10 years ago, a small group of some of Canada's most important people in the world of folk music created these awards, and since then have put in countless hours (and probably more than a few of their own bucks) to keep the CFMAs vital and to put on great events across the country.
This is the place where Canada's folk community can celebrate the richness of our music creators and the achievements of those who've recorded over the previous year, handing out 19 awards.
As house concert presenters, we occupy a very privileged position. We get to welcome some of Canada's and the world's most skilled musicians into our homes and introduce them to our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and acquaintances in a uniquely intimate environment. And over our 37 concerts, we have become friends with a lot of the people who've come to perform at our house. So seeing some of our musical friends get nominated or win a CFMA is a reminder to us of just how lucky we are and a source of great happiness.
This year, six BobCat alums were nominated for a CFMA: Quique Escamilla, Gathering Sparks, Jadea Kelly, Amanda Rheaume, Shari Ulrich, and Jill Zmud. Three of those nominees were chosen by a jury as the best in their category this year:
Quique Escamilla: 2014 CFMA for World Solo Artist
Amanda Rheaume (with cowriter John MacDonald):
2014 CFMA for Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year
Shari Ulrich: 2014 CFMA for English Songwriter of the Year
and for Vocal Group of the Year as part of the High Bar Gang
We've been lucky to walk away from every concert feeling as if we've experienced and shared something very special. And if this sort of recognition helps spread the word about our folk scene to new audiences and pushes performers to do even more striking work, then I'm all for it.
Congratulations to the CFMAs, to all the nominees and the winners, and especially to our BobCat friends. And (this will be the only time in history where I will quote Abba) thank you for the music.