Music News Digest, March 24, 2022
Nice Horse (pictured) top the winners list at the Country Music Alberta Awards, the final 3 in the lucrative Project WILD face off on Saturday, and Toronto summer fest Field Trip returns. Also in the news are the 2022 A2IM Libera Awards, Arcade Fire, the Junos, NXNE, Justin Bieber, YouTube, RealestK, SiriusXM Top of the Country, Pretty Archie, and the Surrey Music Strategy.
By Kerry Doole
The 11th Annual Country Music Alberta Awards show was held in Red Deer on March 20. Taking home three trophies was Nice Horse, while Tenille Townes and Hailey Benedict won two each. Other notable winners included Aaron Goodvin, The Road Hammers, Drew Gregory, The Prairie States, and Ryan Lindsay. See a full list of winners here.
– The final showdown for this year’s Project WILD contest takes place on March 26 at the King Eddy in Calgary, featuring performances from the Top 3 Albertan finalists, Drew Gregory, Kyle McKearney, and Shaela Miller. They're competing for some of the must lucrative prizes in the country - $100K for First, $75K second, and $50K third. The order of the top three will be revealed at the end of the night. Project WILD is a developmental program aimed at helping the careers of Alberta’s emerging country and roots musicians. This is the fifth and final year of the program. Past winners have included Mariel Buckley (2019) and The Prairie States (2018).
– Nominees for the prestigious 2022 A2IM Libera Awards Presented by Merlin have been announced. These Awards honour independent artists and labels, and Canadians fare well this year, with those making the cut including Canadian Brass, The Weather Station, Caribou, Keys 'N Krates, BadBadNotGood, and Charlotte Day Wilson. The awards will be handed out at an in-person gala in New York City on June 16 that will be live-streamed on YouTube. More info here.
– After an absence of four years, the Arts & Crafts-produced Toronto summer music fest Field Trip returns to Fort York on July 9. Performers include Nathaniel Rateliff, Peach Pit, Rheostatics, Valley, Busty and The Bass, Pierre Kwenders, Haviah Mighty, Kurt Vile, and Lucy Dacus. Tix and info here.
– Arcade Fire will perform on The 2022 Juno Awards Broadcast, CARAS and CBC have announced. The Montreal band delivered a crowd-pleasing performance at the 2018 awards. This year’s event will be held at Budweiser Stage in Toronto, on Sun., May 15.
– A reminder that applications to showcase at NXNE in Toronto this summer close tomorrow (March 25) at 5 pm ET. There are no fees to apply here.
– This year marks Justin Bieber's 15 year anniversary since his first upload to his official channel on YouTube, the platform that first launched him to stardom. That clip of Bieber singing So Sick by Ne-yo notched 10M+ views). He now boasts 67M subs on YouTube and 27B+ views across his Official Artist Channel. A few years back, YouTube introduced the Artist on The Rise feature, one that expanded to Canada in 2020. The program helps local artists be discovered, and identifies “ones to watch”. The current list of 5 Canadian Artists from Artist on the Rise comprises RealestK, Lauren Spencer-Smith, Rêve, Tesher, and Faouzia.
– SiriusXM Canada has announced the eight semi-finalists for its 4th annual Top of the Country competition. Focused on emerging artists and held in partnership with the CCMA, the contest provides contestants performance opportunities, a SOCAN songwriting camp, and industry mentorships, and has $25K up for grabs. The semi-finalists are Devin Cooper Mallory Johnson Five Roses Josh Ross Danielle Ryan Kyle McKearney ABSACHA, and Shantaia. More info on the artists here.
– Rootsy Cape Breton quintet Pretty Archie released a self-titled album (the group's sixth) last month and begins a FACTOR-supported Ontario tour next week. It starts at Irene's in Ottawa, on March 30, followed by shows in Owen Sound, Sarnia, Toronto, Hamilton, London, and Kingston. Details and tix here.
– The City of Surrey, BC, has launched the Surrey Music Strategy community engagement website where local music industry experts, musicians, business owners and residents can provide feedback on Surrey’s pre-pandemic and current music economy. The survey and will help create sustainable, actionable, and measurable recommendations that support the short and long-term development of music in Surrey. Local residents and music stakeholders can provide their input here