Held over four days this year, The East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) in Saint John, NB, closed out yesterday with the Music Industry Awards reception at Delta Hotels by Marriott Saint John.
When all the categories were tallied, three dual winners emerged. Classified won for Song of the Year (“No Pressure") and Rap/Hip Hop Recording (Greatful), Ria Mae took trophies for Pop Recording and Solo Recording of the Year (Ria Mae), and Lennie Gallant won the Fans Choice Entertainer of the Year and Folk Recording of the Year (Searching For Abegweit).
In typically modest fashion, upon accepting the Song of the Year award, Classified stated “It feels great but I didn’t think I’d get it. I thought Ria Mae had a great year and should’ve taken it. So it was a surprise."
In a press release, Andy McLean, ECMA Executive Director, stated "A huge thank you is in order for the city of Saint John, which has been an incredible host for the 2017 ECMAs. Congratulations to all of this year's awards winners and nominees, and thank you to all of the fantastic East Coast artists who've performed throughout the week.
The ECMAs is our way of showcasing East Coast talent to the world. Thank you to all of the delegates and export buyers for joining us at this amazing event. I'm sure this year will result in a significant amount of business and showcasing opportunities for our artists and music industry members."
Saint John hadn't hosted the event for 15 years, and local business owners and politicians noted a real economic boost for the host city.
“We've been through a lot of great events, World Curling Canada games, that sort of thing; this has been right up there the last couple days,” pub owner Peter Ferguson told CTV News. "This is just an example of what we can do here with tourism.”
Mayor Don Darling is anticipating millions of dollars in economic benefits from hosting the event.
“This has been some of the best business they've seen in many, many years,” says Darling. “When are we going to have the ECMA's back in Saint John again? We'll begin that discussion over the next weeks.”
Halifax has been named the host city for the 2018 East Coast Music Awards.
During the 2017 ECMAs, a new report, Striking A New A-Chord, was unveiled, stressing the need to develop an Atlantic Canadian Music Strategy in an effort to strengthen the future of the region’s music sector. Look for more on this report in FYI shortly.
Read a full list of the 2017 ECMA winners here