Understand the Award Process
With Award season upon us, here are some recurring questions, misconceptions and comments we often hear:
1. Why wasn't Album XYZ nominated?!? It was one of the best album of the year!!
The most common answer is: Nobody applied for that album.
For an album to end up in a nomination list, someone has to fill out an application form, enter some basic info about the album and pay an admin fee. If nobody does that for a specific album, it's not going to end up in the nominations. In an ideal world, we could have a large committee of music lovers and industry experts who would listen to ALL the eligible albums, and the top five would create the nomination list. In reality, the jurors (who ARE music lovers and industry experts) listen to the albums who were submitted, evaluate them, and the top five make up the nomination list.
The second most common answer is: Someone filled out the nomination form poorly.
Jurors can only evaluate what they are given. If the submitted material is written like a draft, if there is some important info missing, that's what they have to evaluate.
2. It feels conceited to nominate myself...
You have to take your 'Artist' tuque off and put on your 'Manager' trucker hat on. Your music is good, you work hard and you deserve to be recognized. I'm sure there's a Dr. Phil quote somehwere about believing in yourself first before others can believe in you, you special snowflake. Imagine that quote over an Instagram-y sunset, and you're good to go! Plus, this is how most awards work.
3. Why apply? I'm not going to win...
Here's a little secret: Although it's great to win, it's not the main point of awards. Think of it this way: A bunch of industry pros (jurors from all over) will be listening to your music and learning more about what you do. This is an opportunity to get your music in the ears of influencial music industry people. Even if you don't end up winning, you are now on their radar.
Also, like it or not (and sometimes we don't), awards get a lot more attention than many of the much more worthwhile things that artists do. Whether you win or lose, use it as a promotion opportunity. Plus, it's a chance to spend an evening with 200 of your fellow musicians and industry pros, chat, network, and watch a great show!
4. Music NB is just going to pick their favourite!
If that was the case, we would have 50 nominees for each category! Year round, we see all the great things that our members do, the music they create, the concerts they organize, the hard work they put in. We would give each and everyone of them an award if we could. Which is why the MNB staff is completely removed from the jurying process. We manage the application forms, make sure that the jurors get all the info they need, but we have no hand in the evaluation or nomination process. Even the eligibility criteria are ultimately decided on by our Board of Directors (who are all members).
5. Awards are just a cash grab...
We don't know about the big awards like the Grammys, but awards like the Prix MNB Awards or other music inudstry association awards are definitely not money makers for the associations. Factor in the application form creation and management, staff time, web hosting, statuette production, award show logistics, etc., and those costs are nowhere near covered by the admin fees. For us, awards are a labour of love.
The Prix MNB Awards applications will open on April 3, 2017.