Music Watch & Listen

ECMA 2021 Winners

East Coast Music Awards winners

It seemed like a long time coming. I mean there’s always heaps of anticipation between the time when the East Coast Music Association announces this year’s nominees and when they start handing out the hardware BUT this year… well it was agonizing. After a virtual 2020, we were thrilled to announce ECMA Week 2021 would see an in-person celebration in Sydney May 5th-9th. Of course, that was before the most recent provincial shut down here in Nova Scotia – which forced the cancellation of events in Cape Breton and the subsequent delay in the award presentations. However, it’s true what they say… “all good things come to those who wait,” and when it comes to celebrating the best of the best of East Coast artists – well, that wait was truly worth it. Congratulations to ALL of the 2021 ECMA Nominees and to this year’s WINNERS as well – you’ll find the complete list below with the *winner* in each category being displayed as such. Keep on creating and we’ll keep on celebrating!!!

Oh and be sure to visit the ECMA’s official YouTube Channel here for video presentations, live stream performances and so much more.

Music Categories

African Canadian Artist of the Year

Joe Bowden

Keonté Beals


Owen O’Sound Lee

Shelley Hamilton


Album of the Year

Classified – Time EP (Producer: Classified)

Joel Plaskett – 44 (Producer: Joel Plaskett)

*Neon Dreams – The Happiness Of Tomorrow (Producer(s): Corey LeRue, PJ Bianco, Nathaniel Motte, Scott Effman, Adrian Morris)*

Rachel Beck – Stronger Than You Know (Producer: Daniel Ledwell)

Rose Cousins – Bravado (Producer: Rose Cousins)

Children’s Entertainer of the Year

Bingly and The Rogues

Dr G

Matt the Music Man

Silly Robbie

*The Swinging Belles*

Classical Composition of the Year

Andrew Staniland – “Peter Quince at the Clavier”

Bekah Simms – “Granitic”

Derek Charke – “Tree Rings”

Dinuk Wijeratne – “The Spirit and the Dust”

Emily Doolittle – “Doolittle: Minute Études “Excerpts” (Live)”

*Peter-Anthony Togni – “Sea Dreams”*

Classical Recording of the Year

Charke-Cormier Duo – Bathymetric Terrains

Duo Concertante – Franz Schubert Music for Violin and Piano

Sarah Hagen – Women of Note

Sarah Slean, Symphony Nova Scotia, Bernhard Gueller – Sarah Slean and Symphony Nova Scotia

*Steve Cowan and Adam Cicchillitti – Focus*

Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year

Catherine MacLellan – Coyote

Coco Love Alcorn – Rebirth

Émilie Landry – Arroser les Fleurs

Mike McKenna Jr. – At the Edge of the World

*Rose Cousins – Bravado*

Country Recording of the Year

Brooklyn Blackmore – Get A Little Crazy

Laurie LeBlanc – When It’s Right It’s Right

Lawrence Maxwell – Almost Natural

Norma MacDonald – Old Future

*The Heavy Horses – With Darkness In My Eyes*

Dance Recording of the Year

*BRDGS & FWLR – “Suspicious”*

Cloverdale – Keep Dancing EP

Karate Kactus – “Shut Up And Say It”

Kin Crew x LNY TNZ – No Limits EP

PINEO & LOEB – Free ft. Liinks & Kayo

Electronic Recording of the Year


grej – In Search Of…

*Rich Aucoin – United States*

Scientists of Sound – The Beginning (Of the Beginning of the End)

