Hello from Port Credit in Mississauga, Ontario !
What a week we have had and a fabulous run up to the Folk Music Ontario Conference right here in Mississauga on October 19th, we were invited to a business awards ceremony on October 11th, just a few days ago.
Here is what the awards were all about courtesy of Port Credit BIA...
Awarding Excellence in the Community
The 6th Annual Stars of South Mississauga Business Awards took place on Wednesday, October 11th. The Stars of South Mississauga Business Awards celebrates extraordinary local businesses that are unique to Mississauga South and make our community a more vibrant place to live. The Stars of Mississauga South Awards is presented by the Port Credit and Clarkson Village BIA and the office of Mississauga South MPP Charles Sousa.
The Port Credit BIA strongly values the entrepreneurial spirit of these businesses, and has a deep appreciation for the passion that drives them to work so hard day in and day out. Their leadership and commitment is the driving force behind growing our community and local economy. Small businesses are the backbone of our thriving village and the Stars of South Mississauga Business Awards takes the time to honour these worthy businesses for their outstanding community impact.
Each year members of the public are encouraged to nominate award-worthy local small businesses and submit their nominations through MPP Sousa’s constituency office.
In conjunction with the Port Credit BIA and Clarkson BIA, an expert judging panel reviews the nominations and make the final selections. The panel includes representatives from the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association, City of Mississauga Economic Development and Mississauga Board of Trade.
Congratulations to all the winners, as well as each of the local businesses nominated as Stars in our community ! Your passion and perseverance makes our community shine !
Community Impact Excellence – Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts
Home Based Excellence – Blues and Roots Radio
Hospitality Excellence – The Crooked Cue
Professional Service Excellence – Yoga Seven
Retail Service Excellence – CEO Boutique
We were absolutely thrilled to be able to accept the ' Star Of Mississauga Award ' for business excellence on behalf of everyone at Blues and Roots Radio .
It is very special to win awards, but when it is judged by our peers in the business community it has an extra special feeling, knowing that we won this for giving the independent artist a voice locally, provincially, nationally and internationally is amazing recognition for everyones hard work.
We truly could not have been here without the amazing contributions from everyone involved at the station, radio hosts, bloggers, reviewers, listeners, artists, managers, publicists and more.
A huge thank you to Charles Sousa MPP and his staff, Port Credit & Clarkson BIA's,
Ontario Business Improvement Area Association, City of Mississauga Economic Development, Mississauga Board of Trade, Richard Lalonde CRH Canada Inc and the sponsor of the award THN Publications.
In the presentation speech to Blues & Roots Radio it was mentioned that we not only worked tirelessly promoting artists locally and nationally across Canada, but also around the world and a special mention was given to the uniqueness and diversity of the offerings on the platform.
For that to be mentioned meant that the judges had taken time to visit the station and read and listen to what we were all about, it is extremely satisfying to know that what we had intended for the station from the start had been recognized as an award worthy platform.
A Canadian Musical Education
And that brings me to where I left off last week, the music direction and some of the brilliant shows we have on the schedule.
When I came to Canada over eight years ago I was introduced to Craig Mills who had a radio show on a local online radio station, I was asked by Craig to be a guest on the show which is called The Eastern Passage, to talk about my music, he played contemporary folk music by independent artists mainly from the maritime provinces of Canada, but also music that had a connection to there, he did some amazing interviews with artists and I later realized that his connections were impeccable, every artist held him in the highest regard, for not only did he play their music, he also attended their shows in Toronto and Mississauga when he could to support them. I also realized that his research was on a different level, when I arrived at the studio he outlined what the format would be and the questions he had prepared were in a book in front of him, during the interview we were chatting about my piping career and he mentioned a little known fact about my tutor, I was gobsmacked, not many people knew the fact but Craig had taken the time to delve into it and that impressed me a lot.
We have since grown to be great friends and he, over the course of the last six or seven years, has educated me, over a beer or two, on the names of artists, where they are from, and music I should be listening to, quite a few artists from Newfoundland, as that is where Craig is originally from, and a whole lot more from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and beyond.
