Resurrecting the Kootenay Music Awards

After a year-long hiatus the awards are returning thanks to Kootenay Co-op Radio.

Former Kootenay Music Award artist of the year Jesse Lee

Former Kootenay Music Award artist of the year Jesse Lee

They’re back from the dead.

The Kootenay Music Awards are returning after a year-long hiatus, and Kootenay Co-op Radio’s Evie Lavers has some big ideas for what’s coming next. As this year’s organizer, she wants to see artists get recognition not just in Nelson, but the whole Kootenay region.

“We’re going to Rossland, Revelstoke, Fernie and everywhere in between,” she told the Star.

“We want to acknowledge the whole region, and we’ve put together a good marketing campaign so we can reach all the artists and recording studios.”

You can either nominate yourself or someone else until Feb. 12.

“Seven of the awards can be submitted by SoundCloud, and the eighth award for best music video is to be submitted by a Facebook or YouTube link.”

In the past online voting has been involved, but to avoid people voting multiple times they’ve set up a new e-mail system.

“We’re removing the spam aspect of artists and bands going on every day and voting for themselves.”

The award categories are Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Breakthrough Artist, Best Music Video, Best Folks/Roots/Country Act, Best Rock/Punk/Metal Act, Best Electronic Producer and Song of the Year.

“With the dates, we’re taking everything from May 2015 to February 2017.”

The event will be in early March, and will include live performances from Kootenay musicians. They’re currently exploring their options for host. Sijay James from Onbeyond created all the art and graphic design for the awards. Kootenay Co-op Radio will be the beneficiaries of the event.

“Kootenay Co-op Radio has been working really hard lately to have some strong community involvement,” said Lavers.

“A few years ago I realized I listen to a lot of music, and I had the skills to help artists achieve their goals. If you spend your whole life playing violin in your room 12 hours a day, you might not have the skills to get that music heard.”

That’s where she comes in.

“Right now there’s music that isn’t being heard, that should be.”

She’s especially fond of local acts Moontricks and Erica Dee.

“For a small town, it’s insane how much talent there is in Nelson and the Kootenays. And people put so much effort into what they do. I find it actually so amazing. We’re taking this legacy and pushing it into the future.”