Sue Foley, Colin James Head Maple Blues Awards Noms List

Canada's premier blues event places two veteran singers and guitar-slingers at the top of its just-announced nominations. Pictured: Sue Foley. Online voting for the Awards, held on Feb. 4,  is open from Nov. 1.

Sue Foley, Colin James Head Maple Blues Awards Noms List

By FYI Staff

The nominees for the 22nd annual Maple Blues Awards place two veteran Canadian singers and guitar-slingers, Sue Foley and Colin James, at the top of the list with six nominations apiece.

It is a banner year for female artists, for Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar tally four nominations, and Dawn Tyler Watson earns two. 2018 Juno Award winners MonkeyJunk receive four nods.

The Maple Blues Award for Blues Booster of the Year will be selected by the Toronto Blues Society Board of Directors and announced in advance of the Awards gala, which returns to Toronto's Koerner Hall on February 4, 2019.


The Awards will be hosted by bluesman/actor Raoul Bhaneja. Tickets are available online at, at the Koerner Hall box office or by phone at (416) 408-0208.

The 22nd Annual Maple Blues Award Nominees

Entertainer of the Year

Colin James

Dawn Tyler Watson


Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar

Sue Foley

Electric Act of the Year

Colin James



Paul DesLauriers Band

Sue Foley

Acoustic Act of the Year

Big Dave McLean

Earle & Coffin

Michael Jerome Browne

Rob Lutes

Tim Williams

Male Vocalist of the Year

Colin James

Harrison Kennedy

Jon Knight (Soulstack)

Matt Andersen

Rob Lutes

Female Vocalist of the Year

Angel Forrest

Crystal Shawanda

Dawn Tyler Watson

Samantha Martin

Sue Foley

New Artist of the Year

Cootes Paradise

Dan Doiron

Deb Rhymer

Elliott & The Audio Kings

Emily Burgess

Recording/Producer of the Year

Colin James - Miles to Go / True North (Colin James & Dave Meszaros)

Jack de Keyzer - Checkmate / Blue Star (Jack de Keyzer)

Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar - Run to Me / Gypsy Soul (Darcy Yates)

Sue Foley - The Ice Queen / Stony Plain (Mike Flanigan)

Sugar Brown - It's A Blues World / Self (Sugar Brown)


B.B. King International Artist of the Year

Buddy Guy

Ghost Town Blues Band

Mavis Staples

Rick Estrin & The Nightcats

Shemekia Copeland

Songwriter of the Year

Colin James

David Vest

Ken Kawashima (Sugar Brown)

Samantha Martin / Curtis Chaffey

Sue Foley

Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)

Alec Fraser

Brent Parkin

Danny Brooks

Ellen McIlwaine

Joe Murphy

Ken Whiteley

Michael Fonfara

Michael Jerome Browne

Tom Lavin

Guitarist of the Year

Colin James

Jack de Keyzer

Jack Semple

Steve Hill

Sue Foley

Harmonica Player of the Year

Carlos del Junco

Guy Bélanger

Harpdog Brown

Roly Platt (Matt Minglewood)

Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk)

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year

David Vest

Jenie Thai

Jesse O'Brien

Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne

Michael Kaeshammer

Horn Player of the Year

Chris Whiteley

Jon Wong

Mat “Moose” Mousseau (Ben Racine Band)

Richard Thornton (Jack de Keyzer)

Shirley Jackson

Drummer of the Year

Gary Craig (Colin Linden, Steve Dawson)

Lindsay Beaver

Matt Sobb (MonkeyJunk)

Sam Harrisson (Paul DesLauriers Band)

Tom Bona

Bassist of the Year

Gary Kendall (Downchild & Mighty Duck Blues Band)

Keith Picot (Brandon Isaak)

Laura Greenberg (JW-Jones)

Leigh-Anne Stanton (Wicked Grin)

Russell Jackson (Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne)

Online voting for the Awards is open from Nov. 1. Canadian blues fans can vote online in the eligible categories until Dec. 1. Register at


The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024
Marc Thususka Photography

The Beaches performing at Billboard Canada's Women in Music Launch on June 5, 2024


The Beaches, Charlotte Cardin, Allison Russell Make the 2024 Polaris Music Prize Long List

The 40-album long list for the Polaris Prize, which awards $50,000 to the best Canadian record of the year features up-and-comers like punk group NOBRO and producer Bambii, plus rapper TOBi, and legends like Quebec group Karkwa and previous Heritage Prize winner Beverly Glenn-Copeland.

Some of the country's biggest breakthrough artists are in contention for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize.

The 40-album long list was revealed today (June 11) at Sonic Boom record store in downtown Toronto. It features some of the buzziest names in Canadian music, from The Beaches — who were recently awarded Billboard Canada Women in Music's inaugural Group of the Year award — to Grammy-winner Allison Russell, to Canadian Hot 100 charting acts like Charlotte Cardin and Talk, to underground mainstays like Cindy Lee, who had an organic breakthrough this year with Diamond Jubilee.

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