Awards draw attention to local music

Nanaimo bands earn nominations

The Kerplunks are nominated for Artist of the Year from the Vancouver Island Music Awards. Dinah D and Tina Jones also picked up a songwriting nomination.

The Kerplunks are nominated for Artist of the Year from the Vancouver Island Music Awards. Dinah D and Tina Jones also picked up a songwriting nomination.

Working in conjunction with the annual Vancouver Island Music Business Conference, the Vancouver Island Music Awards are a celebration of local talent, while bringing awareness to local, independent music, said James Kasper, founder and producer of the awards.

“A big part of the mandate of our event is to bring awareness of independent, local artists to the public who may, to some extent, only be bombarded with commercial, major-label artists, and may not know what’s in their own backyard,” he said.

Following a three-year hiatus, the awards are scheduled for June 23 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay for the first time, following stints in Victoria and Nanaimo.

Kasper said changing the location to the Valley complements the music business conference taking place this week (June 22-26).

“[The awards] are a smaller version of the Junos … it’s modelled loosely after those shows. We alternate between a performance of one song by a nominee and a presentation of an award … and some silliness from the hosts,” he said.

The awards committee received more than 70 submissions from artists around the Island, and a jury of seven members, which included broadcasters, music directors and singer/songwriters, narrowed down the final nominees.

Kasper notes the music industry on Vancouver Island is growing, and hopes the awards, in addition to other events which bring musicians and the public together, will help make the public more aware of homegrown talent.

“(The industry) is growing little by little. All of us are trying to contribute to that, whether it’s media, the Island music business conference or our events, hopefully it’s all contributing and growing. It’s the type of scene where it’s artist-driven and there’s a lot of great talent on the Island,” he said.

For more information, please visit

2011 Vancouver Island Music Awards

Nanaimo-area nominess


Instrumental Album of the Year

Trish Clair-Peck Providence

Departure Departure

Wind Weaver Wild Threads

Sarah M. Wood Ocean Tapestry


Best Live Act

BananaFish Dance Orchestra

Mother Tongue Band


Female Songwriter of the Year

Dinah D and Tina Jones The Kerplunks



Male Songwriter of the Year

David Essig

George Millar The Irish Rovers

Rick Scott

Myc Sharratt


Song of the Year

The Irish Rovers Gracehill Fair


Album of the Year

The Irish Rovers Gracehill Fair


Artist of the Year

The Irish Rovers

The Kerplunks


– For a full list of nominees, please visit

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