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ECMA unveils 2018 Honorary Award recipients

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The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) is very pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Honorary East Coast Music Awards. They are as follows:

Directors' Special Achievement Award:

Sloan: For more than 25 years, Sloan has cultivated a career full of heralded albums, chart-topping hits, and revered songwriting. Now Canadian indie-rock royalty, Sloan was instrumental as both ambassadors and champions of alternative East Coast music at the dawn of the Halifax “pop explosion” and “Seattle of the North” era in the early 1990s. Over the course of their quarter-century career, Sloan have amassed an outstanding collection of over 200 songs and more than 30 singles with airplay at Canadian Rock Radio. Sloan have received nine Juno Award nominations and won for Best Alternative Album in 1997. Recently, the band was named one of Canada’s top five bands of all-time in a CBC critics poll.

On tour in support of their newest album, 12, Sloan performs at the 2018 East Coast Music Awards Show on Thursday, May 03 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. Later that same night, Sloan performs as part of the Q104 Rock Showcase at the legendary Marquee Ballroom. Tickets are $25 (+ fees) and are available HERE.

The release of their twelfth studio album sees Sloan return to an equal songwriting split, with all four original members contributing three songs each, and also a return to Universal Music Canada. “It is hard to believe that it has been more than 15 years since our last release with Universal,” says Sloan’s Jay Ferguson. “We’re happy to be back and are enjoying the support of the whole team on this project. Great to meet the new faces and reconnect with old friends! We’re really glad to be back with our Universal family.”

Directors’ Special Achievement Award:

Kevin Macmichael: Born in Saint John, NB in 1951 and raised on Slayter Street in Dartmouth, NS, Kevin Scott Macmichael (d. 2002) was highly regarded as a natural talent with an ability to make music from anything. Best known as co-founder of the wildly successful 80s band Cutting Crew, whose hit "(I Just) Died In Your Arms" is celebrating a 30th anniversary of its own, Kevin also played an integral role in Robert Plant’s 1992 solo effort Fate Of Nations, supported East Coast friends The Rankins, Sons of Maxwell, and Chris Colepaugh, and nurtured many others.

Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award:

Lynn Horne: Lynn Horne has been a passionate contributor to the East Coast music industry since her early start fresh out of Dalhousie University as a production coordinator for the Atlantic Folk Festival. She has been a dedicated publicist, promoter, and artist manager to, among others, The Trews, Susan Crowe, Steven Bowers, Duane Andrews, Charlie A’Court, and the legendary Ron Hynes. Throughout her career, Lynn’s drive, tenacity and deep commitment to the artists and music of Atlantic Canada has made an indelible mark.

Industry Builder Award:

Louis Thomas: Owner and president of Sonic Entertainment Group, a full-service artist management company, record label, concert promoter, and recording studio based in Halifax, NS, Louis Thomas has dedicated over 30 years to managing the careers of Atlantic Canadian artists who have gone on to achieve international success, including Newfoundland’s beloved Great Big Sea. As a current member of the Board of Directors for Music Canada Live, Louis persistently advocates on behalf of the live music sector in Atlantic Canada and beyond.

Musicians’ Achievement Award:

Geoff Arsenault: Drummer, singer, songwriter, performer, and illustrator, Geoff Arsenault is a uniquely talented, multifaceted artist known for his generous and harmonious style and distinctive musical contributions to multiple genres. A long-time collaborator with musicians ranging from Ray Bonneville to Dutch Mason, Mary Jane Lamond to Thom Swift, Arsenault also released two solo albums, This Ain’t No Fiction and Voodoo Baby Rattle, and was named Best Drummer at the 2006 national Maple Blues Awards.

Stompin' Tom Award:

James McQuaid & Richard Grey (NS): Originally part of the Halifax hip-hop group New Beginning, James McQuaid (aka MCJ) and Richard Grey (aka Cool G) went on to perform as a new jack swing-inspired duo and became the first Canadian rap group to be picked up by a major label signing to Capitol Records in 1989. Their debut album, So Listen, earned MCJ and Cool G three Juno Award nominations. In 2007, they were given the Music Pioneer Award by the African Nova Scotian Music Association.