Sparkee – Moon Mist

Francophone Recording of the Year

Émilie Landry – Arroser les Fleurs

Joey Robin Haché – TRENTE

*Les Hay Babies – Boîte aux lettres*

Matt Boudreau – Armageddon

Menoncle Jason – La grosse piastre

Folk Recording of the Year

*David Myles – Leave Tonight*

Dylan Menzie – Lost In Dreams

Jennah Barry – Holiday

Rube & Rake – Leaving With Nothing

Sherman Downey – New Beautiful

Group Recording of the Year

Beòlach – All Hands

Jessica Rhaye & the Ramshackle Parade – Just Like a Woman: Songs of Bob Dylan

*Les Hay Babies – Boîte aux lettres*

Rube & Rake – Leaving With Nothing

Sorrey – In Full Bloom

Indigenous Artist of the Year

Alan Syliboy & The Thundermakers

Mike Bern


*Silver Wolf Band*

Wolf Castle

Inspirational Recording of the Year

*Jordan Musycsyn – Around The Fire*

Justin Fancy – Sure Beats a Good Time

Kristen Martell – Coming Home

Martine Kelsey – Sweet Hallelujah

Natasha Blackwood – Ease Back

Instrumental Recording of the Year

Beòlach – All Hands

grej – In Search Of…

*Maxim Cormier – Maxim and Gervais Cormier: Live at the Fortress of Louisbourg*

Sarah Hagen – Women of Note

Taktus – Mirrored Glass

Wrong Planet Band – Wrong Planet Band

Jazz Recording of the Year

Anteater – Anteater

Joe Bowden – ROOTS – Tales of the Urban Yoda

*Joel Miller – UNSTOPPABLE*

Lee Park – Lee Park

Loud Recording of the Year

*Diner Drugs – As Is*

Hero’s Last Rite – Behind the Darkest Days

Sonic Detour – Sonic Detour

Sound Drown – Selfish Reasons

WinterheartH – Riverbed Empire

Pop Recording of the Year

BRDGS – ie+

Kim Harris – Heirloom


Rachel Beck – Stronger Than You Know

*Sorrey – In Full Bloom*

R&B/Soul Recording of the Year

Kam Sparks – “Witness” feat. Jamie Sparks

*Keonté Beals – KING*

Rey D – “Loyal”

aRENYE – 23//97

Zamani – Outside

Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year

Atay & JAX – Last Night

*Classified – Time EP*

Owen O’Sound Lee – “Listen”

SHiFT FROM THA 902 – This Ones For You EP

Wolf Castle – Gold Rush

Rising Star Recording of the Year

Beauts – Dalliance

Braden Lam – Inside Four Walls

Hauler – Hauler

*Mike McKenna Jr. – At the Edge of the World*

Moira Bren – 6 Is Green

Rube & Rake – Leaving With Nothing

Rock Recording of the Year

*Beauts – Dalliance*

Chris Colepaugh – 2019

Kestrels – Dream or Don’t Dream

Like A Motorcycle – Dead Broke

Nap Eyes – Snapshot Of A Beginner

Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year

Beòlach – All Hands

Matthew Byrne – Matthew Byrne with the Lady Cove Women’s Choir – In Concert

*Maxim Cormier – Maxim and Gervais Cormier: Live at the Fortress of Louisbourg*

Pretty Archie – Running For Cover

Rum Ragged – The Thing About Fish

Solo Recording of the Year

Catherine MacLellan – Coyote

Classified – Time EP

David Myles – Leave Tonight

Dylan Menzie – Lost In Dreams

*Rose Cousins – Bravado*

Song of the Year

Classified – “Good News” feat. Breagh Isabel (Producer: Classified)

Like A Motorcycle – “Wide Awake” (Producer: Howard Redekopp)

Neon Dreams – “Sick of Feeling Useless” (Producer: Nathaniel Motte)

Rachel Beck – “Warrior” (Producer: Daniel Ledwell)

*Rich Aucoin – “Walls” (Producers: Rich Aucoin, Joel Waddell, Kevin Maher)*

Songwriter of the Year

*Catherine MacLellan*


David Myles

Joel Plaskett

Rose Cousins

Industry Awards

Artist Innovator of the Year (In light of COVID-19)

Adam Baldwin

Duo Concertante

Laurie LeBlanc

Stephen Lewis & The Big Band of Fun

The East Pointers – #Annedemic

Company of the Year

618 Entertainment INC

Atlantic Disc & DVD

The Citadel House

Sonic Concerts

*Sound of Pop*

Event of the Year

Celtic Colours International Festival – Celtic Colours International Festival 2020

*Levee on the Lake*

Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society – Saturdays in the Park

Shivering Songs

The Jibfest Weekender

Industry Innovator of the Year (In light of COVID-19)

