Pictou County’s own Dave Gunning has received a 2021 Honorary Award from the East Coast Music Association.
The association announced earlier today that Gunning received one of five Stompin’ Tom Awards; other recipients include Tara MacLean, Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, Peter Rowan and Wendy Bergfeldt.
Stompin’ Tom Connors, one of the most well known Canadian musicians, was presented with the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. At that time he agreed to accept the award on one condition – that he could return it! Instead, he requested that an award be created to honour all those who have made a long-term contribution to the East Coast Music industry and have paved the road for many successful East Coast artists of today. The Stompin’ Tom Award is presented to one individual or group from each of the East Coast Music Association’s five regions (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Mainland Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and Cape Breton).
Gunning was bowled over by the award and announced on his Facebook page: “Well holy cow! Thank you so much to the ECMAs for this recognition.”
Gunning called Stompin’ Tom “a hero of mine. And I had the privilege of playing in his band as the upright bass player for his “Ode For The Road” tour in 2002. He was such an awesome soul and I’ll never forget our deep conversations. We became good friends and I still miss him.
I’m feeling humbled by this and somehow like I’ll maybe have try a little harder now to live up to the name association.”