Go big and go home with the Edmonton Music Awards

If Niagara Falls could have its own music awards, why couldn’t Edmonton?

You can’t argue with the logic that led local promoter/musician Danny Fournier to create the first-ever Edmonton Music Awards.

Fournier was struck with the idea while going through submissions for a songwriting contest called Rockstar 101, which he was running through his label Oddball Productions.

“When we went through all the submissions, we were first overwhelmed by some of the really awesome submissions. We had a whole bunch of unbelievable submissions. We’re all involved with the scene, but we didn’t know about these bands,” Fournier explains.

“As we were going through listening to them, we started making jokes about, ‘That would get the Best New Artist or Best Guitar Solo.’ We just started talking different categories. It was just joking around saying, ‘If there was an Edmonton Music Awards, this guy would’ve got the best drum fill.’”

The idea stuck, and soon it no longer sounded so funny.

“As I was driving home after that, it just really hit me. I started doing some research and I noticed that there’s a Toronto Music Awards, there’s a Victoria one, a Nanaimo one, there’s even a Niagara Falls Music Awards,” he says.

“And I was like, you know what, all these different cities have a local music awards, and Edmonton doesn’t. And for the amount of talent that’s in this city, we should.”

He was right. We should have. And now we do.

The EMAs (has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) run Sunday and Monday (March 27 and 28) at Haven Social Club.

Performers on Sunday night include White Lightning, Erica Viegas, Jezibelle, Fender Case and Jeff Morris. The five nominees for Best Music Video will also be screened that night, and awards will be presented for the fan-voted categories, which are Best Live Performance, Artist to Watch, and naturally, People’s Choice.

The rest of the awards will be handed out Monday, alongside performances by Colleen Brown, Douglas Mitchell, Red Shag Carpet, Wool on Wolves and The Provincial Archive.

Fournier used to work for BMG, where he ran a national account and did promo work for touring musicians including Three Days Grace, Brad Paisley and Avril Lavigne. He also played in a nu-metal band called Headruin that opened for Econoline Crush once upon a time.

So when he needed judges from outside of Edmonton to pick the winners, he had no shortage of contacts.

After he tallied up nominees based on the 700-plus submissions made online by local music fans, Fournier sent music from each nominee to ex-coworkers at record labels, as well as booking agencies, promoters and radio stations in Regina, Calgary and Vancouver.

“Basically anybody who worked in the industry but didn’t live in Edmonton, we reached out to,” he says.

He’s already psyched up to make next year’s award show bigger and better, and hints that he may have an announcement to make at Sunday or Monday’s show – if all goes as planned.

“Ideally, we want this to be an annual thing,” he says. I think that there’s more than enough talent in this city to do this every year. I’ve already heard from enough bands that are (asking), how do I get nominated for next year? So it’s definitely going to grow some legs and start running.”

Here are the nominees:


Best Live Performance

Acronycal @ The Starlite Room

Cara Albo @ Lyve On Whyte

DRT @ The Banger At The Hanger

Fire Next Time @ The Wunderbar

Jeff Morris @ Axis Cafe

Jezibelle @ The Taphouse (Alberta’s Last Band Standing)

One Way State @ The Pawn Shop

Radio For Help @ The Pawn Shop

The Red Threat @ The Avenue Theatre

White Lightning @ On The Rocks


People’s Choice

Al Brant

Cara Albo


Jeff Morris


Kayla Patrick

Kemo Treats

Ky Babyn

Michelle Molineux

The Red Threat

Artist To Watch

All Else Fails

Demon Republic

Erica Viegas


Lisa Nicole Grace

Mars & Venus



Red Shag Carpet

The Flash Jam

The Frolics


Best Album

Christian Hansen & The Autistics – Swans

Fire Next Time – Wild Rose Sorrow

Hot Panda – How Come I’m Dead

Jeff Morris – Original Songs On A Borrowed Guitar

Wool On Wolves – Grey Matter

Best Single

Jeff Morris – Blue Sky Falls

Jezibelle – Public Display

Michelle Molineux – Just Say Go

Mockteerah –The Long Kiss Good Night

The Weekend Kids – Twenty Something

Best Solo Artist

Al Brant

Cara Albo

Douglas Mitchell


Jeff Morris

Ky Babyn

Best Group

Christian Hansen & The Autistics

Mass Choir

The Provincial Archive

The Wheat Pool

Wool On Wolves

Best Female Artist

Ann Vriend

Cara Albo

Colleen Brown

Dani Jean

Kayla Patrick

Best Pop/Hip Hop/Dance Artist

Cara Albo

Christen Hansen & The Autistics


Kemo Treats

Michelle Molineux

Best Country Artist

Al Brant

Corb Lund

Hey Romeo

Kayla Patrick

The Wheat Pool

Best Roots/Folk

Eamon McGrath

Fire Next Time

Jeff Morris

Ky Babyn

The Provincial Archive

Wool On Wolves

Best Metal/Hard Rock Artist


Hollywood Assassyn



One Soul Thrust

Mockteerah – The Long Kiss Goodnight

My Sister Ocean – Please Don’t Say It’s So

Radio For Help – It’s Not Me, It’s You

Skidoo 32 – Robb Angus

The Weekend Kids – Twenty Something