Rose Cousins, Jenn Grant, KINLEY, Ria Mae, and Joel Plaskett lead 2018 East Coast Music Award nominations

Arts & Entertainment Online First

As they prepare to celebrate their milestone 30th anniversary, the East Coast Music Association is thrilled to announce the 2018 East Coast Music Award nominees.

Rose Cousins leads the pack with eight nominations, while Jenn Grant follows with six. Ria Mae, KINLEY, and Joel Plaskett each garner four.

The 2018 East Coast Music Award nominees are as follows:


Blues Recording of the Year

Earle & Coffin – Wood Wire Blood & Bone
Matt Minglewood – Fly Like Desperados
Mike Biggar – Go All In
Shirley Jackson & Her Good Rockin’ Daddys – Things Keep Lookin’ Up
Wayne Nicholson and The Eastenders – Diggin’ the Dirt

Bucky Adams Memorial Award

Measha Brueggergosman
Nova Scotia Mass Choir
Reeny Smith
Universal Soul

Classical Composition of the Year

Andrew Staniland – “The River Within Us”
Derek Charke – “In Sonorous Falling Tones”
Fiona Ryan – “Lady of the Lake”
Jeff Reilly – “To Dream of Silence (In Four Movements)”
Martin Kutnowski – “Tonadas y Mateadas”

Classical Recording of the Year

Derek Charke and WIRED! Ensemble – In Sonorous Falling Tones
Duo Concertante – Incarnation
Jeff Reilly – To Dream of Silence
Maureen Batt – Lady of the Lake
Symphony Nova Scotia – Schubert
Ventus Machina – In The Weeds

Country Recording of the Year

The Hypochondriacs – The Hypochondriacs in ¾
Jason Benoit – WAVES
Makayla Lynn – On A Dare and a Prayer
Pretty Archie – Sing Alongs and Love Songs
Whitney Rose – South Texas Suite

Dance Recording of the Year

Bardic Beatz – “Beautiful Minds”
CRaymak – “Play With Fire” ft. Neon Dreams
FWLR & Twistex – “Without Borders”
Joel Freckelton – “Violet Rose” ft. Frank Kadillac
Spoutnique – “My Blue Sky Turns Teal, Vol 1”

Electronic Recording of the Year

Elephant Skeletons – The Traveller
Nicole Ariana – STRAND
Rozalind MacPhail – SUNSET SUNRISE
Veev – Golden EP

Folk Recording of the Year

Amelia Curran – Watershed
Catherine MacLellan – If It’s Alright With You
The East Pointers – What We Leave Behind
Joel & Bill Plaskett – Solidarity
Rose Cousins – Natural Conclusion

Francophone Recording of the Year

Jacques Jacobus – Le retour de Jacobus
Les Jeunes d’Asteure – paradis, probablement
Joey Robin Haché – Stigmates
Mary Beth Carty – Les biens-nommés
Menoncle Jason – Dans son prime

Gospel Recording of the Year

Informants – Uprising
Matt Linton – I’ve Got To Praise Him
Measha Brueggergosman – Songs of Freedom
Nova Scotia Mass Choir – Immanuel
Rekoncyle – Desire

Group Recording of the Year

Cassie and Maggie – The Willow Collection
City Natives – Dream Catchers
The East Pointers – What We Leave Behind
Ouroboros – Kitchuses
Les Païens – Carte noire
Tomato Tomato – I Go Where You Go
Walrus – Family Hangover

Indigenous Artist of the Year

Carolina East
City Natives
Don Ross
Maxim Cormier

Instrumental Recording of the Year

Amy Brandon – Scavenger
Chronos – What It Is
Michael Maillet – Entropy
Paul Tynan and Aaron Lington – Bicoastal Collective: Chapter 5
Rosie MacKenzie – Atlantic

Jazz Recording of the Year

Florian Hoefner – Coldwater Stories
Heather Bambrick – You’ll Never Know
Les Païens – Carte noire
Paul Tynan and Aaron Lington – Bicoastal Collective: Chapter 5
Willem Paynter – Wise Guy

Loud Recording of the Year

Hard Charger – Bad Omens
Sleepshaker – Things Are Different Now
Spirit of the Wildfire – Paradisolation
Tactus – Bending Light
ZAUM – Eidolon

Pop Recording of the Year

Ian Janes – Yes Man
Jenn Grant – Paradise
KINLEY – Letters Never Sent
Neon Dreams – To You
Port Cities – Port Cities

Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year

City Natives – Dream Catchers
Fortunato x DJ IV – 2 Bad Dudes
Ghettosocks – Diamants en cendres
Mitchell Bailey – Last Time Introducing Myself
Quake Matthews – Celebrate the Struggle

