List of Nominees Announced for 2019 Music Nova Scotia Awards


(September 12, 2019, Halifax, NS) AQUASOCKS and Don Brownrigg lead the way with six Music Nova Scotia award nominations each. Both received nominations in major categories such as Recording of the Year, while Jenn Grant is close behind them with 5 nominations. The Music Nova Scotia awards will be presented on Sunday, November 10th at Nova Scotia Music Week (NSMW) in Truro, Nova Scotia.

All current members of Music Nova Scotia are eligible to vote for this year’s Music and Industry Awards. Voting will take place online through the Music Nova Scotia website. Voting is now open and will close on Tuesday, October 1st at 5:00 PM. Music Nova Scotia members will receive voting instructions via email. The public will also get the chance to vote for the Entertainer of the Year Award. Voting for Entertainer of the Year will open on Tuesday, October 8th and close on Friday, October 25th. Stay tuned for more details.

The Music Nova Scotia Awards Celebration and Closing Party will take place on Sunday, November 10th at the Holiday Inn Truro. All awards will be presented at the celebration which will begin at 7:00PM. To attend the Awards Celebration and Closing Party, you must have a delegate pass or purchase a ticket for $15 at the door (subject to capacity).

Music Nova Scotia Music Award Nominees:

Acadian/Francophone Artist of the Year    
Jacques Surette
Maxim Cormier
Selby Evans

African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year
Presented by: Truro Diversity Advisory Committee
Jon Samuel
Keonté Beals
Shay Pitts
Shevy Price

Alternative Recording of the Year
Presented by: Skin Decision
Blue Lobelia - Beneath all Bloom
Jon Samuel - Dead Melodies
Teleri - Ossë
The State of Alaska - Summer EP
Tosan Arenyeka - Itan
Wintersleep - In The Land Of

Americana/Bluegrass Recording of the Year
Presented by: HubCraft Timber Mart
Erin Costelo - Sweet Marie
Laura Merrimen - This Time & From Now On
Pretty Archie - Hanging On
Terra Spencer - Other People's Lives

Blues Recording of the Year
Presented by: Belly Up Bar & Grill
Manitoba Hal - Blues Is In The Water
Mojo Martin - Livin' the Daydream
The Tucker Blues Group - A Few Tunes... featuring Ben Tucker

Children’s Artist of the Year
Presented by: McDonald's
Bingly and The Rogues
Dr G & Astronomical Unit
Matt the Music Man

Classical Recording of the Year    
Presented by: Scotiabank
Charke Cormier Duo - Ex Tempore
Jennifer King - O Mistress Moon
New Hermitage + Jeff Reilly - New Hermitage + Jeff Reilly

Country Recording of the Year
Presented by: Above & Beyond Home Décor
2nd Generation - No More Waiting
Andrew Frelick - Lost In The Right Direction
Cassie Josephine & The Cry If I Want To's - Only Half Blue
LACEWOOD - Beautiful Life
Thomas Stajcer - Will I Learn To Love Again?

Digital Artist of the Year  
Jenn Grant
Kids Losing Sleep
Port Cities
Rich Aucoin
T. Thomason
The Town Heroes

DJ of the Year    
Century Samuel
DJ Douvet
DJ Fadzwa
DJ T-Woo
Karate Kactus

Electronic Artist of the Year    
Karate Kactus
Kin Crew
Poly Gecko
Smaller Hearts

Entertainer of the Year     
Alan Syliboy & The Thundermakers
AQUASOCKS (Aquakultre & Ghettosocks)
Erin Costelo
Jenn Grant
T. Thomason
Willie Stratton

Folk Recording of the Year
Presented by: The Old Triangle
Braden Lam - Driftwood People
Dave Gunning - Up Against The Sky
Don Brownrigg - Fireworks
Jenn Grant - Love, Inevitable
Kim Barlow - How To Let Go
Villages - Villages

Group Recording of the Year 
Presented by: Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton Truro
2nd Generation - No More Waiting
AQUASOCKS (Aquakultre & Ghettosocks) - HOLOS
The Town Heroes - Everything (will be fine when we get to where we think we're going)
Villages - Villages
Wintersleep - In The Land Of
Worst Part - Heel

