Although he says all of his four ECMA nominations are equally great, Lyons Brook’s Dave Gunning thinks his nod for Fan’s Choice Video of the Year is especially special.
He says it creates a buzz for the whole team on the “These Hands” video.
The video, filmed inside the IWK Health Centre in Halifax and directed by Scott Simpson, was launched during the annual telethon on CTV, and serves as a tribute to the IWK community.
“This helps them a little bit,” Gunning says.
The song has given him many acknowledgements. “These Hands,” written with Pictou County country star George Canyon, won Song of The Year at the 2013 ECMA awards.
Fitting within the window for two award ceremonies, it’s garnered two nominations this year, the other being Songwriter of the Year.
“I’m still proud of the record,” he said about how it feels to be recognized again for this particular song and album.
“No More Pennies” was given a nod for Solo Recording of The Year.
He’s also up for Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year.
He was surprised to hear he made the cut, and feels lucky.
“It’s always great to be nominated.”
However, he’s quick to point out that there are many more talented musicians on the East Coast who aren’t getting recognized.
He says the nominations don’t change anything he’s doing.
Gunning has been out on the road a lot this year. One of his many performances was in Lloydminister, which straddles the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan, for the Stolen from a Hockey Card concert following his win in CBC’s Song Quest competition.
He’s also been writing new material, and working as producer on the latest album for New Glasgow’s Jim Dorie.
Gunning had intended to go to the East Coast Music Week celebrations in Charlottetown anyway. He’s been attending the events since 1991.
“It’s incredible to be a part of that.”
He notes that over his 20 years of professionally playing, he’s noticed so many more great artists emerge, and the overall quality keep improving.
He has many awards to his name, including ones from the ECMAs, Music Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Unlike Gunning, this year marks the first nomination for Trenton-bred E.B. Anderson.
E.B. Anderson and The Resolutes are up for Rising Star Recording of the Year for “Broken Down Horse.”
Anderson said the Halifax-based band had been holding out hope to be selected.
“I feel like I’ve already won on a personal level.”
He said they’re pretty excited.
He put a lot of work into the album, he said, and he’s glad to see it paying off.
“It’s worth something to me, even if no one else.”
Anderson isn’t the only one for a first-time nomination.
Glasgow Square Theatre is up for Venue of the Year.
In the past, it has been nominated at Nova Scotia Music Week, but this is a first for an ECMA.
The nomination for the venue, which plays host to the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee, alongside a number of other shows and events, was a slight surprise to manager Carlton Munroe. He admits he thought the Jubilee had a chance of being nominated again after receiving their Event of the Year nomination last year, which Halifax Pop Explosion eventually won.
Munroe believes the reason for the nomination is the ability to transform the venue for different styles of shows and the intimacy of their indoor stage.
“I think what we try to do here is reflect the community we live in and the music that is around here,” he said. “We aren’t one of the bigger venues in the region, but there is a lot of intimacy to our shows and it’s almost like you’re on top of the performer while they’re playing. That’s the comment we get most often from people at shows, that they feel so close to the performers.
“We also have the diversity at the venue from our indoor stage to hosting events on outdoor stage, which allows us to have very different events. There is no other venue like it in Atlantic Canada.”
Munroe added that if it wasn’t for the number of talented musicians who played at Glasgow Square over the last year they wouldn’t have a chance of receiving the nomination among other great venues such as The Carleton Music Bar and Grill and Harmony House Theatre.
Other nominees with Pictou County roots include George Canyon, The Stanfields, and Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys.
Classified, David Myles, and Paper Lions lead the list with six nominations each. Amelia Curran is up for five, while Gunning and Mo Kenney each have four.
With files from Christopher Cameron
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda
Pictou County nominations
E.B. Anderson & The Resolutes
– Rising Star Recording of the Year for “Broken Down Horse”
– Country Recording of the Year for “Classics II”
– Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year
– Fan’s Choice Video of the Year for “These Hands” (director Scott Simpson)
– Solo Recording of the Year for “No More Pennies”
– Songwriter of the Year for “These Hands” (written with George Canyon)
Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys
– Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year for “Pickin N Clickin”
– Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year
– Venue of the Year
– Blues Recording of the Year for “The Fortunate Few”