Nanaimo musicians pick up honours at awards show

The Irish Rovers recognized

Don’t give up.

Those were the words of encouragement veteran musician George Millar gave to the audience at the Vancouver Island Music Awards in Courtenay June 23.

Millar accepted the Island Classic Award, from the founder and host of the show James Kasper, recognizing 46 years of music from The Irish Rovers.

For the past 20 years, the Rovers have been based on Vancouver Island, recording albums in Nanaimo, but the story started several decades earlier with two young Irish immigrants meeting in a pub.

John Reynolds and Millar also accepted the award for Song of the Year for Gracehill Fair, with Millar lamenting taking an award from a deserving younger musician.

A special segment of the awards show featured the career of the Irish Rovers, from their Grammy and Juno awards to label and management changes.

The Rovers’ next album is soon to be released.

Also taking home an Island music award was Nanaimo musician Sarah M. Wood for Best Instrumental Album for Ocean Tapestry.

Wood attended classes as a child at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and continued her music education in the jazz program at Vancouver Island University.

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