Island artists took centre stage this year at ECMA and were presented to over 2700 fans and delegates over the course of 2 days on the “Music PEI Presents” showcase stage. The buzz on the street was Nicky Zees was the place to be and the line-ups were testament to that.
Each act gave great performances and turned a lot of heads, right from our more established artists like Nathan Wiley, Two Hours Traffic and Chucky Danger to our shining emerging artists including Battery Point, Boxer the Horse and Meaghan Blanchard to name just a few. Many of the emerging artists participated in our performance coaching workshops and it clearly made a difference as they performed with confidence.
The upstairs stage featured predominantly rock acts Friday and Saturday night while the downstairs stage was an eclectic mix that included Nudie and the Turks, Saddle River String Band, Catherine MacLellan, The Blueprints, John Connolly and many others.
Saturday afternoon featured songwriters in a different setting than the usual songwriters circle. This time they had full bands supporting them to present their original music and it was again a packed house.
Our Island artists also excelled on the ECMA Showcase stages with Chucky Danger, Two Hours Traffic, Tim Chaisson and Morning Fold, Saddle River and Nathan Wiley playing on a number of showcase stages, concerts and the Gala Awards Show. There were also a number of very important business contacts made.
The icing on the cake were the 6 awards that Music PEI members took home, including:
Nathan Wiley for Alternative Recording of the Year
Saddle River String Band for Bluegrass Recording of the year
Vishten for Francophone Recording
2 Hours Traffic for Pop Recording
Rose Cousins for Female Recording
Doug Gallant for Media Person of the Year
Finally, the iconic Island group the Tremtones were awarded the Stompin Tom Award.
All in all 2008 was a very successful year at ECMA for Music PEI and our members.