Multiple WCMA winner Andy Shauf  Photo: Colin Medley
Multiple WCMA winner Andy Shauf Photo: Colin Medley

Andy Shauf Wins Big At BreakOut West

The 15th annual BreakOut West concluded in Edmonton over the weekend. With a sold-out kick-off concert on Thursday evening, the event featured 21 conference sessions with over 545 one-on-one meetings between artists and industry and a showcase festival with over 60 artists at 10+ venues. 35 international delegates arrived to seek new business and network, mingling with hundreds of artists and industry members from Western Canada.

The 2017 Western Canadian Music Awards were also handed out to winners over the weekend. Saskatchewan's Andy Shauf and his acclaimed album The Party swept up the most awards, including Pop Artist (sponsored by SOCAN Foundation), Songwriter(s)  (sponsored by SOCAN), and Recording of the Year (sponsored by Stingray Music). Other winners included Nuela Charles, Jay Gilday, 100 Mile House, and Striker.

The Industry Awards Brunch also honoured Edmonton native Kathy Kirby posthumously; Kirby was an integral part of the music scene in Edmonton until her passing in 2014.

Following his recent CCMA induction, Paul Brandt was named to the WCMA Hall of Fame, and he was there to accept his honour and to perform at the Industry Awards Brunch. Artists from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Yukon also took home awards and showcasing artists were present from each province and territory, including artists from the Northwest Territory and Nunavut.

The 15th annual BreakOut West was made possible thanks to financial support from FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters, as well as assistance from the Province of Alberta, City of Edmonton, and Tourism Edmonton.

For the 16th annual BreakOut West in 2018, the event returns to British Columbia and its host city of Kelowna. The committee and Kelowna community are excited to see the event return to the Okanagan area to showcase what the city has to offer, "Last time BreakOut West was in Kelowna in 2010, the delegates and the local community had an absolute blast." says Karma Lacoff, Host Committee Chair.

BreakOut West 2018 will take place from October 10-14. For more information as the event develops and for year-round opportunities supported by BreakOut West, visit here 

There was some controversy at this year's BreakOutWest with the Canadian Federation of Musicians objecting to the festival’s longstanding policy of not paying most of the acts involved, with the festival billing itself as a showcasing opportunity. The Edmonton Journal reported on the situation here

2017 Western Canadian Music Award Winners - Artistic Awards

Blues Artist of the Year
Big Dave McLean (MB)

Children's Artist of the Year, presented by Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Society
Ginalina (BC)

Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year, presented by Canadian Music Centre
Standing Wave (BC)

Classical Composition of the Year
"Immersion" - Jordan Nobles (BC)

Country Artist of the Year, presented by Dauphin's Countryfest
The Washboard Union (BC)

Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year
IsKwé (MB)

Francophone Artist of the Year
Ponteix (SK)

Indigenous Artist of the Year, presented by APTN
Jay Gilday (AB)

Instrumental Artist of the Year
Five Alarm Funk (BC)

Jazz Artist of the Year
Michael Kaeshammer (BC)

Metal/Hard Music Artist of the Year
Striker (AB)

Pop Artist of the Year, presented by SOCAN Foundation
Andy Shauf (SK)

Producer of the Year presented by Nimbus School of Recording & Media
Jesse Gander (BC)

Rap/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
The Lytics (MB)

Rock Artist of the Year, presented by Radio Starmaker
Dan Mangan (BC)

Roots Duo/Group of the Year, presented by the City of Edmonton
100 Mile House (AB)

Roots Solo Artist of the Year, presented by the Province of Alberta
Corb Lund (AB)

Songwriter(s) of the Year, presented by The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
Andy Shauf - "The Magician" (SK)

Spiritual Artist of the Year
Warren Dean Flandez (BC)

Urban Artist of the Year
Nuela Charles (AB)

Video Director of the Year
Zach Wilson (SK)

Visual Media Composer of the Year, presented by Green Sky Labs Inc.
Matthew Schellenberg (MB)

World Artist of the Year
Andino Suns (SK)

2017 Western Canadian Music Award Winners - Industry Awards, Special Awards and Hall of Fame Induction

Audio Engineering Award
Sheldon Zaharko (BC)

BreakOut Artist of the Year, presented by CKUA Radio Network
The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer (BC)

Community Excellence Award presented by Alley Kat Brewing Company
West End Cultural Centre (MB)

Excellence in Visual Design
Renée Mak (BC)

Impact in Artist Development
Paquin Artists Agency (MB)

Impact in Live Music, presented by Music Canada Live
West End Cultural Centre (MB)

Impact in Music Marketing, presented by Edmonton Tourism
Susan Busse - Susan Busse PR (SK)

Recording of the Year, presented by Stingray Rising Stars
Andy Shauf - The Party (SK)

2017 Heritage Award
Ken Regan

2017 Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award
Kathy Kirby (posthumously)

2017 Hall of Fame Inductee
Paul Brandt

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