Hip Hop Recording of the Year
Presented by: Cobequid Dance Academy Inc.
AQUASOCKS (Aquakultre & Ghettosocks) - HOLOS
Corey Writes - Memoirs Of An Ex-Con
EPDMC - Rap's Charlie Brown
Tachichi - Top Ten
Yfilla - JAM MY LIFE 2

Indigenous Artist of the Year
Presented by: Leisure Days RV Truro
2nd Generation
Alan Syliboy & The Thundermakers
Cal Johnson
Emma Stevens
Jade Bennett
SHiFT from THA 902

Jazz Recording of the Year    
Ally Fiola - Dreaming Away
Bill Elliott - Bill Elliott CCGP
Sam Wilson - Groundless Apprehensions
The Easley Quartet - The Starting Point Vs The Steep Decline

Loud Recording of the Year
Presented by: KFC/Tacobell Truro and Stewiacke
Kuato - 2011
Orchid's Curse - Graveyard of the Gulf
Spirit of the Wildfire - Bittersweet Nothings
Worst Part - HEEL EP

Music Video of the Year
Presented by: Vintage Mouldings
AQUASOCKS - Trump Tight Feat. Shevy Price (Directed by: Connor Lindsay)
Don Brownrigg - Room for Me (Directed by: Melanie Stone)
Emma Stevens - Blackbird (Directed by: Carter Chiasson & Matthew Ingraham)
PINEO & LOEB - Circles Feat. Kayo & Frankie McDonald (Directed by: Tim Tracey)
Wintersleep - Forest Fire (Directed by: Christopher Mills)
YOHVN BLVCK - Drowning Feat. Wren Kelly (Directed by: Brendan Lyle)

Musician of the Year
Presented by: Kohltech
Aaron Green
Anna Wedlock
J.R. Smith
Leith Fleming-Smith
Tom Easley
Tori Cameron

New Artist Recording of the Year
Presented by: Great British Grub Cafe
2nd Generation - No More Waiting
AQUASOCKS (Aquakultre & Ghettosocks) - HOLOS
Awolk - Awolk
Leanne Hoffman - What Remains
Worst Part - HEEL EP

Pop Recording of the Year
Presented by: Fantasie Musical Instruments
Awolk - Awolk
Casey May - Night Life
Juice Girls - Juice Girls
Laura Roy - Forte
Leanne Hoffman - What Remains
Zamani - The Intro

Recording of the Year
Presented by: Ticketpro
AQUASOCKS (Aquakultre & Ghettosocks) - HOLOS
Don Brownrigg - Fireworks
Erin Costelo - Sweet Marie
Jon Samuel - Dead Melodies
Leanne Hoffman - What Remains
Villages - Villages

Rock Recording of the Year
Presented by: Aggregate Equipment
Adam Baldwin - No Rest for the Wicked
Booji Boys - Tube Reducer
Cryptorips - Shadow Up Gold
The Town Heroes - Everything (will be fine when we get to where we think we're going)
Washing Machine - Walk It Back

Solo Recording of the Year
Presented by: Ticketpro
Adam Baldwin - No Rest for the Wicked
Don Brownrigg - Fireworks
Erin Costelo - Sweet Marie
Jenn Grant - Love, Inevitable
Jon Samuel - Dead Melodies
Leanne Hoffman - What Remains

Songwriter of the Year
Presented by: SOCAN
Don Brownrigg - Strum and Rhyme (Don Brownrigg)
Gabrielle Papillon - Shout it Out (Gabrielle Papillon, Corey LeRue)
Jenn Grant - Keep A Light On (Jenn Grant)
Port Cities - Montreal (Dylan Guthro, Breagh MacKinnon, Carleton Stone, Thomas Salter)
Tachichi - Everything (Tyrone Thompson)
Villages - Moonlit (Matt Ellis, Travis Ellis, Jon Pearo, Archie Rankin)

Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year
Presented by: Warner
Adam Young, Brent Chaisson, Dara-Smith MacDonald - Island
Còig - Ashlar
Keith Mullins - Upward (Howlin' at the Moon)
Shannon Quinn - Watchmaker

Music Nova Scotia Industry Award Nominees:

Booking Agent of the Year
Presented by: CBDC NOBL
Bruce Morel
Jason MacIsaac
Stephanie Purcell