Celtic Colours International Festival

Side Door

*The Cap*

The East

NSCC Music Business class of 2020 – The Revival Initiative

Live or Virtual Sound Engineer of the Year

Carter Snow

Michelle LaCour

Peter Gallant

*Peter Green*


Bruce Morel

Kate Butler / She Said Feck Records

Matthew Sampson

Roger Lockyer

*Sonic Entertainment Group*

Media Outlet of the Year

Canadian Beats

KIXX Country Network

Maritime Centre Stage

*The East*


Media Person of the Year

*Alex Cook*

Chris Pride

Greg Smith

Richard Lann

Producer of the Year

Chris Kirby


Jamie Foulds

John D.S. Adams

Corey LeRue

Studio Engineer of the Year

*Jamie Foulds*

John D.S. Adams

Mike “Sheppy” Shepherd

Paul Aarntzen

Scott Ferguson

Studio of the Year

FMP Matrix

Lakewind Sound Studios

Soundpark Studios

Stonehouse Sound

*The Sonic Temple*

Video Director of the Year

Catherine MacLellan and Tara MacLean (“This Storm” – Catherine MacLellan and Tara MacLean)

Mathieu Laprise (“Camping Colibri” – Raphaël Butler)

*Mr Mike Boyd (“Good News” feat. Breagh Isabel – Classified)*

Nicole C. Holland, Kat Shubaly (“Big Universe” – Jennah Barry)

Patrick Canning (“Weight In My Lungs” – Heavy Horses)

Visual Artist of the Year

Aaron Bishop

*Ashley Anne Clark*

Jessica Rhaye

Kt Lamond

Launch Media

Fans’ Choice Awards

Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year



David Myles

Jimmy Rankin

Lennie Gallant

Like A Motorcycle

Neon Dreams

Rich Aucoin

Rose Cousins

The East Pointers

Fans’ Choice Video of the Year

Andrew Waite – “Faith” (Director: Brendan Henry)

BRDGS – “Dancing Without Music” (Director: Kostadin Kolev)

Classified – “Good News” feat. Breagh Isabel (Director: Mike Boyd)

*Kellie Loder – “Molded Like A Monster” (Director: Ashlea Wessell)*

Kim Harris – “Once You Were Wondrous” (Director(s): Meaghan & Marie Wright
of Mirror Image Media)

Levi Rowan – “Let It Go” (Director(s): Levi Rowan, Alex Gayoso)

Mike McKenna Jr. – “At the Edge of the World” (Director: Danny Gillis and Siyi Liu (Broken Lighthouse Films)

Neon Dreams – “Sick of Feeling Useless” ( Director(s): Frank kadillac, Adrian

Rich Aucoin – “Walls” (Director: Jason Levangerie)

Rose Cousins – “The Benefits of Being Alone” (Director(s): Shebab Illyas & Rose Cousins)

Honorary Awards / Prix honorifiques 

Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction / Intronisation au Le Panthéon des auteurs et compositeurs canadiens:
Rita MacNeil

Bucky Adams Memorial Award / Prix ​​commémoratif Bucky Adams:  
The Gospel Heirs

Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award / Prix Dr. Helen Creighton pour l’ensemble des réalisations:
Joella Foulds

Industry Builder Award / Pilier de l’industrie de l’année: 
Jamie Steel

Musician’s Achievement Award / Prix pour réalisations exceptionnelles par un musicien ou une musicienne: 
Keith Mullins

Stompin’ Tom Awards / Prix Stompin’ Tom:
Wendy Bergfeldt (CB)
Peter Rowan (NB)
Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers (NL)
Dave Gunning (NS)
Tara MacLean (PE)

About ECMA

The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) is a regional collaboration of people in the music industry of Atlantic Canada that fosters, develops and celebrates East Coast music and its artists locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The ECMA annually produces the East Coast Music Awards: Festival & Conference, one of the top music industry events in Canada, inclusive of its International Export Buyers Program. The ECMA would like to acknowledge the financial support from the Province of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, FACTOR, MUSICACTION, and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund).

For more on the East Coast Music Association visit

About the author

Stephanie Beaumont

Storyteller/Creative Director/Producer/Host/Writer/Marketer/Designer/Dreamer/Coffee Lover/Movie Maniac/Red Sox Fan

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