Maple Blues Awards

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The Maple Blues Awards are Canada’s blues awards, "honouring the finest in Canadian blues". They are the only comprehensive national best in blues awards program. The program's goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement. The Maple Blues Awards have been presented by the Toronto Blues Society since their inception in 1997.[1][2]

The nominees are selected by a distinguished panel of some 50+ blues experts. The panel includes radio hosts, journalists, and festival organizers regionally distributed across Canada. Members of the Nominating Panel are not eligible for any of the awards.

Nominees are voted for by blues fans from across the country. In 2011, the voting process was altered, and the Instrument categories (guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drums & bass) were voted on by the Nominating Panel. The remainder of the categories were voted on by the public.

The winners of the Maple Blues Awards are announced at the Annual Maple Blues Awards Gala in Toronto. This evening is Canada's national annual celebration of homegrown blues talent. The evening also includes musical performances by the Maple Blues Band, composed entirely of Maple Blues Awards winners and nominees.

Current Award Categories[edit]

  • Entertainer of the Year
  • Electric Act of the Year
  • Acoustic Act of the Year
  • Male Vocalist of the Year
  • Female Vocalist of the Year
  • New Artist/Group of the Year
  • International Artist of the Year
  • Recording of the Year
  • Guitar Player of the Year
  • Harmonica Player of the Year
  • Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year
  • Horn Player of the Year
  • Drummer of the Year
  • Bassist of the Year
  • Songwriter of the Year
  • Blues Booster of the Year
  • Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)

Winners By Year[edit]

The 1st Annual Maple Blues Awards (1997)[edit]

The 1st Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Colin James
Acoustic Act of the Year Colin James
Electric Act of the Year Fathead
New Artist of the Year Robin Bank$ Blues Band
Male Vocalist of the Year Colin James
Female Vocalist of the Year Rita Chiarelli
International Artist of the Year B.B. King
Producer of the Year Colin Linden
SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Chris Whiteley
Guitarist of the Year Colin James
Harmonica Player of the Year Carlos del Junco
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Van "Piano Man" Walls
Horn Player of the Year Johnny Ferriera
Drummer of the Year Maureen Brown
Bassist of the Year Gary Kendall
Recording of the Year Colin James - National Steel
Media Person of the Year Holger Petersen
Blues With A Feeling Award Long John Baldry

The 2nd Annual Maple Blues Awards (1998)[edit]

The 2nd Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Colin James
Acoustic Act of the Year Rick Fines
Electric Act of the Year Colin James and the Little Big Band
Male Vocalist of the Year Colin James
Female Vocalist of the Year Rita Chiarelli
International Artist of the Year B.B. King
Producer of the Year Colin James
New Artist of the Year Tyler Yarema and his Rhythm
Guitarist of the Year Colin James
Harmonica Player of the Year Carlos del Junco
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Van "Piano Man" Walls
Horn Player of the Year Chris Whiteley
Drummer of the Year Maureen Brown
Bassist of the Year Terry Wilkins
SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Colin Linden
Recording of the Year Colin James - Colin James and the Little Big Band II
Blues Booster of the Year Mark Monahan
Blues With A Feeling Award Jackie Washington

The 3rd Annual Maple Blues Awards (1999)[edit]

The 3rd Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Colin James
Acoustic Act of the Year Rick Fines
Electric Act of the Year Fathead
Male Vocalist of the Year Chuck Jackson
Female Vocalist of the Year Rita Chiarelli / Sue Foley
International Artist of the Year B.B. King
New Artist/Group of the Year Raoul & The Big Time
Guitarist of the Year Teddy Leonard (Fathead)
Harmonica Player of the Year Michael Pickett
Songwriter of the Year Morgan Davis
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Tyler Yarema
Horn Player of the Year Pat Carey (Downchild Blues Band)
Drummer of the Year Maureen Brown
Bassist of the Year Gary Kendall
Recording of the Year Jack de Keyzer - Down in the Groove
Producer of the Year Alec Fraser, Morgan Davis & Colin Linden
Blues Booster of the Year Brent Staeben (Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival)
Blues With A Feeling Award Michael Pickett

The 4th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2000)[edit]

The 4th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Sue Foley
Acoustic Act of the Year Morgan Davis
Electric Act of the Year Steve Hill
Male Vocalist of the Year Colin James
Female Vocalist of the Year Sue Foley
International Artist of the Year B.B. King
New Artist of the Year Carson Downey Band
Guitarist of the Year Sue Foley
Harmonica Player of the Year Carlos del Junco
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Michael Fonfara
Horn Player of the Year Pat Carey (Downchild)
Drummer of the Year Murray Downey
Bass Player of the Year Gary Kendall
Songwriter of the Year Sue Foley
Recording of the Year Sue Foley - Love Comin' Down
Producer of the Year Colin Linden
Blues Booster of the Year Ralph Stordeur
Blues With A Feeling Award Jack de Keyzer

The 5th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2001)[edit]