Rising Star Recording of the Year

The Barrowdowns – Come What May Come
KINLEY – Letters Never Sent
Mama’s Broke – Count the Wicked
Owen Meany’s Batting Stance – Owen Meany’s Batting Stance
Shreem – Celtic Remixing

Rock Recording of the Year

Alert the Medic – Let Them Have Their Fun
Jessie Brown – Keeping Appearances
Like A Motorcycle – High Hopes
Mo Kenney – The Details
Partner – In Search of Lost Time

Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year

Cassie and Maggie – The Willow Collection
Còig – Rove
MacIsaac and MacKenzie – The Bay Street Sessions
Matthew Byrne – Horizon Lines
Scott Macmillan and Colin Grant – GOOD2GO

Solo Recording of the Year

Amelia Curran – Watershed
David Myles – Real Love
Jenn Grant – Paradise
Mo Kenney – The Details
Rose Cousins – Natural Conclusion

Songwriter of the Year

David Myles
Jenn Grant
Joel Plaskett
Rose Cousins
Tim Chaisson, Jake Charron, Koady Chaisson (The East Pointers)

Song of the Year

Gabrielle Papillon – “Keep the Fire” (Producer: Daniel Ledwell)
Jenn Grant – “Galaxies” (Producer: Daniel Ledwell)
KINLEY – “Microphone” (Producer: Kinley Dowling & Colin Buchanan)
Port Cities – “Back to the Bottom” (Producer: Gordie Sampson)
Rose Cousins – “Grace” (Producer: Joe Henry)

Album of the Year

Amelia Curran – Watershed (Producers: Amelia Curran & Chris Stringer)
Jenn Grant – Paradise (Producer: Daniel Ledwell)
Joel & Bill Plaskett – Solidarity (Producer: Joel Plaskett)
Ria Mae – Ria Mae (Producer: Luke Boyd aka Classified)
Rose Cousins – Natural Conclusion (Producer: Joe Henry)

Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year

David Myles
Joel Plaskett
Matt Minglewood
Measha Brueggergosman
Neon Dreams
Port Cities
Ria Mae
Rose Cousins

Fans’ Choice Video of the Year

George Belliveau – “Grand verre de tchekafaire ft. Arthur Comeau” (Director: Mathieu Laprise)
Jenn Grant – “Galaxies” (Director: Adam Goldhammer)
KINLEY – “Microphone” (Director: Jenna MacMillan)
Neon Dreams – “Marching Bands ft. Kardinal Offishall” (Director: Cazhmere)
Ria Mae – “Bend” (Director: Stephen Dunn)
Rose Cousins – “Chains” (Director: Nathan Boone)
The Town Heroes – “Thought Police” (Director: Cody Westman)


Company of the Year

Forward Music Group
GroundSwell Music
Sonic Concerts
Sound of Pop

Event of the Year

Cavendish Beach Music Festival
Celtic Colours International Festival
Lawnya Vawnya
Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival
PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls

Graphic/Media Artist of the Year

Jessica Rhaye Design
Jud Haynes
Krista Power
Megan Green of Abracazebra Productions
Midnight Oil Print & Design House

Live Sound Engineer of the Year

Devin Farrell
Kyle McDonald
Kory Bayer
Stephen “Snickers” SmithWayne O’Connor

Management/Manager of the Year

Forward Music Group
GroundSwell Music
Jones & Co
Peggy Walt
Sonic Entertainment Group

Media Outlet of the Year

The Barbershop Sessions
Canadian Beats
Halifax is Burning
Rock Eden
Tantramar Community Radio CFTA 107.9FM

Media Person of the Year

Brian Cleveland
Hillary Windsor
Ken Kelley
Stephen Cooke
Vince Kuzanagi

Producer of the Year

Chris Kirby
Corey LeRue
Dale Murray
Daniel Ledwell
Jon Landry

Studio Engineer of the Year

Dale Murray
Darren van Niekerk
Jamie Foulds
Jason Jenkyns
Scott Ferguson

Studio of the Year

Codapop Studios
Lakewind Sound Studio
New Scotland Yard Studio
The Sonic Temple
Studio FMP Matrix

Venue of the Year

The Capital Complex
The Carleton Music Bar & Grill
The Mack
The Seahorse Tavern
The Ship Pub

Video of the Year

Heather Rankin – “Titanically” (Director: Thom Fitzgerald)
Kevin Davison – “When Those Sirens Are Gone” (Director: David Pichette)
Ria Mae – “Bend” (Director: Stephen Dunn)
Rose Cousins – “White Flag” (Director: Shehab Ilyas)
Wordburglar – “Channel Halifax” (Director: Caley MacLennan)

“The 30th Anniversary of the East Coast Music Awards will be an incredible event, taking over the city of Halifax with five days of our region’s best music. This year’s nominees include well-established East Coast acts and exciting newcomers, which reflects not only our rich history of the past 30 years but also the direction our music is taking in the future,” says Andy McLean, ECMA Executive Director.

