|The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) invites members to submit applications for the 2021 East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference slated to take place in Sydney, NS from May 5-9. Submissions to be considered for awards and showcasing opportunities can be submitted HERE until October 23 at 5:00pm AST. The ECMA has made several important changes to the awards, the submission process, and the jury process to better reflect the wide range of communities that make up the organization’s membership and the Atlantic provinces at large. Those changes include:
- Creating a new African Canadian Artist of the Year award and designating the annual Bucky Adams Memorial Award as an honourary award
- Appointing three new members to the Board of Directors – Delvina Bernard, Patricia Bourque, and Eva George – who will spearhead committees for the African Canadian Artist of the Year Award, the Indigenous Artist of the Year Award, and the Francophone Recording of the Year Award, and use these committees to focus on outreach, relationship building, knowledge gathering, and collaborative recommendations within these marginalized communities
- Reinstituting the World Recording of the Year and Children’s Entertainer of the Year categories
- Making all showcase submissions free, reducing fees for all award applications to $15 per award, and shifting to a $20 flat fee for Export Buyers Showcase Program applications
Over the last six months, the ECMA has also curated a series of programs, content, and initiatives for its members centred on artist development, knowledge sharing, and audience growth across the sector and – in some cases – around the world. These ongoing initiatives include:
- Establishing new awards that address shifts in the industry due to COVID-19 and recognize excellence in innovation during the global pandemic
- Introducing a new submissions platform that provides a better online experience for both applicants and jury members
"We are happy to introduce all these new initiatives as we continue to work behind the scenes with our Board of Directors, our community liaisons, our artists, and our industry professionals to expand opportunities for the diverse voices who are integral to making our music industry in Atlantic Canada thrive," says Andy McLean, CEO of the ECMA. "We remain ever optimistic about returning to Sydney next year - adhering to the recommendations and guidelines established by public health officials - to continue shining a light on the world class talent the East Coast has to offer."
- Global Music Match – an online programme that unites 96 artists from 14 countries using social media and peer-to-peer collaboration to increase networks and exposure for export-ready artists internationally. Selected through a submission and jury process, featured ECMA artists for the pilot edition are: Adyn Townes, Catherine MacLellan, Christina Martin, Còig, Dave Gunning, Irish Mythen, Jimmy Rankin, Karate Kactus, Sandra Le Couteur, The Once, Tomato/Tomato, and Vishtèn.
- Radio ECMA and Luck, Grit & Hard Work – two new podcasts focused on emerging artists and artist development, which have, to date, featured interviews with Jah'mila, Zamani, Selby Evans, and The Swinging Belles. An episode launched on September 30 partnered with APTN to highlight Orange Shirt Day and speak with artists such as Deantha Edmunds, SHiFT FROM THA 902, Francis Hubert, and Alan Syliboy.
- Isolation Sessions – a webinar series focused on creating dialogue around mental wellness within the East Coast music industry.
- Mental Health One-On-Ones – individualized sessions by phone or by video conference with Errin Williams, a licensed clinical therapist and social worker with over 10 years of mental health counselling experience.
- The 2020 East Coast Music Awards presented by TD – a celebration of East Coast talent taped in quarantine, aired throughout the Atlantic provinces live on CBC Television, and available across the country via CBC Gem until July 2021.
- Unique content created for the Americana Music Festival & Conference: Thriving Roots 2020 – performances by Mo Kenney and Mama’s Broke that were shot by ECMA and featured during the festival’s “Thriving Roots Showcase” for international delegates.