Canadian Folk Music Awards Winners Revealed

[![Kobo Town at the CFMAs [Photo: Karen Atcheson]](/content/images/2017/11/Kobo-TownCredit-Karen-Atcheson-9979-300x199.jpg)](/content/images/2017/11/Kobo-TownCredit-Karen-Atcheson-9979.jpg)Kobo Town at the CFMAs [Photo: Karen Atcheson]
Twenty awards were handed out over two bilingual evening celebrations at the Canadian Folk Music Awards 13th edition in Ottawa over the weekend. Hosted by musicians Jean Hewson and Benoit Bourque the nominees and performers included MAZ, Twin Flames, Beyond The Pale, BEYRIES, Kobo Town, Danny Michel, Cassie and Maggie, Braden Gates, Coco Méliès, Scott MacMillan & Colin Grant, Oh Susanna, and Stephen Fearing.

“The Canadian Folk Music Awards celebration weekend in Ottawa immersed us in the incredible and diverse amount of folk music being made across our country,” says Grit Laskin, president of the Canadian Folk Music Awards. “From keeping traditional music alive to pushing contemporary folk music forward, we are so proud to be in our 13th year and have in our ranks such an impressive pool of musical talent. Seventy-five nominees were named this year and 20 recipients were awarded. I hope that you’ll join us in exploring our list of great folk music from Canada.”

Danny Michel was honoured twice for his innovative album Khlebnikov, which received the Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award. He was also awarded the Producer of the Year Award along with his collaborator Rob Carli. Khlebnikov takes its album name from the Kapitan Khlebnikov, the Russian icebreaker vessel that inspired the music and where he recorded the album’s songs during an arctic expedition. The album also features arrangements by Rob Carli as well as performances from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

London, ON songwriter and Berklee graduate Ken Yates was awarded two Canadian Folk Music Awards for New/Emerging Artist of the Year and English Songwriter of the Year for his album Huntsville.

Women feature strongly within this year’s list of award recipients including the dynamic and talented duos of Cassie and Maggie, Mama’s Broke (Lisa Maria & Amy Lou), and Moscow Apartment (Brighid Fry & Pascale Padilla) as well as solo projects from Abigail Lapell and Hannah Shira Naiman. Coco Méliès’ Francesca Marie Comeau and Twin Flames’ Chelsey June are also on the winners list for 2017.

Newfoundland’s Gerry Strong was awarded the recipient of the Slaight Music Unsung Hero Award for the 2017 Canadian Folk Music Awards. For more than forty years, Gerry Strong has been one of the mainstays of the music scene in Newfoundland and Labrador. A member of the seminal band Tickle Harbour, Strong was one of the pioneers of the traditional music revival who helped create an interest in the musical heritage of the province.  This annual legacy category award recognizes the exceptional contribution of an individual, group, or organization to any aspect of the Canadian Folk music scene.

Much-loved Manitoba Children’s entertainer Fred Penner wins Children’s Album of the Year for Hear the Music, an epic musical offering which features (but not limited to) Ron Sexsmith, Alex Cuba, Basia Bulat, The Good Lovelies, Terra Lightfoot, Afie Jurvanen (a.k.a. Bahamas) plus backup vocals from Fred’s own family, with production by long-time collaborator Ken Whiteley.

Canadian Folk Music Award 2017 recipients by province:

**British Columbia **

Stephen Fearing, Every Soul’s A Sailor – Contemporary Singer of the Year


Leeroy Stagger, Love Versus – Solo Artist of the Year


Fred Penner – Hear The Music – Children’s Album of the Year


– Abigail Lapell – Hide Nor Hair – Contemporary Album of the Year

– Danny Michel – Khlebnikov – Producer of the Year with Rob Carli and the Oliver Schroer Pushing the Boundaries Award

– Rob Carli – for Danny Michel’s Khlebnikov – Producer of the Year with Danny Michel

– Hannah Shira Naiman – Know The Mountain – Traditional Singer of the Year

– Ken Yates – Huntsville – English Songwriter of the Year andNew/Emerging Artist of the Year

– Kobo Town – Where The Galleon Sank – World Group of the Year

– Louis Simāo – A Luz (The Light) – World Solo Artist of the Year

– Moscow Apartment – Demo – Young Performers of the Year

– Twin Flames – Signal Fire – Aboriginal Songwriters of the Year


– André Brunet – La grosse maison rouge – Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year

– Coco Méliès – The Riddle – Vocal Group of the Year

– Luc de Larochellière – Autre Monde – French Songwriter of the Year

Newfoundland & Labrador

– Gerry Strong – The Slaight Music Unsung Hero Award

Nova Scotia

– Cassie and Maggie – The Willow Collection – Traditional Album of the Year

– Mama’s Broke – Count the Wicked – Ensemble of the Year

– Scott Macmillan & Colin Grant – Good2Go – Instrumental Group of the Year

Established by Canada’s burgeoning and internationally recognized folk music community, the Canadian Folk Music Awards is currently its 13th year. The two nights of celebrations of the Canadian Folk Music Awards wrapped up with a open-hearted singalong with the audience.  For more information, visit

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician and Canadian Music Trade magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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