Hillsburn, Zamani and Toney multiple winners at East Coast Music Awards 2022

FREDERICTON, NB — The return of the East Coast Music Awards to celebrate Atlantic Canadian artists in person concluded its festival and conference week in Fredericton with a second awards presentation over the weekend.

A number of artists made their way back and forth on the catwalk at the Sunday Music and Industry Awards Brunch hosted by Stephen Antle at the Delta Fredericton Hotel, following Thursday’s awards gala evening at the Aiken University Center. Multiple winners include Halifax band Hillsburn, singer-songwriter Zamani, Mi’kmaw violinist and songwriter Morgan Toney, Ottawa-based Halifax duo Paragon Cause and singer-songwriter country of Newfoundland and Labrador Mallory Johnson.

Halifax band Hillsburn won three times this weekend’s East Coast Music Awards in Fredericton, for their album Slipping Away. – Laughing Heart Music

Halifax indie pop band Hillsburn proved their perseverance with their third ECMA 2022 on Sunday, adding pop recording of the year to their two Thursday awards for album and group recording of the year for their third album Slipping Away.

“This album was absolutely a very pandemic album. We were in Vancouver recording it just as COVID hit, and we were basically self-isolating in an Airbnb,” Hillsburn’s Rosanna Burrill said at the band of the year awards on Thursday.

“We finished it over Skype, and it’s very strange, as many artists know, to release an album when you can’t leave your house. So we all felt a bit removed from the release of this record, and it means more than it normally would to be recognized for something we’ve put so much work into.


ECMA AWARDS PART II (May 8) from Rockbound Productions on Vimeo.


At the brunch, Zamani picked up her second award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for her single Selfish, following her second consecutive African-Canadian Artist of the Year award and her performance on the show. Thursday, broadcast by Rogers and streamed live. on Youtube.

“It’s truly a special honor, and I want to thank my friends, family and fellow musicians for always supporting my music and participating in my concerts, big and small,” Zamani said Thursday, noting his support. parents, musicians Delvina Bernard of Four the Moment and guitarist and educator Harvi Millar.

We'koma'q First Nation musician Morgan Toney won the ECMAs for Indigenous Artist and Inspirational Recording of the Year for his debut First Flight in Fredericton this weekend.  - Christopher Connors
We’koma’q First Nation musician Morgan Toney won the ECMAs for Indigenous Artist and Inspirational Recording of the Year for his debut First Flight in Fredericton this weekend. – Christopher Connors

From Cape Breton, Wagmatcook fiddler and singer-songwriter Morgan Toney doubled his ECMA tally on Sunday by winning Inspirational Recording of the Year for his debut album First Flight, in addition to being named Indigenous artist of the year on Thursday.

On Thursday’s telecast, Toney shared the stage with Ashley MacIsaac of Creignish for a dazzling display of blazing fiddles as well as performing his updated arrangement of the traditional Mi’kmaq song Ko’jua.

“After three years, Morgan Toney finally did it,” Toney said at Thursday’s gala, dedicating his first award to his mother Jackie as she battled cancer at an Inverness hospital.

“It means so much to me as a Mi’kmaq individual to stand on this stage, we did it. I want to say a huge thank you to (collaborator and producer) Keith Mullins who started this journey with me. When he first saw me three years ago, he had a vision, and I fulfilled it, and now we’re here.

Also among the brunch’s multiple winners was Paragon Cause, whose album Autopilot earned the duo Electronic Recording and Rising Star of the Year awards.

At the Sunday brunch, performers included Prince Edward Island hip-hop queen LXVNDR, Nova Scotia blues record of the year winners Campbell & Johnston and country traditionalist from Charlottetown Scott MacKay, who won Country Recording of the Year for Stupid Cupid.

Other notable Nova Scotian wins over the weekend included Truro guitarist Amy Brandon for Classical Composer of the Year, Halifax soprano Maureen Batt & Grej for Classical Recording of the year for Lighthouse, Pineo & Loeb’s Dance Recording of the Year for Good Vibe Feeling, and an ECMA Folk Recording of the Year for Hants County family trio, the Gilberts, for Tell Me.

Nova Scotian jazz pianist Steve Amirault’s Montreal Jazz Trio album was named Jazz Recording of the Year, Halifax band Botfly won LOUD Recording of the Year for Lower Than Love, and the project Cape Breton pianist Adam Young’s genre-crossing collaborative, Yearbook, won the Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year.


On Thursday, the first round of the East Coast Music Awards was presented at a gala at the Aiken University Center in Fredericton.


