JUNO Fan Choice Award (Presented by TD)

Arcade Fire Arcade Fire Music*Universal
Arcade Fire’s highly anticipated fourth album Reflektor was released on October 28 via Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. Produced by Arcade Fire, James Murphy and Markus Dravs, the album was recorded in Jamaica, Montreal and New York. Title track “Reflektor” was released on 9/9 at 9:00pm, featuring guest vocals from David Bowie and an accompanying video by long-time collaborator Anton Corbijn. A second interactive video for “Reflektor”, created for Google Chrome and written and directed by Vincent Morisset, was shot in Haiti.

Bobby Bazini Universal
Since signing to Universal Music Canada in 2013, Quebec based, soulful platinum singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini has been working hard on the follow-up to his hugely successful platinum-selling independent debut album, Better In Time (2010) that delivered his smash-hit “I Wonder”.

He released his sophomore full-length release, Where I Belong in May. In the Fall of 2013, Bazini took the trip of a lifetime when he grabbed his guitar, packed up his car and left a small Montreal suburb for the Golden State to record with legendary producer Larry Klein. Five days later, he was in Los Angeles having breakfast with the iconic producer and jumping right into the recording process at the renowned Village Recorder that has hosted some of Bazini’s heroes – Bob Dylan, Otis Redding and Johnny Cash. Where I Belong was recorded with a studio filled with some of Bazini’s favourite musicians including, Booker T (organ), Jack Ashford (percussion) and Jay Bellrose (drums). What resulted is a collection of live-sounding folk/country and soul songs featuring the single, “Heavy Love”.

Drake Cash Money*Universal
Aubrey Drake Graham stepped out as a rapper and singer with pop appeal in 2006, when he initiated a series of mixtapes. He raised his profile throughout the next several months by popping up on countless mixtapes and remixes, and as rumours swirled about contract offers from labels, he gradually became one of the most talked-about artists in the industry. It did not hurt that he had support from the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne. By the end of June 2009, “Best I Ever Had,” a promotional single, had climbed to number two on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. After a fierce bidding war, Drake signed with Universal Motown in late summer and released an EP (So Far Gone) made up of songs from his popular So Far Gone mix tape. It peaked at number six on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and won a 2010 JUNO Award for Rap Recording of the Year. Thank Me Later, a full-length featuring collaborations with the Kings of Leon, the-Dream, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, was issued through Young Money the following year. Drake’s third studio album, Nothing Was the Same was released in 2013 and was supported by the six successful singles including “Hold On, We're Going Home” featuring Majid Jordan.
Hedley Universal
On August 27, 2013, Hedley’s single “Anything” was released in Canada, followed by the video on September 10th. The album containing the track – entitled Wild Life and consisting of 11 tracks (15 on the deluxe version) – was released on November 11, 2013 in Canada. The Wild Life album was released via Capitol Records in the U.S. on May 20, 2014.

Hedley headlined the 101st Grey Cup Halftime show at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field in Regina, Saskatchewan on November 24, 2013. Performing a 13-minute compilation of “Hands Up,” “Anything,” “Invincible” and “Cha-Ching.”

After playing at The Studio at Webster Hall in New York on January 14 and Los Angeles at The Sayers Club on January 16, Hedley went on a Canadian national headlining Wild Live Tour, to promote the album from February through April 2014, playing 37 cities and ending in their hometown of Abbotsford.

Leonard Cohen Columbia*Sony
Leonard Cohen is a master songwriter, musician, poet, novelist and visual artist whose stunning body of original work has touched the lives of millions with a career spanning six decades.

He has sold over 23 million albums, worldwide and published 12 books, the most recent of which was 2006’s Book of Longing, a collection of poetry, prose and drawings, which reached #1 on the Top 10 Hardcover Fiction Books in Canada.

Leonard Cohen has been honored as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient (2010), inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (2008), the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2006), the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2006) and the Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2010). He has received the prestigious Principe de Asturias Prize – the highest literary award in Spain (Spain, 2011) as well as the Glenn Gould Prize, awarded to an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts (Canada, 2011). The Canadian native has earned his country’s highest civilian honors – Officer of the Order of Canada (1991), Companion to the Order of Canada (2003), Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec (2008).
Magic! Sony
When something is meant to be, you just know it immediately. It’s as if there was a divine plan or universal synergy fusing the right elements together at the right time for the right situation. That’s the feeling Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Nasri experienced the first time MAGIC! jammed. During a writing session in 2012, he heard collaborator and guitarist Mark Pelli strum a reggae-tinged riff, and something clicked.

“I’m a huge fan of The Police, and I always wanted to do my own project that merged reggae, rock, pop, and a little soul for quite some time,” he affirms. “The moment Mark began playing, it felt natural. We had this vision, and it all tied together instantly. We began recording, and the sound was so locked in on every song. That’s even where we derived the band name. Everything simply worked like MAGIC!”

Soon after that initial jam, drummer Alex Tanas and bassist Ben Spivak joined the fold as the quartet entered a Los Angeles studio to record its full-length 2013 debut.

Michael Bublé Reprise*Warner
Michael Steven Bublé (born 9 September 1975) is an Ialian/Canadian vocalist, songwriter and actor. He has won several awards, including three Grammy Awards and multiple JUNO Awards. His first album reached the top 10 in Canada and the UK. He found a worldwide audience with his 2005 album It’s Time, and his 2007 album Call Me Irresponsible which reached number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, the UK Albums Chart, the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart, the Australian ARIA Albums Chart and several European charts. Bublé’s 2009 album Crazy Love debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 after three days of sales, and remained there for two weeks. It was also his fourth number one album on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart. His 2011 holiday album, titled Christmas, was in first place on the Billboard 200 for the final four weeks of 2011 and the first week of 2012, totalling five weeks atop the chart, it also made the Top Five in the United Kingdom. With this, Christmas became his third-consecutive number-one album on the chart. His latest album, To Be Loved, was a big success, released in April 2013 it was preceded by the release of the lead single and original composition “It’s a Beautiful Day”, “Close Your Eyes” followed and “After All” featuring Bryan Adams performed by him as a UK exclusive and posted on YouTube, the single came out in late-September 2013.

Nickelback Nickelback II Productions*Universal
Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta. The band is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger and drummer Daniel Adair. The band went through a few drummer changes between 1995 and 2005, achieving its current form when Adair replaced drummer Ryan Vikedal.

Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian groups, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and ranking as the eleventh best-selling music act, and the second best-selling foreign act in the U.S. of the 2000s, behind The Beatles. Billboard ranks them the top rock group of the decade, and their hit song “How You Remind Me” was listed as the top rock song of the decade and the fourth song of the decade. They were listed number seven on the Billboard top artist of the decade, with four albums listed on the Billboard top albums of the decade.

Their eighth studio album No Fixed Address was released on 18 November, 2014. The band has won numerous awards including 12 JUNO Awards among 28 nominations.

Serge Fiori GSI*eOne
28 years after his last solo project, on March 4th 2014, Serge Fiori surprised all with the release of a new self titled album. Co-produced by Serge himself and Marc Pérusse, the SERGE FIORI album presents ten songs written by Serge and a brief instrumental epilogue composed by Marc. This deeply personal work is emblematic of a sensitive artist with a sharp and lucid perspective on the world, and was long awaited for by the thousands of fans of the founder/leader/singer/main songwriter of the legendary progressive folk-rock band Harmonium.

“Fiori does it with wit and poetic elegance… This one was worth waiting for.” says Bernard Perusse, The Gazette. “Serge Fiori is a national treasure. The new Fiori is brilliant” says Terry Dimonte of CHOM-FM.

A mere eight weeks after its release, the album was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), recognizing sales of 80,000 copies. SERGE FIORI also ranked #1 in sales in Québec for eight consecutive weeks, and in Canada for two consecutive weeks, and is now approaching the 100,000 mark, proof positive of the deep and abiding connection fans have with the singer-songwriter.

You+Me RCA*Sony
You+Me consists of Alecia Moore and Dallas Green and is a passion project for the two. The artists met through Alecia’s husband Carey Hart and instantly felt a connection and wanted to work together. Alecia invited Dallas to Los Angeles to write a song or two and ended up writing eight songs together in one week. The duo then decided to finish and record an album. Dallas Green also known as City and Colour has received critical praise worldwide, selling out arena tours and some of the most prestigious venues across the globe. He has released four studio albums, all of which achieved Platinum status in Canada. Green is also the recipient of three Juno Awards including two prestigious Songwriter Of The Year awards (2009, 2012).

Single of the Year

Drake Cash Money*Universal
Hold On, We’re Going Home ft. Majid Jordan
Aubrey Drake Graham stepped out as a rapper and singer with pop appeal in 2006, when he initiated a series of mixtapes. He raised his profile throughout the next several months by popping up on countless mixtapes and remixes, and as rumours swirled about contract offers from labels, he gradually became one of the most talked-about artists in the industry. It did not hurt that he had support from the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne. By the end of June 2009, “Best I Ever Had,” a promotional single, had climbed to number two on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. After a fierce bidding war, Drake signed with Universal Motown in late summer and released an EP (So Far Gone) made up of songs from his popular So Far Gone mix tape. It peaked at number six on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and won a 2010 JUNO Award for Rap Recording of the Year. Thank Me Later, a full-length featuring collaborations with the Kings of Leon, the-Dream, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, was issued through Young Money the following year. Drake’s third studio album, Nothing Was the Same was released in 2013 and was supported by the six successful singles including “Hold On, We're Going Home” featuring Majid Jordan.
Hedley Universal
Crazy for You
On August 27, 2013, Hedley’s single “Anything” was released in Canada, followed by the video on September 10th. The album containing the track – entitled Wild Life and consisting of 11 tracks (15 on the deluxe version) – was released on November 11, 2013 in Canada.
The Wild Life album was released via Capitol Records in the U.S. on May 20, 2014.
Hedley headlined the 101st Grey Cup Halftime show at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field in Regina, Saskatchewan on November 24, 2013. Performing a 13-minute compilation of “Hands Up,” “Anything,” “Invincible” and “Cha-Ching.”
After playing at The Studio at Webster Hall in New York on January 14 and Los Angeles at The Sayers Club on January 16, Hedley went on a Canadian national headlining Wild Live Tour, to promote the album from February through April 2014, playing 37 cities and ending in their hometown of Abbotsford.

Kiesza Island*Universal
Hideaway
Kiesza is a fascinating pop polymath whose music is as colourful, diverse and surprising as the twists and turns that led her where she is today.
Inspired by epic nights out at NYC hotspots like Body & Soul and Libation, this Calgary-born 25-year-old’s debut album Sound Of A Woman is packed with deep house grooves and shimmering soulful melodies, but Kiesza is also an in-demand songwriter for acts across the globe, puts together her own stunning artwork, is a trained ballerina, and former tall-ship sailor who the Army once attempted to train as a sniper.
In 2014 she kicked things off in style with her debut single, the blistering anthem “Hideaway” which rocketed to the #1 spot in the UK charts was one of the fastest-selling debuts of the year. “Hideaway” is two-times Platinum in Canada, was a #1 All-Format Canadian single at radio, spent eight consecutive weeks at #1 on the Shazam Top 200 and snagged the #1 spot in 21 countries on iTunes.. The song’s distinctive video was shot on the streets of Brooklyn, and showcases Kiesza’s attention-grabbing dance moves.

Magic! Sony
Rude
When something is meant to be, you just know it immediately. It’s as if there was a divine plan or universal synergy fusing the right elements together at the right time for the right situation. That’s the feeling Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Nasri experienced the first time MAGIC! jammed. During a writing session in 2012, he heard collaborator and guitarist Mark Pelli strum a reggae-tinged riff, and something clicked.
“I’m a huge fan of The Police, and I always wanted to do my own project that merged reggae, rock, pop, and a little soul for quite some time,” he affirms. “The moment Mark began playing, it felt natural. We had this vision, and it all tied together instantly. We began recording, and the sound was so locked in on every song. That’s even where we derived the band name. Everything simply worked like MAGIC!”
Soon after that initial jam, drummer Alex Tanas and bassist Ben Spivak joined the fold as the quartet entered a Los Angeles studio to record its full-length 2013 debut.

Sam Roberts Band Secret Brain*Universal
We’re All in This Together
Sam Roberts was living in a hobbit hole on a mountain in Spain, watching the sun set on the hills of Andalucia when the lyrics of “Golden Hour” came to him. If that were the only unusual thing about the making of Lo-Fantasy, his fifth studio album, it would still be remarkably strange, but this is no ordinary Sam Roberts Band record. “Low fantasy is a literary genre that takes place in a world very much like our own, but in which magic – or the possibility of magic – exists,” Roberts says. “It’s grounded in reality, but it’s an altered reality. You can still ride a train to Alberta, but there’s a place for the supernatural in this otherwise rational world – it’s out there and we haven’t tapped into it yet.” Maybe music is the bridge….

International Album of the Year

Katy Perry Capitol*Universal
PRISM
Prism was released on October 18, 2013, and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Four days later, Perry performed the songs from the album at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles. “Dark Horse” was released as the album’s third single on December 17, 2013, and became her ninth number-one single on January 29, 2014. In 2014, “Birthday” and “This Is How We Do” followed as the album’s fourth and fifth singles, and reached the top 25 on the Hot 100. Additionally, she recorded and co-wrote a duet with John Mayer titled “Who You Love” for his album Paradise Valley. The song was released on August 12, 2014.
Perry began her third headlining tour, The Prismatic World Tour, on May 7, 2014. It started in Europe, and will have continued throughout North America and Oceania before concluding in Europe on March 22, 2015. Perry will perform at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show on February 1, 2015.

Lorde Universal
Pure Heroine
In mid-2013, Lorde released her debut single “Royals”. It became an international crossover hit, peaking atop the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and eventually made Lorde the youngest solo artist to achieve a U.S. number-one single since Tiffany with her number-one hit “I Think We’re Alone Now” in 1987. Later that year, she released her debut studio album, Pure Heroine. The record peaked atop the charts of Australia and New Zealand and charted at number three on the U.S. Billboard 200. Its following singles include “Tennis Court”, “Team”, “No Better” and “Glory and Gore”. In 2014, Lorde released “Yellow Flicker Beat” as a single from the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.

One Direction Sony
Midnight Memories
In July 2010, Niall Horan (of Westmeath, Ireland), Zayn Malik (Bradford), Liam Payne (Wolverhampton), Harry Styles (Cheshire) and Louis Tomlinson (Doncaster) auditioned for the UK’s award-winning TV talent show, The X Factor.
They had entered as soloists and had never met each other – but during the Bootcamp stage of the competition, they were asked to group together by Simon Cowell in order to secure their position. They agreed, and One Direction was formed. Together, they went on to become the third place winners of the show. A few weeks later, a deal was signed with Syco Music.
It’s been five years since the world fell in love with One Direction. Since then, those five boys from the UK and Ireland have gone on to achieve a staggering 94 number ones, more than 46 million records worldwide, drum up more than 109 million Twitter followers and connect with 33 million Facebook fans.
There’s no doubt about it, they are the biggest band on the planet.

Sam Smith Capitol*Universal
In the Lonely Hour
Samuel Frederick “Sam” Smith (born 19 May 1992) is an English singer-songwriter. He rose to fame in October 2012 when he was featured on Disclosure’s breakthrough single “Latch”, which peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart. His subsequent feature—on Naughty Boy’s “La La La”—earned him his first number 1 single in May 2013.
In December 2013, he was nominated for the 2014 BRIT Critics’ Choice Award and the BBC’s Sound of 2014 poll, both of which he won. He released his debut studio album, In the Lonely Hour, in May 2014 on Capitol Records. The lead single, “Lay Me Down”, was released prior to “La La La”. The second single was “Money on My Mind”. The album’s third single, “Stay with Me,” was an international success, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart and number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In December 2014, Smith was nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, “Stay with Me” for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and In the Lonely Hour for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album.

Taylor Swift Big Machine*Universal
1989
Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989, was released on October 27, 2014. Swift described 1989 as her first official pop release and parted ways with members of her longtime band. She was inspired by the music of Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Annie Lennox, Madonna and Fine Young Cannibals. Musically, the album is “driven by synths and drums in lieu of guitar.
1989 sold 1.287 million copies in its first week of US release, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and making Swift the first and only act to have three albums sell more than one million copies in a week. The first single, “Shake It Off”, was released in August 2014 and spent four non-consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100

Album of the Year (Sponsored by Music Canada)

Bobby Bazini Universal
Where I Belong
Since signing to Universal Music Canada in 2013, Quebec based, soulful platinum singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini has been working hard on the follow-up to his hugely successful platinum-selling independent debut album, Better In Time (2010) that delivered his smash-hit “I Wonder”.
He released his sophomore full-length release, Where I Belong in May.
In the Fall of 2013, Bazini took the trip of a lifetime when he grabbed his guitar, packed up his car and left a small Montreal suburb for the Golden State to record with legendary producer Larry Klein. Five days later, he was in Los Angeles having breakfast with the iconic producer and jumping right into the recording process at the renowned Village Recorder that has hosted some of Bazini’s heroes – Bob Dylan, Otis Redding and Johnny Cash. Where I Belong was recorded with a studio filled with some of Bazini’s favourite musicians including, Booker T (organ), Jack Ashford (percussion) and Jay Bellrose (drums). What resulted is a collection of live-sounding folk/country and soul songs featuring the single, “Heavy Love”.

Hedley Universal
Wild Life
On August 27, 2013, Hedley’s single “Anything” was released in Canada, followed by the video on September 10th. The album containing the track – entitled Wild Life and consisting of 11 tracks (15 on the deluxe version) – was released on November 11, 2013 in Canada.
The Wild Life album was released via Capitol Records in the U.S. on May 20, 2014.
Hedley headlined the 101st Grey Cup Halftime show at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field in Regina, Saskatchewan on November 24, 2013. Performing a 13-minute compilation of “Hands Up,” “Anything,” “Invincible” and “Cha-Ching.”
After playing at The Studio at Webster Hall in New York on January 14 and Los Angeles at The Sayers Club on January 16, Hedley went on a Canadian national headlining Wild Live Tour, to promote the album from February through April 2014, playing 37 cities and ending in their hometown of Abbotsford.

Leonard Cohen Columbia*Sony
Popular Problems
Leonard Cohen is a master songwriter, musician, poet, novelist and visual artist whose stunning body of original work has touched the lives of millions with a career spanning six decades.
He has sold over 23 million albums, worldwide and published 12 books, the most recent of which was 2006’s Book of Longing, a collection of poetry, prose and drawings, which reached #1 on the Top 10 Hardcover Fiction Books in Canada.
Leonard Cohen has been honored as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient (2010), inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (2008), the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2006), the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2006) and the Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2010). He has received the prestigious Principe de Asturias Prize – the highest literary award in Spain (Spain, 2011) as well as the Glenn Gould Prize, awarded to an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts (Canada, 2011). The Canadian native has earned his country’s highest civilian honors – Officer of the Order of Canada (1991), Companion to the Order of Canada (2003), Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec (2008).

Nickelback Nickelback II Productions*Universal
No Fixed Address
Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta. The band is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger and drummer Daniel Adair. The band went through a few drummer changes between 1995 and 2005, achieving its current form when Adair replaced drummer Ryan Vikedal.
Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian groups, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and ranking as the eleventh best-selling music act, and the second best-selling foreign act in the U.S. of the 2000s, behind The Beatles. Billboard ranks them the top rock group of the decade, and their hit song “How You Remind Me” was listed as the top rock song of the decade and the fourth song of the decade. They were listed number seven on the Billboard top artist of the decade, with four albums listed on the Billboard top albums of the decade.
Their eighth studio album No Fixed Address was released on 18 November, 2014. The band has won numerous awards including 12 JUNO Awards among 28 nominations.

Serge Fiori GSI*eOne
Serge Fiori
28 years after his last solo project, on March 4th 2014, Serge Fiori surprised all with the release of a new self titled album. Co-produced by Serge himself and Marc Pérusse, the SERGE FIORI album presents ten songs written by Serge and a brief instrumental epilogue composed by Marc. This deeply personal work is emblematic of a sensitive artist with a sharp and lucid perspective on the world, and was long awaited for by the thousands of fans of the founder/leader/singer/main songwriter of the legendary progressive folk-rock band Harmonium.
“Fiori does it with wit and poetic elegance… This one was worth waiting for.” says Bernard Perusse, The Gazette. “Serge Fiori is a national treasure. The new Fiori is brilliant” says Terry Dimonte of CHOM-FM.
A mere eight weeks after its release, the album was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), recognizing sales of 80,000 copies. SERGE FIORI also ranked #1 in sales in Québec for eight consecutive weeks, and in Canada for two consecutive weeks, and is now approaching the 100,000 mark, proof positive of the deep and abiding connection fans have with the singer-songwriter.

Artist of the Year

Bryan Adams Badman*Universal
One of the world’s most highly acclaimed musicians, Bryan Adams’ career has spanned more than three decades. Constantly in demand, the celebrated rocker is on the road over 150 days a year playing rock n’ roll favorites (“Summer of 69”, “Run To You”, “18 ‘til I Die”, “It’s Only Love”, “Somebody”, “The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You”) to sold out audiences on six continents.
He has achieved #1 status in over 40 countries. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada, has been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, has a Star on Canada’s Walk of Fame and Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and in 2010 was awarded the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
In 2014 Bryan released Tracks of My Years, a collection of cover songs that were a part of the radio culture of his youth, in addition to the re-release of Reckless, in celebration of the iconic album’s 30th anniversary.

Deadmau5 Mau5trap*Universal
They simply happen. There’s also typically an enigmatic figure at the forefront of those aforementioned creative shifts. Canadian native Joel Zimmerman, more commonly known as deadmau5 (pronounced “dead mouse”), didn’t set out to become a groundbreaking electronic artist. He just made some music and it happened to change the game and pop culture as we know it. Isn’t that the best way for it to work though?
Up to this point, his career stands earmarked by a series of firsts and shattered records. At the 54th annual Grammy Awards in 2012, he gave a monumental performance as part of the prestigious ceremony’s first-ever telecast celebrating electronic music. He’s also the first electronic artist in history to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. His sold out show at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, documented on the MEOWINGTONS HAX 2k11 DVD, and London’s Earl’s Court, documented on the deadmau5 live @ earl’s court DVD, made him the first Canadian artist as well as the first electronic artist to headline both venues.

Leonard Cohen Columbia*Sony
Leonard Cohen is a master songwriter, musician, poet, novelist and visual artist whose stunning body of original work has touched the lives of millions with a career spanning six decades.
He has sold over 23 million albums, worldwide and published 12 books, the most recent of which was 2006’s Book of Longing, a collection of poetry, prose and drawings, which reached #1 on the Top 10 Hardcover Fiction Books in Canada.
Leonard Cohen has been honored as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient (2010), inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (2008), the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2006), the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2006) and the Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2010). He has received the prestigious Principe de Asturias Prize – the highest literary award in Spain (Spain, 2011) as well as the Glenn Gould Prize, awarded to an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts (Canada, 2011). The Canadian native has earned his country’s highest civilian honors – Officer of the Order of Canada (1991), Companion to the Order of Canada (2003), Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec (2008).