Community Presenter of the Year
Presented by: MacQuarries Pharmasave
Cecilia Concerts
Deep Roots Music Cooperative
Halifax Music Co-op
Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society
Marigold Cultural Centre
Merigomish Schoolhouse Community Centre

Company of the Year    
Jones & Co.
Laughing Heart Music
Pavement Promotions
Pigeon Row
The Syrup Factory
Venue Records

Educator of the Year    
Keith Mullins
Matt Gorman
Maxim Cormier
Shannon Quinn
Shimon Walt
Shirley Jackson

Event of the Year    
Presented by: Sobeys
Celtic Colours International Festival
Halifax Jazz Festival
Halifax Pop Explosion
Halifax Urban Folk Festival
Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo

Industry Professional of the Year    
Don Brownrigg
Owen Lee
Sarah Jamer
Scott Long
Stephanie Purcell
Trevor Murphy

Live Technician of the Year
Presented by: Subway
Jon Cornwall
Kirstan Adam Moore
Peter Green
Stephen Smith
Trevor DeSouza
Tynan Dunfield

Manager of the Year   
Bruce Morel
Kyle Cunjak (Forward Music Group)
Louis Thomas
Melanie Stone
Sheri Jones

Media Professional of the Year    
Katie Kelly
Kyah Sparks
Ryan Somers
Tara Thorne

Producer of the Year    
Alex Meade
Daniel Ledwell
Erin Costelo
John Mullane
Jon Landry
Scott Ferguson

Production Company of the Year    
Bernie's Audio
Rockbound Productions
Tour Tech East

Promoter of the Year
Presented by: Fundy Textile
Andrew Jackson (Halifax Jazz Festival)
Andrew Patterson (OBEY Convention)
Jeff Pineau (The Seahorse Tavern, Local Restaurant & Marquee Ballroom)
Kyle Cunjak (Forward Music Group)
Louis Thomas (Sonic Concerts)
Mike Campbell (The Carleton)

Publicist of the Year  
Presented by: Scotiabank 
Kimberly Sinclair
Peggy Walt
Trevor Murphy
Wendy Phillips

Radio Program of the Year    
East Coast Rising (CIGO 101.5)
Elegant Voltage (CKDU 88.1)
Halifax is Burning (CKDU 88.1)
Route 104 (CFRQ104.3)
Sounds Atlantic (XFM 98.9)
Sunday Tradition (CKEC 94.1)

Radio Station of the Year    
CHHU 99.1
CIGO 101.5
CKBW 98.1
CKDU 88.1
CKOA 89.7
XFM 98.9

Recording Studio of the Year    
Codapop Studios
Echo Lake
New Scotland Yard
Ocean Floor Recording
Stonehouse Sound
The Sonic Temple

Studio Engineer of the Year    
Alex Meade
Darren van Niekerk
Jason Jenkyns
Jordan Metro
Scott Ferguson
Thomas Stajcer

Venue of the Year
Presented by: Rath Eastlink Community Centre
Highland Arts Theatre
Marigold Cultural Centre
The Bus Stop Theatre
The Carleton
The Seahorse Tavern, Local Restaurant & Marquee Ballroom
The Union Street

Visual Artist of the Year    
Alex MacAskill (Midnight Oil Print & Design House)
Brittany Pickrem
Glen Leck
Mat Dunlap
Marie Wright & Meaghan Wright (Mirror Image)
Sara Russell

Volunteer of the Year
Presented by: Subway
Eirinn Fraser
Katelyn Bonomo
Logan MacKay
Mary Atwater

For more information on Nova Scotia Music Week 2019 (#NSMW2019) please visit

Rose Cousins added to #NSMW2019 Lineup!

Rose Cousins added to #NSMW2019 Lineup!

The life of a solo singer-songwriter can be lonely by nature, but JUNO Award winner, Rose Cousins, believes that it doesn’t always have to be that way. 

Indeed, it’s no small feat to stand alone on a stage and create an instant community out of a room full of strangers, but this is Rose’s secret weapon. With her four full-length albums and more than a decade of touring, Cousins employs sharp, wry humour and candid honesty to pull the audience through the fourth wall. 