The 5th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Sue Foley
Acoustic Act of the Year Michael Jerome Browne
Electric Act of the Year Paul Reddick & The Sidemen
Male Vocalist of the Year John Mays (Fathead)
Female Vocalist of the Year Sue Foley
International Artist of the Year Duke Robillard
New Artist/Group of the Year Big Mark & The Blues Express
Guitarist of the Year Sue Foley
Harmonica Player of the Year Tortoise Blue (Big Daddy G)
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Richard Bell
Horn Player of the Year Pat Carey (Downchild)
Drummer of the Year Tom Bona
Bass Player of the Year Stephen Barry
Songwriter of the Year Paul Reddick
Recording of the Year Paul Reddick & The Sidemen - Rattlebag
Producer of the Year Colin Linden
Blues Booster of the Year Fred Litwin (NorthernBlues Music)
Blues With A Feeling Award Jeff Healey

The 6th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2002)[edit]

The 6th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Sue Foley
Acoustic Act of the Year Harry Manx
Electric Act of the Year Sue Foley
Male Vocalist of the Year John Mays (Fathead)
Female Vocalist of the Year Sue Foley
International Artist of the Year Duke Robillard
New Artist of the Year David Rotundo & The Blue Canadians
Guitarist of the Year David Gogo
Harmonica Player of the Year Michael Pickett
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Horn Player of the Year Pat Carey (Downchild)
Drummer of the Year Tom Bona
Bass Player of the Year Gary Kendall
Songwriter of the Year Sue Foley
Recording of the Year Sue Foley - Where The Action Is
Producer of the Year Colin Linden
Blues Booster of the Year Andrew Galloway
Blues With A Feeling Award Chuck Jackson

The 7th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2003)[edit]

The 7th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Jack de Keyzer
Acoustic Act of the Year Harry Manx
Electric Act of the Year Jack de Keyzer
Male Vocalist of the Year Morgan Davis
Female Vocalist of the Year Suzie Vinnick
International Artist of the Year Duke Robillard
New Artist/Group of the Year Rockit 88 Band
Guitarist of the Year Jack de Keyzer
Harmonica Player of the Year Carlos del Junco
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Horn Player of the Year Shirley Jackson
Drummer of the Year Tom Bona
Bass Player of the Year Shane Scott
Songwriter of the Year Morgan Davis
Recording of the Year Morgan Davis - Painkiller
Producer of the Year Alec Fraser & Morgan Davis
Blues Booster of the Year Elaine Bomberry
Blues With A Feeling Award Mel Brown

The 8th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2004)[edit]

The 8th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Matt Minglewood
Acoustic Act of the Year Sue Foley
Electric Act of the Year JW-Jones Blues Band
Male Vocalist of the Year John Mays (Fathead)
Female Vocalist of the Year Sue Foley
International Artist of the Year B.B. King
New Artist of the Year Jimmy Bowskill
Guitarist of the Year David Gogo
Harmonica Player of the Year Carlos del Junco
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Michael Fonfara
Horn Player of the Year Pat Carey (Downchild)
Drummer of the Year Tom Bona
Bass Player of the Year Alec Fraser
Songwriter of the Year Morgan Davis
Recording of the Year Sue Foley - Change
Producer of the Year Colin Linden and Janiva Magness
Blues Booster of the Year Brian Slack
Blues With A Feeling Award Jackie Richardson

The 9th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2005)[edit]

The 9th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Downchild Blues Band
Acoustic Act of the Year Harry Manx
Electric Act of the Year Downchild Blues Band
Male Vocalist of the Year Paul Reddick
Female Vocalist of the Year Dawn Tyler Watson
International Artist of the Year B.B. King
New Artist/Group of the Year Garrett Mason
Guitarist of the Year Jack de Keyzer
Harmonica Player of the Year Carlos del Junco
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Horn Player of the Year Chris Whiteley
Drummer of the Year Mike Fitzpatrick
Bass Player of the Year Gary Kendall
Songwriter of the Year Paul Reddick
Recording of the Year Downchild Blues Band - Come On In
Producer of the Year Colin Linden
Blues Booster of the Year Richard Flohil
Blues With A Feeling Award Danny Marks

The 10th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2006)[edit]

The 10th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Downchild Blues Band
Acoustic Act of the Year Hot Todday/Isaac & Blewitt
Electric Act of the Year Colin James
Male Vocalist of the Year Jim Byrnes
Female Vocalist of the Year Suzie Vinnick
International Artist of the Year Keb' Mo'
New Artist of the Year Ndidi Onukwulu
Guitarist of the Year John Campbelljohn
Harmonica Player of the Year Carlos del Junco
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Horn Player of the Year Chris Whiteley
Drummer of the Year Geoff Arsenault
Bass Player of the Year Suzie Vinnick
Songwriter of the Year Rick Fines & Suzie Vinnick
Recording of the Year Jim Byrnes - House of Refuge
Blues With A Feeling Award Colin Linden

The 11th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2007)[edit]