Sarah McLachlan Verve*Universal
With over 25 years in the recording industry, Sarah McLachlan is a multi-platinum singer and songwriter best known for her intimate vocals and relatable lyrics. The Canadian-born, Grammy and JUNO Award winning artist has sold over 40 million albums.
In 2010, McLachlan released her first studio album of all original material for the first time in nearly seven years titled Laws of Illusion. Produced by her longtime collaborator Pierre Marchand, the album featured 12 new songs and debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200. This album featured the single “One Dream” which became the official theme song of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. McLachlan then went on to perform her hit “Ordinary Miracle” at the opening ceremony of the Olympics in her home city Vancouver in front of an estimated 3 billion television viewers worldwide.
Getting back in the studio in 2013, McLachlan began to put together her much anticipated album Shine On, delighting multitudes of fans who have waited four years for new material.
The Weeknd The Weeknd XO*Universal
Abel Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), known by his stage name The Weeknd, is a Canadian recording artist and record producer whose career began in late 2010, when Tesfaye anonymously uploaded several songs to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd”. He released three nine-track mixtapes throughout 2011: House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, which were critically acclaimed. The following year, he released a compilation album, Trilogy, consisting of remastered versions of the mixtape material and three additional songs. It was released under Republic Records and his own label XO. In 2013, he released his debut studio album Kiss Land, which was supported by the singles “Kiss Land”, and “Live For”. He is most notably recognized in 2014 for his duet with Ariana Grande on the single “Love Me Harder”, which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, his first top ten single on the chart to date

Group of the Year

Arkells Arkells Music*Universal
Arkells met in school. They are a critically acclaimed rocknroll band, known for their classic songwriting, electric live show, and workman-like touring ethic.
Jackson Square, the band’s first full length LP was released in 2008 to critical and commercial acclaim, garnering the JUNO Award for New Group Of The Year in 2010. In 2011, they released Michigan Left, a collection of blue-eyed soul, sing-a-long anthems. In 2012 they won the JUNO Award For Group Of The Year, and the CBC Music award for Best Live Band.
Arkells have toured with acts such as Metric, The Tragically Hip, Tokyo Police Club, British Sea Power, Anti-Flag, The Black Crowes.
Their new album, High Noon, was written in Hamilton and produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks, M83). This collection of songs is the band’s most unabashed effort yet – politically charged, heart on your sleeve lyrics combined with adventurously modern and throwback production stylings.

Chromeo Last Gang*Universal
White Women is the band at its most ambitious, with both the pop and the muso elements of Chromeo pushed into the red. On the hooky side, they’ve got instant classics like the soaring “Come Alive” and the pulsating “Frequent Flyer” which offer moments that would make Hall & Oates and Wham green with envy. On the crate-digger side, Dave and Pee employ an unprecedented analog arsenal that would make Kraftwerk drool. Mtume’s female vocalist croons on more than half the album. Steely Dan’s string conductor pops up on the progressive album closer “Fall Back 2U.” Try all that on for size, nerds.

Mother Mother Mother Mother Music*Universal
Mother Mother has always reveled in contradiction – ergo Very Good Bad Thing “It’s the person, the humanoid…that’s the very good bad thing.” For Ryan Guldemond, there is no denying the human condition in all its tragic, conflicting nature.
Two years after the Juno-nominated The Sticks, the band’s apocalyptic 2012 album steeped in isolation and dread, the Vancouver quintet returns with its fifth studio album: an edgy, synth-heavy, club-driven rock record filled with massive hooks.
But as is the band’s trademark, behind the gauzy boy-girl vocal harmonies, angular guitar lines and infectious rhythms lies something deeper and darker.
Mother Mother come out swinging on “Get Out The Way,” a super-charged call to arms Guldemond describes as not letting anyone to get in the way of your truth, whatever your truth may be. “I know I’m supposed to integrate,” he snarls, “but how’s about instead I inch away?”
No subject is taboo for Mother Mother on Very Good Bad Thing: male body image (“I Go Hungry”), morning-after self-loathing (“Have It Out”), bullying and suicide (“Kept Down”, inspired in part by the death of Amanda Todd). Close to 10 years after it formed, Mother Mother is embracing its true nature. And it speaks volumes.

Nickelback Nickelback II Productions*Universal
Nickelback is a Canadian rock band formed in 1995 in Hanna, Alberta. The band is composed of guitarist and lead vocalist Chad Kroeger, guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger and drummer Daniel Adair. The band went through a few drummer changes between 1995 and 2005, achieving its current form when Adair replaced drummer Ryan Vikedal.
Nickelback is one of the most commercially successful Canadian groups, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and ranking as the eleventh best-selling music act, and the second best-selling foreign act in the U.S. of the 2000s, behind The Beatles. Billboard ranks them the top rock group of the decade, and their hit song “How You Remind Me” was listed as the top rock song of the decade and the fourth song of the decade. They were listed number seven on the Billboard top artist of the decade, with four albums listed on the Billboard top albums of the decade.
Their eighth studio album No Fixed Address was released on 18 November, 2014. The band has won numerous awards including 12 JUNO Awards among 28 nominations.

You+Me RCA*Sony
You+Me consists of Alecia Moore and Dallas Green and is a passion project for the two. The artists met through Alecia’s husband Carey Hart and instantly felt a connection and wanted to work together. Alecia invited Dallas to Los Angeles to write a song or two and ended up writing eight songs together in one week. The duo then decided to finish and record an album. Dallas Green also known as City and Colour has received critical praise worldwide, selling out arena tours and some of the most prestigious venues across the globe. He has released four studio albums, all of which achieved Platinum status in Canada. Green is also the recipient of three Juno Awards including two prestigious Songwriter Of The Year awards (2009, 2012).

Breakthrough Artist of the Year (Sponsored by FACTOR and Radio Starmaker Fund)

Glenn Morrison Robbins Entertainment*Sony
Multi-talented, multi-tasking, focused and ambitious, Glenn Morrison is the archetype of the modern DJ/producer star. The 26-year-old Toronto native is as happy rocking an underground house party as he is performing at an exclusive oceanic rooftop venue; as adept at composing an international club anthem like “Contact” as he is at concocting a creepy ambient soundtrack for a Nintendo game.
His name alone gets 1.7 million social networking and internet hits a month. His productions have featured on over 900 compilations in the last five years. He has enjoyed the support of DJs as varied as John Digweed and Richie Hawtin to David Guetta and Tiesto. For three years he was resident at the world’s best club, Ibiza’s Amnesia Club, and is currently a resident at Space in Ibiza, as well as Space in Miami.
In short, Glenn Morrison is one of the most dynamic and accomplished talents in electronic music today. Period.

Jess Moskaluke MDM*Universal
With a record-breaking single, a new lip gloss line, and multiple accolades and awards, Jess Moskaluke (MDM Recordings Inc./Universal Music Canada) is dazzling the country music world. Her rapidly growing fan base is evident, with a collective online following in the millions, receiving her official Silver Play Button YouTube award for breaking 100,000 subscribers.
A notable performer on the 2014 CCMA Awards Show live broadcast, Jess dominates the stage with her powerful vocals, country-pop style and infectious smile. Produced by Corey Crowder (Jamie Lynn Spears) and mixed by Scott Cooke (Dallas Smith, Florida Georgia Line), her single “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes” quickly became the highest charting song on the iTunes top 200 singles chart for any Canadian artist. With this second single off of her new 10-track album, Light Up The Night, she also achieved gold record status in August 2014; becoming the first Canadian female solo country artist to surpass 40,000+ downloads for a song since Shania Twain.

Kiesza Island*Universal
Kiesza is a fascinating pop polymath whose music is as colourful, diverse and surprising as the twists and turns that led her where she is today.
Inspired by epic nights out at NYC hotspots like Body & Soul and Libation, this Calgary-born 25-year-old’s debut album Sound Of A Woman is packed with deep house grooves and shimmering soulful melodies, but Kiesza is also an in-demand songwriter for acts across the globe, puts together her own stunning artwork, is a trained ballerina, and former tall-ship sailor who the Army once attempted to train as a sniper.
In 2014 she kicked things off in style with her debut single, the blistering anthem “Hideaway” which rocketed to the #1 spot in the UK charts was one of the fastest-selling debuts of the year. “Hideaway” is two-times Platinum in Canada, was a #1 All-Format Canadian single at radio, spent eight consecutive weeks at #1 on the Shazam Top 200 and snagged the #1 spot in 21 countries on iTunes.. The song’s distinctive video was shot on the streets of Brooklyn, and showcases Kiesza’s attention-grabbing dance moves.

Mac DeMarco Captured Tracks*Outside
“As I’m getting older, chip up on my shoulder…” is the opening line from Mac DeMarco’s second full-length LP Salad Days, the follow up to 2012’s lauded Mac DeMarco 2. Amongst that familiar croon and lilting guitar, that initial line from the title track sets the tone for an LP of a maturing singer/songwriter/ producer.
Salad Days gives the listener a personal insight into what it’s all about to be Mac amidst the craziness of a rising career in a public format. The lead single, “Passing Out Pieces,” contains lines like “…never been reluctant to share, passing out pieces of me…” “Chamber of Reflection,” a track featuring icy synth stabs and soulful crooning, wouldn’t be out of place on a fantasy Shuggie Otis/Prince collaboration. Standout tracks like these show Mac’s widening sound, whether insights into future directions or even welcome one-off forays into new territory.
We’re only in Part 2 1/2 (one EP and two LP’s in) of Mac’s career. As you read, he’ll probably be on tour, or preparing for one… or maybe writing new music. A relentless work ethic is admirable, but when it’s of the quality Mac is giving us, it starts to turn from admiration to awe.

Shawn Mendes Island*Universal
Mendes was born in Toronto and raised in Pickering, a suburb of the city. He first started posting cover videos on the popular social video app Vine in 2013 and picked up millions of views and followers in a matter of months, becoming well known for his six-second snippets of renditions of many popular songs. Artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered Mendes online in January 2014, bringing him to Island Records where he eventually signed and released his first single “Life of the Party” in June 2014. He is the youngest artist to debut in the top 25 with a debut song on the Billboard Hot 100, making to number 24 for the week ending July 12, 2014 at 15 years, 11 months and 4 days of age.
Prior to his signing, Mendes toured as a member of the MagCon Tour alongside other young artists and social media sensations such as Nash Grier, Cameron Dallas, Jack & Jack, and more

Breakthrough Group of the Year (Sponsored by FACTOR and Radio Starmaker Fund)

Adventure Club BMG Rights*Sony
Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Adventure Club – Christian Srigley and Leighton James – has been a tireless source of banging remixes, uplifting summertime anthems, infectious DJ mixes and explosive live shows since the duo’s musical trip took off in 2010. Their debut four-track EP Calling All Heroes was released in the latter part of 2013 and hit #1 on iTunes Dance Album chart in the U.S. and Canada plus it scored over 10 Hype Machine (hypem) #1 hits. In 2013, Adventure Club was the #9 most played artist on Soundcloud. Their song “Wonder,” which appears on Calling All Heroes, recently peaked at #46 on Billboard’s Canadian Hot 100 chart. Adventure Club’s remix of Max Elto’s “Shadow Of The Sun” has garnered almost 1.8 million plays. Also available is Superheroes Anonymous 5: Road Trip Edition, the latest instalment from Adventure Club’s popular mix. The hour and fifteen minute long mix features an assortment of tracks from fellow Canadian artists such as Zeds Dead, Botnik, Hunter Siegel and Andru alongside major names like Katy Perry, Bastille, Fall Out Boy and Rihanna featuring Future, plus party jams from Steve Aoki, Carnage and Nervo

Alvvays Royal Mountain*Universal
Alvvays are two women, three men, a crate of C-86 tapes and a love of jingle-jangle.

Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan grew up as next-door neighbours in Cape Breton, lifting fiddles and folk-songs. Heartbreaks of different shades soon entered their lives, as did the music of Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian. Similar noisy melancholy drifted over to Prince Edward Island, finding Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac.

Convening in Toronto, the group have been making music since dusk or maybe dawn, when stars were appearing or fading off. As a result, their debut self-titled album is both sun-splashed and twilit – nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass.

With needlepoint melody and verse, Rankin and O’Hanley’s songs were recorded at Chad VanGaalen’s Yoko Eno studio and mixed by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile).

The resultant album is loud and clear and sure. Flood your ears. Alvvays, the record was released on July 21 in Europe on Transgressive Records and on July 22, on Royal Mountain Records in Canada and Polyvinyl Records in the U.S.
Magic! Sony
When something is meant to be, you just know it immediately. It’s as if there was a divine plan or universal synergy fusing the right elements together at the right time for the right situation. That’s the feeling Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Nasri experienced the first time MAGIC! jammed. During a writing session in 2012, he heard collaborator and guitarist Mark Pelli strum a reggae-tinged riff, and something clicked.
“I’m a huge fan of The Police, and I always wanted to do my own project that merged reggae, rock, pop, and a little soul for quite some time,” he affirms. “The moment Mark began playing, it felt natural. We had this vision, and it all tied together instantly. We began recording, and the sound was so locked in on every song. That’s even where we derived the band name. Everything simply worked like MAGIC!”
Soon after that initial jam, drummer Alex Tanas and bassist Ben Spivak joined the fold as the quartet entered a Los Angeles studio to record its full-length 2013 debut.

USS Coalition*Warner
Hailing from the periphery of Toronto, Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker has always been like a science experiment set to music – what they do melts down acoustic rock, jungle, and trance, transforming it into an entirely new element. Since then, the duo of vocalist/guitarist Ashley Boo-Schultz and hypeman/turntablist Human Kebab has travelled across North America, Europe and Asia, and has been recognized by both the CASBY and CMW Indie Awards. With Advanced Basics, USS returned with a fearless new album that included the debut single “This Is The Best” which quickly shot to the Top 3 on Canadian Alternative Charts.
Zeds Dead Mad Decent*Ultra
Zeds Dead is a Canadian electronic music duo formed in 2009 from Toronto, composed of Dylan Mamid, or DC, and Zach Rapp-Rovan, or Hooks. Zeds Dead explores a diverse variety of genres that amalgamate aspects of electro house, hip-hop, glitch, and drum and bass into their largely dubstep platform.

The duo are currently signed to the Mad Decent record label and have released music on several others. Much of their music remains bootlegged, unofficially released, or given away as free downloads. Zeds Dead tours in extensive fashion and are significant components of the live music and festival circuits. They most recently toured around Canada and the United States for their Somewhere Else EP, but have played shows all over the world: including big name festivals like Mad Decent Block Party, Coachella, Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, Panorama, and many more.

Songwriter of the Year (Sponsored by SiriusXM Canada)

Bahamas Barchords*Universal
“All the Time”, “Bitter Memories”, “Stronger Than That” BAHAMAS IS AFIE
Toronto’s Afie Jurvanen, aka Bahamas, stepped into the spotlight with his debut album Pink Strat (2009). The album, nominated for both a JUNO Award and the Polaris Music Prize saw him touring internationally with artists such as Wilco and Robert Plant. He released the critically acclaimed Barchords (2011) which was named Best Singer/Songwriter Album of 2012 by iTunes, earned him another Polaris Music Prize nod and two JUNO Award nominations including Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Songwriter of The Year – as well as U.S. television appearances on Conan, a collaboration with kd lang, and put him into the line-up supporting his songwriting hero Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid concert. The latest album, Bahamas is Afie, debuted at #4 in Canada upon its release in August and has continuously sold out theatre dates and garnered rave reviews across borders since. The album, self-produced by Jurvanen, is a true coming of age record and his most personal album to date. Bahamas is Afie ultimately remains a sparse, moving, headphone album, complemented by a more developed instrumentation and arrangements that transport the listener from moving seas to a search for strength, to a place of resolve and comfort.
Catherine MacLellan Independent
“Jack’s Song”, “Tell Me Luella”, “The Raven’s Sun” THE RAVEN’S SUN
After releasing her debut album in 2004, Catherine MacLellan earned immediate critical acclaim, winning awards and being labeled “Critics Favourite New Discovery” by Penguin Eggs magazine in 2008.
Since then she has toured internationally and her music has been a perennial fixture at the top of Canada’s Roots Music Charts, winning acclaim from international media including the Austin Chronicle, The Boston Globe, BBC Radio, Maverick Magazine, Q Magazine and many others.
Daughter of legendary Canadian songwriter, Gene MacLellan (“Snowbird”, “Put Your Hand in the Hand...”), Catherine has long been engaging the world through song.
Her latest release, The Raven’s Sun, takes the listener further along Catherine’s journey in song, delving deeper into the territories of life, death and transformation. Produced by her long-time musical partner, Chris Gauthier, The Raven’s Sun shines light on their musical chemistry and catches them both at their best. Recorded in the woods outside of Woodstock, NY by Grammy Award winning Danny Blume, it features stellar guest performances by Nashville fiddler Andy Leftwich. This album is another reminder that Catherine’s songwriting is unparalleled among performers of her generation.
Henry “Cirkut” Walter Capitol*Universal, Mr. 305/Polo Grounds/RCA*Sony
“Birthday”–K.Perry, L.Gottwald, M.Martin, B.McKee “Dark Horse ft. Juicy J”-K.Perry, J.Houston, L.Gottwald, S.Hudson, M.Martin PRISM – K.Perry "Wild Wild Love"-A.C.Pérez, L.Gottwald, M.Everett, M.Martin, A.Malik, A.Castillo Vasquez GLOBALIZATION – Pitbull
Henry Walter, a.k.a. Cirkut, is an award-winning music producer and songwriter. He works with the who’s who of Pop Music, including Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Usher, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Taylor Swift. He has won several ASCAP awards, was nominated for a Grammy for best song in 2014, and won the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year Award at the 2014 JUNO Awards. He continues to write and produce chart-topping hits such as Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Dark Horse” by Katy Perry, adding to an impressive list of over 15 tracks that have placed a top 10 or higher on Billboard – and he’s not even 30 yet.
Walter was raised in Halifax and moved to Toronto in 2004 and formed the band Let’s Go To War with partner Adrian Gough. Walter opened Dream House Recording Studios with partners Gough and Alex Bonenfant in 2010, and also owns Dream Machine Publishing and Dream Machine Management with Gough.
In recent years Walter relocated to Los Angeles, California to work with Luke “Dr. Luke” Gottwald’s production team at Prescription Songs. He has been described by the Hollywood Reporter as Dr. Luke’s “right-hand man and main production partner”.
Jenn Grant Outside
“Bring Me a Rose”, “No One’s Gonna Love You (Quite Like I Do)”, “Trailer Park” COMPOSTELA
A heralded singer and songwriter from Prince Edward Island, Jenn Grant has four albums and one EP under her belt; and is about to embark on a brand new journey with her best collection of songs to date: “The time is here and now, I’m over the moon.” Grant’s newest offering, Compostela translates to Field of Stars or Star Field – which comes from the legend that the dust of the pilgrims who walk the El Camino, make up the stars that form the Milky Way. There is a cosmic element on this new album, teetering on psychedelic folk and into a balladry of melodic storytelling. A subtle yet pulsing groove, alongside moments of Spanish inspired guitar, reflect an important journey, which began in 2012 in Barcelona. There’s a band of stars on Compostela, including Sarah Harmer, Buck 65, Ron Sexsmith, Rose Cousins, Don Kerr, Kim Harris, Stewart Legere, Justin Rutledge, Rachel Sermanni and Grant’s producer for her 2009 release Echoes, Jonathan Goldsmith. There is a warmth found in the intricate layers of instrumentation that carry this new collection of songs from the edges of the earth to the field of stars.
Magic! Sony
“Don’t Kill the Magic” – co-songwriter Adam Messinger, “Let Your Hair Down”, “Rude” – co-songwriter Adam Messinger, DON’T KILL THE MAGIC
When something is meant to be, you just know it immediately. It’s as if there was a divine plan or universal synergy fusing the right elements together at the right time for the right situation. That’s the feeling Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Nasri experienced the first time MAGIC! jammed. During a writing session in 2012, he heard collaborator and guitarist Mark Pelli strum a reggae-tinged riff, and something clicked.
“I’m a huge fan of The Police, and I always wanted to do my own project that merged reggae, rock, pop, and a little soul for quite some time,” he affirms. “The moment Mark began playing, it felt natural. We had this vision, and it all tied together instantly. We began recording, and the sound was so locked in on every song. That’s even where we derived the band name. Everything simply worked like MAGIC!”
Soon after that initial jam, drummer Alex Tanas and bassist Ben Spivak joined the fold as the quartet entered a Los Angeles studio to record its full-length 2013 debut.

Country Album of the Year

Dallas Smith 604*Universal
Lifted
Sometime in the distant future, when a wizened Dallas Smith is rocking back and forth on his front porch, stroking his chin and fondly recollecting his astonishing career, he’ll pinpoint this precise moment in time – the release of his second full-length country album, Lifted, with its scorching first single “Wastin’ Gas” and ecstatically received ensuing headline tour – as the moment when everything came completely together.

Hailing from British Columbia, the platinum selling country star, brings a healthy dose of rock and roll power to his brand of lively country music. Recognized as one of Taste Of Country Magazine’s “Top 10 Artists To Watch”, Smith, a JUNO Award nominee and 8-time CCMA Awards nominee made his U.S. country debut last March and set the record for the fastest Canadian country single to go platinum with the title track “Tippin’ Point”. Following a slew of festival dates last year, including record breaking (attendance) performances at Craven Country Jamboree and Boots and Hearts, Smith reunited with 2014 CCMA Award winning producer, Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen) for Lifted (11/25/14), the follow up to 2012’s breakout country album Jumped Right In, which produced multiple radio hits and a gold single.

Jess Moskaluke MDM*Universal
Light Up The Night
With a record-breaking single, a new lip gloss line, and multiple accolades and awards, Jess Moskaluke (MDM Recordings Inc./Universal Music Canada) is dazzling the country music world. Her rapidly growing fan base is evident, with a collective online following in the millions, receiving her official Silver Play Button YouTube award for breaking 100,000 subscribers.
A notable performer on the 2014 CCMA Awards Show live broadcast, Jess dominates the stage with her powerful vocals, country-pop style and infectious smile. Produced by Corey Crowder (Jamie Lynn Spears) and mixed by Scott Cooke (Dallas Smith, Florida Georgia Line), her single “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes” quickly became the highest charting song on the iTunes top 200 singles chart for any Canadian artist. With this second single off of her new 10-track album, Light Up The Night, she also achieved gold record status in August 2014; becoming the first Canadian female solo country artist to surpass 40,000+ downloads for a song since Shania Twain.

Kira Isabella Sony
Caffeine & Big Dreams
With Caffeine & Big Dreams, Kira Isabella’s sophomore album on Sony Music Entertainment Canada, the Ottawa-born country singer/songwriter has released a set of songs that showcase her depth as an artist as never before. “One of the main things that I want to convey,” she says, “is growth – not only as a vocalist and a songwriter, but personally as well.”

Mackenzie Porter Road Angel*Warner
Mackenzie Porter
The beautiful and multi-talented MacKenzie Porter is a rarity in regards to her music career. Her musical talent is unparalleled both as a singer and songwriter. Along with music, MacKenzie also boasts an impressive acting career. She is a new series regular added to AMC’s highly acclaimed drama, “Hell On Wheels”.

This summer, MacKenzie released her debut album. On tour this past summer she opened up for country superstars Blake Shelton and Rascal Flatts.
She received a CCMA Rising Star Nomination for her debut single “I Wish I’d Known”. Her second single, “Never Gonna Let You”, which she co-wrote, was a top 10 radio hit. Her third single, “If You Ask Me To”, broke into the top 20 on the charts.

Not only does MacKenzie excel as an musician, she also has an award-winning and noteworthy acting career. Along with appearing as a regular in Hell On Wheels, MacKenzie will be guest starring in upcoming episodes of APTN’s Blackstone. MacKenzie has also had starring roles in the TV features The Horses of Mcbride, Jingle Bell Rock and The Other Woman.

The Road Hammers Open Road*Universal
Wheels
When The Road Hammers first hit the country music airwaves in 2004, the response from fans was immediate. In 2005, their self-titled debut album soared to #1 on the Canadian country album charts and garnered the band multiple CCMA Award nominations, a CCMA Award for Group or Duo of the Year, a 2005 JUNO Award for Country Recording of the Year and the 2006 CCMA Awards for Group or Duo of the Year and Best Video. Their latest album, Wheels, was co-produced by Scott Baggett (Alison Krauss, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt) and band member Jason McCoy, and has resulted in three smash hit singles “Get On Down The Road”, “Mud”, which was certified GOLD, as well as the most recent single “I’ve Been Everywhere”. With brand new music under their belt, it will only provide more fuel for the band’s high-octane live shows, performances that have earned them a reputation as one of the most energetic and entertaining bands in the business.