Dave Gunning was the first name he threw at me ..... an amazing performer from Nova Scotia, a multi award winner and one of the best songwriters Canada has produced in recent times. Dave is also a very nice guy who tours relentlessly across the country, he is an amazing storyteller too ( An east coast trait ) he will have you in stitches between every song and then deliver killer originals.
Over the span of his career, he has released ten albums, received a
Juno Award nomination and has been awarded two Canadian Folk Music Awards and recognized with eight East Coast Music Awards. He is known for the incorporation of story telling into his live show. In particular, Dave relates anecdotes of notable characters from Pictou County and performs impressions of musicians that he has worked with over the years.
Dave is currently on the road touring with his friend and musical partner JP Cormier
JP is originally from Ontario but now lays his hat in the east coast and
is a Canadian bluegrass / folk / Celtic singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. To date he was won thirteen East Coast Music Awards and one Canadian Folk Music Award.
I have only mentioned two musicians so far, the list is endless that Craig has introduced to through his show and friendship, I could be here for ever telling you about them, but if you tune in to the BRR Discover channel on the station at 6pm EST every Sunday you will be given an introduction to music like that and more.
What became really interesting was to learn about Craig's love of country and roots music, and again his knowledge is boundless, when we had announced our intention to move towards exclusive shows Craig pitched his idea for a show called The Lost Highway.
It's a mixture of old and new artists playing classic to contemporary Americana, Alt- Country, Roots and more, on the playlists you'll find John Prine alongside new Canadian outfit Murder Murder.
Based in Northern Ontario, Murder Murder are a full string band with suitcase percussion who create a unique blend of bluegrass and outlaw country. Virtuosic musicianship and evocative songwriting are backed by a wealth of original and traditional ballads.
and Steve Earle might be followed by amazing Toronto based singer / songwriter Shawna Caspi.
Shawna performs solo, but there’s a whole band under her fingertips. A mighty singer, a story sculptor, and a truth teller, she has toured across Canada and the USA and believes in poetry and the power of one person and one instrument, accompanying herself with a remarkable lyrical fingerpicking guitar style. Shawna loves the landscapes of her travels and while weaving them into her songs, she has also been portraying them on canvases, painting one-of-a-kind works of art inspired by the rich scenery she sees on tour.
When thinking about placing the show on our schedule it seemed a great fit for our Friday evening roster, we have a whole afternoon from 3pm EST onwards dedicated to shows out of the UK, ( I'll go in to some of these shows at a later date ) When they go to sleep in Europe we wanted to present shows geared towards North America, Canada and Australia listeners and we already had a fantastic show out of Gainesville, Florida presented by Ken Stearns called HeartBeatTrue Radio playing ' Wide Open Country, whatever the heck that is ! ' as Ken puts it.
There are voice links in this show that are done by Ken's children and it is a wonderful and at times amusing way to link songs, W.C. Fields said ' never work with kids ' but Ken holds it all together and plays some of the most diverse and enjoyable music
New music from artists like Noah Gundersen
and Edan Archer
Ken also devotes whole shows to music by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Tom Petty and much more, it has to be heard to be believed, first airing at 9pm EST on Fridays and as with most of our shows repeats can be found during the week.
Ken's show is anchored out of WGOT 100.1 Gainesville
As I was saying last week it amused me, then delighted me to learn that hosts were sharing tracks from their playlists giving an even wider audience to some of the artists and it has really added a fantastic dynamic to shows that follow each other.
Ken is proving to be a bit of a legend amongst other hosts and I am so glad he chose to be part of the schedule, he freely sends tracks scurrying north of the border and across the atlantic for then to be aired on equally cool shows.
It's created a global team atmosphere which is so good to be a part of, that emanates out to the enjoyable experience listeners have growing our audience around the world and it has contributed a great deal to the award that we were given on Wednesday.
Recognizing the uniqueness and diversity was the best compliment we could have been given. Thank you to all the wonderful station contributors for what you do.
I am off to celebrate with a Guinness !
Until next week