Jon Rehder (PEI): Jon Rehder has been a freelance musician for nearly 45 years. A renown multi-instrumentalist, Rehder is also an accomplished songwriter with his band Rhythm Rules. He has performed with a wide variety of PEI artists such as Mitch Schurman, Chas Guay, Catherine MacLellan, and many more. In 2016, Rehder was the recipient of the 2016 Doug Riley Musician award at the TD PEI Jazz and Blues Festival.

Liz Solo (NL): For nearly thirty years, Liz Solo has left her mark on the music community as an accomplished vocalist, guitarist, drummer, composer/songwriter, performance artist, media artist, writer, and activist. In addition to touring throughout Canada, the US, and Europe with acts such as Red Scare, Live Girls, The Black Bags, Lizband, TrixXxie, and The Sauce, Solo is co-founder of the Black Bag Media Collective and Rock School for Girls - the first of its kind in Canada. She was manager and co-founder of Rock Can Roll Records where she produced five incarnations of the Rock Can Roll Music and Media Festival in St. John’s. She has put in many years as an independent show producer, providing open stages to countless Newfoundland musicians, and bringing scores of acts to Newfoundland and Labrador for the first time.

Gordie Tufts (NB): When he opened Backstreet Records in 1980, Gordie Tufts was among the first independent boutique owners in the core of Saint John, NB. For 38 years, he has never relented on selling new and used vinyl despite many shifts in the industry. Tufts opened a second store in Fredericton, NB and, in addition to also being a fixture in that city’s downtown, both shops are hubs for musicians, community, and fans alike.

Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald (CB): Winston "Scotty" Fitzgerald was a renowned Cape Breton fiddler. A pioneer in recorded performances of the music, Fitzgerald has also heavily influenced the style and repertoire of later generations of players. Performing with the Radio Entertainers, he released several 78s and LPs. Later in his career Fitzgerald would perform on the Cliff MacKay and Don Messer shows, and as part of the Cape Breton Symphony on the John allan Cameron Show. Many of Winston's recordings are out of print, but a selection culled from his albums was reissued as Classic Cutsby Breton Books & Music. A significant portion of his repertoire has been preserved in a book called Winston Fitzgerald: A Collection of Fiddle Tunes, issued by Cranford Publications.

About the Honorary Awards

Directors’ Special Achievement Award: The Directors’ Special Achievement Award is given only under special circumstances. The Award recognizes an organization, individual or group that has demonstrated an exceptional contribution to the music industry on a national and/or international level.

Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award: The Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has had a profound and lasting effect on the Atlantic Canadian Music Industry. The award was renamed after Dr. Helen Creighton when Dr. Creighton received the award in 1991. The Board of Directors of the ECMA determines the recipient(s) of this award annually.

Musician’s Achievement Award: This Musician’s Achievement Award recognizes a side player/session musician, preferably from the host region who exemplifies professionalism and quality musicianship on recordings and/or live performances of East Coast music, and deserves to be recognized for their cumulative contributions. The Board of Directors of the ECMA determines the recipient of this award annually.

Industry Builder Award: Each year the East Coast Music Association Board of Directors selects an individual, group, or organization that has made a significant impact on the welfare of the music industry in Atlantic Canada. The award recognizes the recipients’ genuine contributions to the East Coast music industry that are made, not simply for personal gain, but for the greater development of the East Coast Music industry.

Stompin’ Tom Award: Stompin’ Tom Connors, one of the most well known Canadian musicians, was presented with the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. At that time he agreed to accept the award on one condition – that he could return it! Instead, he requested that an award be created to honour all those who have made a long-term contribution to the East Coast Music Industry and have paved the road for many successful East Coast artists of today. The Stompin’ Tom Award is presented to one individual or group from each of the East Coast Music Association’s five regions (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Mainland Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Cape Breton).