Adult Alternative Album of the Year

Bahamas Barchords*Universal
Bahamas Is Afie
Toronto’s Afie Jurvanen, aka Bahamas, stepped into the spotlight with his debut album Pink Strat (2009). The album, nominated for both a JUNO Award and the Polaris Music Prize saw him touring internationally with artists such as Wilco and Robert Plant. He released the critically acclaimed Barchords (2011) which was named Best Singer/Songwriter Album of 2012 by iTunes, earned him another Polaris Music Prize nod and two JUNO Award nominations including Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Songwriter of The Year – as well as U.S. television appearances on Conan, a collaboration with kd lang, and put him into the line-up supporting his songwriting hero Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid concert. The latest album, Bahamas is Afie, debuted at #4 in Canada upon its release in August and has continuously sold out theatre dates and garnered rave reviews across borders since. The album, self-produced by Jurvanen, is a true coming of age record and his most personal album to date. Bahamas is Afie ultimately remains a sparse, moving, headphone album, complemented by a more developed instrumentation and arrangements that transport the listener from moving seas to a search for strength, to a place of resolve and comfort.
Jenn Grant Outside
Compostela
A heralded singer and songwriter from Prince Edward Island, Jenn Grant has four albums and one EP under her belt; and is about to embark on a brand new journey with her best collection of songs to date: “The time is here and now, I’m over the moon.” Grant’s newest offering, Compostela translates to Field of Stars or Star Field – which comes from the legend that the dust of the pilgrims who walk the El Camino, make up the stars that form the Milky Way. There is a cosmic element on this new album, teetering on psychedelic folk and into a balladry of melodic storytelling. A subtle yet pulsing groove, alongside moments of Spanish inspired guitar, reflect an important journey, which began in 2012 in Barcelona. There’s a band of stars on Compostela, including Sarah Harmer, Buck 65, Ron Sexsmith, Rose Cousins, Don Kerr, Kim Harris, Stewart Legere, Justin Rutledge, Rachel Sermanni and Grant’s producer for her 2009 release Echoes, Jonathan Goldsmith. There is a warmth found in the intricate layers of instrumentation that carry this new collection of songs from the edges of the earth to the field of stars.

Jeremy Fisher Hidden Pony*Universal
The Lemon Squeeze
Don’t let the title fool you. There isn’t a single sour note on The Lemon Squeeze, the latest from beloved Canadian singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher. After developing a devoted fan base through five folk-influenced releases, Jeremy boldly ventures in a new direction with The Lemon Squeeze. The decision to make a pure pop record was solidified after a discussion with producers Gus Van Go and Werner F. The end result was everything from Randy Newman-inspired piano ballads with strings, to Queen-esque guitar licks, to Billy Joel-styled pop. “I am definitely wearing my influences on my sleeve with this record,” admits Fisher quite openly.

Despite the fact that Fisher was inspired by albums on wax, The Lemon Squeeze doesn’t have that traditional flow. For this, Jeremy makes no apologies. “I grew up with albums and I feel driven to make albums as an artist. The way we listen to music is changing though and as much as I tried to create a cohesive body of work, The Lemon Squeeze plays like an album of singles. It was liberating to make every song on the record unique.”

Leonard Cohen Columbia*Sony
Popular Problems
Leonard Cohen is a master songwriter, musician, poet, novelist and visual artist whose stunning body of original work has touched the lives of millions with a career spanning six decades.

He has sold over 23 million albums, worldwide and published 12 books, the most recent of which was 2006’s Book of Longing, a collection of poetry, prose and drawings, which reached #1 on the Top 10 Hardcover Fiction Books in Canada.

Leonard Cohen has been honored as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient (2010), inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (2008), the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2006), the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2006) and the Songwriters Hall Of Fame (2010). He has received the prestigious Principe de Asturias Prize – the highest literary award in Spain (Spain, 2011) as well as the Glenn Gould Prize, awarded to an individual for a unique lifetime contribution that has enriched the human condition through the arts (Canada, 2011). The Canadian native has earned his country’s highest civilian honors – Officer of the Order of Canada (1991), Companion to the Order of Canada (2003), Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec (2008).

The Barr Brothers Secret City*Universal
Sleeping Operator
The Barr Brothers recorded their “thrillingly unusual” (Washington Post) and “sacred-sounding” (Rolling Stone) debut album in a home-made studio in a Montreal boiler room back in 2011. They took it to Letterman, NPR, shared stages with Emmylou Harris and The National, headlined the Montreal Jazz Fest in front of 58,000 people, and did major tours across the U.S. and around the world. Their second album, Sleeping Operator was released in October, 2014 and received raving reviews. ‘‘Absolutely beautiful’’ (BBC6 Music).

Alternative Album of the Year (Sponsored by Long & McQuade)

Alvvays Royal Mountain*Universal
Alvvays
Alvvays are two women, three men, a crate of C-86 tapes and a love of jingle-jangle.

Molly Rankin and Kerri MacLellan grew up as next-door neighbours in Cape Breton, lifting fiddles and folk-songs. Heartbreaks of different shades soon entered their lives, as did the music of Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian. Similar noisy melancholy drifted over to Prince Edward Island, finding Alec O’Hanley, Brian Murphy and Philip MacIsaac.

Convening in Toronto, the group have been making music since dusk or maybe dawn, when stars were appearing or fading off. As a result, their debut self-titled album is both sun-splashed and twilit – nine songs concealing drunkenness, defeat and death in tungsten-tinted pop that glitters like sea glass.

With needlepoint melody and verse, Rankin and O’Hanley’s songs were recorded at Chad VanGaalen’s Yoko Eno studio and mixed by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile).

The resultant album is loud and clear and sure. Flood your ears. Alvvays, the record was released on July 21 in Europe on Transgressive Records and on July 22, on Royal Mountain Records in Canada and Polyvinyl Records in the U.S.
Chad VanGaalen Flemish Eye*Outside
Shrink Dust
Self-recording and playing almost every instrument – including many hand-crafted ones – Chad VanGaalen has become one of Canada’s most celebrated and unpredictable artists. In addition to being a twice JUNO Award-nominated and Polaris Prize shortlisted musician, VanGaalen is also a celebrated illustrator and animator who has shown across Canada and in Europe.

He has animated videos for his own music, Yo Gabba Gabba!, J. Mascis and Holy Fuck, and his animated work and drawings have been shown in galleries and festivals worldwide. In 2010 VanGaalen produced the celebrated second album Public Strain for the band, Women, which brought the band wide acclaim and won VanGaalen praise for his production technique.

Chad VanGaalen has built a cult following with his first four albums, and the 2014 album Shrink Dust is his most resolved and confident album to date.

VanGaalen lives a quiet life with his girlfriend and their two daughters in Calgary. He continues to stay in the basement,
writing songs for his dog, immune to all the fuss, and occasionally emerging to share his discoveries. He can often be found drawing anthills or tossing Frisbee in the local schoolyard. He is also 6’7”.
July Talk Sleepless*Universal
July Talk
With their sleek yet gritty brand of alt-bluesy garage rock, Toronto-based five-piece July Talk create rock and roll that’s both boldly intimate and wildly confrontational. Each track in the band’s repertoire is a conversation in song form, with singers Peter Dreimanis and Leah Fay trading lines in a lyrical face-off that’s at turns hot-tempered and tender, reckless and poetic. Onstage that conversation warps into beautiful chaos, thanks to the band’s joyfully unhinged, spontaneity-fueled live performance. And in their music July Talk piece together supremely heavy riffs, infectious beats, and snaky grooves in a sound that’s savage but seductive.

Founded in 2012, Dreimanis and Fay partnered with guitarist Ian Docherty, bassist Josh Warburton, and drummer Danny Miles. And while Dreimanis’s initial vision for the project centered on that tag-team vocal exchange, July Talk’s emotionally intricate, contradiction-driven dynamic results largely from the band’s raw authenticity.

After finding a manager and setting to work on their debut, July Talk quickly threw themselves into a frantic touring schedule that’s gone a long way in shaping the sound and soul of the band.

Tanya Tagaq Six Shooter*Universal
Animism
Fearsome, strident and elemental, Tanya Tagaq’s music is a genre unto itself. Tagaq’s unique vocal style may be rooted in traditional cultural form, but her expression also aligns with avant-garde improvisation, classical expressionism and electronica influences, which inform her startling and powerful creative vision. This Inuk punk is known for delivering performances that are visceral and physical, heaving and breathing and alive. Her shows draw incredulous response from worldwide audiences, and Tagaq’s tours tend to jump back and forth over the map of the world. From a Mexican EDM festival to the Carnegie Hall, her music and performances transcend language. Tagaq’s 2014 Polaris Prize winning album Animism has rocketed her to the forefront of the international music scene, and is making waves for its originality, artistic importance and stunning uniqueness.
Timber Timbre Arts & Crafts*Universal
Hot Dreams
Hot Dreams is Timber Timbre from its most vivid cinematic vantage. Taylor Kirk and band mate Simon Trottier daub vibrant colour across the band’s ever-evolving palette, connecting arid western to plodding horror with the pomp of Hollywood phantasm. Hot Dreams caches the hollow grey tones of Timber Timbre (2009), and the angular doo-wop haunt of Creep On Creepin’ On (2011) in smoothed viscous tonality: new sonic admissions chiming sensuality and caprice, melancholy and petulance. The consonance of Mika Posen’s strings mingle with vintage contributions from Olivier Fairfield on drums and Mathieu Charbonneau on an array of synthesizers – integral players in Timber Timbre’s lineage returning to add multiple instruments to the album’s balmy clime. Hot Dreams, Timber Timbre’s third studio full-length for Arts & Crafts, is coated in a languid aura that has taken on a taut dual personality in Timber Timbre’s enchanting live performances.

Pop Album of the Year (Sponsored by TD)

Avril Lavigne Epic*Sony
Avril Lavigne
When Avril Lavigne first emerged on the music scene at age 17, she was known as a young, pop-punk tomboy who refused to resort to skin-baring come-ons, preferring to entice the record-buying public with her powerhouse voice, high-spirited melodies, and straight-talking lyrics. Staying steadfastly true to herself and putting music before image paid off both critically and commercially for the small-town girl from Napanee, Ontario. In 2002, Lavigne shot to international pop stardom with the six-times-platinum Let Go, followed by 2004’s three-times-platinum Under My Skin, 2007’s platinum The Best Damn Thing, and 2011’s Goodbye Lullaby, which sold more than two million copies worldwide. Over the course of her decade-plus career, Lavigne has scored a string of international hit singles, toured the globe on multiple sold-out tours, earned eight Grammy Award nominations, won eight JUNO Awards, and sold more than 35 million albums and 20 million tracks worldwide.

Down With Webster Down With Webster Entertainment*Universal
Party For Your Life
The unrestrained, genre-defying juggernaut that is Down With Webster began 2014 with the release of their eagerly-anticipated third album: the never-more-aptly-titled Party For Your Life, through Universal Music Canada. The album release was heralded with the release of the single “Chills.” This followed the album’s title track single and platinum-certified “One In A Million,” which hit the charts in 2013.

Party For Your Life was co-produced by the band and reunited them with producers James Robertson and Grammy-winning Boi-1da (Drake, Rick Ross, Eminem).

Formed over a decade ago as students, Down With Webster have built a fiercely loyal following on the strength of their must-be-seen-to-be-believed live performances and their singles “Rich Girl$”, “Your Man”, “She’s Dope”, and “Whoa Is Me”, which have combined to sell more than 500,000 downloads. DWW are five-time JUNO Award nominees.

Lights Lights Music*Universal
Little Machines
After all the hard labour that went into Little Machines, Lights is now delighted to find that becoming a mother has rejuvenated her creativity. As real as the tears and late-night panics were, the writer’s block turned out to be a false alarm. She’s still got plenty left to say and, as she concludes, “I wound up making what I think is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

“Having a kid made everything else seem less scary,” Lights says. “All those stupid pressures that you get caught up in become an afterthought. It just feels like, ‘Hey, if I lose everything today, I still have this. And this is amazing.’ So it makes you want to do it. You want to make something you’re proud to leave behind. It’s not about the money you’re making or the hits you’re getting. It’s reinvigorated my desire to make great music.”

Magic! Sony
Don’t Kill The Magic
When something is meant to be, you just know it immediately. It’s as if there was a divine plan or universal synergy fusing the right elements together at the right time for the right situation. That’s the feeling Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Nasri experienced the first time MAGIC! jammed. During a writing session in 2012, he heard collaborator and guitarist Mark Pelli strum a reggae-tinged riff, and something clicked.

“I’m a huge fan of The Police, and I always wanted to do my own project that merged reggae, rock, pop, and a little soul for quite some time,” he affirms. “The moment Mark began playing, it felt natural. We had this vision, and it all tied together instantly. We began recording, and the sound was so locked in on every song. That’s even where we derived the band name. Everything simply worked like MAGIC!”

Soon after that initial jam, drummer Alex Tanas and bassist Ben Spivak joined the fold as the quartet entered a Los Angeles studio to record its full-length 2013 debut.

Nikki Yanofsky A440*Universal
Little Secret
From her auspicious start as the youngest headliner in the history of the Montreal International Jazz Festival at 12, Nikki Yanofsky has covered plenty of territory over the last eight years. She has topped both jazz and pop charts, performed with orchestras and big bands and sold out festivals and major theatres around the world. In 2010, she sang to 3.2 billion people – half the world’s population – at the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games.
She has worked with luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, Phil Ramone, Wyclef Jean, and Stevie Wonder. Now, under the guidance of her greatest fan and mentor, Quincy Jones, Nikki had her highest album debut with her sophomore release Little Secret, entering the Canadian Album Chart at #4, #4 in France Digital Sales, and #1 on the jazz chart in both countries.

Little Secret combines pop-song structures with sophisticated harmonies, club-ready beats with punchy big-band horns, and earworm hooks with scat-singing solos. It’s all held together by her powerful delivery, as well as a newfound sass.

Little Secret’s first two hit singles, “Something New” and “Necessary Evil” have earned her huge acclaim globally with recent tours through Europe and Japan.

Rock Album of the Year (Sponsored by SiriusXM Canada)

Arkells Arkells Music*Universal
High Noon
Arkells met in school. They are a critically acclaimed rocknroll band, known for their classic songwriting, electric live show, and workman-like touring ethic.

Jackson Square, the band’s first full length LP was released in 2008 to critical and commercial acclaim, garnering the JUNO Award for New Group Of The Year in 2010. In 2011, they released Michigan Left, a collection of blue-eyed soul, sing-a-long anthems. In 2012 they won the JUNO Award For Group Of The Year, and the CBC Music award for Best Live Band.

Arkells have toured with acts such as Metric, The Tragically Hip, Tokyo Police Club, British Sea Power, Anti-Flag, The Black Crowes.

Their new album, High Noon, was written in Hamilton and produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks, M83). This collection of songs is the band’s most unabashed effort yet – politically charged, heart on your sleeve lyrics combined with adventurously modern and throwback production stylings.

Big Wreck Anthem*Warner
Ghosts
Returning to the studio for the first time since the success of 2012’s Albatross, Big Wreck approached the making of their fourth full-length album, Ghosts, with a renewed sense of wonder toward the very things that turned them on to rock and roll in the first place. “This time around, it really feels like we are a band that has a direction and a thing that we are going for,” says Ian. “I truly love each of the songs on this record equally because in my mind they all came from and are going to the same place.” Big Wreck’s first single and title track off the album debuted top 5 at rock radio, and the album Ghosts debuted at #5 on the Canadian Albums Chart. Ghosts also debuted at #4 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, which is the band’s highest position on that chart in their history. Followed by an extremely successful North American tour in numerous sold-out venues, the band’s success story has seemingly only just begun. The walls are down, the chemistry is electric and the output is their most fearless brand of rock and roll to date.

Sam Roberts Band Secret Brain*Universal
Lo-Fantasy
Sam Roberts was living in a hobbit hole on a mountain in Spain, watching the sun set on the hills of Andalucia when the lyrics of “Golden Hour” came to him. If that were the only unusual thing about the making of Lo-Fantasy, his fifth studio album, it would still be remarkably strange, but this is no ordinary Sam Roberts Band record. “Low fantasy is a literary genre that takes place in a world very much like our own, but in which magic – or the possibility of magic – exists,” Roberts says. “It’s grounded in reality, but it’s an altered reality. You can still ride a train to Alberta, but there’s a place for the supernatural in this otherwise rational world – it’s out there and we haven’t tapped into it yet.” Maybe music is the bridge….

The Glorious Sons Black Box*Universal
The Union
The Glorious Sons are a five-piece rock and roll band from Kingston, Ontario. The winners of the 2013 RockSearch presented by HTZ-FM and the 2012 winners of Whiskey Rocks, this band has made a big impact in the last two years. With two top-10 singles at Active Rock radio and their debut album produced by Gavin Brown & John Angus McDonald of The Trews, the band is poised for even bigger and better things.

Your Favorite Enemies Hopeful Tragedy*D.E.P.
Between Illness and Migration
Your Favorite Enemies’ distinctive blend of dirty and polished type of sonic textures, along with their introspective poetry and symbolist type of lyrical approach gathered fanatics from all different musical backgrounds into a defining communion of high level noise, post-punk, psych, shoegaze and prog rock.


Vocal Jazz Album of the Year

Angela Galuppo Justin Time*Universal
Angela Galuppo
Vocalist, songwriter (and actress) Angela Galuppo’s debut recording under her own name (she also heads up Montreal pop/jazz ensemble St. Ange) is nothing short of sensational. What a voice! She makes each note count – drawing inspiration from her early idols, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day and Sarah Vaughn – but Galuppo’s style and phrasing are entirely her own. Backed by a stellar band the recording is beautifully arranged “It’s a jazz recording with tunes you wouldn’t necessarily associate with jazz.” Think Black Keys. Think Prince. “The album as a whole is moody, romantic, tender, intimate, lush and soothing,” says Galuppo, “as an artist and a human being, I’m constantly evolving and changing, and learning about myself.”

Diana Panton Diana Panton*eOne
Red
Three-time JUNO Award nominee and Hamilton native Diana Panton’s emotive voice and strong aesthetic vision have established her as one of the brightest lights on the jazz scene today. As a sequel to her critically acclaimed Pink album about the twists and turns of new love (winner of the 2011 Silver Disc Award in Japan), Red is a conceptual offering about a deeper bond. Enhanced by specially tailored string arrangements written by Don Thompson (OC), Diana leads a stellar group of Canada’s finest musicians (including highlight performances by Phil Dwyer and Harrison Kennedy) from the jazz, blues and classical worlds who come together to create an album of rare beauty and emotional intensity. This communal effort earned Red a SiriusXM Indie Award nomination, a top pick selection by Peter Hum of The Ottawa Citizen and a 10 week spot at Number 1 on the jazz charts in Taiwan and Hong Kong upon its release. “I’m a big fan of this recording. It’s a pleasure to experience a musical project that grew so surely and elegantly from concept to execution, and that brings together such talented artists as these.” – Katie Malloch (prior host of CBC’s Tonic)
Elizabeth Shepherd Linus*eOne
The Signal
Over four critically–acclaimed albums, Elizabeth Shepherd has created a body of work that has resonated around the world. Credited as one of the young forces pushing the boundaries of jazz – along with Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper and Jose James – she is seen as part of a wave of jazz musicians bringing the art form to a new generation of music fans. With The Signal, Shepherd displays uncompromising songwriting and bold musical exploration. Highlights include her collaborations with Lionel Loueke (Herbie Hancock, Angelique Kidjo) – one of the most celebrated guitarists of his generation. The subject matter for the songs covers topics as wide-ranging as Monsanto and motherhood, witchcraft and war. Her trademark rhythmic groove is always at the core of Shepherd’s writing, while her fluid, sensual, breathy voice is as compelling and haunting as ever. A SOMETHING ELSE! Magazine review called it “the most important vocal jazz record that will be released all year.” And La Presse Montreal said it’s “Surely the best Canadian jazz vocal” they heard in 2014.”


Julie Crochetière Vega*D.E.P.
Counting Dreams
Julie Crochetière’s fourth solo release is a deeply authentic record. This album was 10 years in the making. Recorded in a week in the fall of 2013 in Montreal with a small rhythm section, strings and a harp, the recording features 9 original songs, and 2 beautifully interpreted covers. Counting Dreams tells a story, a story of love and loss, of soaring hope and heartfelt determination, a story told by a singer songwriter who knows her way into a listeners heart with a hook, with a message and with a truth so deep it will make you cry.
The album reflects another time; the live off the floor recordings of the 60’s, the time before auto-tune and vocal pyrotechnics. A time when all it took to make a killer hook was five fingers carefully placed on a piano, when a song was a craft that was built to carry a message raw with emotion, with joy, with sadness and with a moving human story. The album was produced by Tim Gowdy (Coral Egan, The Barr Brothers) and co-produced by Julie herself. It features Quatuor Orphée with string arrangements by Robin Smith (James Morrison, Cher, Andrea Bocelli).

Molly Johnson Molly Johnson*Universal
Because of Billie
Renowned Canadian multi-genre chanteuse Molly Johnson released her sixth studio album, Because Of Billie on September 9 via Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company. The record will be available digitally, on CD as well as 2LP gatefold, 180 gram vinyl.
Billie Holiday’s journey inspires Johnson not only as an artist, but as a model citizen. “Billie and her generation were the civil rights movement,” Johnson notes. “Her generation sacrificed for my privilege and I am honour-bound to them. I love history. I love to look back while pushing forward.”
“For years, people have said to me, ‘You are so much like Billie Holiday,’” says Johnson speaking on this ambitious and also deeply personal project. “My response has been ‘No, I am because of Billie.’”
Recorded in Toronto with producers John Bailey and Mike Downes, Johnson wanted to infuse Because Of Billie with her idol’s spirit, preparing the album’s 14 songs emotionally and technically so many could be recorded in one take.

Jazz Album of the Year: Solo

Jim Head Independent
Zoetrope
Jazz guitarist/composer Jim Head has worked with such acclaimed jazz artists as Tim Hagans, Sheila Jordan, Eddie Daniels, Joel Miller, Kirk MacDonald, Lew Tabackin, Christine Jensen, David Braid, Kelly Jefferson, David Virelles, Johannes Weidenmueller, Mike Downes, Doug Riley, Owen Howard, Myron Walden, Ralph Bowen, P.J. Perry, Dave Restivo, Chet Doxas, Jane Bunnett, John Stetch, Chris Tarry, and many others. He has performed in festivals and clubs across Canada, as well as China, Mexico, and the U.S., and has appeared on over 30 recordings. Jim lives in Edmonton, where he is the guitar department head in the Jazz and Contemporary Music program at MacEwan University. He has also maintained close ties with Montreal, where he lived for several years studying at McGill University and playing with many of the city’s leading jazz artists.
His latest recording as a leader, Zoetrope, was recorded in New York with alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher (The Anton Webern Project, Joe Henderson Big Band), bassist Johannes Weidenmueller (Kenny Werner Trio), JUNO Award nominated drummer Owen Howard (Drum Lore, Benedikt Jahnel Trio), and pianist Chris Andrew (2013 Montreal TD Grand Prize winner).
Kirk MacDonald Addo*Conveyor
Vista Obscura
For over 25 years Kirk has worked and recorded with many leading jazz musicians including Claude Ranger, Dave Young, Sam Noto, Sonny Greenwich, Kenny Wheeler, Eddie Henderson, Harold Mabern, Walter Bishop Jr., Lorne Lofsky, Bob Mover, Pat LaBarbera, John Taylor, Bob Mintzer, Vince Mendoza, John Clayton, Chris Potter, Dennis Mackrel, Phil Nimmons, James Moody, Rosemary Clooney, Humber College Faculty Ensemble. Over 90 performances of his compositions appear on 22 CDs, both as leader on his own recordings as well as on recordings by other artists. Kirk’s most recent activities include the release of Family Suite (2008), an 11 part suite for jazz quartet on Romhog Records, and Songbook Vol. I (2009) – a collection of his compositions for jazz quartet, on ADDO Jazz Records followed by Songbook Vol. II (2010). Kirk also leads the Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra (KMJO), a 19-piece all-star ensemble dedicated to performing his original compositions and featuring arrangements by leading Canadian and U.S. writers. The KMJO released its debut recording Deep Shadows in March 2011. Kirk has recently finished his tenth recording as leader with the KMJO – a re-working of Family Suite for jazz orchestra, and his eleventh, Symmetry.
Lenny Breau Linus*eOne
LA Bootleg 1984
On August 12, 1984 Lenny’s body was found in a swimming pool at his apartment complex in Los Angeles, California. The coroner reported that he had been strangled, the case is still unsolved.
Many live and “lost” recordings have been issued since Breau’s death. His studio recordings have also been reissued. Breau was fan of jazz pianist Bill Evans and often adapted his compositions for guitar. Breau said in relation to this: “I approach the guitar like a piano. I’ve reached a point where I transcend the instrument. A lot of the stuff I play on the 7-string guitar is supposed to be technically impossible, but I spent over twenty years figuring it out. I play the guitar like a piano, there’s always two things going on at once. I’m thinking melody, but I’m also thinking of a background. I play the accompaniment on the low strings.”
A documentary entitled The Genius of Lenny Breau was produced in 1999 by Breau’s daughter Emily Hughes. One Long Tune: The Life and Music of Lenny Breau by Ron Forbes Roberts is considered the definitive work on Breau. CBC Radio presented a documentary-soundscape on Lenny Breau entitled On the Trail of Lenny Breau. (2009).

