Rose Cousins accepting one of several ECMA awards in Halifax this past weekend.
Rose Cousins accepting one of several ECMA awards in Halifax this past weekend.

And The East Coast Music Award Winners Are...

The 30th annual East Coast Music Awards wrapped up in Halifax last night with the presentation of two dozen awards, split almost evenly between artist awards and industry honours.

Compared to Thursday’s awards presentation at Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre in front of approximately 4,000 people, Sunday’s award presentation was more intimate in scale, but that didn’t deter some of the region’s biggest names from taking the stage.

Going into last week’s festivities, Rose Cousins had the most award nominations. When it was all said and done, she managed to bat an impressive .500 with a win for Folk Recording of the Year last night. Cousins’ critically acclaimed release Natural Conclusion nabbed Album of the Year and Song of the Year (“Grace”) honours at Thursday’s ceremony.

Ladies ruled many of the East Coast Music Awards categories this year: Rosie Mackenzie’s Atlantic won Instrumental Recording of the Year, while Jenn Grant, Jessie Brown, Makalya Lynn and Mo Kenney were also award winners. 

In addition to having been presented with the Bucky Adams Memorial Award on Thursday, Fredericton native Measha Brueggergosman saw her album Songs of Freedom named Gospel Recording of the Year, while East Coast veteran Matt Minglewood also took home a pair of awards. His album, Fly Like Desperados – his first studio release in more than a decade - tied with New Brunswick’s Mike Biggar for Blues Recording of the Year honours, while Minglewood also won Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year, beating out an impressive list of heavy hitters that included Joel Plaskett, David Myles, Port Cities and others.

Joel Plaskett didn’t leave this year’s East Coast Music Awards completely empty-handed, though: The long-running singer was named Songwriter of the Year, while his New Scotland Yard Studio, which has hosted everyone from former Great Big Sea member Sean McCann to Jimmy Rankin, won the Studio of the Year award

Prince Edward Island’s Kinley, a former member of beloved Newfoundland group Hey Rosetta!, saw her video for “Microphone” win Fans’ Choice Video of the Year. Her latest release, Letters Never Sent, won Rising Star Recording of the Year.

Heading into this year’s awards, Kinley was thrilled at the prospect of having the spotlight shine on her “Sharing The Microphone” project, which aims to reduce the incidents of sexual assault that occur on prom night in P.E.I. each year.

“My song and video for ’Microphone’ came out before the #MeToo and Time’s Up movement, so it’s not a join the bandwagon project, but something I feel passionately about,” she said. “Every time I do an interview or get attention for this song more women come forward to me and some have the strength to confront their own stories.” 

Moncton doom-mantra duo Zaum won the second East Coast Music Award of their career for Loud Recording of the Year, while jazz-fusion band and fellow Monctonians Les Paiens earned their first ECMA of their career – Group of the Year - for their effort Carte noire.

Newfoundland’s Jud Haynes, responsible for the eye-catching design of album layouts and concert posters for the likes of Bahamas, Blue Rodeo, City & Colour and Ontario’s Wolfe Island Music Festival, was named Graphic Designer of the Year, while Halifax’s Carleton Bar & Grill added another ECMA to their mantle for Venue of the Year.

Halifax’s Sonic Entertainment Group, which oversees the careers of Matt Mays, Alan Doyle and the Trailer Park Boys, won Management of the Year honours, while Sonic’s founder, Louis Thomas, also won the Industry Builder Award.

A number of honourary awards were also given out: Allister MacGillivray’s “Song for the Mira,” which has been covered by the likes of Anne Murray and John McDermott was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Long-time East Coast Swiss army knife Lynn Horne, who has worked alongside The Trews, the late Ron Hynes and others, took home the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award.

Cutting Crew co-founder Kevin Macmichael, whose ubiquitous hit, “(I Just) Died In Your Arms” dominated radio in the latter half of the 80’s, was posthumously honoured with a Directors’ Special Achievement Award

The Stompin’ Tom Award, given to those who have made a long-term contribution to the East Coast Music Industry, was awarded to James McQuaid (MCJ) and Richard Gray (Cool G), Liz Solo, Gordie Tufts,
Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald and Jon Rehder.

Here is the complete list of 2018 East Coast Music Award Winners:


Album of the Year:

Rose Cousins - Natural Conclusion (Producer: Joe Henry)

Blues Recording of the Year:  
Tie! Mike Biggar - Go All In and Matt Minglewood - Fly Like Desperados

Bucky Adams Memorial Award:
Measha Brueggergosman

Classical Composition of the Year:
Andrew Staniland - "The River Within Us"

Classical Recording of the Year:
Duo Concertante - Incarnation

Country Recording of the Year:
Makayla Lynn - On A Dare and a Prayer

Dance Recording of the Year:
CRaymak - Play With Fire ft Neon Dreams

Electronic Recording of the Year:

Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year:
Matt Minglewood

Fans’ Choice Video of the Year:
KINLEY - “Microphone” (Director: Jenna MacMillan)

Folk Recording of the Year:
Rose Cousins - Natural Conclusion

Francophone Recording of the Year:
Jacques Jacobus - Le retour de Jacobus

Group Recording of the Year:
Les Païens - Carte noire

Gospel Recording of the Year:
Measha Brueggergosman - Songs of Freedom

Indigenous Artist of the Year:
City Natives

Instrumental Recording of the Year:
Rosie MacKenzie - Atlantic

Jazz Recording of the Year:
Paul Tynan and Aaron Lington - Bicoastal Collective: Chapter 5

Loud Recording of the Year:
ZAUM - Eidolon

Pop Recording of the Year:
Jenn Grant - Paradise

Rap/Hip Hop Recording:
Quake Matthews - Celebrate the Struggle

Rising Star Recording of the Year:
KINLEY - Letters Never Sent

Rock Recording of the Year:
Jessie Brown - Keeping Appearances

Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year:
Còig - Rove

Song of the Year:
Rose Cousins - "Grace" (Producer: Joe Henry)

Solo Recording of the Year:
Mo Kenney - The Details

Songwriter of the Year:
Joel Plaskett


Company of the Year:


Event of the Year:
Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival

Graphic / Media Artist of the Year:
Jud Haynes

Live Sound Engineer of the Year:
Stephen "Snickers" Smith

Management / Manager of the Year:
Sonic Entertainment Group

Media Outlet of the Year:
Halifax Is Burning

Media Person of the Year:
Hillary Windsor

Producer of the Year:
Daniel Ledwell

Studio Engineer of the Year:
Jamie Foulds

Studio of the Year:
New Scotland Yard

Venue of the Year:
The Carleton Music Bar & Grill

Video of the Year:
Kevin Davison - "When Those Sirens Are Gone"

ECMA Aficionados:
Dalhousie’s Fountain School of Performing Arts
Fred and Elizabeth Fountain
Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel
O’Regan’s Lexus
Stewart McKelvey
Rob Sobey


Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction:

Allister MacGillivray for “Song for the Mira”

Directors’ Special Achievement Award:
Kevin Macmichael

Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award:
Lynn Horne

Industry Builder Award:
Louis Thomas

Musicians’ Achievement Award:
Geoff Arsenault

Stompin’ Tom Awards:
James McQuaid (MCJ) and Richard Gray (Cool G) (NS)
Jon Rehder (PEI)
Liz Solo (NL)
Gordie Tufts (NB)
Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald (CB)

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