BC’s Pharis & Jason Romero lead Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees. See the complete list!

The first ever National Strum (#StrumTogether)was held at noon today at Edmonton’s City Hall to celebrate and honour this year’s nominees for the Canadian Folk Music Awards. With a choir comprised of fervent local songwriters coordinated by singer-songwriter and artist development expert Rhea March and Northern Lights Folk Club founder Bill Werthmann, the Edmonton folk community came together to perform Dave Gunning’s official song of celebration “These Hands” in front of a gathered crowd. Andy Frank, the Canadian Folk Music Awards’ Project Director welcomed the crowd and announced the nineteen categories of nominees for the 11th annual Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMA). Overall, 73 artists and groups were announced as Canadian Folk Music Awards nominees in 19 categories who hail from 9 provinces and 3 territories in Canada.
Known for their vibrant duets and handmade banjos, Horsefly, BC’s Pharis and Jason Romero lead the pack with four nominations for their album A Wanderer I’ll Stay. Their nominations include Traditional Album of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Traditional Singer of the Year (Pharis Romero), and Producer of the Year (Pharis and Jason Romero with David Travers-Smith).

Amelia Curran (St John’s, NL), Fortunate Ones (St John’s, NL),  Jenn Grant (Lake Echo, NS),  Whitehorse (Toronto, ON) and Catherine MacLellan (Charlottetown, PEI) each bring home 3 nominations for their music.

This year’s youngest nominee is nine year old Vancouver Island artist Stella Swansonfor the album I’m Not A Bunny in the Children’s Album of the Year Category. Inspired by Stella’s pet bunny Romeo, the album was produced by Comox’s Helen Austin, a previous Canadian Folk Music Award and Juno Award recipient and a nominee this year with her group Big Little Lions.

CFMA’s host city of Edmonton has three local artists with nominations: Laura Vinson and Free Spirit, nominated for Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year, Lizzy Hoyt nominated for Solo Artist of the Year and Rebecca Lappa who is nominated for Young Performer of the Year.

Download the nominees by province here: bit.ly/CFMA2015nomineebyprovince

Download all nominees by category here: bit.ly/CFMA2015nomineesbycategory
A quick look at the nominated artists by province and territory:

British Columbia: 16 nominations, 12 artists
Alberta: 4 nominations, 4 artists
Saskatchewan: 1 nomination, 1 artist
Manitoba: 4 nominations, 6 artists
Ontario: 33 nominations, 25 artists
Quebec: 14 nominations, 12 artists
Nova Scotia: 7 nominations, 4 artists
Newfoundland:  11 nominations, 5 artists
Prince Edward Island: 3 nominations, 1 artist
Yukon: 1 nomination, 1 artist
Northwest Territories: 1 nomination, 1 artist
Nunavut: 2 nominations, 1 artist

The 2015 CFMA weekend is being held in the vibrant city of Edmonton. It begins on November 6th  and runs through to November 8th, culminating in the bilingual gala awards presentation at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. The gala event on November 8 is hosted by musicians Connie Kaldor and Benoit Bourque (La Bottine Souriante). Tickets for the gala are $48 (plus administrative fee of $2).  Thursday and Friday evening showcase events are $25 per evening. Full purchase links are available at folkawards.ca.

The complete list of nominees and categories are below.

Shining the spotlight on up and coming talent (those eligible must be under 19 at the time of the recording), this year’s Young Performer of the Year nominees include:
Robbie BankesThrough February Snow
Rebecca LappaTattered Rose
Mira MeikleMIRA
Benjamin Dakota RogersStrong Man’s Address to the Circus Crowd

The New/Emerging Artist of the Year nominees include:
Crooked BrothersThank You I’m Sorry
Fortunate OnesThe Bliss
The Harpoonist & The Axe MurdererA Real Fine Mess
The River And The RoadHeadlights
The Young Novelistsmade us strangers

Celebrating innovation in creating new folk sounds, The Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award category puts a spotlight on:
Kevin BreitErnesto and Delilah
The Jerry CansAakuluk
The ShoelessThe Shoeless
Dana SiposRoll Up the Night Sky
WhitehorseLeave No Bridge Unburned

Songwriting is a key component of folk music. This year’s English Songwriter of the Year nominees are:
Catherine Allan and Andrew James O’Brien for The Bliss (Fortunate Ones)
Jon Brooks for The Smiling And Beautiful Countryside (Jon Brooks)
Amelia Curran for They Promised You Mercy (Amelia Curran)
Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland for Leave No Bridge Unburned (Whitehorse)
Jenn Grant for Compostela (Jenn Grant)