Marianne Trudel Justin Time*Universal
La vie commence ici
Marianne Trudel is a multi-talented pianist, composer, improviser, and arranger. At once energetic and passionate, her music cross-cuts a wide swath of musical interests. As a performer, she pursues an active career in a variety of settings ranging from solo performance to more intimate duos and trios, and larger groups as quintet, septet, Trifolia and large ensembles. She has played in Canada, United States, France, Spain, Germany, and Mexico.
Owen Howard Brooklyn Jazz Underground*Independent
Drum Lore Vol. 1 - More Lore
Brooklyn based Jazz Drummer/Composer, and JUNO Award nominee, Owen Howard has been on the cutting edge of the New York jazz scene for the past twenty years.

Born in Edmonton, Owen’s passion for the drums began at the age of 15. As a young up and coming drummer in Edmonton, Owen had ample opportunities to perform and hone his skills as a sideman with many fine Canadian and international artists passing through town. In 1988 he made the move to New York, to complete his BFA at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Owen currently has five previous CDs to his credit, Sojourn and Pentagon (both on Koch), Days Before and After (co-lead with Andrew Rathbun) and Time Cycles (Fresh Sound). His most recent CD, Drum Lore Vol 2. – More Lore (BJUR Records) is the much anticipated follow up recording to Drum Lore, which received a 2011 JUNO Award nomination for Jazz Album of the Year and has garnered high praise from fans and critics around the globe!

With his personal approach to the drums, Owen is much in demand and he tours the world over, both as a leader and a sideman in a wide range of musical contexts.

Jazz Album of the Year: Group

Andrew Downing, Jim Lewis & David Occhipinti Independent
Bristles
Bristles is a new CD from the collective ensemble featuring bassist, Andrew Downing; trumpeter, Jim Lewis; and guitarist, David Occhipinti. The CD, is a collection of twelve songs – six jazz standards and six collaborative improvisations dedicated to painters such as Emily Carr and Cy Twombly. Five of the six jazz standards were recorded live from a concert at the Jazz Room in Waterloo, Ontario, where the trio performed in January of 2013.
The trio, which has been performing together since 2008, also experimented with improvisations, which resulted in six compositions dedicated to painters.
David Occhipinti produced and mixed their first release, Bristles, which was released on his Occdav Music label (OM007) and received 4 stars in Downbeat Magazine, which called it “cool and mysterious, stark but beautiful.”
Bobby Rice Latin Jazz Big Band Addo*Conveyor
Bobby Rice Latin Jazz Big Band: X-Treme Latin Jazz
Bobby Rice currently leads one of the most exciting Latin jazz big bands in Canada, which regularly features the multi-JUNO Award winning Hilario Durán—his 2007 Latin jazz big band album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo (Paquito D’Rivera) – and many more of Canada’s finest jazz musicians (e.g., Phil Dwyer, Bill McBirnie, Al Kay, Ted Quinlan, Mark Kelso, Alex Dean, Kevin Turcotte, et al).
He is currently a part-time professor in the Humber College Music Program in Toronto and holds a master’s degree in composition to complement his B.A in Jazz Studies and Humber College Music Diploma. He has also received four grants (composition and recording) from the OAC and TAC respectively.
His seven-piece Latin jazz group has performed at numerous jazz festivals in virtually every major jazz festival in Ontario. Bobby has also performed and/or recorded with: Shania Twain, Mary Wilson (Supremes), Frankie Vali, Frankie Avalon, the Drifters, Dick Clark, Joan Rivers Louise Pitre, Robert Pilon, Colm Wilkinson, Michael Burgess, Jackie Richardson, Rich Little, Rik Emmett (Triumph), Jane Bunnett, Hiliario Duran, NOJO, George Oliver, George St. Kitts, Diego Marulanda & Pacande, Judy & David and many more.

Brian Dickinson Trio Addo*Conveyor
Fishs Eddy
Brian Dickinson is a two-time JUNO Award-winning pianist. His CD, In Transition was chosen as Best Jazz Recording in 1991, and he was named 1993 Composer of the Year by The Jazz Report. Dickinson has excelled as a composer and musician, working with internationally recognized jazz luminaries on radio shows and at jazz festivals across North America. Master bassist George Mraz arrived at Boston’s Berkelee School of Music in the late 60s on a scholarship from the Czech Republic and a year later found himself on the road with Dizzy Gillespie followed by tenures with Oscar Peterson, The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Clark Terry, Bill Evans, Joe’s Lovano and Henderson – finally leading to a 10 year musical relationship with the piano great Tommy Flanagan. George is a musician’s musician. As pianist Richie Beirach says, “He plays the exact note you want to hear and plays the bass as though he invented it.” So keen is his sense of what is appropriate. he can make himself positively translucent. Ethan Ardelli is one of the busiest drummers in Toronto and has played with numerous Canadian jazz personalities.
Jane Bunnett and Maqueque Justin Time*Universal
Jane Bunnett and Maqueque
For more than thirty years, four-time JUNO Award winner, two-time Grammy nominee Jane Bunnett has been bridging the gulf between Cuba and North America, introducing jazz audiences to some of the finest musicians that the island has to offer. Through her longstanding ensemble Spirits of Havana, Bunnett has provided early opportunities to such future greats as Dafnis Prieto, Yosvany Terry, Pedrito Martínez, and David Virelles, and also becoming a Canadian national treasure as well as an internationally acclaimed jazz artist in the process. Now, with her new sextet Maqueque, she introduces the world to some of Cuba’s most promising female musicians, injecting her own music with an invigorating dose of youthful energy in the process. Jane is also an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has been chosen as a finalist for the Ontario 2014 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Myriad3 Alma*Universal
The Where
“Myriad3 is cutting edge, the future of modern jazz.”
– Brent Black, Critical Jazz

Myriad3 exploded onto the international jazz scene with the release of their debut album, Tell, in late 2012. This introduced the world to an exciting new trio whose sound is greater than the sum of its individual seriously-talented parts. The trio comprises pianist Chris Donnelly, bassist Dan Fortin, and drummer Ernesto Cervini. All highly-regarded players on the Toronto scene, they met in late 2010, and a shared creative chemistry quickly found them committed to this new joint project.
Tell earned Myriad3 impressive airplay in Canada, Europe and the U.S. (where it topped the CMJ charts for three weeks). It made them a critic’s favorite, and led to a successful first European tour. So Where to next? Onward and upwards is the answer to that query.
Any talk of a sophomore slump or jinx is extinguished upon first listen to the second Myriad3 album, The Where. It showcases a group compelled to experiment and progress, not rest on their laurels. Myriad3 is a band looking ahead, not back. Following their progress to who knows where is guaranteed to be a really exciting journey.

Instrumental Album of the Year

Canadian Brass Linus*eOne
Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China is the new album by one of the worlds’ most popular and classical ensembles, The Canadian Brass. The album breaks into new territory both musically and culturally.
In 1977, as China emerged from the Cultural Revolution, Canadian Brass arrived in Beijing for a concert tour that was part of a cultural exchange. They were the first Western musicians to visit the country since Western music & art were banned in May, 1966. The experience was the inspiration for this album that features the world famous ensemble performing arrangements of some of China’s most popular songs.
Founding member Chuck Daellenbach describes the inspiration behind Great Wall of China: “Traveling the long road from Beijing down to Guangzhou, we performed in auditoriums, schools and factories, plus held radio tapings, interviews and impromptu outdoor shows along the way. It was during this trip we were first introduced to Chinese folk music for brass instruments, with the adaptation of “Lift Your Veil” given to us as a present. We include this piece here, a moving reminder of the profound power of music to bridge international boundaries and heal that we were so fortunate to experience first-hand during that tour.

Daniel Lanois Anti*F.A.B.
Flesh and Machine
Throughout a storied career as a musician, producer and engineer, Daniel Lanois helped push the ambient genre forward into celestial new territory as Brian Eno’s foremost protégé; he has recorded landmark albums for U2 and Peter Gabriel and helped to revitalize the sonic dimensions of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. But Flesh and Machine marked the first time Lanois truly deployed every sonic weapon in his arsenal in hopes that it may reach the position of headphone album of the year.
Flesh And Machine was initially conceived as an ambient album, and tracks such as “Forest City” take the classic Brian Eno albums that he worked on Ambient 4: On Land (1982) and Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks (1983) as a wonderful bedrock to stand on to see the sonic future. The album bristles with new ideas. He spent countless hours processing an array of source sounds – steel and electric guitar, piano and human voice – to create the sound palette that is Flesh and Machine.

John Stetch Addo*Conveyor
Off With the Cuffs
John Stetch is a jazz pianist who fearlessly brings the elements of traditional jazz into some of pop culture’s most beloved songs. Putting his own personal stamp on each of his distinctive renditions, award-winning pianist John Stetch pushes the boundaries of his jazz and classical training to incorporate melodies from all around the world and across American culture; from Mozart to Ukrainian folk music to the theme from The Love Boat. Since his late start on the piano at 19 years of age, John has toured extensively in the United States and overseas, performing and collaborating with classical and world musicians and contemporary jazz greats such as Rufus Reid, Seamus Blake, and Mark Turner. John has released 13 albums under his own name, and won the Prix du Jazz award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. A Steinway Artist, John Stetch is currently based in New York City. John’s flagship group, TV Trio, is devoted to reimagining classic themes taken from the Golden Age of American television, creating entirely new and engaging sounds based on well-known anthems such as Bugs Bunny’s “This Is It” and the original 1960’s Star Trek.
Quartango Tangovation
Encuentro
Comprised of four highly accomplished musicians, bound by their shared passion for the tango and driven by an unceasing desire to make a close connection with their audience, Quartango offers a performance filled with subtle nuances and a blend of colours that reflects both the classics and modernity, as well as the effervescence of the milonga.
Quartango’s vast repertoire is characterized by refined musical arrangements, full of energy, the majority of which are the creations of pianist Richard Hunt (who has also composed some 20 original works for the group). Since Hunt’s death in 2011, new names (Antoine Bareil, Jonathan Goldman and Stéphane Aubin) have come to surround founding member René Gosselin and to bring their new musical sensibilities to the group. These young musicians nourish their own compositions with influences that range from classical music, jazz, rock’n’roll and world music in a way that is as subtle as it is unexpected. Quartango sheds new light on the music of the tango with its international take on this Argentinean musical tradition.

Sultans of String Independent*Red River
Symphony!
JUNO Award nominees Sultans of String thrill their audiences with their global sonic tapestry of Spanish flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms, and Gypsy-jazz, celebrating musical fusion and human creativity with warmth and virtuosity. Fiery violin dances with rumba-flamenco guitar. Acoustic strings meet with electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound, while world rhythms excite audiences to their feet with the irresistible need to dance.
The band has been recorded live on BBCTelevision, SiriusXM in Washington, CTV’s CanadaAM, CBC’s CanadaLive, and has topped community radio charts in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, The Netherlands, U.S., U.K. Live concerts include Celtic Connections (U.K.), Birdland Jazz Club (NYC), Canada’s NAC, Memphis Folk Alliance, and with the TSO.
“A new fusion of roots and classical…the results are mind blowing. Even though the instrumentation is different, you get the feeling this is Strunz and Farah or Willie and Lobo or Gypsy Kings taken to the next level…any fan of worldbeat or contemporary instrumental music is sure to absolutely flip for this gem. Hot stuff throughout!” ?Midwest Record, Chicago

Francophone Album of the Year

Jimmy Hunt Dare To Care*D.E.P.
Maladie d’amour
It’s through an eponymous album released in October 2010 on Grosse Boîte that the general public got better acquainted with Jimmy Hunt as a solo artist. Critical acclaim followed as the singer-songwriter was awarded numerous accolades in Quebec, and was selected as one of the Révélations Radio-Canada in 2011-2012, a program that highlights the excellence of upcoming francophone artists.
Seasons passed and Jimmy Hunt returns in October 2013 with Maladie d’amour, a new album with a sound reminiscent of the graceful folk of his debut. But of course, Jimmy was not going to stop there – Maladie d’amour also blends dense electro with minimalist lyrics. We wouldn’t want to go overboard, but here goes: there’s definitely some Gainsbourg in the innovation and the unusual texture of this album. Plus… have you seen that cover?
These sonic explorations also owe their unique directions to two of Jimmy’s close collaborators, who have previously joined him for shows. Keyboardist and sound programmer Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux (Organ Mood) handled recording and arrangements on selected tracks, and multi-instrumentalist Emmanuel Éthier (Passwords) directed the sessions. Both also play on the album.

Klô Pelgag Coyote*D.E.P.
L’alchimie des monstres
When Klô Pelgag sings, images come alive. And when she plays, the air vibrates. While the eyes are enamored and hearts are steered toward its lush piano universe of strings and voice, she strives to make her songs a landscape for the blind. Her first album, L’Alchimie des monstres, has found unparalleled success both in Canada and francophone Europe. On stage, Klô surrounds herself with talented musicians to present a show staged by choreographer Dave St-Pierre. The artist is the ultimate synthesis of imagination music and words... so that one does not exist without the other. She is the winner of many prizes and distinctions including Album of the Year: pop and Artist of the Year at the Gala GAMIQ; Felix' Newcomer of the Year at the ADISQ Gala 2014; the Grand Prix de la Francophonie Charles Cros in France; CBC 2014-2015 Revelation and many more. Pelgag was also the first woman to win the Prix Miroir “Celebrating the French language” at the Quebec City Summer Festival.
Philippe B Bonsound*Select
Ornithologie, la nuit
Critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Philippe B makes timeless classic French pop tunes. Following the release of his third album, Variations fantômes, he, along with the Molinari Quartet and a chamber orchestra, performed sold-out shows in Montreal. Between these concerts and the composition of his fourth studio album, Ornithologie, la nuit (April 2014), Philippe B put his multiple talents to good use by producing albums for Groenland, Isabelle Boulay, Les soeurs Boulay and Carl-Éric Hudon. In addition to lending a hand to Pierre Lapointe on the song “Les Callas”, he composed the original soundtrack for Éric Morin’s film, Chasse au Godard d’Abbittibbi.
Philippe B reasserts his strong songwriting skills as well as his enviable position on the Francophone musical landscape with this self-produced opus. Abandoning the classical music samples, the key element of his previous effort, Philippe creates here a late-night soundtrack, both modern and vintage, by juxtaposing wind instruments with female vocals.
Translating Philippe’s nightbird tendencies, Ornithologie, la nuit describes the course of a protagonist from the shadows to the light. Spread out over the course of one year, the album accompanies the main character on his search for meaning and daily pleasures in order to achieve healing as the year progresses.

Sagot Simone*Select
Valse 333
Julien Sagot didn’t become a musical factotum and singular percussionist overnight. His musical development began with choral singing, which he practised for many years. “We always sang a lot at home,” he recalls. “I sing all the time with my daughter now. It’s largely thanks to singing that I started writing music.”
As his musical family grew, the multi-instrumentalist continued to write lyrics and music, adding the new material to the hefty piles that had been accumulating for months. With a pronounced willingness to explore electro-acoustic sounds, the material formed the foundation of what would become Valse 333, his second album with Simone Records.
With tracks ranging from works like “Ficelle,” ”a song exploring the experiences of our cities’ lost souls, suffocated by obtuse systems,” – to works like “Les squelettes,” “a poem by Jean Sauvegrain on the inevitability of death–” Valse 333 is the work of a lyricist, composer and musician at the top of his game. The album shows a deep desire to transcend reality through poetry and fantastical abundance.

Serge Fiori GSI*eOne
Serge Firoi
28 years after his last solo project, on March 4th 2014, Serge Fiori surprised all with the release of a new self titled album. Co-produced by Serge himself and Marc Pérusse, the SERGE FIORI album presents ten songs written by Serge and a brief instrumental epilogue composed by Marc. This deeply personal work is emblematic of a sensitive artist with a sharp and lucid perspective on the world, and was long awaited for by the thousands of fans of the founder/leader/singer/main songwriter of the legendary progressive folk-rock band Harmonium.
“Fiori does it with wit and poetic elegance… This one was worth waiting for.” says Bernard Perusse, The Gazette. “Serge Fiori is a national treasure. The new Fiori is brilliant” says Terry Dimonte of CHOM-FM.
A mere eight weeks after its release, the album was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), recognizing sales of 80,000 copies. SERGE FIORI also ranked #1 in sales in Québec for eight consecutive weeks, and in Canada for two consecutive weeks, and is now approaching the 100,000 mark, proof positive of the deep and abiding connection fans have with the singer-songwriter.

Children's Album of the Year

Bobs & LoLo Nettwerk*Sony
Wave Your Antlers
"Bobs & LoLo – the dynamic, dancing duo regularly featured on Treehouse TV – are dedicated to connecting kids to the natural world with music, movement and make-believe!
Bobs & LoLo’s energetic and interactive music is sure to have audiences on their feet, singing and dancing along before the first song is done. Performing award-winning, original music from their four albums (Connecting the Dots, Action Packed, Musical Adventures and Sea Notes), Bobs & Lolo inspire audiences to care about themselves, their neighbours and the planet."
Fred Penner The Children’s Group*eOne
Where In The World
Fred Penner is a household name to the millions who grew up watching the much loved children’s entertainer emerge of that hollow log for 12 seasons and nearly 900 episodes in the hit TV show Fred Penner’s Place – seen weekly by 55 million American and Canadian viewers. Fred Penner delivered a simple, yet powerful message. “Never underestimate your ability to make a difference in the life of a child.”
Having sold more than one million records and performed live to more than a million fans, Penner was dubbed “Mr. Multi–Media” by Billboard Magazine. His diverse repertoire includes a prolific 12 children’s albums and countless energetically packed live shows for throngs of eager audiences across North America.
Those who grew up with him now have children of their own, introducing Penner to a whole new generation. After taking a break from performing to score music for other family TV shows, he decided to record his first new family album in close to a decade – Where in the World – and head back out to perform live. In Fred’s own words, the album is “relevant and speaks to children about what’s happening in the world and the importance of positive messages.
LuLu et le Matou Independent
Le chat botté
En nomination pour les Western Canadian Music Awards en tant
que remarquable album pour enfant, et deux autre nominations pour les Western Canadian Music Awards - album francophone de
l'année! LuLu et le Matou était sélectionné comme finaliste au Gala manitobain de la chanson. LuLu et le Matou sont des animateurs musicaux dont raffolent des enfants de tout âge. Ils forment un groupe d'animation bilingue, original et interactif, qui a une grande passion pour les animaux. LuLu et le Matou ont réussi des prix multiples comme <<édu-amuseurs>>. Leurs albums ont gagné de nombreux prix en incluant deux fois meilleur album d'enfants (le prix Musique de prairie, le prix WCMA), deux fois le prix Choix des parents, deux fois Centre de livre canadien , un prix web pour Musique d'enfants, aussi bien qu'être présenté sur de
nombreuses stations de radio locales et nationales. Ils animent des histoires et tout le monde s'amuse avec leurs performances.
Raffi Troubadour*Universal
Love Bug
A renowned singer known by his first name alone, Raffi was a pioneer in quality recordings for kids on his indie label, Troubadour. For millions of fans, Raffi’s music was the soundtrack of their childhoods, and they took his signature song, “Baby Beluga,” to heart. These “beluga grads” now share his music with their own kids. Raffi has been described by the Washington Post and the Toronto Star as the most popular children’s entertainer in the Western world, and Canada’s all-time children’s champion.
Raffi is a music producer, author, entrepreneur, and ecology advocate. He is the recipient of numerous honours, including the Global 500 Roll and the Order of Canada. He holds four honorary degrees and is a member of the Club of Budapest.
In a career spanning four decades, Raffi has refused all commercial endorsement offers and has never taken part in direct advertising to children. He is a passionate supporter of a commercial-free childhood. In 2006, he was awarded the Fred Rogers Integrity Award for this work.
His recent work includes the 2013 book, Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons To Reform Social Media Before It Re-Forms Us and his first new kids’ CD in 12 years, Love Bug.
Splash'N Boots Independent
Happy Times
Nominated for a 2014 JUNO Award for Children’s Album of the Year and thrice crowned Canadian Children’s Group of the Year at the Sirus XM Independent Music Awards, Treehouse TV’s Splash’N Boots have brought their award-winning live shows to over 100,000 children worldwide since 2003. What began as a class project at Queens University has led to the release of eight CDs, three DVDs, national television exposure, across-Canada Filmed Live Tour with Treehouse TV, and performances with world- renowned children’s entertainers, The Wiggles.
Splash’N Boots’ growing fan base and tour schedule is a result of their authenticity and dedication to connecting with their audience. Their music is timeless and universal, creating opportunities for parents and children to enjoy the same entertainment, enabling kids to feel empowered and positive about their lives. Talented, unique and inventive, the cutting-edge duo are constantly providing their fans with new material, truly working 24/7 at building their business, brand and fans.
From social media, to their philanthropy with SickKids Hospital, Splash’N Boots’ brand extends far beyond the stage alone, they are passionate about what they do, inspired by the children they meet and continually prove to have an undeniably fresh approach to family music.

Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble

Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà Analekta*Select
Blanc
An artist of rare versatility considered one of the most prominent violin virtuosos in Canada – for 35 years Angèle Dubeau, C.M., C.Q., has led a dazzling career in the great concert halls of the world. While her virtuosity and musicality have seduced critics, the public has adopted Dubeau for her uncommon gifts as a communicator and her outstanding ability to connect with it. In fact, she is the only Canadian classical musician to have been awarded gold records and has already succeeded in selling over 500,000 albums.
David Krakauer, Matt Haimovitz, Socalled, Jonathan Crow & Geoffrey Burleson Oxingale*S.R.I.
Akoka: Reframing Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time
In this reframing of Olivier Messiaen’s masterpiece Quartet for the End of Time, clarinetist David Krakauer — praised internationally for his ability to play in a myriad of music genres with “prodigious chops” (The New Yorker) and “soulfulness and electrifying showiness” (The New York Times) – and musical pioneer cellist Matt Haimovitz – described as “one of the leading cellists of his generation” (The New York Times) and “intensely sensitive and perfectly poised (Gramophone Magazine) – have created a recording and live concert experience of great emotional power.
In a rare live recording, AKOKA bookmarks the complete Messiaen masterwork Quartet for the End of Time between Krakauer’s own Akoka, and Meanwhile… by sound artist Socalled.
The album lifts Messiaen’s original work out of the polite context of a chamber music performance and places it in a dramatic setting that drives home its gravity and impact, while bringing it into the 21st century. As the forces of fundamentalism, intolerance and violence intensify in today’s world, this particular mounting of the great work seems all the more timely.
James Ehnes Chandos*Naxos
Bartok: Chamber Works for Violin Vol. 3
James Ehnes was born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba. He began violin studies at the age of four, at age nine he became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and at The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation. Mr. Ehnes first gained national recognition in 1987 as winner of the Grand Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Competition. The following year he won the First Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Festival, the youngest musician ever to do so.
He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the first-ever Ivan Galamian Memorial Award, the Canada Council for the Arts’ prestigious Virginia Parker Prize, the 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant and nine JUNO Awards. In July 2007 he became the youngest person ever elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada. In 2010, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2013 he was named Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. He lives in Bradenton, Florida with his wife and daughter.
Jonathan Crow & Paul Stewart ATMA*Naxos
Prokofiev: Sonates & Mélodies
A native of Prince George, British Columbia, Jonathan Crow joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster in 2011. Between 2002 and 2006 he was Concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and notably during this tenure, was the youngest concertmaster of a major North American orchestra. He has performed at chamber music festivals throughout North America, South America, and Europe. He is a founding member of the New Orford String Quartet, a project-based new ensemble dedicated to the promotion of standard and Canadian string quartet repertoire throughout North America.
In 2005 Jonathan Crow joined the Schulich School of Music at McGill University as Assistant Professor of Violin and was appointed Associate Professor of Violin in 2010. He is currently Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Toronto.
Karl Stobbe Avie
Ysaÿe Sonatas for Solo Violin
Karl Stobbe is recognized as one of Canada’s most accomplished and diverse violinists. Very few violinists can lay claim to performances of all six Ysaÿe Sonatas for Solo Violin, all 16 Beethoven String Quartets, and all nine Mahler Symphonies. Whether as a concertmaster, soloist, or chamber musician, Karl is known for excellence on the violin and classical music in all its forms.

