The Canadian Folk Music Awards Announce 2021 Nominees

The Canadian Folk Music Awards celebrates its 16th edition, with a roster of nominations that celebrates the breadth and depth of Canadian folk music.  This year’s nominees span the country from Baie-Egmont, Prince Edward Island to Pangnirtung, Nunavut, and from Horsefly, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland — celebrating the diversity and talent of artists and musicians across Canada.

Established by Canada’s vibrant and internationally-recognized folk music community, the awards currently boasts 19 categories. Nominees are chosen for each category through a two-stage jury process. More than 100 jurors, located across Canada, representing all official provinces, territories and languages, determine the official recipients in each category.

CFMAs are pleased to present two NEW Award categories for 2021. A new award for “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.  Another award has been added, “World Music Album Of The Year,” which replaces the former awards for “World Solo Artist of the Year,” and “World Group of the Year.”

The 16th edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards Celebration will take place online again this year, and will present all 19 Awards, plus the Unsung Hero Award bringing the total to 20 Awards, virtually, over the weekend of April 9-10, 2021. The Awards were originally scheduled in-person over this weekend in Charlottetown, PEI, however, the CFMAs have made the difficult decision to cancel the live shows and weekend celebrations due to COVID-19. The health and safety of our patrons, artists, staff and the general public remains paramount, more information will be shared in early 2021.


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