2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominees Announced

BC folk duo Pharis & Jason Romero head the just-announced list of nominees for the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs), with their album Bet On Love honoured with six nominations. 

2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominees Announced

By FYI Staff

BC folk duo Pharis & Jason Romero head the just-announced list of nominees for the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs), with their album Bet On Love honoured with six nominations. Reliever (William Prince) receives five nominations and Yours To Break (The East Pointers) earns four, with Ataataga (Riit), Coyote (Catherine MacLellan) and Are You in Love? (Basia Bulat) gaining three each. Artists receiving two nominations for their recent albums are Beòlach, Maya Rae, Burnstick, Leela Gilday, Marie-Ève Laure, Coco Love Alcorn, Sultans of String, OKAN, The Dead South, Julian Taylor, and Rum Ragged.

This continues an impressive recent run for Julian Taylor, as his release The Ridge was shortlisted for a Grammy Award (Best Americana Album) and is up for a Blues & Roots Radio Worldwide Album of The Year Award.


Now in a 16th edition, The Canadian Folk Music Awards were established by Canada’s vibrant and internationally-recognized folk music community. The awards currently boast 19 categories, and 100 nominees were listed this year. Nominees are chosen for each category through a two-stage jury process. More than 100 jurors, located across Canada and representing all official provinces, territories and languages, determine the official recipients in each category.

The CFMAs present two new Award categories for 2021. Single of the Year, recognizes an artist or group, and their producer(s) for a single release recording, or a track from an album that was released as a single, open to all folk genres, songs and instrumentals, and World Music Album Of The Year replaces the former awards for World Solo Artist of the Year and World Group of the Year.

The Canadian Folk Music Awards Celebration will take place online again this year, and will present all 19 Awards, plus the Unsung Hero Award, virtually, over the weekend of April 9-10, 2021. The Awards were originally scheduled in-person over this weekend in Charlottetown, PEI, but the CFMAs have made the difficult decision to cancel the live shows and weekend celebrations due to Covid-19. The health and safety of patrons, artists, staff and the general public remains paramount. More information will be shared in early 2021. 


The Awards Weekend online presentations will capture the true heart of the folk community, while celebrating the 2021 nominees and the category recipients. The virtual CFMA Awards show will announce the recipients of the 2021 CFMAs. Bilingual hosts will review all the CFMA categories, nominees, and announce recipients, including the Unsung Hero Award Presentation, along with announcing where the 2022 event will take place. “Like” the facebook page here for easier access to the live-stream.


(Stream 2021 CFMA Nominees on Spotify)

Children’s Album of the Year / Album jeunesse de l’année

Broccoli Farm by/par Claire Ness

Goodnight To You All by/par Charlie Hope 

Small But Mighty by/par Ginalina 

The Mountain Man by/par Spencer Burton 

Tous musiciens by/par Henri Godon 


Contemporary Album of the Year / Album contemporain de l’année

Are You in Love? by/par Basia Bulat 


At the Edge of the World by/par Mike McKenna Jr. 

Coyote by/par Catherine MacLellan 

Drifters by/par Joe Nolan  

Reliever by/par William Prince

Sugar & Joy by/par The Dead South 

The Unconquerable Past by/par Stephen Fearing

Yours To Break by/par The East Pointers 


Contemporary Singer of the Year / Chanteur contemporain de l’année

Coco Love Alcorn for/pour Rebirth 

Basia Bulat for/pour Are You in Love? 

Tim Chaisson for/pour Yours To Break

Catherine MacLellan for/pour Coyote 

William Prince for/pour Reliever 


English Songwriter(s) of the Year / Auteur compositeur(s) anglophone de l’année

Coco Love Alcorn for/pour Rebirth

Basia Bulat for/pour Are You in Love? 


William Prince for/pour Reliever 

Pharis & Jason Romero for/pour Bet On Love 

Sarah Jane Scouten for/pour Confessions 

Julian Taylor for/pour The Ridge  


Ensemble of the Year / Groupe de l’année

OKAN for/pour Sombras

Pharis & Jason Romero for/pour Bet On Love 

Sultans of String for/pour Refuge

Sussex for/pourThe Ocean Wide

The Dead South for/pour Sugar & Joy 


French Songwriter(s) of the Year / Auteur-compositeur(s) francophone de l’année

Guillaume Arsenault pour/for La partie de moi qui tremble 

Raphaël Delahaye pour/for Le sens de la dérive

Marie-Ève Lapierre-Lemoyne pour/for Onze

Flavie Léger-Roy pour/for Ce chapeau est trop grand pour moi 

Alexandre Poulin pour/for Nature humaine


Indigenous Songwriter(s) of the Year / Auteur compositeur(s) autochtone de l’année