Avie Records 2014 CD of Karl playing Ysaÿe’s Solo Violin Sonatas has received worldwide attention, including London’s Sunday Times who called Karl “a master soloist, recalling the golden age of violin playing … producing a breathtaking range of tone colours”. He has performed in North America’s most famous concert halls, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Jordan Hall, and has shared the stage with some of the most important and diverse violinists of our day, from James Ehnes to Mark O’Connor.

Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment

Angela Hewitt and The National Arts Centre Orchestra Hyperion*HM
MOZART: Piano Concertos Nos. 22 & 24
Angela Hewitt is a phenomenal artist who has established herself at the highest level, not least through her award-winning recordings for Hyperion. Her series of all the major keyboard works of Bach has been described as “one of the record glories of our age” (The Sunday Times). Her discography also includes recordings of Beethoven, Chabrier, Couperin, Debussy, Fauré, Granados, Messiaen, Rameau, Ravel, Schumann, the complete Chopin Nocturnes and a cycle of Mozart Concertos. Born in Ottawa, into a musical family, Angela Hewitt began her piano studies at the age of three. At the age of nine, she gave her first recital at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music where she later studied, going on to learn with the French pianist Jean-Paul Sévilla. She won the Viotti Competition in Italy and the Toronto International Bach Competition, and was a top prizewinner in the Bach competitions of Leipzig and Washington DC, as well as the Dino Ciani Competition at La Scala, Milan. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. She was also awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2006. She has lived in London since 1985 but also has homes in Canada and Umbria.
James Ehnes Onyx*HM
Khachaturian/Shostakovich
James Ehnes was born in 1976 in Brandon, Manitoba. He began violin studies at the age of four, at age nine he became a protégé of the noted Canadian violinist Francis Chaplin. He studied with Sally Thomas at the Meadowmount School of Music and at The Juilliard School, winning the Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music upon his graduation. Mr. Ehnes first gained national recognition in 1987 as winner of the Grand Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Competition. The following year he won the First Prize in Strings at the Canadian Music Festival, the youngest musician ever to do so.
He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the first-ever Ivan Galamian Memorial Award, the Canada Council for the Arts’ prestigious Virginia Parker Prize, the 2005 Avery Fisher Career Grant and nine JUNO Awards. In July 2007 he became the youngest person ever elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada. In 2010, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2013 he was named Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. He lives in Bradenton, Florida with his wife and daughter.
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal & Kent Nagano Analekta*Select
Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 7, Departure - Utopia
Since its founding in 1934, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal has distinguished itself as a leader in the orchestral life of Canada and Québec. A cultural ambassador of the highest order, the Orchestra has earned an enviable reputation internationally through the quality of its recordings and tours. The OSM carries on that rich tradition under the leadership of its music director, Kent Nagano, while featuring innovative programming aimed at underlining the relevance of orchestral repertoire in our lives and strengthening the Orchestra’s connection with the community.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Peter Oundjian Chandos*Naxos
Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade
Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions, recognized internationally. Peter Oundjian, now in his 11th season as the TSO’s Music Director, leads the Orchestra with a commitment to innovative programming and audience engagement through a broad range of performances that showcase the exceptional talents of the Orchestra along with a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. The TSO also serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 ticket programme; the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra; and music education programmes that reach over 50,000 students each year.
Under Oundjian’s leadership, the TSO has distinguished itself as an active supporter of new Canadian and international works, predominantly through its annual New Creations Festival. Since 2008, the Orchestra has released eight recordings under its self-produced label, TSO Live, and recently signed a multi-disc recording contract with Chandos Records. Over the past decade, the TSO has toured to regions in Canada and the U.S., including regular excursions to Northern Ontario, as well as two sold-out appearances at Carnegie Hall. In August 2014, the Orchestra completed a critically acclaimed European tour which included the first performance of a North American orchestra at Reykjavik’s Harpa Hall.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin & Orchestre Métropolitain ATMA*Naxos
Bruckner 3
Artistic Director of the Orchestre Métropolitain since March 2000, Yannick Nézet-Séguin is among the most sought after conductors in the world. Also Music Director of the prestigious Philadelphia Orchestra since September 2012, Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra since 2008, his personal approach to music, his respect towards the musicians and the public, his loyalty, his generosity as well as his charismatic personality bring him the affection of all.
Founded in Montreal in 1981, the Orchestre Métropolitain adopted a wide public approach that focused on broadening audiences for classical music from the very outset. The OM has developed a unique approach founded on an unshakeable determination to democratize classical music by bringing it to people in their neighborhoods. Since its inception, the Orchestre Métropolitain has made a priority of introducing people to classical music and breaking down economic barriers with a policy that makes tickets affordable to everyone. The Orchestre Métropolitain is also a byword for very high quality entertainment and an invitation to enjoy musical culture through pre-concert talk, and through its conductor who discusses each of the works on the program.

Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance

Gerald Finley & Julius Drake Hyperion*HM
Schubert: Winterreise
The Canadian baritone Gerald Finley has established himself as one of the leading singers and dramatic interpreters of his generation, performing at the major opera and concert venues of the world in a wide variety of repertoire. With Hyperion Records his releases include a Gramophone Magazine Award winning CD of Schumann’s Dichterliebe, and two further Gramophone Awards for Songs by Samuel Barber, and Britten’s Songs and Proverbs, all with Julius Drake. He has been twice nominated as Gramophone’s Artist of the Year in 2006 and 2009. With the London Philharmonic his CD Arias in English also won a 2011 JUNO Award. In 2012, he was honoured by Opera Canada with a Ruby Award. In 2014, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada.
Features of this season include concerts and recitals throughout Europe, the Marriage of Figaro at the Met, Don Giovanni in Munich and Cosi fan tutte at the Salzburg Festival. He adds to his Wagner roles at Covent Garden as Amfortas in Parsifal. In Toronto, his performance of the role of Falstaff with the COC has garnered much praise. His recording projects with Julius Drake this year include Winterreise and a CD of Liszt Songs, with Hyperion.
Julie Boulianne, Clavecin en concert & Luc Beauséjour Analekta*Select
Handel & Porpora: The London Years
Known for her musical intelligence and great sensitivity, French-Canadian mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne has quickly conquered the greatest audiences around the world. While at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, she sang the roles of Ascanio (Berlioz’s Les Troyens), Siebel (Gounod’s Faust), Kuchtík (Dvorák’s Rusalka), Diane (Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride) and Stéphano (Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette). Harpsichordist and organist Luc Beauséjour is renowned for the elegance, virtuosity, and expressiveness of his playing, which has won him an enthusiastic audience and the continuing praise of critics and music specialists.
Karina Gauvin, Les Violons du Roy & Bernard Labadie ATMA*Naxos
Mozart: Opera & Concert Arias
Karina Gauvin’s unique voice, remarkable technique, and accomplished musicianship have charmed audiences worldwide from the Royal Opera House in London to the prestigious 92nd Street Y and the Lincoln Center in New York. Her vast repertoire covers music from Johann Sebastian Bach to Benjamin Britten and Luciano Berio. Karina Gauvin has sung with many major orchestras including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Toronto Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Les Talens Lyriques, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, Capriccio Stravagante and Les Violons du Roy. On the operatic or concert stage, she has delivered outstanding performances with conductors as diverse as Charles Dutoit, Christopher Hogwood, Helmuth Rilling, Bruno Weil, Markus Creed, Bernard Labadie, Andrew Parrott, and Christophe Rousset. Active as a recitalist, she has collaborated with several chamber music ensembles and with pianists Marc-André Hamelin, Michael McMahon, and Roger Vignoles.
Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal ATMA*Naxos
Terra Tremuit
Serving the cultural community on the local scene, as well as being active nationally and internationally since 1974, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal enjoys an established reputation of excellence for its inspired interpretations of the renaissance and baroque vocal repertoire. Under the direction of organist and harpsichordist Christopher Jackson, the Studio’s ensemble is composed of 13 to 18 singers remarkable for the clarity and purity of their voices, and instrumentalists playing on period instruments.
The goal the Studio set for itself at its founding is to restore the dimensions of renaissance and baroque music in all their vitality, their sensuality, their presence and their strength of conviction. As Gustav Leonhardt says so well, “this undertaking inevitably expands the works, our knowledge and the essence of who we are.”
Theatre of Early Music, Schola Cantorum & Daniel Taylor Analekta*Select
The Heart's Refuge
Founded by artistic director and conductor Daniel Taylor, the Theatre of Early Music (TEM) are sought-after interpreters of magnificent yet neglected choral repertoire from four centuries. Their appearances include stunning a cappella programs, with practices and aesthetics of former ages informing thought-provoking, passionate and committed reconstructions of music for historical events and major works from the oratorio tradition.
Founded in 2012 by Daniel Taylor, the University of Toronto Schola Cantorum aims to present the brilliant early choral and instrumental repertoire from across the centuries to a new audience.

Classical Composition of the Year

Alice Ping Yee Ho Centrediscs*Naxos
Glistening Pianos - GLISTENING PIANOS
Considered “among the most important composers writing in this country,” (D. Ariaratnam, The Record), Alice Ho is a Hong Kong born, Canadian composer acclaimed for her “distinctly individual” style and “organic flow of imagination.” She has written in many musical genres and received numerous national and international awards, including the 2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award “Outstanding Original Opera” for her opera Lesson of Da Ji, 2013 Boston Metro Opera International Composition Competition, Martin Hunter’s Award for Best Classical Composer, du Maurier Arts Ltd. Canadian Composers Competition, MACRO International Composition Competition, Luxembourg Sinfonietta International Composition Prize and International League of Women Composers Competition.
Often featured at national and international new music festivals such as ISCM World Music Days, Ottawa Chamberfest, Denmark’s CRUSH New Music Festival, Asian Music Week in Japan, etc. – her works have also been performed by many major ensembles and soloists including China National Symphony, Polish Radio Choir, Finnish Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, the Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Victoria, and Windsor Symphonies, Amsterdam’s Neuw Ensemble, Penderecki String Quartet, Toronto’s New Music Concerts, percussionists Sumire Yoshihara and Beverley Johnston, violist Rivka Golani, and St. John’s Duo Concertante. Her discography includes releases on the Centrediscs, Blue Griffin, Electra and Phoenix labels.
Brian Current Naxos
Airline Icarus - AIRLINE ICARUS – COMPLETE OPERA
Airline Icarus, leading young Canadian composer Brian Current’s chamber opera, is set aboard an airliner in which, taking the myth of Icarus as the central image, “explores themes of hubris mixed with technology”. The result is a powerful, resonant work that won Mr. Current the Italian Premio Fedora Award in 2011. Airline Icarus has also received concert productions by Tapestry New Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Soundstreams in Toronto will produce the Canadian Premiere in 2014. Award-winning writer and duel Canadian and US citizen Anton Piatigorsky’s libretti for Airline Icarus, as well as Inventory, both written in collaboration with Brian Current, were featured at the VOX festival of the New York City Opera in 2007 and 2010
Gordon Fitzell Centrediscs*Naxos
Magister Ludi - MAGISTER LUDI
Canadian composer, performer, producer and multimedia artist Gordon Fitzell has worked with many outstanding ensembles including Norwegian group BIT20 Ensemble, Brazil’s PianOrquestra, the pan-Canadian Ensemble 1534, and American sextet eighth blackbird, whose multiple Grammy-winning album strange imaginary animals features two of his works; Fitzell also appears as co-producer and live electronics artist on strange imaginary animals. His music has been performed across Canada and at numerous international festivals. Three recordings featuring his work are scheduled for release in 2014-15, including Magister Ludi : Musique de / Music of Gordon Fitzell (Centrediscs) by the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+), under the direction of Véronique Lacroix. Other conductors to have directed Fitzell’s music include legendary figures Robert Aitken, Reinbert de Leeuw and Bramwell Tovey. In addition to concert music, Fitzell has presented multimedia installations in North America and Europe, most recently for World Music Days in Belgium and Montreal’s Productions Totem Contemporain. An Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music in Winnipeg, Fitzell teaches composition and leads the eXperimental Improv Ensemble (XIE). He also serves as Artistic Co-Director of Winnipeg’s pioneering non-profit new music organization GroundSwell.
Jacques Hétu Naxos
Sextet, OP. 71 - COMPLETE CHAMBER WORKS FOR STRINGS
Born in Québec in 1938, Jacques Hétu studied piano, harmony and Gregorian chant at the University of Ottawa with Jules Martel before entering the Conservatoire de Montréal in 1956, to study there with Clermont Pépin, Jean Papineau-Couture and Isabelle Delorme. In the summer of 1959 he attended the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, where he studied with Lukas Foss.
Awarded the Prix d’Europe in 1961, he travelled to Paris, studying composition there with Henri Dutilleux and analysis with Olivier Messiaen. Returning to Québec in 1963, he served in various academic positions at the Université Laval and the Université de Montréal, followed, from 1979 to 2000, by the Université du Québec à Montréal, where he was head of the music department from 1980-82 and 1986-88. Awarded various honours, he has been prolific as a composer.
John Estacio Independent
Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra - A CONCERT FOR NEW YORK
Composer John Estacio has served as Composer in Residence for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the Calgary Opera. His compositions are programmed by orchestras throughout North American and his frequent performances and broadcasts have earned him several SOCAN Concert Music Awards. He has also been nominated for the JUNO Award three times.
In 2014, the Cincinnati Ballet commissioned a full length score for the new ballet King Arthur’s Camelot. In the last decade he has composed numerous symphonic and operatic works including Filumena for Calgary Opera/Banff Centre and Lillian Alling for the Vancouver Opera/Banff Centre. Filumena has received several remounts in Canada and was filmed for television and broadcast on the CBC and PBS.
The National Arts Centre Orchestra and conductor Pinchas Zukerman toured China in 2013 and the UK in 2014 with his orchestral overture “Brio.” The Richard Eaton Singers toured Europe with his new choral work, “branche”, in the summer of 2013. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet featured several of Estacio’s orchestral compositions in a new ballet Wonderland. He recently completed a song cycle for baritone and violin, premiered by Russell Braun and James Ehnes.
His works have been performed at Carnegie Hall, including performances by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and a performance of his “Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano” by the Edmonton Symphony.
During the past few seasons, the National Youth Orchestra of the Americas toured the US and Canada with “Bootlegger’s Tarantella”. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, along with acclaimed tenor Ben Heppner, toured Europe with Estacio’s arrangements of “Seven Songs of Jean Sibelius”. His orchestral works have been performed by all the major Canadian orchestras, as well as the Houston Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and orchestras in Europe and South America.

Rap Recording of the Year

Marco Polo Soulspazm*Independent
PA2: The Director’s Cut
As a torchbearer for the true-school hip-hop movement, who is also trailblazing new sounds as a defining contributor of the modern era of rap, Marco Polo maintains this crucial balance with the humble intention of simply making music that he respects and enjoys.
Steadily focused on this goal, MP is in the midst of a career-defining period that will prove exciting for himself and hip-hop heads alike.
Naturally Born Strangers Legends League*Independent
The Legends League Presents: Naturally Born Strangers
“Naturally Born Strangers represents those born and raised different who don’t associate themselves with the common communal circles. It’s a proclamation of pride in the power of being disliked, unwanted or obscure, weird or foreign to the norm. It’s for the stranger and the more strange, the new community of outcasts, the antithesis to the neighbourhood and the cynics of its circles. NBS is the umbrella title to those influenced by much, deterred by nothing and unknown the world over. It’s a reflection of our societies vision of “normal”. The queen is represented to create familiarity but has been tainted to identify the strange. It’s fuck government, fuck the system, fuck money, fuck fame, fuck art.” - Bryan Espiritu & James McGurk of TheLegendsLeague

P Reign RCA*Sony
Dear America
Having had his fair share of hardships, P. Reign a.k.a. The King of Da North knows all about overcoming adversity. Losing countless friends and family to gun violence and incarceration, he has managed not only to make it out of one of the most notorious neighbourhoods in Canada, but also to position himself at the forefront of Canadian music…although I’m sure being able to call Drake a very close friend doesn’t hurt.
His song "Realest in the City" featuring Meek Mill and PartyNextDoor off the Dear America EP reached #1 on Billboard?’s Emerging Artists chart.
Saukrates Culvert*Universal
Amani
Saukrates arrived on the hip-hop scene of the early-90s, a post-Native Tongues rapper and producer who pioneered the Canadian hip-hop scene. He has been awarded multiple JUNO Award nominations for Best Rap Recording and through his career has collaborated with the likes of Drake, Nelly Furtado, Nas, Common, Redman, and Xzibit to name a few.
A fixture in the top-tiers of the Canadian hip-hop scene, he is present as a rapper, singer or producer on almost every Canadian major label hip-hop release over the past 20 years. Providing the likes of K-os, Swollen Members, Jully Black, Rascalz, Kardinal Offishal, and Choclair with his unique style of production that has become synonymous with the Torontonian hip-hop sound. Recently he has maintained his prevalence working with the best of the new breed of Canadian rappers such as: Classified, Shad, Tre Mission, SonReal, and OB O’Brien.
Tre Mission Last Gang*Universal
Stigmata
Tre Mission is a 22-year old MC/producer from Toronto with a completely singular approach to music that sets him apart from his contemporaries. The architect of a top to bottom unique sound and aesthetic patching together pieces of hip hop, grime, reggae, dancehall, bass, dubstep, jungle, and house into the full-length debut album Malmaison, Tre showcases remarkable range for a young, self-produced, independent artist. Guarding his integrity both visual and musical like gold, he brings forth a sound that is at once brand new, yet drawing from a series of familiar sounds and places.
Born and raised in Toronto; the offspring of a Trinidadian mother and Jamaican father, Tre Mission carries a deep connection to his West Indian roots and culture, citing Bob Marley as his number one influence and gateway into his musical path. From a young age, he’s kept music close to him and considered himself a disciple of hip hop, studying every artist from his city, watching different styles and trends closely and always keeping his sights on authenticity. The discovery of grime was a revelation to him, opening his eyes to an underground culture that was genuine and offered the possibilities of new sounds, production styles and lyrical techniques. A couple of years ago, he entered that world as an outsider from Canada, quickly spreading his name in the scene like wildfire, working closely with genre leaders like Wiley and making appearances on high profile platforms like Tim Westwood’s radio show and Lord of The Mics 3.
Since then, Tre Mission signed to Big Dada Recordings/Last Gang Records (Wiley, Run the Jewels, Congo Natty) and has been collecting co-signs from all corners of the industry for his follow up to Malmaison, Stigmata. The album is almost entirely produced by the young MC and features collaborations with industry vets Wiley, JME and K-OS, among others. With an honest lyrical style that marries introspection and bravado, Tre Mission stays away from materialism and builds a narrative that is personal and human. The soundtrack to the world of Tre Mission is just getting introduced and you can believe the best is yet to come.

Dance Recording of the Year

Adventure Club BMG Rights*Sony
Calling All Heroes
Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Adventure Club – Christian Srigley and Leighton James – has been a tireless source of banging remixes, uplifting summertime anthems, infectious DJ mixes and explosive live shows since the duo’s musical trip took off in 2010. Their debut four-track EP Calling All Heroes was released in the latter part of 2013 and hit #1 on iTunes Dance Album chart in the U.S. and Canada plus it scored over 10 Hype Machine (hypem) #1 hits. In 2013, Adventure Club was the #9 most played artist on Soundcloud. Their song “Wonder,” which appears on Calling All Heroes, recently peaked at #46 on Billboard’s Canadian Hot 100 chart. Adventure Club’s remix of Max Elto’s “Shadow Of The Sun” has garnered almost 1.8 million plays. Also available is Superheroes Anonymous 5: Road Trip Edition, the latest instalment from Adventure Club’s popular mix. The hour and fifteen minute long mix features an assortment of tracks from fellow Canadian artists such as Zeds Dead, Botnik, Hunter Siegel and Andru alongside major names like Katy Perry, Bastille, Fall Out Boy and Rihanna featuring Future, plus party jams from Steve Aoki, Carnage and Nervo
Chromeo Last Gang*Universal
White Women
White Women is the band at its most ambitious, with both the pop and the muso elements of Chromeo pushed into the red. On the hooky side, they’ve got instant classics like the soaring “Come Alive” and the pulsating “Frequent Flyer” which offer moments that would make Hall & Oates and Wham green with envy. On the crate-digger side, Dave and Pee employ an unprecedented analog arsenal that would make Kraftwerk drool. Mtume’s female vocalist croons on more than half the album. Steely Dan’s string conductor pops up on the progressive album closer “Fall Back 2U.” Try all that on for size, nerds.

Glenn Morrison feat. Islove Robbins Entertainment*Sony
Goodbye
Multi-talented, multi-tasking, focused and ambitious, Glenn Morrison is the archetype of the modern DJ/producer star. The 26-year-old Toronto native is as happy rocking an underground house party as he is performing at an exclusive oceanic rooftop venue; as adept at composing an international club anthem like “Contact” as he is at concocting a creepy ambient soundtrack for a Nintendo game.
His name alone gets 1.7 million social networking and internet hits a month. His productions have featured on over 900 compilations in the last five years. He has enjoyed the support of DJs as varied as John Digweed and Richie Hawtin to David Guetta and Tiesto. For three years he was resident at the world’s best club, Ibiza’s Amnesia Club, and is currently a resident at Space in Ibiza, as well as Space in Miami.
In short, Glenn Morrison is one of the most dynamic and accomplished talents in electronic music today. Period.

Kiesza Island*Universal
Sound Of A Woman
Kiesza is a fascinating pop polymath whose music is as colourful, diverse and surprising as the twists and turns that led her where she is today.
Inspired by epic nights out at NYC hotspots like Body & Soul and Libation, this Calgary-born 25-year-old’s debut album Sound Of A Woman is packed with deep house grooves and shimmering soulful melodies, but Kiesza is also an in-demand songwriter for acts across the globe, puts together her own stunning artwork, is a trained ballerina, and former tall-ship sailor who the Army once attempted to train as a sniper.
In 2014 she kicked things off in style with her debut single, the blistering anthem “Hideaway” which rocketed to the #1 spot in the UK charts was one of the fastest-selling debuts of the year. “Hideaway” is two-times Platinum in Canada, was a #1 All-Format Canadian single at radio, spent eight consecutive weeks at #1 on the Shazam Top 200 and snagged the #1 spot in 21 countries on iTunes.. The song’s distinctive video was shot on the streets of Brooklyn, and showcases Kiesza’s attention-grabbing dance moves.


Trevor Guthrie Sony
Soundwave
Trevor Guthrie is an award winning singer/songwriter known for several platinum hit songs. Born in Vancouver, Guthrie’s success began with his band soulDecision which garnered international recognition with “Faded” and “Ooh It’s Kinda Crazy”, off the album No One Does It Better which sold over a million copies, and had him touring with some of music’s biggest acts such as NSYNC and Destiny’s Child.
In 2012, Guthrie’s dear friend was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tour inspiring him to write a song “This is What It Feels Like” which was released by electronic dance music superstar Armin Van Buuren. “This Is What It Feels Like” has received nominations for the 2014 Grammys, 2014 JUNO Awards, 2014 I Heart Music Awards and 2014 Canadian Radio Music Awards and has been listed for over a year in 15 different charts including; US Singles Top 100, Dutch Top 40 and Canada Singles Top 100.
On the heels of “This Is What It Feels Like”, Guthrie is collaborating with several producers and recording artists as well as continuing to develop his own material. His next song to be released is ‘SoundWave” with R3HAB of Calvin Harris’ camp.