The French Songwriter of the Year nominees are:
Jocelyne Baribeau for Entre toi et moi (Jocelyne Baribeau)
Louis-Jean Cormier for  Les grandes artères (Louis-Jean Cormier)
Benoit Pinette for Panorama (Tire le Coyote)
Dany Placard for  Santa Maria (Dany Placard)
Geneviève Toupin for Willows (Willows)

The Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year nominees are:
Miranda Currie for Up In The Air (Miranda Currie)
The Jerry Cans for Aakuluk (The Jerry Cans)
Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish for For The Light (Digging Roots)
Buffy Sainte-Marie for  Power In The Blood (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
Laura Vinson and Free Spirit for Warrior (Laura Vinson and Free Spirit)

World Group of the Year:
Alex CubaHealer
Lemon Bucket OrkestraMoorka

World Solo Artist of the Year:
Kiran AhluwaliaSanata: Stillness
Jean-François BélangerLes vents orfèvres
Emmanuel JalThe Key
Wagner PetrilliConfissão

Traditional Album of the Year:
Matthew ByrneHearts & Heroes
Le Vent du NordTêtu
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell LeahyONE
Pharis & Jason RomeroA Wanderer I’ll Stay
Jayme StoneJayme Stone’s Lomax Project

Traditional Singer of the Year:
Michael Jerome Browne Sliding Delta
Matthew ByrneHearts & Heroes
Tamar Ilana for Arrelumbre by Ventanas
Annie LouTried and True
Pharis Romero for A Wanderer I’ll Stay by Pharis and Jason Romero

Contemporary Album of the Year:
Jon BrooksThe Smiling And Beautiful Countryside
Jenn GrantCompostela
Catherine MacLellanThe Raven’s Sun
The OnceDepartures
Gabrielle PapillonThe Tempest of Old

Contemporary Singer of the Year:
Amelia CurranThey Promised You Mercy
Peter KatzWe Are The Reckoning
Sarah MacDougallGrand Canyon
Catherine MacLellan –  The Raven’s Sun
Jory NashThe Many Hats of Jory Nash

Instrumental Group of the Year:
Shane Cook and Jake CharronHead to Head
Lemon Bucket OrkestraMoorka
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell LeahyONE

Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year:
Jean-François BélangerLes vents orfèvres
Adrianna CicconeThe Back of Winter
Nick Hornbuckle12×2(+/-1)
Patti KusturokMilestone
Wendy MacIsaac –  Off The Floor

Vocal Group of the Year:
Fortunate OnesThe Bliss
Good LoveliesBurn The Plan
The Lucky SistersSo Lucky
Pharis & Jason RomeroA Wanderer I’ll Stay
The Young Novelistsmade us strangers

Ensemble of the Year:
Big Little LionsA Little Frayed, A Little Torn
The OnceDepartures
Jayme StoneJayme Stone’s Lomax Project
The Sweet LowdownChasing The Sun
WhitehorseLeave No Bridge Unburned 

Solo Artist of the Year:
Michael Jerome BrowneSliding Delta
Amelia CurranThey Promised You Mercy
Lizzy HoytNew Lady on the Prairie
Catherine MacLellanThe Raven’s Sun
Oh SusannaNamedropper

Children’s Album of the Year:
GinalinaForest Friends’ Nature Club Album
Henri GodonLa vie rêvée!
Hilary GristTomorrow is a Chance to Start Over
Stella Swanson –  I’m Not a Bunny
The Swinging BellesMore Sheep, Less Sleep

Producer of the Year:
Daniel Ledwell for Compostela (Jenn Grant)
Jory Nash, Chris Stringer for The Many Hats of Jory Nash (Jory Nash)
Les Cooper for Burn The Plan (Good Lovelies)
Murray Pulver, Dave Zeglinski, Steve Bell for Pilgrimage (Steve Bell)
Pharis & Jason Romero, David Travers-Smith for A Wanderer I’ll Stay (Pharis & Jason Romero)

This year’s Unsung Hero award recipient is Ottawa’s Arthur McGregor. Arthur’s tireless efforts in the Ottawa music scene ensured the support for the appreciation of folk music in his community for many years. This special category award will also be handed out on November 8, 2015 at the CFMA gala event at the Citadel Theatre.