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TORONTO, ON –Internationally renowned Canadian Blues artists from coast to coast were honored by their peers at the Toronto Blues Society’s 19th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala in Toronto last night as a full house of blues lovers gathered to celebrate Canadian blues at Koerner Hall.

Montreal based guitar hero and one man band Steve Hill took home three awards, including Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, and Guitarist of the Year. Also winning multiple awards was Nashville based Canadian guitarist and music icon Colin Linden, who took home awards for Recording/Producer of the Year for his album “Rich In Love” and Songwriter of the Year. The Songwriter of the Year award was presented to Linden by Barbara Newman, the new CEO of The Blues Foundation and Charlie Andrews, Manager of the SOCAN Foundation.

Western Canada’s thriving blues scene was represented with awards for British Columbia’s Harpdog Brown for Harmonica Player of the Year, David Vest for Piano or Keyboard Player of the Year, Manitoba’s Big Dave McLean for Acoustic Act of the Year with the New Artist of the Year award presented to Alberta’s The Kirby Sewell Band.

Toronto Blues Society President Derek Andrews and Electro-Fi Records President Andrew Galloway presented Larry Kurtz, founder and Artistic Director of the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival with the Blues Booster of the Year award, a very special Maple Blues Award honouring outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues music industry. Musicians Eric Bibb and Steve Strongman presented legendary Maritimes performer Theresa Malenfant with the Blues With a Feeling (Lifetime Achievement Award) for her outstanding career in the blues music community. Malenfant accepted the award with enthusiasm via video.

An additional award was handed out last night as the winners of the second annual Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition were announced. The founder of the award, musician Paul Reddick, presented Conor Gains with a cash prize of $1000 for his song “Leave It On The Line”, with runners-up Cecile Doo-Kingue andTim Bastmeyer also receiving cash prizes.

Hosted by radio and television personality Gil Deacon, the 19th annual Maple Blues Awards included outstanding performances from The Maple Blues Band and Maple Blues Award nominees past and present, including David Gogo, Colin Linden,Samantha Martin, Harrison Kennedy, Cecile Doo-Kingue and John Campbelljohn.

Winners of the 19th Annual Maple Blues Awards:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Steve Hill

ELECTRIC ACT OF THE YEAR

Steve Hill

ACOUSTIC ACT OF THE YEAR

Big Dave McLean

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Matt Andersen

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Angel Forrest

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR

The Kirby Sewell Band

RECORDING/PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Colin Linden Rich In Love (Stony Plain); Producers: Colin

Linden, John Dymond & Gary Craig

BLUES WITH A FEELING (Lifetime Achievement)

Theresa Malenfant

B.B. KING INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Buddy Guy

GUITARIST OF THE YEAR

Steve Hill

HARMONICA PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Harpdog Brown

PIANO/KEYBOARD PLAYER OF THE YEAR

David Vest

HORN PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Jon Wong

DRUMMER OF THE YEAR

Tom Bona

BASSIST OF THE YEAR

Leigh-Anne Stanton

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

Colin Linden

BLUES BOOSTER OF THE YEAR

Larry Kurtz

 

 

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