadian Music Awards, hosted last Thursday evening in Whitehorse as part of BreakOut West, honoured 34 Canadian artists and industry professionals.

Natalie Kleinschmit, the interim executive director of BreakOut West, told the Star the awards were an important component of the week’s roster of events.

“It’s important to have awards, because they’re there to take stock of where we are,” Kleinschmit said. “(Awards) recognize the craft of the artist and the teams that support them.”

Two Yukon artists were nominated for awards, presented at the at Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.

Singer-songwriter Sarah McDougall was nominated for Recording of the Year and Pop Artist of the Year.

Alternative country-folk trio Diyet & The Love Soldiers was nominated for Indigenous Artist of the year.

Two Yukoners were awarded the Heritage Award and Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award.

The Heritage Award, presented to a person who has made “significant contributions” to the music industry, was given to Yukon musician Hank Karr.

Karr has played music in the Yukon since the 1960s. He was celebrated for the impact he has made on the northern music scene.

The Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award is given to a person who has made an impact on the industry through mentorship, training and leadership. It was presented to Duncan Sinclair, head of Jazz Yukon and lauded as a pillar in the community.

British Columbian artists and producers dominated the awards, taking home 15 of 34.

Vancouver-based Dan Mangan was awarded four titles in Impact in Live Music, Recording of the Year, Rock Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. The Recording of the Year award was accompanied by a $2,000 honourarium.

Ben Kaplan of Fader Mountain Sound won in Audio Engineering and Johnny Jansen won Video Director of the Year for Said The Whale’s music video, UnAmerican.

B.C. artists Ndidi O, Raffi, M U R, Five Alarm Funk, Proznick, Vials, Warren Dean Flandez and Beckman Coe were all awarded Artist of the Year in their respective genres of blues, children’s, electronic, instrumental, jazz, rap, spiritual and world music.

First Nations hip hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids took home the award for Breakout Artist of the Year.

Alberta artists and producers took home six awards. Calgary’s National Music Centre won three of those awards for Impact in Artistic Development, Impact in Music Marketing and Community Excellence.

Flat Lake, Alta. native Brett Kissel won Country Artist of the Year. Kissel has already won a Juno Award this year for best country album.

Alberta’s Striker and Mariel Buckley won for Metal/Hard Music Artist of the Year and Roots Solo Artist respectively.

Saskatchewan musicians Rosie & the Riveters, LOA and Jeffery Straker won for best Roots Duo/Group, Urban Artist and Visual Media Composer respectively.

Manitoba artists Begonia and Rayannah took home Pop Artist of the Year and Francophone Artist of the Year. Manitoba Chamber Orchestra won best Classical Artist / Ensemble.

Rayannah also won best Producer of the Year alongside Manitoba’s Mario Lepage.

Manitoba’s Jadyn Klaassen won for Excellence in Visual Design.

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