R&B/Soul Recording of the Year

Ben Stevenson Culvert*Universal
Dirty Laundry
“My parents weren’t musicians,” says Ben Stevenson. “Music wasn’t forced on me, I was just drawn to it. I started singing one day and I immediately felt that I could do it. And it felt good. Whenever I had opportunities to be involved in it, I was. I remember being at a party with my parents when I was like around eight and there was a band. I was so fascinated by it, I just picked up the drummers’ sticks and started playing. Even before that, I remember always annoying people banging on anything I could get my hands on. When I started in Our Mercury at 13, we were just kids and the local punk scene was what allowed us to be involved in music. Punk rock allowed us to have complete freedom and we were just drawn to that, being some wild kids. Having that freedom at a young age was life changing. Within that scene, I continued developing myself as a musician, as the band continuously evolved. I always played guitar, starting out playing by ear. One day someone taught me someone some basic chords and away it went from there. Musical creation is all about inspiration for me.”
Stevenson’s EP Dirty Laundry, is a tale of dealing with and overcoming personal struggle. “Music is so challenging,” says Stevenson, “ that I feel any project I do will only be a reflection of the state of “becoming” that I feel I will always be in.”
jacksoul Megawatt*Sony
Got To Have It
Over the course of the band’s career, jacksoul has been honoured with the SOCAN Award for R&B Song of the Year, a Canadian Urban Music Award for Songwriter of the Year, 3 JUNO Awards for Best R&B/Soul Recording; and achieved numerous #1 chart positions for singles and videos, across multiple radio formats, MuchMoreMusic and Musimax.
Haydain Neale created universally unforgettable music and succeeded in demonstrating that soul transcends the typical notion of genre. As a band, jacksoul was internationally heralded as incredible musicians who deliver soul rousing, powerfully intoxicating music. The energy of a jacksoul concert was electric – real, sweaty, human performances, and they shared the stage with James Brown, Patti Labelle, Jim Cuddy, The Guess Who and Nelly Furtado, among others.
JRDN Kuya*Fontana North
JRDN
Emerging Canadian R&B/hip-hop star Jordan Croucher is making up for a late start in his music career in a big way with the soulful songs from his forthcoming second album.
Croucher grew up in Halifax and Toronto and, even though it was evident that the youngster had an excellent voice, music took a back seat to basketball in high school and at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia – which led to a year playing professionally in France.
Croucher elected to give up on his hoop dreams and re-immersed himself in music by working with Halifax producer Trobiz and recording mix tapes with the groups N.E.P. and Triple Threat. He eventually hooked up with multi-Juno Award-nominated artist/producer Classified (Luke Boyd), who produced Croucher’s 2007 debut album, No Dress Code.
Melanie Durrant Independent
Four Seasons
Melanie Durrant is a talented singer-songwriter who embodies real artistry through her edgy, melodic and soulful music style.
Born and raised in Toronto, Melanie attended the Earl Haig School of the Arts and trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Citing influences that range from the soulful sounds of Shirley Bassey to the hard-knock of Aerosmith to the powerful “respect” melodies of Aretha Franklyn, this radiant artist has no problems crashing through the wall of sound.

Melanie Durrant has received multiple accolades though out her career. Her songs have led to multiple wins and nominations at major music awards such as the JUNO Awards and the Much Music Video Awards to name a few.
In addition to performing her own shows for audiences across the world, Melanie Durrant has shared the stage alongside Jay Z, 50 Cent, Jill Scott, Common, Cissy Houston, Sean Paul, Kardinal Offishall as well as many of Canada’s top artists.
Currently Melanie is preparing for her sophomore album Anticipation slated for release in February 2015.
The Weeknd The Weeknd XO*Universal
Often
Abel Tesfaye (born February 16, 1990), known by his stage name The Weeknd, is a Canadian recording artist and record producer whose career began in late 2010, when Tesfaye anonymously uploaded several songs to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd”. He released three nine-track mixtapes throughout 2011: House of Balloons, Thursday, and Echoes of Silence, which were critically acclaimed. The following year, he released a compilation album, Trilogy, consisting of remastered versions of the mixtape material and three additional songs. It was released under Republic Records and his own label XO. In 2013, he released his debut studio album Kiss Land, which was supported by the singles “Kiss Land”, and “Live For”. He is most notably recognized in 2014 for his duet with Ariana Grande on the single “Love Me Harder”, which peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, his first top ten single on the chart to date


Reggae Recording of the Year

Exco Levi Kheilstone*Independent
Welcome the King
Exco Levi is the first recipient in the Reggae Recording of the Year Category to receive a JUNO Award for 3 consecutive years. Levi received his third award in 2014s JUNO Awards for “Strive” featuring Kabaka Pyramid. Exco previously won for “Storms of Life” in 2013 and the controversial “Bleaching Shop” in 2012.
Born in Manchester, Jamaica, Levi came to Toronto in 2005. Heavily influenced by Bob Marley, Sizzla and Peter Tosh. Exco has come up with a unique sound that pays tribute to the founding fathers of Reggae with a modern twist.
In 2007, Exco recorded his first song in Canada, titled “Oh Canada”. This placed him in full view of the Canadian music industry. This hard working artist, on a mission to build his career and take his music globally, Exco Levi returned to Europe for his second tour in two years in spring 2014, performing seven shows in Germany, Austria and Switzerland over 14 days.
Exco Levi had his first EP release on April 29th. Words of the Wise produced by Penthouse and distributed by VP Records and will release his first album Country Man Spring 2015.
Kirk Diamond ft. Bob da Builda Don Dem/Galang*Independent
Love Inna Wi Heart
The dynamic, Toronto-based reggae/dancehall group Don Dem consists of five members, who include Kirk “Diamond” Douglas, Chaunard “Bob da Builda” Brown, Durri “the Scientist” Brown, Kez Ferguson and Olaf “D” Smith. Bonded by their Jamaican heritage, they have put their eclectic mix of talents together, to help strengthen each other and the industry in which they serve not just locally in Jamaica but internationally as well. Starting out as Dancers in 2008, the group was loved for their energy, crazy dance moves and swag as they as represented not just in dance but attire. However with Kirk and Chaunard being music producers and writers and Olaf being a professional musician it was expected that the group would evolve into a total package entertainment group and they did. After years of garnering popularity and recognition on many fronts Don Dem is now one of the top names in Canadian dancehall. The group has been featured on all popular reggae media platforms in Jamaica and performed there in December on the GT Christmas Extravaganza. Don Dem’s newest release “Love Inna Wi Heart” is available online.
Mikey Dangerous Dub Avenue*D.E.P.
Wake Up
Born and raised in Kingston Jamaica, Canadian reggae artist Mikey Dangerous has been infusing the musical landscape with quality reggae for over a decade. His compositions tastefully blend traditional vibes with a fresh current feel, upbeat rhythms and rich melodies that resonate. Dangerous is also no stranger to the stage. Combining energetic performances with a smooth but dominating vocal flow and lyrical finesse, his unique style has a crossover appeal that continues to captivate a growing and diverse fan base making him a contender and musical force to be reckoned with. With a JUNO Award under his belt for the single “Don’t Go Pretending” (Mboss Records), and a catalogue of memorable tunes, Mikey Dangerous has made substantial musical contributions in Canada and has been largely embraced in the international domain as well. Over the last year alone his music has hit radio frequencies in at least seventy countries.
Steele Mobs*Independent
Hold On Till I Die
With 4 Studio albums, and numerous other awards to his credit, many in the reggae industry and the community at large are still left wondering, “why has Steele not won the JUNO Award?”
Described as dynamic and sensational, with the versatility and range that defies restriction to any one genre, Steele is as captivating in his handling of R&B material as he is with soul, reggae, classical, and jazz. Born in Lucea, Jamaica, Steele’s inspiration comes from his parents who sang on the church choir. He has performed to rave reviews at the Jambana Festival, Eglington Street Festival, Rasta Fest, the Caribana Island Jam and Jamaica Day Celebration held in Toronto; the Winnipeg Caribbean Festival in Manitoba; Gage Park It’s your Festival in Hamilton; and the Calgary Reggae Festival, just to name a few. He has created lasting impression with his live performances in Jamaica and the U.S.A.
Steele remains steadfast in all his endeavours, and with his ever growing fan base, he give thanks for all the support he receives.
Tasha T RasVibe*VP
Real Talk
2014 has been a phenomenal year for Tasha T. After releasing several popular singles from her long awaited second album “Real Talk” on Ethiopian Liberation day May 5, 2014, the petite songstress with a big voice and distinctive vocal styling, Natasha Whyte (professionally known as Tasha T) is showing why she received the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal from the Governor of Canada and most recently received the Trail Blazer Award from the organizers of Jamaica Day adding to an already well stacked Reggae music awards cabinet. As a solo artist Tasha T has a lot going for her. She writes, records, produces and is the official Musical Ambassador for Read Across Jamaica Foundation; As Tasha T explains “keeping it real is what I’m all about” and that commitment is evident in her engaging performance style that focuses on educating, motivating, uplifting and inspiring people from all walks of life. Tasha T is a tribute to female fortitude and drive as she shares her optimistic vision of life and all the possibilities for a better future. In a word Tasha T is unstoppable!

Aboriginal Album of the Year (Sponsored by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network)

Crystal Shawanda New Sun*Fontana North
The Whole World’s Got the Blues
Born on Canada’s Wikwemikong Native Reservation – joined to the land and the real stories of everyday people – Crystal Shawanda’s country roots run deep. In 2007, Nashville legend Joe Galante signed Crystal to RCA Records/ Sony Music Nashville. Crystal’s first single was the fastest rising in Canadian BDS History. Her 2008 album Dawn of a New Day was Billboard’s highest charting album ever by a Native American. CMT aired a six-part documentary, Crystal: Living the Dream.
In 2009, after five hit singles and a tour with Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley, Crystal was named CCMA Female Artist of the Year. In 2010, Crystal toured Canada with Reba McEntire and performed at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. In 2012, Crystal launched her own label, New Sun Records. Her release “Just Like You” led her to a performance beside the White House on Inauguration Day and a 2013 JUNO Award for Aboriginal Album of the Year.
In the fall of 2014, Crystal produced and released her first modern blues album, The Whole World’s Got the Blues, on which six of the songs are her own originals. She looks forward to touring the US and Canada in 2015.
Digging Roots Sugar Bush*Outside
For The Light
Those of you who have been waiting for something new from Digging Roots won’t be disappointed with their latest offering – For The Light. After four years of touring Canada, the US, Europe, Mexico and Australia (including the Canadian and Norwegian Arctic), these JUNO Award winners are ready to share their new album. The creative team’s most seductive album thus far, it’s an eclectic tapestry of light and dark sound that is vintage and fresh all at once; rich with subtle references and sounds of their Indigenous roots.
For The Light is woven with a whimsical thread of idealism that love can keep the darkness at bay, with songs like the lazy summer afternoon of, “Sunshine”; or the intimate longing of “Stay”. In contrast, the song, “Hwy 17”, takes a fierce bluesy stand against the darkness in our own nature. Fans still got that Digging Roots’ signature style of unaffected optimism with their single, “I’ve Got it Bad” and their pow-wow trail anthem, “All Night”. The masterpiece, however, is the title track, “For The Light.” Sung in Anishinabemowin and English, the song forges into new sound spaces, unravelling and weaving threads of tradition onto an entirely new design.
Leela Gilday Diva Sound*Outside
Heart of the People
A passionate singer/songwriter and soulful performer, Leela Gilday has a voice that comes straight from the heart. Confessing her stories to her audiences with a gutsy and open stage presence, Gilday weaves her experiences as a northerner, a Dene woman, and a traveler into beautiful worlds that transport the listener.
With four full-length recordings and a long touring history, Gilday has numerous national awards to her credit. But above all, she seeks connection with her audiences through music, and with each record brings more unique stories to the world. Whether it’s an anthem for the oppressed, or an upbeat song about mortality, she infuses her songs with a sense of humour as well as a sense of social justice, and an ironic appreciation of human folly.
Based in Yellowknife, Leela has toured with her band in every province and territory in Canada, and internationally through several countries. Her live shows, and many appearances on television and radio have earned her an important place in the Aboriginal music scene, and a loyal mainstream following.
Her new record Heart of the People resonates with the heartbeat of the earth and the connection we all have to it as human beings.
Tanya Tagaq Six Shooter*Universal
Animism
Fearsome, strident and elemental, Tanya Tagaq’s music is a genre unto itself. Tagaq’s unique vocal style may be rooted in traditional cultural form, but her expression also aligns with avant-garde improvisation, classical expressionism and electronica influences, which inform her startling and powerful creative vision. This Inuk punk is known for delivering performances that are visceral and physical, heaving and breathing and alive. Her shows draw incredulous response from worldwide audiences, and Tagaq’s tours tend to jump back and forth over the map of the world. From a Mexican EDM festival to the Carnegie Hall, her music and performances transcend language. Tagaq’s 2014 Polaris Prize winning album Animism has rocketed her to the forefront of the international music scene, and is making waves for its originality, artistic importance and stunning uniqueness.
Tomson Highway Independent
The (Post) Mistress
Tomson Highway is a Cree playwright, novelist, and songwriter/pianist from sub-Arctic Manitoba. His best-known works are the plays, The Rez Sisters, Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing, Rose and, most recently, The (Post) Mistress, from which come the 11 songs in the present submission. He divides his time between a cottage in northern Ontario (near Sudbury, from whence comes his partner of 30 years) and a house in Gatineau, Quebec, to be near infant grandchildren. He is also known for his best-selling novel, Kiss Of The Fur Queen. He writes in Cree (his mother tongue), English, and French (the language of his partner). As a pianist with a degree in music (piano performance) from the University of Western Ontario in London, he performs cabarets of his own songs all over the world.

Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Solo

Amelia Curran Six Shooter*Universal
They Promised You Mercy
Curran has been regarded as a masterful songwriter and lyricist for more than a decade at home in her beloved east coast. Since her Polaris Music Prize nomination and JUNO Awards win in 2010 for her Hunter, Hunter album, Curran has received four ECMA nominations, four Music Newfoundland awards, three Music Nova Scotia awards and a JUNO Award nomination for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year for her Spectators album in 2012. With They Promised You Mercy, Amelia Curran has solidified the reputation as an heir to Leonard Cohen’s songwriting throne delivering without a doubt, an album of exceptional quality, deserving of such praise.
Catherine MacLellan Independent
The Raven’s Sun
After releasing her debut album in 2004, Catherine MacLellan earned immediate critical acclaim, winning awards and being labeled “Critics Favourite New Discovery” by Penguin Eggs magazine in 2008.
Since then she has toured internationally and her music has been a perennial fixture at the top of Canada’s Roots Music Charts, winning acclaim from international media including the Austin Chronicle, The Boston Globe, BBC Radio, Maverick Magazine, Q Magazine and many others.
Daughter of legendary Canadian songwriter, Gene MacLellan (“Snowbird”, “Put Your Hand in the Hand...”), Catherine has long been engaging the world through song.
Her latest release, The Raven’s Sun, takes the listener further along Catherine’s journey in song, delving deeper into the territories of life, death and transformation. Produced by her long-time musical partner, Chris Gauthier, The Raven’s Sun shines light on their musical chemistry and catches them both at their best. Recorded in the woods outside of Woodstock, NY by Grammy Award winning Danny Blume, it features stellar guest performances by Nashville fiddler Andy Leftwich. This album is another reminder that Catherine’s songwriting is unparalleled among performers of her generation.
Del Barber True North*eOne
Prairieography
Del Barber grew up in the Canadian prairies, and the landscape is as much a part of him as the people he has met along the way. From the fertile Red River Valley to the pastures of the west, straight into the factory floors and slaughter houses of the city, Barber’s fourth album, Prairieography, is born out of a love for his home, its people and their stories.

Recorded at Empire Recording in Winnipeg, the album is blanketed in warmth, subtle textures and true-to-life imperfections; the rhythm section was captured live to analogue tape and uses audio sounds from combines and augers.

In an effort to take his creative process to new heights, Barber undertook a painstaking approach to achieve an organic sound. The reverb was recorded inside a 150-foot grain silo. “We had to disassemble the studio, scale the walls of the silo, hang microphones and a speaker,” Barber describes. “We amplified the instrument, like the pedal steel, into the silo and recorded again, then the track would have to be synched up with the song.”

Barber sings from the heart about his roots, telling tales from the road, and offering incredibly personal and sincere observations of the world around him.

James Hill Borealis*eOne
The Old Silo
"The Old Silo invites you into a world of new beginnings, old regrets, might-have-beens, burning questions, beautiful women, horny geezers and gold diggers. Produced by Joel Plaskett and recorded in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, James Hill’s latest album cuts a deep, winding path through folk, roots rock and Americana.
Hill has made a career as an award-winning ukulele player and songwriter, an uncompromising artist who “gives the ukulele its dignity back without ever taking himself too seriously” (Songlines). The Old Silo sees him charting a course into deeper, rockier waters with Plaskett at the helm. The album has an edginess and swagger unlike anything Hill has ever recorded: the thundering baritone ukulele riff in “She’s Still Got It” wouldn’t be out of place on a Black Keys album and the grinding slide ukulele in “Tie One On” would make Jack White proud. Welcome to The Old Silo. Who knows what you’ll find inside? James currently resides in Brookfield, Nova Scotia.
Matt Andersen True North*eOne
Weightless
"With over 2 million views on YouTube, independent sales over 30,000 albums, a 2013 European Blues Award, and winning Best Solo Performer at the Memphis Blues Challenge, it appears that the entire world is now discovering Matt Andersen. A powerhouse performer with a giant soul-filled voice and commanding stage presence, Matt has built a formidable following the old fashioned way – touring worldwide and letting the converted audiences and Andersen devotees spread his reputation through word of mouth.
That’s more than evident on Weightless, where Andersen comes out of the gate swinging with “I Lost My Way,” one of two co-writes with Joel Plaskett, where he is singing a soul/gospel melody over a reggae groove. Then he channels Van Morrison on “My Last Day,” before delivering a gorgeous country ballad co-written with David Myles, “So Easy.” With Dave Gunning, Andersen tells the all-too-common tale of Maritimers heading west to work on the oil sands, in “Alberta Gold.” Hamilton’s Tom Wilson helps craft a rockabilly ode to a battered rust-belt town, “City of Dreams,” while Andersen’s Wolfville, N.S. neighbour Ryan Hupman lends a hand on three songs, including the title track, “Between the Lines” and the spiritual “What Will You Leave?”

Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Group

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings File Under: Music*Outside
South
If Colin Linden (The Band, Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn), Stephen Fearing (multiple JUNO Award winner), and Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Lee Harvey Osmond), have learned anything in the past 17 years it’s that Blackie and the Rodeo Kings is a journey, not a destination. The plan was to take time out of their own solo careers to make High or Hurtin’, a tribute album to the great songwriter Willie P. Bennett. However, once tapped into the locomotive energy of Bennett’s songs, the three songwriters found together they were making some of the finest roots-inspired music in all of North America. So, the train kept rolling and B&RK went on to release seven albums, culminating in the 2011 release of Kings and Queens. You’d think that a proclamation to the throne shared with the likes of Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Serena Ryder, and Lucinda Williams would be a good place to stop, but the road had other plans for The Rodeo Kings. It took them to South, their 2014 release written around Colin Linden’s Nashville table and recorded in his studio, featuring some of their strongest original material to date.
Elliott Brood Paper Bag*Outside
Work and Love
"Work and Love is the follow up to Days Into Years, Elliott BROOD’s JUNO Award winning record, which was the follow- up to 2008’s Polaris Prize short-listed Mountain Meadows. Like its predecessors, including the 2004 debut EP Tin Type and 2006’s JUNO Award-nominated Ambassador, it mines real history to connect songs that are deeply personal in a cinematic, narrative way. Unfolding like a series of movie scenes, it looks to the future by starting with the past. Elliott BROOD have always been time travellers. The Toronto trio writes songs steeped in history that feel very present. They’ve done their share of actual travelling, too, these musical troubadours, acoustic guitars and banjos slung over their sharp suits as they barnstormed across Canada and beyond. Since forming in 2002, Elliot BROOD has become a Canadian music institution. (The 2004 campus radio hit “Oh, Alberta!” remains a national treasure.) But after touring with acts like Wilco, Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund and the Sadies, playing festivals across North America, Europe and Australia and scoring the 2010 film Grown-Up Movie Star (for which they earned a Gemini nomination for Best Original Song), the band now also has a global presence.

The Bros. Landreth Independent*Fontana North
Let It Lie
"Let It Lie, the debut release from Canadian roots-rockers the Bros. Landreth, is proof that there’s strength in numbers.
Anchored by the bluesy wail of electric guitars, the swell of B3 organ, and the harmonized swoon of two voices that were born to mesh. At first listen, you might call it Americana. Dig deeper, though, and you’ll hear the nuances that separate The Bros. Landreth – whose members didn’t grow up in the American south, but rather the isolated prairie city of Winnipeg, Manitoba – from their folksy friends in the Lower 48. Where does the sound come from? Maybe it’s in their blood. After all, long before they made music together, siblings David and Joey Landreth attended their father’s bar gigs as babies. “Prior to the band getting started,” David adds. “There were three or four years where we really didn’t spend much time together, because we were touring with other groups. We’d always been really close as teenagers. With the Bros. Landreth, I feel like it’s almost a divine interception. We were supposed to come back together and make this music.

The Deep Dark Woods Six Shooter*Universal
Jubilee
The Deep Dark Woods are old friends and trusted collaborators. Lead singer Ryan Boldt writes most of the lyrics, but song writing credits on Jubilee are shared with Chris Mason, Lucas Goetz, former bandmate Burke Barlow and newcomer Clayton Linthicum. Jubilee shows artistic growth and finesse, and features some of band’s finest songs yet. Fond of and adept at improvisation and experimentation on stage, The Deep Dark Woods have cultivated a moveable scene of like-minded artists. The desire to translate the intuitive aspects of their live performances to a record led them to producer Jonathan Wilson. As patron saint of the present-day Laurel Canyon folk revival, Wilson is a going concern in the woozy world of neo-psychedelic breakout acts, most notably as producer of Father John Misty’s 2012 success Fear Fun. The Deep Dark Woods have appeared on numerous high-profile stages, including Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Newport Folk Fest, Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and at Terrapin Crossroads in San Francisco, joined by jam-band legend Phil Lesh. The band has been nominated for JUNO Award and the Americana Emerging Artist Award, won multiple Canadian folk music awards and WCMAs.
The Once Nettwerk*Sony
Departures
"Named for a unique Newfoundland phrase that means ‘imminently,’ now is indeed the time for The Once. Decorated with awards in Canada, they were nominated for a JUNO in 2012 for the Group: Roots & Traditional Album of the Year and have won four Music Newfoundland Awards, two Canadian Folk Music Awards and the 2011 ECMA Group Recording of the Year.

The Once have embarked on an amazing journey, spending much of 2014-2015 touring the world with chart-topping artist, Passenger. The new album Departures was released worldwide on August 5, 2014


Blues Album of the Year (Sponsored by Stingray Music)

JW-Jones Blind Pig/Stony Plain*Warner
Belmont Boulevard
JW-Jones (born July 15, 1980, Ottawa) is a blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and band leader. Jones’ first recording contract was signed with CrossCut Records(Germany) in 2000, who released his first seven CDs in Europe. He was the first artist signed to the NorthernBlues Music label in Toronto, and released his first six recordings with the label. Jones has also worked with Ruf Records in the U.S., and is now signed to Blind Pig Records. In the last decade, he has released seven albums and played in 19 countries, four continents, and continues to tour extensively. Jones, who lives in Ottawa, has performed at blues festivals, theatres and clubs in Canada, the USA, Europe, Russia, Australia, and Brazil.
On June 19, 2014, Jones was presented with a Forty Under 40 Award by Ottawa Business Journal/Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. It’s the biggest and best celebration of entrepreneurship in Ottawa – the salute to the region’s young business stars who balance business achievement, professional expertise and community involvement.

Steve Hill Independent*Outside
Solo Recordings, Vol. 2
"One of Canada’s most prolific and exciting guitarists, Steve Hill has recorded the much anticipated follow-up to his JUNO Award nominated Solo Recordings Volume 1, which also won album of the year at the International Blues Challenge in 2013. Solo Recordings Volume 2 is a step up for Hill, embracing his roots and showcasing his talents and love of blues music even further. Solo Recordings Volume 2 and its predecessor were recorded live in the studio with Hill not only on guitar and vocals, but also on bass drum, hi-hat, shakers and whatever he can do with his feet at the same time.

