The Kootenay Music Awards are looking at long term fostering of the local music scene.

The Kootenay Music Awards are looking at long term fostering of the local music scene.

Music helping music in the Kootenays

Kootenay Music Awards will soon be more than just an annual contest that recognizes great music being made it the area

Kootenay Music Awards will soon be more than just an annual contest that recognizes great music being made it the area — it will also be a foundation with grant money to distribute to new artists.

The profits from this year’s awards will go into a bank account and later this year there will be a call for applications from artists who could use a couple hundred dollars to help in their musical pursuits.

“There’s not a huge amount of money to dole out, but if anyone can stretch a dollar, it’s a struggling musician,” said Kootenay Music Awards president Chad Hansen.

He expects to have at least $2,000 to distribute, which will be divided into a handful of $300 to $500 grants. Any musician living in the Kootenays will be eligible to apply.

“It could be used for recording time, to buy an instrument, or for gas money for a tour — anything that goes towards helping that musician fulfill their dream,” Hansen explained.

He expects the foundation will put out a call for applications in the early fall. A panel will be established to sift through the requests and choose who to cut the cheques to.

Hansen said the foundation wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for all the businesses who paid to sponsor the awards. Those sponsorship dollars paid the cost of hosting the awards with money left over to put into the foundation.

“This is something really positive and great to come out of these awards,” Hansen said. “Hopefully it will become cyclical, so kids that get money from the foundation might turn around and win awards down the road.”

To vote for your favourite artists in the Kootenay Music Awards go to kootenaymusicawards.com and click the “vote for your favourite group here!” icon just below the banner on the right side of the page. Register for an account and start casting your ballots. Voting closes April 30.

The winners will be announced at an awards event at Spirtbar on May 10.