Her last album Natural Conclusion was nominated for a 2018 Grammy Award, earned her a Songwriter of the Year Nomination at the 2018 JUNOs, and won two Music Nova Scotia Awards and three ECMA's. 


Rose Cousins will be playing the First United Church, 711 Prince St, Truro, NS
Friday, November 8th - Doors at 7:30.
This is an all-ages, dry event. 



2019 Casino NS Artist in Residence Finalists Announced



(September 3, 2019, Halifax, NS) After interviews, examinations, and deliberation, Casino Nova Scotia is proud and delighted to announce the five finalists for the 2019 Artist in Residence program. Jurors made the selection last week after careful consideration, the final candidates will move onto the performance round of the selection process, September 20, at Casino Nova Scotia.

Finalists are (in alphabetical order):

  • Arsoniste - Halifax, Nova Scotia - Alternative/Indie/Pop

  • Cameron Nickerson - Yarmouth, Nova Scotia - Americana/Country/Singer-Songwriter

  • Keonté Beals - North Preston, Nova Scotia - R&B/Pop

  • MAJE - East Preston, Nova Scotia - HipHop/R&B

  • Tommy Green Jr. - Halifax, Nova Scotia - R&B/Pop

The contest will culminate with a live performance Friday September 20th at Casino Nova Scotia, where the judges with make their final assessment.  Music Nova Scotia Interim Executive Director Lisa Stitt reported that the jury includes: Ashlea Barr - Business Development Manager, Casino Nova Scotia; Erin Costelo - Artist; Jamie Hammond - Halifax Pop Explosion; and Shevy Price - Artist. 

The Casino Nova Scotia Artist in Residence program will provide the selected musician or group with $20,000 in funding to assist with developing their career through recording, marketing, and live performance opportunities.  Music Nova Scotia is working with Casino Nova Scotia to administer the program.

Music lovers and fans will have their chance to vote, which counts towards the selection of the finalist.  
Go to to vote (click the link on lefthand side of page)

The public is welcome to see the final five perform on Friday, September 20 at Casino Nova Scotia. Free admission. Must be nineteen years of age or older. 

Finalists Showcase:

Friday, September 20 at 8pm

Casino Nova Scotia

Free admission. Must be 19+


For more information on Casino Nova Scotia’s Artist in Residence Program go to: or

More information on the 2018 Artist in Residence finalists:


Classical pianist and pop vocalist Arsoniste writes melancholic songs about love and mental states. A regular performer at piano bars around Halifax, Arsoniste's sound is inspired by piano-heavy artists like The National and Radiohead, with the pop sensibilities of Lana Del Rey and Sylvan Esso. She layers piano, synth and dreamy harmonies over hip-hop inspired beats.


Cameron Nickerson

Music is often a way for more reserved people to express their inner creativity and passion, and Cameron Nickerson is no exception to this. From humble beginnings, the singer-songwriter has always harboured an affinity for expression through song, and its knack for bringing him out of his bubble. Before going solo, Nickerson was tearing it up with his band The Rockabillys, opening for gargantuan national acts like The Sheepdogs, and playing with local favourites The Stanfields. After a somewhat trying band breakup, Nickerson took a year off before moving back to Halifax and deciding to take a shot at striking out on his own.

Bringing to mind modern outlaw folkers like Sturgill Simpson, but with a delightfully invigorating maritime bent, Cameron’s songs are both poetic and purposeful. Never writing a word he doesn’t mean, his songs are always heavily personal – sometimes deceivingly so. Even his so-called “made-up” tales have a golden nugget of truth and personal struggle. A born storyteller, his live shows are engaging not just because of his captivating stage presence, but the way he spins yarns and tells tales.

His, debut album, Detours, was released January 2018 and has received nominations for ECMA Country Album of the Year (2019) and NSMW Country Album of the Year (2018). It was produced by long-time friend and collaborator Blake Johnston (The Stogies) and features gorgeous harmonies by Christine Campbell and fiddle by Calen Kinney. Beginning as an idea Nickerson and Johnston were throwing around 2015, the record combines Nickerson’s love of modern singer-songwriters with the grit and grime of country outlaw heroes like Willie Nelson or Merle Haggard. Sounding neither totally modern, nor like a retro throwback, Nickerson walks a unique musical path that’s strewn with bluegrass, rock and roll, teenage angst, and world-weary contemplation.





