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Get heard at the Kootenay Music Awards

Chad Hansen of the Kootenay Music Awards at last year
Chad Hansen of the Kootenay Music Awards at last year's awards banquet. This year's Kootenay Music Awards are currently seeking nominations.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Kootenay Music Awards are back for a second year of celebrating our homegrown talent.

Sponsored by the Nelson Brewing Company, and Black Press, the awards are currently accepting nominations for artists in every genre of music — from punk rock to folk bands and electronic producers. There's also awards for the year's best artist, album and song.

"If you're making music in the Kootenays and you have an MP3 you can send us, we want to hear from you," said Chad Hansen founder and president of the Kootenay Music Awards.

A panel of music industry professionals will listen to every submission and shortlist the top four or five entries in each of the 10 categories. Then it will be up to the public to decide with their online votes which artists deserve the titles. The winners will be announced at an awards banquet at Nelson's Spiritbar on May 10.

Hansen said the contest provides incredible exposure for the shortlisted artists.

"Last year, artists were getting 2,000 unique listens on the tracks up for awards," he said. "It's a really great opportunity for an up-and-comer or established artists alike to get exposed to new audiences in all of the communities in the Kootenays."

Last year it was Fernie's own Shred Kelly that went away with coveted title of Artist of the Year, while Nelson's The Automation was named best new band.

Hansen can't wait to see who will enter the competition this year.

"There's so much musical talent in the Kootenays," he said. "There's great bands just jamming in their basements or playing for the dinner crowd at local restaurants — we want to dig out those hidden gems."

With the help of Black Press community papers, including The Free Press, all the performers in the running for an award will be in the spotlight.

"The reach of the awards has grown exponentially," Hansen said. "We'll be exposing people to artists from Golden to Grand Forks and all the communities in between."

To nominate yourself or someone else for a Kootenay Music Award, go to kootenaymusicawards.ca and click "nominate" in the page banner.

Nominations close March 31 and online voting will run April 7 to 30.

Other sponsors for the event are AM Ford (Platinum), Selkirk College (Platinum), Vantage Point (Gold), Wapiti Music Festival (Gold), Kootenay Savings Credit Union (Gold), Bee Kissed Body Piercing (Gold), Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism (Gold) and Nelson's Ric's Lounge and Grill (Silver).

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