Miss Emily Scoops Three Trophies At Maple Blues Awards

Honouring the best in Canadian blues, the 23rd annual gave multiple trophies to three major talents Monday night in Toronto , including Dawn Tyler Watson who is pictured here.

Miss Emily Scoops Three Trophies At Maple Blues Awards

By FYI Staff

Honouring the best in Canadian blues, the 23rd annual Maple Blues Awards were held at Koerner Hall in Toronto Monday night (Feb. 3). Kingston, ON's Miss Emily won three in the categories of Female Vocalist, New Artist and the Sapphire Video Award, while New Brunswick’s Matt Andersen took home trophies for Male Vocalist of the Year and Acoustic Act of the Year, and Montreal’s Dawn Tyler Watson was awarded Recording/Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.

For only the second time in Maple Blues Awards history, there were tied winners in two categories - Harpdog Brown and Steve Marriner both won Harmonica Player of the Year and Chris Whiteley and Mat “Moose” Mousseau each won the award for Horn Player of the Year.


The Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) was awarded to Montreal-based Michael Jerome Browne, whose long and illustrious career has seen him tour around the world, record seven albums and guest on countless others. He recently was nominated for Blues Album of the Year at the upcoming Juno Awards. Also honoured for a long career dedicated to the preservation and promotion of blues music was Toronto Blues Society’s own Brian Blain, who received the Blues Booster of the Year Award.

A new addition to the Maple Blues Awards program is the inaugural Sapphire Video Award. Sapphire has one single category and both live performance and staged production/interpretive videos were accepted. The winner of the Sapphire Video Award was Miss Emily for her video for Hold Back The River (see below) with the runners up announced as Terra Hazelton for her video for Anybody’s Baby and Lucas Haneman Express for their video for the song Ms. McGrim. The winning artist received a cash prize of $1,500 while the two runners up each received $250.


A collaboration between The Toronto Blues Society and Paul Reddick, the sixth annual Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition Award promotes blues music through exploration of its form. The winning composition was judged on its ability to creatively utilize blues traditions within the broad contemporary musical landscape. The winner of the Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition was Rich Junco for his song Cope, while the first runner up was Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes for their song Cruel Thing and a tied win for the second runner up, Joe Nolan for Paranoia Day 36 Blues and Loryn Taggart for In My Company. A cash prize of $1000 was presented to the winner and the runners up each received $250.

The Awards featured performances from Big Dave McLean, Matchedash Parish, Miss Emily, Dawn Tyler Watson, Michael Jerome Browne, and the evening’s hostess Raha Javanfar (Bad Luck Woman) with special guests, students from The Regent Park School of Music, all backed by the awards house band The Maple Blues Band.


The Winners of the 23rd Annual Maple Blues Awards

Entertainer of the Year

Downchild Blues Band

Electric Act of the Year

Colin James

Acoustic Act of the Year


Matt Andersen

Male Vocalist of the Year

Matt Andersen

Female Vocalist of the Year

Miss Emily

New Artist of the Year

Miss Emily

Recording/Producer of the Year

Dawn Tyler Watson - Mad Love / Self (François Thiffault & Dawn Tyler Watson)

B.B. King International Artist of the Year

Buddy Guy

Songwriter of the Year

Dawn Tyler Watson

Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)

Michael Jerome Browne

Guitarist of the Year

Paul DesLauriers

Harmonica Player of the Year


Harpdog Brown

Steve Marriner

Piano/Keyboard of the Year

Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne

Horn Player of the Year


Chris Whiteley


Mat “Moose” Mousseau (Ben Racine Band)

Drummer of the Year

Tom Bona (Sue Foley)

Bassist of the Year

Alec McElcheran (Paul DesLauriers Band)

Blues Booster of the Year

Brian Blain

'La nuit s’achève' album cover


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