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YYC Music Awards now accepting submissions

By Rachel Woodward, April 04, 2017 —

Last year, the first annual YYC Music Awards celebrated local talent around the city. This year, they hope to do the same, but with a little more pizzaz. The award ceremony will take place in late September, but submissions are open until May 31.

Co-organizer and media director Shannon Ambrose says the inspiration for the ceremony came from a love of local music.

“The three original directors — Leanne Harrison, Darren Gilbert and myself — have been very involved in Calgary’s local music scene for many years,” she says. “It all just kind of started one day [with] the three of us sitting around at a local pub talking about music awards, talking about our community and it just piped up that ‘why doesn’t Calgary have one?’ It’s ridiculous how much talent is in the city.”

This year’s ceremony will recognize talent in 20 categories including Alternative Recording of the Year and Male [and] Female Recording Artist of the Year. Ambrose says that two new categories have been added to the list this year.

“We have added Classical Recording of the Year and Industry Person of the Year, which is all encompassing to include anybody from a venue, a promoter, a booker, a studio — whatever it might be,” she says. “Somebody that has worked tirelessly to promote Calgary’s music scene.”

Ambrose expects to receive around 300 submissions this year. The process for choosing a winner involves an anonymous panel that listens to all submissions and creates shortlists.

Last year’s winners include Jocelyn Alice and Jason Hastie and the Alibi. The ceremony this year will take place at the Palace Theatre — formerly Flames Central — in order to allow for a larger audience.

The awards ceremony will feature performances from local groups of various genres. The lineup for this year’s ceremony will be announced closer to the date. Ambrose says that the performers represent a variety of genres in order to reach a large audience.

“We had five performers last year across five different genres. [Divinity], one of the performers we had, [is] a metal group. During their performance, they had everybody doing ‘horns up’ and we had everybody from the country guys to the jazz scene — every single person in that sold-out theatre had horns up and it was the most awesome and epic thing,” she says. “I was seeing it from the back of the band and I could see the audience and it almost brought me to tears.”

Submissions will be accepted until the end of May. A $5 charge is associated with each entry. There will also be a pre-show on June 20 at the Blind Beggar Pub.

For more information, visit yycmusicawards.com

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