The 11th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Colin James
Acoustic Act of the Year Harry Manx & Kevin Breit
Electric Act of the Year Colin James & The Little Big Band
Male Vocalist of the Year Chuck Jackson
Female Vocalist of the Year Dawn Tyler Watson
International Artist of the Year Watermelon Slim and the Workers
New Artist/Group of the Year Thom Swift
Guitarist of the Year Jack de Keyzer
Harmonica Player of the Year David Rotundo
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Michael Fonfara
Horn Player of the Year Pat Carey
Drummer of the Year Mike Fitzpatrick
Bass Player of the Year Gary Kendall
Songwriter of the Year Harry Manx
Recording of the Year Colin James - Colin James & The Little Big Band: 3
Blues Booster of the Year Brad Wheeler
Blues With A Feeling Award Big Dave McLean

The 12th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2008)[edit]

In 2008, the late Jeff Healey and his band members won 7 of the 17 awards presented.[3]

The 12th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Jeff Healey
Acoustic Act of the Year Harry Manx
Electric Act of the Year Jeff Healey
Male Vocalist of the Year Jon Mays (Fathead)
Female Vocalist of the Year Suzie Vinnick
International Artist of the Year Taj Mahal
New Artist of the Year Daddy Long Legs
Guitarist of the Year Jeff Healey
Harmonica Player of the Year Steve Marriner
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Dave Murphy
Horn Player of the Year Pat Carey
Drummer of the Year Al Webster
Bass Player of the Year Alec Fraser
Songwriter of the Year Paul Reddick
Recording of the Year Jeff Healey - Mess of Blues
Blues Booster of the Year Rob Bowman
Blues With A Feeling Award Amos Garrett

The 13th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2009)[edit]

The Toronto Blues Society held its 13th annual Maple Blues Awards ceremony on January 18th, 2010 at the brand new Koerner Hall at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.[4]

The 13th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year MonkeyJunk[5]
Acoustic Act of the Year Harry Manx
Electric Act of the Year MonkeyJunk
Male Vocalist of the Year Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk)
Female Vocalist of the Year Suzie Vinnick
International Artist of the Year Taj Mahal
New Artist/Group of the Year Blackburn
Guitarist of the Year Tony D (MonkeyJunk)
Harmonica Player of the Year Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk)
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Michael Fonfara
Horn Player of the Year Chris Whiteley
Drummer of the Year Bucky Berger (Fathead)
Bass Player of the Year Alec Fraser
Songwriter of the Year Chris Whiteley & Diana Braithwaite
Recording of the Year Jeff Healey - Songs From The Road
Blues With A Feeling Award Chris Whiteley

The 14th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2010)[edit]

The 14th Annual Maple Blues Awards
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Matt Andersen
Acoustic Act of the Year Matt Andersen
Electric Act of the Year MonkeyJunk
Male Vocalist of the Year Jon Mays (Fathead)
Female Vocalist of the Year Shakura S'Aida
International Artist of the Year Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band
New Artist of the Year Mike "Shrimp Daddy" Reid
Guitarist of the Year Garrett Mason
Harmonica Player of the Year Steve Marriner
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Julian Fauth
Horn Player of the Year Chris Whiteley
Drummer of the Year Matt Sobb
Bass Player of the Year Keith Picot
Songwriter of the Year Paul Reddick & Colin Linden
Recording of the Year Downchild - I Need A Hat
Blues Booster of the Year Gord MacAulay
Blues With A Feeling Award Rita Chiarelli

The 15th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2011)[edit]

The 15th Annual Maple Blues Awards[6][7]
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Matt Andersen[8]
Acoustic Act of the Year Matt Andersen
Electric Act of the Year MonkeyJunk[9]
Male Vocalist of the Year Matt Andersen
Female Vocalist of the Year Suzie Vinnick
International Artist of the Year Gregg Allman
New Artist/Group of the Year Sabrina Weeks & Swing Cat Bounce
Guitar Player of the Year Steve Strongman
Harmonica Player of the Year Carlos del Junco
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Horn Player of the Year Chris Whiteley
Drummer of the Year Matt Sobb
Bass Player of the Year Alec Fraser
Songwriter of the Year Suzie Vinnick
Recording of the Year MonkeyJunk - To Behold
Blues Booster of the Year Liz Sykes
Blues With A Feeling Award Paul James


The 16th Annual Maple Blues Awards (2012)[edit]

The 16th Annual Maple Blues Awards[10]
Category Winner
Entertainer of the Year Colin James
Acoustic Act of the Year Suzie Vinnick
Electric Act of the Year MonkeyJunk
Male Vocalist of the Year Matt Andersen
Female Vocalist of the Year Suzie Vinnick
International Artist of the Year Tedeschi Trucks Band
New Artist/Group of the Year Steve Kozak
Guitar Player of the Year Steve Strongman
Harmonica Player of the Year Steve Marriner
Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year David Vest
Horn Player of the Year Jon Wong
Drummer of the Year Matt Sobb
Bass Player of the Year Gary Kendall
Songwriter of the Year Steve Strongman
Recording of the Year Steve Strongman - A Natural Fact
Blues Booster of the Year John Valenteyn
Blues With A Feeling (Lifetime Achievement) Matt Minglewood

External links[edit]

References[edit]