Featuring tracks that are heavy and hard hitting, deep and melodic, Hill manages to nail a wide rage of emotions with his song writing and masterful guitar playing. With eight original songs and three covers, including Little Walter’s “Hate to See You Go”, Muddy Water’s “I Want You to Love Me” and Ray Bonneville’s “Simple Things”, Solo Recordings Volume 2 is sure to please the most discerning blues lovers and music fans in general. This incredible release proves why the Montreal Gazette called Hill “the meanest guitar player in Canada” and why Vancouver’s Real Blues Magazine has referred to him as “the best young blues guitar player in North America.”

Steve Strongman Independent*Sonic Unyon
Let Me Prove It To You
Hamilton-based Maple Blues award winning bluesman and 2013 JUNO Award winner Steve Strongman continues to make waves internationally and at home in Canada. His breakthrough 2012 release A Natural Fact was recognized as a standout blues and roots record with a whopping three 2012 Maple Blues Awards (Recording, Songwriter & Guitarist Of The Year) of the six for which it was nominated. The record was also recognized with the aforementioned 2013 JUNO Award for Blues Recording Of The Year. Strongman is a hometown hero in his adopted home of Hamilton: in 2010 he was chosen by the Hamilton Spectator as one of that city’s “Top 40 under 40”, has been featured on the cover of Hamilton Magazine twice, and had a total of eight nominations for Hamilton Music Awards in ‘09-10 winning Blues Recording Of The Year in ‘09. He also won the Mel Brown Blues Award in 2009 in his hometown of Kitchener. Throughout the years, Strongman has shared the stage with the international blues royalty including BB King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, Mel Brown, Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Cocker, Robert Cray, Kim Wilson, Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl, Roy Clark, Otis Clay, Sonny Landreth, and Jeff Healey to name a few.

The 24th Street Wailers Independent
Wicked
The 24th Street Wailers are a band that break all the rules. They are a 50s style blues and rock and rolling band. Lindsay Beaver is a firehaired gut bucket singer/drummer who fronts the band, who at first glance are anything but the norm. Emily Burgess on lead guitar is thoughtful and explosive. Saxophonist Jon Wong is a second generation Chinese Canadian who is a modern day version of a 50s rock n’ roller. Jesse Whiteley, of the Canadian folk and blues gems the Whiteley family, is a natural born blues talent on the piano. Rounding out the group is Lindsay’s husband, Michael Archer, a country boy at heart who plays string bass like no other. Together they have had four years, three studio albums, 500 shows and lots of fans from around the world.
The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer Tonic*Fontana North
A Real Fine Mess
Shawn ‘The Harpoonist’ Hall and Matthew ‘The Axe Murderer’ Rogers evoke much more than just grisly nautical imagery. Armed with an arsenal of harmonicas, a mess of foot percussion and a road-worn Telecaster, the duo kick out raw and primal blues in the tradition of a “decades-deep blues style” (Scott Brown, What’s up Yukon), while infusing the genre with a jolt of renewed energy.

Their influences range from the iconic songwriting of Willie Dixon to the boundary pushing of Jack White and Danger Mouse but the sound on their third album, A Real Fine Mess is distinctly their own, smothered in greasy, gritty soul and imbued with funk. Shawn Hall provides the rousing, rugged vocals and blues harmonica, while Matthew Rogers rips on the guitar and pounds the skins with his feet. Their music is unapologetic. It slaps you in the face and makes you sweat like it’s a sticky, summer night. It cuts you to the core. It’s the blues played the way it was meant to be played.

Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year

Chelsea Amber Independent*David C. Cook
Introducing Chelsea Amber
Chelsea Amber brings soul to the stage with passionate vocals, uplifting lyrics, guitar-driven tunes and grooving drum beats. “If there were three words to sum up this inspiring artist, they would have to be integrity, class, and passion,” (Jordan Warford, Editorial Manager, www.guitartips.com.au). Chelsea has toured Canada and the US with two albums that garnered her nine music awards, including three East Coast Music Awards, a Covenant Award, and 14 additional nominations. She has had opportunities to grace the stage with several successful musicians including Newworldson, Mercy Me, Avalon and a duet with Rita MacNeil. June 2014 marked the next chapter of her musical career as she released a new album entitled Introducing Chelsea Amber. The future is bright for this young talent. Nashville producer Paul Colman says, “Chelsea Amber is a standout artist. She has presence, poise, drive and a captivating story to tell. She also has a stunningly powerful and emotional voice and writes beautiful songs.” Keep watch as Chelsea Amber marches forward to new possibilities in 2015!

Drew Brown Independent
Analog Love in Digital Times
There is a deep story woven in the lyrics and melodies of this Southern Ontario based singer/songwriter/performer. Influenced by styles of pop, soul, indie, folk, electro and hard rock – the self-produced album Analog Love in Digital Times takes you on a honest and adventurous ride through stories of love and all of its complications.The first thing you notice when listening to Drew (on the album or in a live setting), is that he has a very rich, powerful and original voice. His songs slide effortlessly from soft introspective folk to soaring rock choruses, while retaining strong pop sensibilities. Deeper listens reveal raw, candid lyrics toying with hunger, disillusionment, relationship struggles and the pains of his past, exorcising them in the process. But in his voice… you hear hope… and it’s contagious.Armed with a repertoire of strong songs, his live show stands out above the noise offering an emotively engaging twist on the singer/songwriter genre. Drew Brown’s music and live show is revealing a story waiting to be told and aching to be heard. His heart for connecting with people through music is evident from the moment you meet him.

Manafest Manafest Productions*Fontana North
The Moment
In a world where conformity is king and sticking with the status quo is often a well-honed survival instinct, four-time Dove Award nominee Manafest has always found contentment in doing his own thing. And refusing to be anyone but himself has clearly served him – and his artistry well. Even on the heels of his wildly popular, bestselling album Fighter, Manafest (real name: Chris Greenwood) refused to settle into a familiar, if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it mentality when making the follow-up, The Moment. If anything, the Canadian born and California-based artist and author was even more compelled to dig deeper both lyrically and creatively.
The result is easily Manafest’s most innovative and personal project yet. Centering around the importance is being present in all of life’s moments, whether big or small, Manafest also shook things up sonically by teaming up with three producers, Thousand Foot Krutch’s Joel Bruyere (10 tracks), frequent collaborator Adam Messinger (“Edge of My Life”) and Joshua O’Haire (“Light”).
Giving listeners a transparent look behind the curtain of his thoughts, beliefs and outlook on life, The Moment also showcases Manafest’s unique abilities as a rapper, rhymer and vocalist.

Manic Drive Bema Media*David C. Cook
VIP
For fans of the Toronto-based Manic Drive, it has been a long three-year wait since their acclaimed studio project, Epic. Over the past decade, this award-winning trio has built a loyal international following, fostered by their infectious brand of power-popand a genuine commitment to a relationship with their audience. Now, on October 14, a new season begins with the debut of their fifth studio album, VIP. Two years ago, brothers Shawn and Michael Cavallo and longtime band mate Anthony Moreino decided to take their career into their own hands, choosing the path of independent artists. This freedom has provided incredible opportunities as well as the privilege of creating music on their own terms and their own timeline. Produced by Oh, Hush! (Cee Lo, Jamie Grace) and Nick Baumhardt (Stellar Kart, Britt Nicole), the band enlisted vocal collaborations with Manwell (of Group 1 Crew) on the title track, as well as fellow Canadian Trevor McNevan from Thousand Foot Crutch on the song “Electric.” Recorded in Chicago, Nashville and their own studio in Toronto, VIP is filled with infectious power-pop melodies and lyrics rooted in truth, hope and encouragement.

Tim Neufeld Independent*David C. Cook
The Joy
Tim Neufeld is a JUNO Award – winning recording artist based in Abbotsford, B.C. Tim is best known as the cofounder and lead singer of EMI recording artist Starfield who are four time JUNO Award nominees, Western Canada Music award recipients, winners of 12 GMA Canada Covenant Awards (CGMA) and two Dove Awards. Tim’s first solo endeavour Trees, won the 2014 JUNO Award for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year as well as the award for the 2013 CGMA Modern Worship Album of the Year. After the release of Trees, Tim and the Canadian bluegrass trio The Glory Boys embarked on the Trees Tour which saw the band perform in 60+ Canadian markets. Tim’s sophomore album The Joy was released in September 2014 to critical acclaim and has found its way into the ears and hearts of both new and longtime fans. Tim and the Glory Boys embarked on the extensive ‘Joyride Tour’ across Canada in fall, 2014 in support of The Joy album and found them delighting cross generations of fans with their unique brand of bluegrass infused modern worship music.

World Music Album of the Year (Sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts)

Ayrad CFM*Select
Ayrad
Ayrad explores myriad musical styles, shifting from Andalusian and Berber rhythms to reggae, raï and Latin grooves. Born in the age-old medina of Fes, Morocco’s cultural and spiritual capital, Hamza Abouabdelmajid settled in Quebec in 2005. Ayrad is the brainchild of composer / singer Hamza Abouabdelmajid and oboist Annick Beauvais. The collective – made up of six talented multi-instrumentalists who are past masters of world music cross-pollination – is distinguished by its moving poetry, its inspiring melodies and its improvisatory skills. In addition to its own compositions, the group breathes new life into pieces drawn from the Maghrebian, Arab-Andalusian and Moroccan-Jewish repertoires. Winners of the 2012-1013 Prix de la Diversité, Ayrad have performed at the Festival Orientalys, the Week-end des rythmes du monde, the Festival des traditions du monde, and the Rendez-vous de la chanson Québecor.
Eccodek Black Swan/Big Mind*Outside
Singing in Tongues
Eccodek is a contemporary world fusion project created and led by Canadian producer Andrew McPherson. Their six releases fuse the worlds of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, the South Pacific, Jamaica and Canada over a musical palette of funk, tribalism, dub, electronica and jazz. Eccodek’s 2001 debut, More Africa in Us, set the stage for Eccodek’s chameleonic approach to music making. Their sixth release, Singing in Tongues, returns the project to its African inspired roots and showcases the band’s most fully realised collaboration with McPherson working alongside Malian based artist Jah Youssouf, last heard on Eccodek’s JUNO Award-nominated Shivaboom. Eccodek’s music has been released on countless labels worldwide (Six Degrees, Modiba, Buddha Bar, Real World, White Swan, Black Swan) and been praised in the Toronto Star, National Geographic, Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Toronto Sun, CMJ Monthly, CBC, BBC and fRoots.
Eccodek’s McPherson has collaborated with artists including JUNO Award winners/nominees Kiran Ahluwalia, Jaffa Road, Mansa Sissoko, Dubmatix, The McDades, Natalie McMaster, as well as Vieux Farke Touré, Delhi 2 Dublin, Transglobal Underground and Dub Colossus. Singing in Tongues has been universally praised since its release in May 2014 as one of the most impressive fusion releases of the year.

Emmanuel Jal Gatwitch*Universal
The Key
Emmanuel Jal was born into the life of a child solider on an unknown date in the early 1980s in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan. Through unbelievable struggles, Emmanuel managed to survive and go on to emerge as a recording artist, achieving worldwide acclaim for his unique style of hip hop with its message of peace and reconciliation born out of his personal experiences.
Pierre Kwenders Bonsound*Select
Le dernier empereur bantou
Pierre Kwenders, spokesman of modern Africa, humbly shares his rich cultural heritage through his music. He released his first full length album Le Dernier Empereur Bantou via Bonsound.
With his progressive music coloured with Congolese rumba and Afro-electro beats, the singer explores an innovative path, adding a new flavour (reminiscent of the works of Kwabs and Buruka Som Sistema) to his repertoire. Le Dernier Empereur Bantou is an ultimate cry of joy, using Cajun rhythms (“Mardi Gras”), mythical characters (“Popolipo”), and childhood musings and reminiscence (“Ani Kuni”). Pierre Kwenders also includes a few nods to his own musical background; African singers such as Johnny Clegg as well as music from the 80’s. “Le Dernier Empereur Bantou is a collective project of which I am simply the ambassador, and not the conductor,” explains Pierre Kwenders. “With this album, I evoke unity and authenticity.” The Montrealer of Congolese origin puts together all kinds of sounds and rhythms. Le Dernier Empereur Bantou was recorded over two years in Washington D.C, Nova Scotia and Montreal, and includes collaborations with Jacobus (Radio Radio), Baloji and The Posterz. Nom de Plume and Poirier also participated in the making of this full-length debut album.

Quique Escamilla Lulaworld*Outside
500 Years of Night
Quique Escamilla was born and raised among a family of six in the warm, tropical southern lands of the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Quique is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer living in Toronto. Since his arrival in late 2007, he has rapidly become a rising star on the Canadian music scene. 25 years of performing live have seasoned Quique to effortlessly connect with his audiences, be it in an intimate house concert setting or on Toronto’s venerable Harbourfront stage. He breaks down language barriers through his powerful voice and passionate delivery while fusing traditional Mexican styles of music such as ranchera and huapango with modern sounds of rock, reggae, ska, pop, jazz, cumbia, bolero, and a variety of other Latin American rhythms. His lyrics carry powerful messages that are inspired by and support various social and political issues such as human and civil rights, immigration reform, global conservation, anti-racism, discrimination, anti-oppression and Indigenous rights. Despite the distance from his homeland, Quique remains strongly attached to his Mexican roots. He is honoured to be in Canada to share with his audiences a flavour of Mexico’s culture, heritage and traditions through his music and live performances.

Jack Richardson Producer of the Year (Sponsored by Slaight Music)

Adam Messinger Island Def Jam*Universal
“Change Your Life” (co-producer Nasri Atweh) THE NEW CLASSIC – Iggy Azalea | “Rude” DON’T KILL THE MAGIC – Magic!
Adam “Messy” Messinger is a Grammy-winning Canadian producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist currently based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Toronto, Messinger was enrolled at Claude Watson School for the Arts from grade 4 to 13, followed by the music program at York University, where he was awarded the Oscar Peterson Scholarship for Jazz studies two years consecutively. Shifting focus towards studio production, he later received Juno nominations in 2001 and 2006 for his work with a cappella group Cadence.

In recent years, his partnership with fellow Canadian singer/songwriter Nasri (known as “The Messengers”) has functioned as a writing/production team for a wide scope of artists, including Justin Bieber, Iggy Azalea, Shakira, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, Michael Bolton, Lea Michele, The Wanted and New Kids On The Block. Among other awards, The Messengers’ work has resulted in two Grammy nominations in 2011, and a Grammy win in 2012 for Best R&B Album – Chris Brown (F.A.M.E.).

Messinger’s other credits include 2013’s hit “Feel This Moment” by Pitbull ft Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never”, “All Around the World”, and “Mistletoe”, Chris Brown’s “Don’t Judge Me”, and worldwide hit debut single “Rude” by reggae-pop band Magic!.
Eric Ratz Anthem*Warner | Arkells Music*Universal
“Ghosts” GHOSTS – Big Wreck | “Leather Jacket” – HIGH NOON – Arkells
Eric Ratz is a JUNO Award winning producer-engineer, with over 20 years of experience. Ratz received his first break in the music business in his early 20s when he was awarded the “Chief Engineer” position at Phase One Studios, in Toronto. Ratz has worked with many of the Canadian music industry’s most successful and influential punk and rock artists/bands including Billy Talent, Big Wreck, Monster Truck, Comeback Kid, Big Sugar, Danko Jones, and Cancer Bats. Most recently, Ratz was nominated for the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year Award and Recording Engineer of the Year Award at the 2014 JUNO Awards for his work on Monster Truck’s Furiosity album, winning for Recording Engineer of the Year.
Gavin Brown RCA*Sony | Mother Mother Music*Universal
“I Am Machine” – Three Days Grace | “Reaper Man” VERY GOOD BAD THING – Mother Mother
Gavin Brown is a Canadian record producer, songwriter, and musician. Some of the known artists he has produced include: Three Days Grace, Billy Talent, Metric, Sarah Harmer, The Tragically Hip, and The Barenaked Ladies.
Jesse Zubot Six Shooter*Universal
“Caribou”, “Uja” ANIMISM – Tanya Tagaq
Jesse Zubot is one of those unique producers/musicians whose praxis spans multiple genres and transcends contextualization into an idiom. Between moments of impassioned, visceral outburst and quite emotive sensitivies, Zubot exposes the full range of affects through a pristine sonic architecture. Jesse has produced past JUNO Award winning albums that include Fond Of Tigers’ Continent and Western and JUNO Award nominated albums by Zubot and Dawson – Tractor Parts, Strang and Inhabitants’ – The Furniture Moves Underneath. Other artist productions by Zubot include work by Alpha Yaya Diallo – Immé (WCMA Award Winner); Ndidi Onukwulu – Move Together and the Polaris Prize winning album of 2014 ‘Animism’ by Tanya Tagaq.

As a musician live and in the studio, Zubot has worked with artists as diverse as Dan Mangan, Kelly Joe Phelps, Stars, Hawksley Workman, Mother Mother, Nels Cline, Destroyer, Louise Burns and Tanya Tagaq.
Thomas “Tawgs” Salter Sony | Lights Music*Universal
“Soundwave”– Trevor Guthrie | “Up We Go” LITTLE MACHINES – Lights
Sony/ATV’s Thomas ‘Tawgs’ Salter is a multiple award-winning songwriter and producer. He recently co-wrote and produced the brand new single “Soundwave” for EDM artist R3HAB (Spinnin’ Records) featuring Trevor Guthrie. Tawgs also co-wrote and co-produced: seven songs on the certified gold album REVO for Walk Off The Earth (Columbia) including their #1 and double platinum certified single “Red Hands,” seven songs on Josh Groban’s recent release All That Echoes (Warner) including the single “Brave”, five songs with Warner recording artist Lights for her new album Little Machines including the first single “Up We Go,” and the top 10 alternative rock singles “This Is The Best” and “Ying Yang” for USS (Coalition/Warner). Tawgs was the recipient of: the ASCAP Christian Music award for “There is a Way” with New World Son, a SOCAN Pop Award for “Can’t Breathe” with fellow Sony/ATV artist and writer Fefe Dobson and most recently the SOCAN Song Of The Year Award for “Red Hands” (Walk Off The Earth).

Recording Engineer of the Year (Sponsored by Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology [OIART])

Eric Ratz Anthem*Warner | 604*Universal
“Ghosts” GHOSTS – Big Wreck | “Satellite Hotel” BLACK BUFFALO – One Bad Son
Eric Ratz is a JUNO Award winning producer-engineer, with over 20 years of experience. Ratz received his first break in the music business in his early 20s when he was awarded the “Chief Engineer” position at Phase One Studios, in Toronto. Ratz has worked with many of the Canadian music industry’s most successful and influential punk and rock artists/bands including Billy Talent, Big Wreck, Monster Truck, Comeback Kid, Big Sugar, Danko Jones, and Cancer Bats. Most recently, Ratz was nominated for the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year Award and Recording Engineer of the Year Award at the 2014 JUNO Awards for his work on Monster Truck’s Furiosity album, winning for Recording Engineer of the Year.
George Seara Megawatt*Sony
“Got To Have It”, “Whole Day” GREATEST HITS – jacksoul
George Seara is one of Toronto’s leading Mixers and Recording Engineers. A musician and lifelong recording enthusiast, he is known for his great musical ear and astute attention to detail. George works in all genres of music and happy recent clients include Rihanna, Drake, Holly Cole, Sting, Herbie Hancock, and Shawn Mendes.
Jeremy Darby Independent
“Mosaic”, “Nomad’s Arrival” MANDALA – Monsoon
The engineer, producer and owner of Toronto’s “the Canterbury music company studios” has been engineering music for 40 years. He was nominated in 2014 for a Grammy award for album of the year as engineer/mixer.

Over his engineering career he has worked with many diverse artists from around the world such as Tony Bennett, (1994 Grammy winner) U2, Pink Floyd, Keith Richards, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Ella Fitzgerald and many many great iconic Canadian artists.
He records a staggering amount of music each year. Around 40 albums. Every year at least a handful of those records that he has worked on from his Toronto studios are nominated for JUNO and Grammy awards. As an engineer he is respected as knowing how to record many different styles of recorded music, world music, Latin, Asian, indian, classical, reggae, folk, rock, pop, and jazz. These genres require an intimate understanding of unusual and varied instruments, acoustic spaces, and their sonic context in the musical style.

Jeremy continues to support Canadian musicians by offering a wealth of experience to both emerging and established artists in these challenging economic times for the music community.
John “Beetle” Bailey Alma*Universal | Molly Johnson*Universal
“Any Day Now” JUST PASSING THROUGH – The Breithaupt Brothers | “Fine and Mellow” BECAUSE OF BILLIE – Molly Johnson
John “Beetle” Bailey is the owner-operator of The Drive Shed Recording Studios in Toronto (formerly Arnyard Studios). In April of 2007, John earned the “Recording Engineer of the Year” JUNO Award, for his work on “Rain” performed by Molly Johnson, and “The Sisters Of Mercy” performed by Serena Ryder. John has received JUNO Award nominations in 2008, 2009 and 2010 for his work on projects with Sophie Milman, Kevin Breit & Harry Manx, and Molly Johnson.

Since graduating from Fanshawe College in 1990, John’s been fueled by coffee, love of music, and sleep deprivation. In 2005 he took over the former Arnyard Studios facilities, renaming it The Drive Shed (a farm building used to store tractors and implements) in tribute to his small town rural background. John’s been busy at The Drive Shed working on recent and upcoming releases from Molly Johnson,The Breithaupt Brothers, The Treasures, Mia Martina, Bryan Adams, Michael Kolk, Myriad3, Diana Krall, and many more!
Lenny Derose RCA*Sony | Mother Mother Music*Universal
“I Am Machine” – Three Days Grace | “Reaper Man” VERY GOOD BAD THING – Mother Mother
Lenny DeRose is a veteran studio engineer and music producer who has been credited on several recordings dating back to the early 1980s.

As an engineer, he has been credited for his work on several motion picture soundtracks, including Naked in New York and 9½ Weeks, among others. DeRose has been nominated for several JUNO Awards for his work, and has produced every recording released by The Philosopher Kings. In 1995, he received the Recording Engineer of the Year award for his work with the band. Releases for 2012 include Elise Lagrow, The Tragically Hip, Metric, Hey Ocean, Walk of the Earth, Whos Army, and Barenaked Ladies.

Recording Package of the Year

Alex Durlak (Art Director/Designer), Jeff McMurrich and Bry Webb (Art Directors) Idée Fixe*Outside
FREE WILL – Bry Webb
Alex Durlak is a Toronto based artist, musician and publisher best known for his contributions to the music community spanning over a decade. His parallel artistic practice strongly focuses on the graphic arts, including typography, print-making and book design. An interest in text based works, the history of the arts in Canada and institutional representation are prevalent in his practice. Durlak is also the proprietor of a number of small businesses including Standard Form, a print shop interested in working with and on the behalf of the vanguard in Canada’s flourishing art scene; and Perish Publishing, a new press focused on artists’ books by practicing contemporary artists whose content is original to the publication. In addition to being co-owner of Idée Fixe Records, he is also in charge of the label’s design and aesthetic initiatives.
Caroline Blanchette (Art Director), Martin Tremblay (Photographer/Designer), Byron Mikaloff (Designer) Tandem*Sony
WONDERS OF THE WORLD – The Lost Fingers
Over her twenty years as a graphic designer and artistic director, Caroline Blanchette has been awarded 17 prizes in Quebec, as well as 23 national and 13 international awards. Her trophy case counts 53 prizes and awards.

In that time, Caroline has worked for multiple international ad agencies, including Cossette, LG2, BBDO MTL and Nolin Branding & Design

Blanchette’s work was featured in the book Nature Graphics in 2014.
Menno Versteeg (Art Director), Zack Mykula (Designer), Jason Bartell (Illustrator), Yoshi Cooper (Photographer) Royal Mountain*Universal
PUP – PUP
Menno Versteeg is a singer, songwriter and art director for three time JUNO Award nominated indie rock band Hollerado. In 2014 he was nominated for a JUNO Award, for recording package of the year, as the art director for their sophomore album White Paint. He is also the creative force behind Hollerado’s critically acclaimed music videos. Menno recently took on the role as video director for the band Pup, with a demolition derby mini-documentary for their song “Mabu”.
Roberta Hansen (Art Director/Designer/Illustrator), Mike Latschislaw (Photographer) Signpost*Outside
PILGRIMAGE – Steve Bell
Graphic design is about listening, and then responding aesthetically, to what you hear. Design is a form of communication that relies heavily on empathy and feeling to convey an accurate message to an audience. Roberta Hansen is a good listener. A prairie born designer, Roberta has experience working both in an advertising agency and on her own as a freelance designer. She has had a hand in many design projects ranging from creating local show posters, to orchestrating the 2013 “Go Anywhere” campaign for Folkorama (a major Winnipeg festival).

