Moncton set to host East Coast Music Awards Week

Whether you are a budding musician interested in furthering your career, learning more about the music industry or are simply a fan of great East Coast music, East Coast Music Awards Week offers something for you.

Featuring a mix of both established acts as well as some of the most exciting up-and-coming acts from Atlantic Canada, there is a little something for everyone this coming week as the eyes and ears of the Canadian music industry converge on Metro Moncton for what promises to be an unforgettable week of music.

The 2012 edition of East Coast Music Awards week kicks off on Wednesday and culminates with the presentation of the East Coast Music Awards on Sunday evening at Casino New Brunswick. This is the first time that the awards have been in Metro since 1997.

A mix of both free and paid events run throughout the week but no matter what you choose to take in, some of the best talent from the Atlantic region will be on stage.

New Brunswick-based artists scheduled to perform during the more than 30 showcases include Canada’s Got Talent contestant Francelle Maria, country outlaws The Divorcees, Andy Brown, bluesman Matt Andersen, Tradition, bluegrass band The BackYard Devils, fiddler Samantha Robichaud and many others.

This year’s edition of the East Coast Music Awards will also be the first to feature a showcase dedicated to First Nations musicians.

While East Coast Music Award week is a chance to network with prospective labels, concert buyers and more, Fredericton native David Myles says that it is also a great opportunity to catch up with friends, some of whom he hasn’t seen since last year’s ECMA Week.

“Catching up with friends I haven’t seen over the course of the year has to be one of my favourite parts about ECMA weekend,” Myles says. “Most of us tour for a good part of the year so it is rare that we all get to hang out together. It is a great reason to look back upon the past year and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments.”

Though the social aspect of the East Coast Music Awards week appeals to Myles, the week isn’t all about play for the talented musician. Myles is an established artist in the industry but continues to look forward to the many workshops and conferences presented in association with week.

“I think that the conferences and workshops are a huge part of the ECMA weekend. They are perhaps one of the most important parts of the whole week. The East Coast Music Association does a great job bringing in delegates from all over the world that work in the industry. Many of the international touring opportunities that I have had the opportunity to participate in have been the result of showcasing for delegates at the conference. This year, I am really hoping to continue building upon the international work that I have done over the last few years,” Myles says.

Divorcees drummer Brock Gallant concurs with Myles view of the conference and workshop aspects of East Coast Music Award Week. Not shy in admitting that he loves performing, Gallant is also hoping to make some new contacts that will help break The Divorcees into potential new markets.

“The East Coast Music Awards offer an industry conference that rivals both Canadian Music Week and North By Northeast in terms of delivering top shelf education and opportunities to export our music around the world. With this year’s festival, The Divorcees are hoping to continue building relationships with international delegates,” Gallant says. “In some cases, we have met some of these people before while in other cases we will be meeting some folks for the first time.”

Year after year, the East Coast Music Awards offer firsts of all sorts and the 2012 edition is no exception. Asked what she is most looking forward to with this year’s celebration, East Coast Music Association executive director Su Hutchinson says it is tough to narrow down the week to only a couple of events but singles out Saturday evening’s A Sound Celebration taking place at the Capitol Theatre.

“The music that I love to listen to comes from all corners of the Atlantic region and covers all genres,” Hutchinson says. “It has been a personal mission to see the integration of classical music into East Coast Music Award activities in a forum that allows musicians to learn from each other and play together.

“So based upon that, I would have to say that the National Bank’s A Sound Celebration taking place at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday evening. For the first time, members of three major New Brunswick orchestras are playing together on one stage and will be joined by some amazing homegrown talent including David Myles, Samantha Robichaud, Chris Colepaugh and Matt Andersen.”

Article published in April 10, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript