Métis artists victorious at the Western Canadian Music Awards

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marijosée (Photo: Tyler Funk)

marijosée and Federal Lights picked up hardware at the 12th annual Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA) in Winnipeg on October 5. The awards recognize and celebrate the best and brightest break out stars from across Western Canada.

marijosée's latest release, entitled Pas tout cuit dans l’bec, earned the WCMA for Francophone Recording of the Year, while Federal Lights' full-length debut, We Were Found In The Fog, was victorious in the Aboriginal Recording of the Year category.

The WCMA also celebrated three legendary figures on Manitoba's music landscape with special awards this year. Singer/songwriter and children's entertainer extraordinaire Fred Penner was inducted into the Western Canadian Hall of Fame. Ron Paley -- band leader, composer, arranger, and musical mentor -- was given the Heritage Award. In an emotional tribute, Kevin Walters was honoured posthumously with the Industry Builder Award. In recognition of Walters' tremendous work in fostering and developing the music industry in Manitoba and beyond, the award has been renamed the Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award.

Hosted by CBC Radio personality Grant Lawrence, the gala was held at the newly-opened Club Regent Event Centre, and featured show-stopping performances from some of the night's award winners, including Del Barber, Federal Lights, marijosée, Ron Paley, and Fred Penner. 

A highlight of Manitoba's Year of Music, the awards gala was the pinnacle event of BreakOut West, which took over Winnipeg, October 2-5. The event featured the two awards shows, a busy industry conference, and a two-day music festival with 70 showcasing acts in 15 venues. This year's festival included performances from many of this year's nominees, including a large local contingent. 

BreakOut West presents an incredible opportunity for emerging and established artists to be a part of the western Canadian music community. Participating artists and other music professionals have the chance to meet and network with key industry stakeholders creating the opportunity for a new wave of exciting industry developments.

BreakOut West 2015 will take place in Victoria, BC September 17-20.

For a complete list of 2014 WCMA winners, please visit breakoutwest.ca.

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