Keonté Beals

Keonté Beals is a young man, but he’s wise beyond his years. As a 22 year-old singer, songwriter, piano player, and dancer, Keonté is making a splash in the East Coast music scene as a multi-talented, award-winning R&B/Pop artist. His soulful songs are straight from the heart, taking fans back to the early 90’s era of Boyz II Men, Toni Braxton, and Whitney Houston; when R&B/Pop singles dominated the airwaves for the first time.

Born and raised in the community of North Preston in Nova Scotia, Keonté started singing and performing at the age of seven. As a young teen, he joined the choir at his local parish and discovered his true passion for entertainment. The experience lead to more opportunities for Keonté to perform at churches and events in the HRM, all of which helped him develop his skills and build a fanbase for his music.

Keonté continued to invest his energy into vocal training and dance, and after graduating high school, he enrolled in the Music Arts program at NSCC. In 2014, he recorded and released a cover of the song “I’m Here” from the movie soundtrack The Color Purple, and credits this move as the start of his professional music career. The video was an internet sensation and grabbed the attention of Prismatic Arts Festival artistic director, Shahin Sayadi, who booked Keonté for his first festival show. In late 2016, Keonté released his debut single “Man Down” from his self-titled EP, and a second single “4 Ever” in February 2017. He is currently finishing his first full-length album, co-produced by Shawn Downey, to be released in the fall 2019.

Not only is Keonté a natural-born entertainer, he has received awards and nominations from Music Nova Scotia, the African Nova Scotia Music Association, The Coast Halifax, and the East Coast Music Association for his recorded music. Keonté is also a recipient of the Partnership of Hope Award presented by Challenge AIDS and Malaria in Africa (CHAMA), and was recognised by the Honorable Keith Colwell with an MLA Rising Star award for his musical success and community service earlier this year.






Michael Alexander Jerome Earle (born October 31, 1991) is a Canadian songwriter, performer, and entrepreneur. MAJE gained recognition in 2015 when he entered and won a songwriting competition put on by Music Nova Scotia-based on the black activist Viola Desmond. In the final round of the competition, he beat out Nova Scotian heavyweights Erin Costello, Cindy Cain, and Neon Dreams. 10,000 dollars was awarded to MAJE and his collaborators SammSplash and Ashley Burke.

This victory opened the doors to a halftime performance at the Scotiabank Centre during the AUS basketball tournament in 2015. In early 2016 the MAJE founded the group "Gentlemen Mafia" successfully executed a school tour in Dartmouth and Halifax accompanied by Cunny Ross, Kxng Wooz, and DJ RS Smooth. While touring he released a music video for the Cunny Ross collaboration record "Smile" which was much appreciated because it shone a light on black fathers spending quality time with their daughters. The video was entered in the CBC Searchlight competition and made it to the top 10 in the region. Following the tour, he was nominated by ANSMA for the award Rising Star. In August of 2016, he released his heavily anticipated short film "Outhome". Based on where he was raised (East Preston) the film includes the previously released record ETTG, and vivid descriptions of his current emotion and career direction.

In May of 2017, he was one of 10 Canadian artists chosen to attend the SOCAN Songwriting camp as a part of the ECMAs award weekend. In that same month he covered The Coast magazine to highlight his performance at OBEY. MAJE also received 6 nominations from The CoastBest of Halifaxawards including best solo artist and most likely to make it big`. On June 29th he released his first digital release mixtape Insert Flame Emojis Here on Soundcloud and it has since been nominated for 2 awards including video of the year by Music Nova Scotia.



Tommy Green Jr.

Tommy Green Jr is a singer-songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia who uses loop pedals and effects (like Ed Sheeran) to built huge acoustic soundscapes. His live shows are a whirlwind of sing-alongs, hilarious stories and audience interaction.

Tommy’s soulful voice, seasoned banter, and the way he involves the audience to bring everyone together and create a feeling of unity and charm will make you a life-long fan.

Tommy released his self-titled debut LP on June 5th, 2015. The 10-track record features 18 prominent Halifax musicians, including Jeff Mosher, Jody Lyne, Silvio Pupo, Brad Conrad, Keith Mullins, JR Smith, Damien Moynihan, and Dale Murray. As of April 2018, the CD has sold over 1700 physical copies.

