Ontario, Quebec sweep folk awards
Cockburn shut out as Anne Lindsay, Creaking Tree string quartet lead prize list

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Sunday, 2 December 2007 - Central Canada-based musicians ganged up on the rest of the country at the third annual Canadian Folk Music Awards last night, sweeping 15 of 18 prizes during a celebration of all things folk at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Toronto led the charge.

That city's fiddler Anne Lindsay won Best Solo Instrumentalist and shared Producer of the Year with her co-producer Oliver Schroer for her sophomore album, News From Up the Street. The Creaking Tree String Quartet, also from Toronto, won the Best Group Instrumentalist and Pushing the Boundaries awards for their third album, The Soundtrack.

With Toronto-to-Quebec-City-corridor musicians like Tanglefoot, Elphin, Ont.-based David Francey and Hugo Fleury, of the recently disbanded group Polemil Bazar, toting up wins, westerners -- including Winnipeg's Grammy-nominated the Duhks -- took home a scant three trophies. Maritimers, despite a clutch of names among the 90 nominees, went winless.

Last night, though, was about harmony, not regionalism. Toronto's Rita Chiarelli showed that by gamely stumbling through a few lines of French while accepting the Solo World Artist award for her album Cuore: The Italian Sessions.

CBC Radio's Shelagh Rogers and Quebec musician Benoit Bourque hosted the evening, which opened with the sweet, jaunty sounds of guitar and fiddle greeting 500 folk fans as they entered the museum's towering Grand Hall. Other musicians, including Vishten, T. Nile and Ottawa-based Galitcha, performed during the evening, their tunes a Canada-worthy mosaic of everything from Northern Indian to Celtic influences.

"We had the best sound check we've ever had today," producer Bill Garrett said before the show. Garrett added that over the past three years, the event has become an integral part of the Canadian folk scene. "At first, it was, 'Oh God, not another awards show.' But it's been really well accepted."

There were, as befits any awards show, some surprises. Veteran Bruce Cockburn was bumped four times from the winners' circle. Upstart Sarah Noni Metzner, who took Best Solo Artist for Daybreak Mourning, was among Cockburn's bouncers.

"I'm not often rendered speechless, but I was then," said Metzner later. "Bruce is a huge hero of mine." Last night also saw legendary record producer and music impresario Samuel Gesser winning the Canadian Museum of Civilization's first-ever Resonance Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to Canada's musical heritage. Gesser was instrumental in presenting the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, violinist Jean Carignan and Glenn Gould to the Canadian public and the world.

~ by Patrick Langston - The Ottawa Citizen ( The Ottawa Citizen 2007)

~bobbi wisby
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This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.