After receiving a degree in Psychology and English from the University of Winnipeg, she went on to pursue the three year diploma for Graphic Design at Red River College. Roberta worked for two years as a freelance designer in conjunction with her job at a Winnipeg-based design agency. In September 2014, she left her job to pursue freelance work full-time. One of the first major pieces she completed independently was a 25th Anniversary box-set and campaign for JUNO Award winning singer/songwriter Steve Bell’s latest album, Pilgrimage. Another highlight was being nominated by the WCMAs for Album Art of the Year for her work on Let It Lie by The Bros. Landreth. Other musical clients have included JP Hoe, Del Barber, Blake Burgland and Chris Ulrich.

For a designer, apart from designing book covers and wine labels, creating album art and concert posters is the dream. When asked how she fell into such a favourable career path, Roberta credits the music scene in Winnipeg: “It’s a close knit community, where we all support each other creatively. This city is passionate about the arts and I feel extremely thankful to be a part of it.”
Taylor Kirk (Art Director/Designer/Photographer), Robyn Kotyk (Designer), Laura Margaret Ramsey (Photographer) Arts & Crafts*Universal
HOT DREAMS – Timber Timbre
Timber Timbre is the brainchild of Taylor Kirk. Kirk’s singular intonation, quavered in slow, low register, over Simon Trottier’s stark orchestration – connect arid western to plodding horror with the pomp of Hollywood phantasm. Hot Dreams, Timber Timbre’s third studio album, caches the hollow grey tones of Timber Timbre (2009), and the angular doo-wop haunt of Creep On Creepin’ On (2011) in smoothed, viscous tonality: new sonic admissions, chiming sensuality and caprice, neon and haze, from the oftentimes reticent Kirk.

Video of the Year (Sponsored by MuchFACT, exclusively funded by Bell Media)

Dane Collison, SonReal Black Box*Universal
Preach - SONREAL
Dane Collison:

Vernon, BC raised cinematographer and video editor Dane Collison has spent the last decade living in Vancouver where he has been documenting skateboarding around the globe as well as filling his time with creative music and corporate shorts. Dane is proud of the people he works with, both clients and colleagues. With projects playing on such outlets as Much Music, Vice’s ‘Noisey’ and Red Bull Media House, Dane is always pushing to further his work to a higher calibre and challenge himself along the way.


SonReal:

SonReal is a new school leader. With 2013 and 2014 JUNO Award nominations, this young artist has independently put all eyes on him by consistently putting out interesting innovative material. Notorious for releasing mixtapes that have an album feel, it’s easy to see why SonReal is at the forefront of the Canadian music industry.

In 2012, SonReal signed with independent label Black Box and released his first collaborative project The Closers with fellow Canadian rapper/producer Rich Kidd. Together they toured nationally and secured their first JUNO Award nomination for Rap Recording of the Year.

In 2013, SonReal released his first single “Everywhere We Go” (winner of the 2014 MMVA for MuchFACT Video of the Year), which quickly caught fire and received well over 1,000,000 views online. SonReal followed up this single with his first full-length album One Long Day which paved the way for SonReal to tour nationally in Canada. Shortly after the release of One Long Day, SonReal embarked on a 53 date U.S. tour with Seattle based artist, Grieves. With a new focus on conquering the international market, SonReal set off on his Everywhere We Go Tour throughout the U.S.A., as well as recording his international debut album.
Grandson & Son, Zeds Dead Mad Decent*Ultra
Lost You - ZEDS DEAD FT. TWIN SHADOW
Grandson & Son:

In 2011, Grandson & Son was signed to The Field in Toronto Canada for music video representation. He has since directed and edited music videos for Emmnauel Jal ft. Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Zeds Dead X Twin Shadow, Art Department X Seth Troxler, Steve Aoki, Mansions on the Moon which was executive produced by Pharrell Williams of N*E*R*D and Mirel Wagner through Sub Pop, He has received glowing reviews from Rolling Stone Magazine, Pitchfork Magazine, SPIN, and NPR.org for his work. Grandson and Son is one person.


Zeds Dead:

Zeds Dead is a Canadian electronic music duo formed in 2009 from Toronto, composed of Dylan Mamid, or DC, and Zach Rapp-Rovan, or Hooks. Zeds Dead explores a diverse variety of genres that amalgamate aspects of electro house, hip-hop, glitch, and drum and bass into their largely dubstep platform.

The duo are currently signed to the Mad Decent record label and have released music on several others. Much of their music remains bootlegged, unofficially released, or given away as free downloads. Zeds Dead tours in extensive fashion and are significant components of the live music and festival circuits. They most recently toured around Canada and the United States for their Somewhere Else EP, but have played shows all over the world: including big name festivals like Mad Decent Block Party, Coachella, Electric Forest, Lollapalooza, Panorama, and many more.
Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux, Chandler Levack, Pup Royal Mountain*Universal
Guilt Trip - PUP
Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux & Chandler Levack:

Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux (from Vancouver) and Chandler Levack (from Toronto) met at the Canadian Film Centre in 2012. Since then, they’ve directed music videos in North America and the UK for punk bands like PUP, DZ Deathrays and Slaves. Their collaboration with their friends PUP led to two UK Music Video Award nominations this year for “Best Rock/Indie Video.” They are represented by OB Management in London.


PUP:

What sets PUP apart in this booming scene is their ability to fuse hard raw punk energy with catchy earworms, big hooks, and scream-along choruses. Their songs are loud and fast, equal parts unchecked energy and calculated arrangements, with hair-pin turns, raging guitar riffs, and an overload of gang vocals.

Live, the band brings it full-throttled, every single show. They’ve gained a reputation for their sweaty, raucous, no-holds-barred live set. They play loud. Like really fucking loud. And every time they get on stage, you can be certain they’re gonna play their guts out – house party, dive bar, festival stage, it doesn’t matter.

In their short two years as a band, PUP has never stopped to catch their breath. It’s been two years of tireless gigging, sleeping on couches, eating vegetable soup, nose-to-the-grindstone, eating/sleeping/ breathing music.


Kiesza, Blayre Ellestad, Rami Afuni and Ljuba Castot Island*Universal
Hideaway - KIESZA
Kiesza, the Canadian singer behind the hit dance song “Hideaway,” is showing no signs of slowing down! Together, the four directors have achieved viral success with Kiesza’s impressive dance moves, Blayre’s cinematic approach, Ljubas choreography and Rami’s creative concept. With over 180 million views by year’s end, the video was shot in just one-take and has garnered international attention and acclaim. Kiesza’s 90’s inspired album Sound of a Woman has also recently dropped to rave reviews. Sound of a Woman features Kiesza’s hit, “Hideaway,” complimented by a wide range of rich vocals and heartfelt lyrics that incorporate an arresting melange of nostalgic beats inspiring listeners to dance and sing along.
Natalie Rae Robison, Kandle Dare to Care*D.E.P.
Not Up To Me - KANDLE
Natalie Rae Robison:

Currently based in Toronto, Natalie Rae Robison is an award winning music video and commercial director from Vancouver, BC.


Kandle:

Kandle is the solo project of Victoria, B.C. native Kandle Osborne, a songstress whose elegiac and moody brand of singing and songwriting reflect a maturity well beyond her years. Following her acclaimed EP’s release, Kandle and her band embarked on tours throughout Europe and Canada including shows at CMJ, Osheaga, Pop Montreal and M for Montreal. Kandle spent much of 2013 recording her debut full-length album, which was co-produced by Neil Osborne and Sam Goldberg Jr. The album In Flames, featured the single “Demon”, an eerie rhythmic chant-like song, released in October 2013, alongside a video as powerful as the song itself. This is the year of opportunities for Kandle and the band, as they will have the chance to showcase the band’s full potential across North America and Europe.

Electronic Album of the Year

Caribou Merge*F.A.B
Our Love
The musical life of Dan Snaith (aka Caribou) has followed anything but a predictable trajectory. Having followed up his Polaris Prize-winning 2007 record, Andorra, with the universally adored, Swim, in 2010 (which sold nearly 175,000 copies worldwide and was named Album of the Year by Rough Trade, Mixmag, and Resident Advisor while also hitting the Top 20 lists of The Guardian, Pitchfork, Spin and Mojo), Snaith has spent the intervening four years touring the world with his band – bringing not only the sounds of Caribou to the stage but proving his immeasurable worth as a DJ, with epic sets lasting over seven hours. In 2012, Caribou was personally invited to join Radiohead on the road while Snaith released JIAOLONG, his first album under the guise of his dancefloor-loving pseudonym Daphni, to widespread critical acclaim. Following the shape-shifting sounds of that album and the brightly textured, fluid constructions of Swim – both inward-looking records in their own way – Snaith withdrew to the basement once more to work on Caribou’s next opus. Only he didn’t: his latest album, Our Love, isn’t the sound of isolated creation but rather the sound of Snaith at his most connected – with love for his listeners, his collaborators, and those closest to him.
Deadmau5 Mau5trap*Universal
While (1<2)
They simply happen. There’s also typically an enigmatic figure at the forefront of those aforementioned creative shifts. Canadian native Joel Zimmerman, more commonly known as deadmau5 (pronounced “dead mouse”), didn’t set out to become a groundbreaking electronic artist. He just made some music and it happened to change the game and pop culture as we know it. Isn’t that the best way for it to work though?

Up to this point, his career stands earmarked by a series of firsts and shattered records. At the 54th annual Grammy Awards in 2012, he gave a monumental performance as part of the prestigious ceremony’s first-ever telecast celebrating electronic music. He’s also the first electronic artist in history to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. His sold out show at Toronto’s Rogers Centre, documented on the MEOWINGTONS HAX 2k11 DVD, and London’s Earl’s Court, documented on the deadmau5 live @ earl’s court DVD, made him the first Canadian artist as well as the first electronic artist to headline both venues.
Lydia Ainsworth Arbutus*F.A.B.
Right From Real
Composer/producer/singer Lydia Ainsworth has been secretly writing and recording songs over the past three years from bedrooms and basements between Toronto and Brooklyn. What began as pass-time sketches between composing music for film and multimedia projects has over time revealed an enchanting collection of experimental pop songs with a life of their own.

Blurring the boundaries between indie music, filmic orchestration, and electronic music, Lydia’s debut Right From Real thrives on haunting melodies and draws inspiration from a wide range of musical sources: Verdi’s Requiem, Ace of Base, Bulgarian Choirs, Bernard Herrmann, Tones on Tail, Art of Noise, to name a few. This sense of unexpected marriages of influence flows throughout much of Lydia’s previous work which features use of voice sampling and string arrangements woven into a unique minimalist fabric.
Plastikman Mute*Warner
EX
Richie Hawtin aka Plastikman is an iconic DJ, artist and technology pioneer. Voted the world’s number 1 by residentadvisor.net, he is one of the biggest risk-takers and boundary breakers in electronic music history.
Ryan Hemsworth Last Gang*Universal
Alone For The First Time
Ryan Hemsworth is a young producer from Canada who has distinguished himself since 2011 with a remarkably productive output of EPs, albums, and remixes, and a totally unique approach to hip hop, R&B, dance and rock production that has landed him in the eye of today’s musical storm.
With his sophomore album, Alone For The First Time, Ryan Hemsworth continues his sonic collages and explorations, digging even deeper into unexplored genres, and this time coming back to his songwriting roots with a more thoughtful and layered record.

Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year

Devin Townsend Project HevyDevy*eOne
Devin Townsend – fully 30 records into an astonishing career – has now just raised the stakes, bringing us to a conclusion of a journey started 23 years ago, in the form of a new double album incorporating multimedia and a cross section of what he can present as an artist. A search for answers and the discovery of fruitful solutions, through the new project carefully called Devin Townsend Presents: Z². The master class in Spector-mad production and composition worthy of Cheap Trick in the ‘70s is essentially a follow-up to 2007’s Ziltoid The Omniscient – but on the hallowed heavy scale of epic-ness, the new record couldn’t be flung further afield. “With the old Ziltoid record,” muses Hevy Devy, “I wanted to make a point that I could do things for $500, you know, with a drum machine and one microphone and a Line6 pod. But now, listening back to that record, in many ways it sounds like a glorified demo. They say every seven years you cycle through a full change, and Z² (Ziltoid Squared) is the original idea magnified extensively.”
Kataklysm Nuclear Blast*Sony
Waiting for the End to Come
Canadian death metal legends Kataklysm officially formed in the fall of 1991, they released a now classic demo called Death Gate Cycle Of Reincarnation in 1992 that got world attention and a record deal with Germany’s Nuclear Blast records, the band signed in 1993 and immediately released the demo on CD format and added the bonus track “The Orb Of Uncreation” which resulted in the creation of the critically acclaimed MCD The Mystical Gate Of Reincarnation,
The twelfth studio album Waiting For The End To Come was released in October. This album was recorded by guitarist and producer Jean Francois Dagenais (Malevolent Creation, Misery Index, Despised Icon, Ex Deo) and mixed by producer/engineer Zeuss (Hatebreed, Suffocation, Chimaira, All That Remains). Peter Sallai (Sabaton) has created the artwork for the standard jewel case and limited edition cassette tape versions and the artwork by Eliran Kantor (Testament, Hatebreed) will be features featured on the deluxe digipak and LP versions. On this album the drums were played by Oli Beaudoin (ex-Neuraxis ).
Shooting Guns RidingEasy*Pre-Rock
Brotherhood of the Ram
Hailing from Saskatoon, in the heart of the Canadian prairies, Shooting Guns are hard at work fortifying the heavy end of the psychedelic spectrum. Having recently released their sophomore LP, Brotherhood of the Ram, on RidingEasy Records with international critical acclaim, this is the group’s first full length release of 2014. Both of Shooting Guns’ full length albums have been nominated for Canada’s prestigious Polaris Music Prize.
Single Mothers Dine Alone*Universal
Negative Qualities
Single Mothers shouldn’t exist and neither should their debut album, Negative Qualities. Led by mercurial troubadour Drew Thomson, the band was shakily hatched in London, Ontario where it ran through a dozen members before finally recording its debut album last year. At 10 songs, Negative Qualities serves as the perfect introduction to one of Canada’s most ferocious young bands – an explosive mix of raw energy, high-end punk and intellectual rendering of small town frustration.
Skull Fist NoiseArt*Fontana
Chasing the Dream
Skull Fist released their first album Head of the Pack in 2011 via Noise Art Records, Nuclear Blast, and Universal in Canada. Since the release of the first album, these maniacs toured Japan, South America, USA, Canada, Europe and Mexico – many of these shows with the biggest metal bands in the world including WASP, Megadeth, Uriah Heep, Anthrax, Sabaton and Blind Guardian. The band won the Best New Band award from international metal magazine Terrorizer in 2012 and also won the Rock the Nation award.
The second Skull Fist album Chasing the Dream was released in 2014 and sent them back out touring this entire circuit again. All of the major magazines have since featured the band and given it very positive reviews. In 2014 the band completed a European tour, a United Kingdom tour, a South American tour, and a Mexican tour.

Adult Contemporary Album of the Year

Alysha Brilla Sunny Jam*Independent
Womyn
Alysha Brilla is a Canadian singer, songwriter and producer. Brilla is a multi-instrumentalist whose self-written and produced 2013 album, In My Head, was nominated for Adult Contemporary Album of the year. Her music is raw and upbeat with messages of love, diversity and equality; sentiments which positively represent Canada’s progressive social landscape. Her newest album’s title track, “Womyn”, was song of the week on CBC Sept. 2014. Born in Mississauga, Ontario to a Tanzanian father and Euro-Canadian mother, Brilla grew up listening to her father play guitar and her mom sing folk songs. Her newest 13 song release, Womyn demonstrates her growth as a songwriter and producer – featuring afro-inspired horn lines and quirky lyrics over soulful instrumentation. A 2014 cross-Canada tour inspired the title track “Womyn”; a lyrical stanza demonstrating the strength and diversity of Canada’s women, inspired by the rhetoric of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier”. Alysha involves herself with community outreach and various charities supporting underprivileged youth both in Canada and abroad. 2015 sees another cross-Canada tour, a showcase in England, visiting and performing at CWEF’s charity headquarters in Tanzania and the continual development of herself as a songwriter and producer.

Coeur de pirate Dare to Care*D.E.P.
Trauma: Chansons de la série télé (saison no. 5)
Cœur de pirate is the solo project of award-winning singer, songwriter, and pianist Béatrice Martin. Martin has been playing piano and keyboards since she was only three years old, and from that early age, felt the desire to express her feelings and experiences through a universal musical language. After a sold out tour across Europe, Canada and the United States, Cœur de pirate brought home two Félix at l’ADISQ 2012 (Pop Album Of The Year and Female Singer Of The Year). Later that year, her homonymous album became certified Diamond in France (500 000 copies sold) and Blonde reached over 200,000 copies sold worldwide. Cœur de pirate is back in force in January 2014 with the soundtrack of hit Radio-Canada medical series, Trauma, featuring 12 carefully curated English cover songs, from The Stones to Bon Iver. More recently, Cœur de pirate created the original soundtrack of the video game, Child of Light, created by Ubisoft, a Montreal-based video game company.
Jann Arden Universal
Everything Almost
Jann Arden is a Canadian born, singer, songwriter, broadcaster and author. The much celebrated multi-platinum, award winning artist catapulted onto the Canadian music scene in 1993 with the release of her debut album Time For Mercy featuring the hit single, “I Would Die For You.” A year later with “Living Under June”, she would have her career break out hit “Insensitive” that would solidify her position in the music world.
Arden has released 12 albums with 19 top ten singles. Her most recent recording, Everything Almost was released in 2014. With Grammy Award winning producer Bob Rock behind the console, the 11-track disc is considered to be amongst Jann’s finest work – progressive, yet retaining the magic that is distinctly Jann. In her career to date she has received eight JUNO Awards including Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year and in 1997 she hosted the JUNO Awards ceremony. Arden is also the recipient of 10 SOCAN Awards, four Western Canadian Music Awards, a Much Music Video Award, three Prairie Music Awards and an Alberta Recording Industry Association Award.
Ndidi Universal
Dark Swing
Ndidi is a larger than life figure, a force of nature from the wilds of British Columbia where she grew up, but also a child of the “open mic” scene in New York, where everyone can try their luck, and from the blues club scene in Toronto, and finally from the essence of Paris vibrations where Ndidi likes to perfect her art and technique. Ndidi says that her latest album, Dark Swing – by far her most personal to date – is a chronicle, from A to Z, of a relationship which lasted just one year. One year in which her heart was broken. “Dark Swing” was written between Paris and Los Angeles with producer/musician/songwriter Joel Shearer, and recorded in the autumn of 2012 in the Band House studio in North Hollywood. The album is an infusion of sounds distilled around this incredibly rare voice. Through her singing Ndidi invites us into a musical universe filled with her roots of world, blues, folk, rock and pop music. The resulting songs are familiar to us straight away, like old friends, but at the same time hard to label under one particular style.
Sarah McLachlan Verve*Universal
Shine On
With over 25 years in the recording industry, Sarah McLachlan is a multi-platinum singer and songwriter best known for her intimate vocals and relatable lyrics. The Canadian-born, Grammy and JUNO Award winning artist has sold over 40 million albums.
In 2010, McLachlan released her first studio album of all original material for the first time in nearly seven years titled Laws of Illusion. Produced by her longtime collaborator Pierre Marchand, the album featured 12 new songs and debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200. This album featured the single “One Dream” which became the official theme song of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. McLachlan then went on to perform her hit “Ordinary Miracle” at the opening ceremony of the Olympics in her home city Vancouver in front of an estimated 3 billion television viewers worldwide.
Getting back in the studio in 2013, McLachlan began to put together her much anticipated album Shine On, delighting multitudes of fans who have waited four years for new material.

Allan Waters Humanitarian Award

Rush
With more than 40 million records sold worldwide and countless sold-out tours, Rush is not only one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, but remains one of the most popular. According to the RIAA® Rush’s sales statistics place them third for the most consecutive gold/platinum studio albums by a rock band, topped only by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. In addition to their commercial success, Rush has also been recognized with nine JUNO Awards and seven Grammy nominations, including one for the acclaimed documentary “Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage.” The group has remained unwaveringly committed and daring throughout their musical journey, and the same characteristics can be used to describe their charitable dedication.

Over the course of their four-decade-long career, the members of Rush have thrown their support behind a wide variety of worthy causes often privately and sometimes publicly. From their earliest shows at Toronto’s historic Maple Leaf Gardens, the band started working with the Toronto Food Bank to encourage fans to bring food for those in need. Eventually deciding to do their first charity concert at Maple Leaf Gardens to benefit the United Way in the early ‘80s, and an amFAR show to benefit Aids Research in the early ‘90s, engaging themselves and their fans in positive pursuits naturally became part of the Rush ethos.

As dedicated advocates of human rights, in 2008 Rush donated $100,000 from a Winnipeg concert’s gate to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. In the same year, on their Snakes & Arrows Tour, the band donated $100,000 from their show in New Orleans to Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation to assist in the revitalization of the city post Hurricane Katrina, and sponsor the construction of a house in The Lower Ninth Ward dubbed “The House that Rush Built.”

From their 2010 Time Machine Tour onwards, Rush has donated $1 from every concert ticket sold to various charities including Doctors Without Borders, a total which will soon surpass $2 million over these last five years. In 2013, the band performed an incredibly successful benefit concert at Red Deer’s Enmax Centrium with all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross to help victims of the flooding that devastated many regions of southern Alberta. The event raised over $575,000 and was one of the largest donations made to the Alberta Flood Relief.

Rush’s vast catalogue includes such classics as 1974’s self-titled debut, 1976’s 2112, 1981’s Moving Pictures, 1996’s Test For Echo, and 2002’s Vapor Trails. Rush released their 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels in 2012 via Anthem/Roadrunner Records. The critically acclaimed collection marks their first studio recording since 2007’s Snakes & Arrows, and debuted at #1 in Canada and #2 on the Billboard 200 matching the highest chart debut of the band’s career. Rush was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1996 and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010. They have received a star on both Canada’s Walk of Fame (1999) and Hollywood Walk of Fame (2010). Rush received the highest artistic honour in Canada by winning the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 2012 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette has been one of the most influential singer-songwriter-musicians in contemporary music. Her albums have sold 60 million copies worldwide, as well as won her 7 grammy's and the UN global tolerance award. Outside of entertainment, Alanis is an avid supporter of female empowerment, as well as spiritual, psychological and physical wellness. She has contributed her writing and music to a variety of outlets and forums and causes including movie soundtrack contributions and running a marathon for NEDA and working with Equality Now. Alanis leads workshops, special speaking/music engagements and keynote speaking worldwide. For more information see www.alanis.com.

Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award

Ray Danniels
Danniels began his career as an agent in the music business when he was a teenager, first booking bands and then moving on to promoting concerts in his hometown of Toronto. In 1971 he took on both agent and manager roles with a rock band from Willowdale called Rush. After every record company in Canada turned the band down, Danniels took initiative by funding Rush’s first record and then starting his own label to release it. In 1973 the first Rush single was released on Moon Records, which was later renamed Anthem. Forty years later, Anthem is still releasing Rush albums in Canada. Rush’s 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels, was released by Anthem in 2013, debuted #1 in Canada and went on to be certified gold. Together, Ray Danniels and Rush created Core Music, a publishing entity where the band’s entire body of work remains to this day.

In addition to Rush, Anthem has released albums from Max Webster, Ian Thomas, Gowan, Molly Johnson, Steven Page and most recently The Tea Party, Big Wreck and Brody Dalle. Anthem has made an impact with projects that have defined Canadian culture, having released projects such as Bob & Doug Mackenzie and The Trailer Park Boys soundtracks. In its 40-year history, SRO Management has been instrumental in the careers of Rush, Van Halen, Extreme, The Tea Party, Matthew Good, and Big Wreck amongst others.

Danniels was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2007 and was also the recipient of the third annual Music Managers Forum Canada Honour Roll Award.
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