The album was nominated for two 2016 Music Nova Scotia Awards, “Pop Record Of The Year”, and “New Artist Recording of Year”. Tommy played a captivating NSMW showcase at The Marigold Cultural Centre in Truro, that lead to several bookings, including another show at The Marigold in August of 2017.

In his CBC East Coast Music review of the record, Bob Mersereau stated "It's funky with a groove but relaxed, even a little jazzy at times, and well-produced... it's all intelligent pop with enough funk to put him square in the festival crowd, and lots of hook and smooth jazz moments for folks who like excellent playing. Green Jr deserves to smile over this record."

The CD's first single released to radio, "It's My Turn Now", earned Tommy the title of Radio 99.1's CKXS Emerging Artist of the Month for July 2015, joining the ranks of David Myles and Dan Talevski. The song peaked at #5 on the East Coast Countdown in the months following the release, and was featured on the East Coast Music Hour, hosted by David Myles. The song inspired an uplifting music video about a determined young boy entering his Middle School's science fair with his own home-made jetpack. Tommy both wrote and directed the video, working with Grade 6 students to enforce a positive “Believe-In-Yourself” message. The video currently has over 12,000 views on Youtube.

On August 26th 2016, Tommy hosted a music video release party for "Sand In My Sheets" at The Seahorse Tavern. The video was written and directed by Tommy, and was filmed over the course of a year in exotic locales in Australia, Mexico, St Maartin and ultimately, his hometown of Halifax NS. The final scene zooms in on a sun-soaked music party rocking on a 46-foot catamaran, highlighting the beautiful Halifax Harbour. To promote the release of the music video, Tommy performed on CTV News and GlobalTV, both performances and interviews can be seen on his website. The music video currently has over 11,000 views on Youtube.

Over the holiday season of 2016, Tommy released his first Christmas song, "You Don't Need No Mistletoe (If You Can Sing Christmas Songs)” complete with an animated music video. The song features Jeff Mosher on Saxophone, Jeremiah Sparks as the voice of Santa, and a children’s choir from Princess Elizabeth School in Saint John, NB. The song garnered moderate radio play across Canada.

Tommy has spent the last few years touring Atlantic Canada and performing a music and comedy show aboard some of the biggest cruise ships in the world- Anthem Of The Seas, Oasis Of The Seas and Allure Of The Seas, all while writing and recording new songs with Halifax-based producer Alex Meade.

His new full length record is called “In Stereo” and will be released later in 2019.





For information on Casino Nova Scotia:
Contact: Ashlea Barr
1983 Upper Water Street, Halifax

For information on Music Nova Scotia: 
Contact: Lisa Stitt
2157 Gottingen Street, Halifax
Phone: 902-423-6271, ext. 101
About Casino Nova Scotia: Through business and community partnerships we work to build and nurture the economic and cultural health of our community. In 2013 we contributed over $27 million to the Province of Nova Scotia and its programs. As an entertainment destination we are proud to showcase Atlantic Canadian, national, and international talent and invests over $1,000,000 in entertainment annually. Casino Nova Scotia is a tourism driver and supporter. Each year we welcome over one million visitors, many of whom arrived from outside the province. Ensuring we have a positive impact on the quality of life in our province is important to us. With a focus on the arts, culture and entertainment we support organizations and events that help make our province a vibrant place to live.
Music Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization that has worked since 1989 with a mandate to encourage the creation, development, growth and promotion of Nova Scotia’s music industry. Music Nova Scotia exists to grow and nurture the Nova Scotia music industry, to retain Nova Scotia’s natural resource and promote investment, by: Providing education, information and resources to members. Acting as the advocate for the industry to all levels of government and private enterprise Supporting membership in the promotion of the export of Nova Scotia music regionally, nationally and internationally.
About the Artist in Residence Program 
Casino Nova Scotia is working with Music Nova Scotia to continue to build the profile of our local music industry. The Artist in Residence program will increase the opportunities for the development of emerging artists in Nova Scotia as well as beneficial for the continued development of our music industry. Casino Nova Scotia is contributing $20,000 to this program to provide a local emerging musician or group with support and opportunities to develop their career. Music Nova Scotia is responsible for administering the fund.


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