Jason & Nadia Burnstick for/pour Kîyânaw 

A.W. Cardinal for/pour Bare Knuckles & Brawn 

Leela Gilday for/pour North Star Calling 

Riit for/pour ataataga 

Crystal Shawanda for/pour Church House Blues 


Instrumental Group of the Year / Groupe instrumental de l’année

Beòlach for/pour All Hands 

Emilyn Stam & John David Williams for/pour Honeywood

Gordon Grdina’s The Marrow for/pour Safar-E-Daroon

Jessica Deutsch & Ozere for/pour Traces 

Rhizome for/pour Double capture 


Instrumental Solo artist of the Year / Instrumentiste solo de l’année

Marc Atkinson for/pour Solo 

Benjamin Barrile for/pour Esperando el Alba 

Gordon Grdina for/pour Prior Street 

Nick Hornbuckle for/pour 13 or So

Natalie MacMaster for/pour Sketches 


New/Emerging Artist(s) of the Year / Artiste(s) de la relève de l’année

Noah Derksen for/pour America, Dreaming

Marie-Ève Laure for/pour Onze 

Maya Rae for/pour Can You See Me? 

Emily Rockarts for/pour Little Flower

Rum Ragged for/pour The Thing About Fish

Emily Triggs for/pour Middletown 


Producer(s) of the Year / Réalisateur(s) de l’année

Dave Clarke & Bill Garrett for/pour Coming Home (Steel Rail) 

Roy Forbes for/pour Edge of Blue (Roy Forbes) 

Marc Jenkins for/pour Bet On Love (Pharis & Jason Romero) 

Dayna Manning for/pour Morning Light (Dayna Manning) 


Chris McKhool & John 'Beetle' Bailey for/pour Refuge (Sultans of String)  


Oliver Schroer Pushing the Boundaries Award / Prix Innovation musicale Oliver Schroer

Aerialists for/pour Dear Sienna 

Mélisande [Électrotrad] for/pour Les myriades 

Riit for/pour ataataga 

The East Pointers for/pour Yours To Break 

The Henrys for/pour Paydirt 

Single of the Year / Monoplage de l’année

K'eintah Natse Ju by/par Leela Gilday (Producer / Réalisateur: Hill Kourkoutis)

Some Kind of Hell by/par Burnstick (Producers / Réalisateurs: Jason & Nadia Burnstick)

The Spark by/par William Prince (Producers / Réalisateurs: Scott Nolan, Dave Cobb)

Wintergreen by/par The East Pointers (Producer / Réalisateur: Gordie Sampson)

Yellowknife by/par Craig Cardiff (Producer / Réalisateur: Craig Cardiff)


Solo Artist of the Year / Artiste solo de l’année

Catherine MacLellan for/pour Coyote

Lynn Miles for/pour We'll Look For Stars 

William Prince for/pour Reliever 

Riit for/pour ataataga 

Julian Taylor for/pour The Ridge 


Traditional Album of the Year / Album traditionnel de l’année

All Hands by/par Beòlach

Bet On Love by/par Pharis & Jason Romero

Crowing Ignites by/par Bruce Cockburn

Debout! by/par Le Diable à Cinq

The Lost Tapes by/par Ian & Sylvia 


Traditional Singer of the Year / Chanteur traditionnel de l’année

Mike Bravener for/pour Depends Upon The Pay


Kevin Harvey for/pour Hand me Down Blues 

Mark Manning for/pour The Thing About Fish 

Lou Natale for/pour Workin' the Mystery 

Pharis Romero for/pour Bet On Love 


Vocal Group of the Year / Groupe vocal l’année

Beauséjour for/pour Beauséjour 

Big Little Lions for/pour Inside Voice 

Kennedy Road for/pour A Little Fight Left Yet

Pharis & Jason Romero for/pour Bet On Love 

The Barrel Boys for/pour Mainline 


World Album of the Year / Album de musiques du monde de l’année

Africa Without Borders by/par Okavango African Orchestra 

Kora flamenca by/par Zal Sissokho 

La Serena by/par Aviva Chernick 

Patria by/par Mazacote 

Sombras by/par OKAN 


Young Performer(s) of the Year / Jeune artiste(s) de l’année

Maya Rae for/pour Can You See Me? 

Moscow Apartment for/pour Better Daughter 

Paige Penney for/pour Watch Out For Your Step

Quin With One N for/pour Out of the Blue 

The Gilberts for/pourThe Gilberts: One 

The CFMAs gratefully acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada's private radio broadcasters.

CFMA 2021 event details:

The 16th Edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards takes place over the weekend of April 9-10, 2021, Visit the website  and join the mailing list to get information on the CFMAs delivered to your inbox.

About the Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMAs):
Created in 2005, the Canadian Folk Music Awards celebrate the breadth and depth of folk music in Canada. Established as a non-profit, the mission of the CFMAs is to celebrate and promote Canadian folk music in all its forms. Join our mailing list, follow the CFMAs on twitter @folkawards, instagram @CanadianFolkMusicAwards  or “like” us on facebook.

CFMA | PFMC online




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