Notable ECMA industry winners include Business of the Year for Halifax-based concert booking platform Side Door Access, Management of the Year honors for Sonic Entertainment Group, and studio of the year for its Sonic Temple space, producer of the year for Neon Dreams and Corey LeRue, Breagh Isabel collaborator and studio engineer of the year for Thomas Stajcer at Fang Recording in downtown Dartmouth.

Sunday’s honorary awards included a Bucky Adams Memorial Award for Halifax hip-hop legend Tachichi (Tyrone Thompson) and the Dr Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award for international duo Cutting Crew, formed by the late Dartmouth guitarist Kevin MacMichael and singer Nick Van Edde.



Nova Scotia’s nominees for the annual Stompin’ Tom Awards were Cape Breton troubadour and Getting Dark Again composer Buddy MacDonald and veteran Halifax indie musician and Echo Chamber studio founder Charles Austin.

At the East Coast Music Awards: Festival and Conference in Fredericton, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage was also on hand to promote the event’s return to Halifax in 2023 for its 35th anniversary celebrations.

Appearing on the Thursday night show, he touted Halifax’s rich musical history, strong cultural communities and status as a welcoming city for immigrants and refugees, as well as a title related to the festive activities taking place take place during ECMA week.

“I also want you to know, and it’s a fact, that Halifax was chosen a few years ago as one of the top 20 cities to party in Before You Die,” Savage said.

“I mean no harm to anyone, but if you’re in Halifax you can have a little fun.

East Coast Music Awards 2022

African-Canadian Artist of the Year: Zamani

Album of the Year: Hillsburn – Eclipse

Blues Recording of the Year: Campbell & Johnston’s Black Market Band – self-titled

Children’s Animator of the Year: Gordie (Crazylegs) MacKeeman

Classical Composer of the Year: Amy Brandon

Classic Recording of the Year: Maureen Batt & Grej – Lighthouse

Contemporary Roots Recording of the Year: Raven Quote – Can’t Hold the Light

National Recording of the Year: Scott MacKay – Stupid Cupid

Dance Recording of the Year: PINEO & LOEB – Good Vibe Feeling

Electronic recording of the year: Paragon Cause – Autopilot

Francophone album of the year: Chloé Breault – Cretins Beach

Folk Recording of the Year: The Gilberts – Tell me

World Recording of the Year: Small Fish – The Drift

Collective recording of the year: Hillsburn – Getting Away

Indigenous Artist of the Year: Morgan Toney

Inspirational Recording of the Year: Morgan Toney – First Flight

Instrumental Recording of the Year: Andy Creeggan – Andiwork IV

Jazz Recording of the Year: Steve Amirault – Montreal Jazz Trio

Strong recording of the year: Botfly – Lower Than Love

Pop Recording of the Year: Hillsburn – Getting Away

R&B/Soul Recording of the Year: Zamani – Selfish

Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year: One8tea – Breakdown 2

Rising Star Recording of the Year: Paragon Cause – Autopilot

Rock Recording of the Year: Kelly McMichael – Waves

Roots/Traditional Recording of the Year: Adam Young – Directory

Solo recording of the year: Andrew Waite – self-titled

Song of the Year: Breagh Isabel – Girlfriends / Dylan Menzie – A Heart That Doesn’t Want Mine

Songwriter of the Year: Rube & Rake

Industry Awards

Innovative Artist of the Year (In Light of COVID-19): Mallory Johnson

Business of the Year: Side door access

Event of the year: Dam on the lake

Industry Innovator of the Year (in light of COVID-19): Nova Scotia’s Ultimate Online Cooking Party

Management/Manager of the Year: Sonic Entertainment Group

Media of the year: Light First Fridays

Media Personality of the Year: Greg Smith

Producer of the Year: Corey LeRue

Studio Engineer of the Year: Thomas Stajcer

Workshop of the year: The Sonic Temple

Video director of the year: Cecile Johnson

Visual Artist of the Year: Mark Young

Fans’ Choice Award

Fans’ Choice Artist of the Year: justin fancy

Fan Choice Video of the Year: Mallory Johnson

Honorary awards

Induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame: 1755 – The world is much changed

Director’s Special Achievement: Patsy Gallant

Bucky Adams Memorial Award: Tachichi – Tyrone Thompson

Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award: Cutting team

Industry Builder Award: The Attic Music – Carol Doucet

Musician’s Award of Excellence: Yvette Lorraine

Stompin’ Tom Rewards

Buddy MacDonald (BC)

Charles Austin (NS)

Scott Parsons (PEI)

Gordon Quinton (NL)

Jean Surette (NB)

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