“We’re also thrilled to announce our showcasing lineup that highlights the variety of music coming out of the East Coast today. Plus, there’ll be many more exciting announcements in the weeks to come!”


Cape Breton: 16
New Brunswick: 35
Newfoundland & Labrador: 20
Nova Scotia: 114
Prince Edward Island: 13


Adyn Townes, Alana Yorke, Alert the Medic, Alex Byrne & MikeWave, Andrew Waite & the Firm, Bardic Beatz, Beaatz, Beauwater, Bill & Joel Plaskett, Bleu, BRDGS, Carolina East, Cassie and Maggie, Catherine MacLellan, Christina Martin, Christine Campbell, City Natives, Clare Follett, Còig, CRaymak, Cy, Dave Sampson, David Myles, Don Ross, Dylan Menzie, Earle & Coffin, Elephant Skeletons, Émilie Landry, Erika Kulnys, Fairgale, Fire Valley Fire, Florian Hoefner, Fortunate Ones, Fortunato, Fuzz Fiction, Gabrielle Papillon, Gary Sappier Blues Band, Ghettosocks, Hard Charger, Harrison Storm, Heather Bambrick, Heather Rankin, Hello Delaware, Ian Foster, Ian Janes,  Ian Sherwood, It Could Be Franky, Jacques Jacobus, Janet Cull, Jay Mayne, Jenn Grant, Jessica Rhaye, Jessie Brown, Jody Upshaw, Joel Freckelton, Joey Robin Hache, John Richard, Jordan Muscysyn, Katherine Moller, Kayo, Kendra Gale, Kill Chicago, Laurie LeBlanc, Les Hay Babies, Les Païens, Like A Motorcycle, Lionsault, Logan Richard, MacIsaac and MacKenzie, MAJE, Makayla Lynn, Mama’s Broke, Mary Beth Carty, Matt Minglewood, Matthew Byrne, Melissa Hunt, Mike Biggar, Mitchell Bailey, Mo Kenney, Motherhood, Nicole Ariana, Ouroboros, Owen Meany’s Batting Stance, PINEO & LOEB, Port Cities, Pretty Archie, Quake Matthews, Rachel Beck, Rain Over St. Ambrose, Reeny Smith, Rozalind MacPhail, Rum Ragged, Scenic Route to Alaska, Scott Macmillan & Colin Grant, Shaun Ferguson, SHiFT FROM THA 902, Shirley Jackson & Her Good Rockin’ Daddys, Shreem, Sleepshaker, Small Glories, Soap Opera, Sorrey, Spirit of the Wildfire, Spoutnique, Steve Maloney, T. Thomason, Tactus, The Barra MacNeils, The Barrowdowns, The Bombadils, The Combine, The East Pointers, The Hypochondriacs, The Kubasonics, The Maes, The Mike Bochoff Band, The Once, The Royal North, The Town Heroes, Thrillah, Tomato Tomato, Universal Soul, Veev, Ventus Machina, Walrus, Wayne Nicholson and The Eastenders, Willem Paynter, Wolf Castle, and Wordburglar.


. The public can vote once a day until March 16, 2018 at 5:00pmAST.

The 2018 East Coast Music Awards Show, hosted by comedian Jonathan Torrens, takes place on Thursday, May 03 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, NS. Performers for the show include Sloan, Measha Brueggergosman, Joel Plaskett, Rose Cousins, The East Pointers, Port Cities, The Once, The Barra MacNeils, Universal Soul, Les Hay Babies, City Natives, KINLEY, Quake Matthews, and Makayla Lynn.

The Awards Show will once again be available live on Bell Aliant Fibe TV1 and free of charge at In addition, select showcases will also be available to stream live on ECMA TV throughout the festival.

Tickets for the 2018 East Coast Music Awards Show are $40 plus fees and are available at the Scotiabank Centre box office or online.

Festival passes, wristbands, weekend warrior wristbands, VIP passes, and tickets for the 2018 ECMA Big Ticket with Alan Doyle are also available by visiting .


Volunteer applications for the 2018 ECMAs are now open. For more information head here:


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