Hometown favourites Rose Cousins and The Stanfields walked away as big winners at the East Coast Music Awards gala Sunday night.
Cousins, winning three awards this week, hosted the nationally-broadcast event with David Myles in front of a sold-out crowd at the Cunard Centre in Halifax.
The duo brought some humour to the show as they staged a friendly competition for best host, involving everything from evening wear to a swimsuit portion as Myles stripped down to a Speedo.
Acadian hip-hop band Radio Radio opened the three-hour show with a catchy number that involved dancers and hula hoops, before other performances by Jenn Grant, Jimmy Rankin, Natalie MacMaster, The Barra MacNeils and more.
The Stanfields received fan’s choice entertainer of the year, and group recording of the year for their Death & Taxes album.
“It’s a nice surprise,” said band member John Landry to reporters, adding the group was genuinely unprepared for the award because there were such excellent artists nominated.
“To have this feather in your cap is great … it means a lot.”
On top of the folk recording and songwriter of the year awards Cousins picked up earlier last week, she took solo recording of the year on Sunday night for We Have Made A Spark.
“It feels crazy. It’s amazing and funny to be in this position,” said Cousins afterwards.
She said hosting the show distracted her from worrying about the actual awards “in the best way.”
The evening held an emotional tone, from the opening video tribute of Stompin’ Tom playing at the ECMAs years ago, to the legendary Ron Hynes accepting a special achievement award and speaking about his battle with cancer.
“This is my altar. I’ve been blessed,” Hynes said, waving his arm to take in the lights and the crowd.
“I’m not ready to leave the altar quite yet.”
A list of winners from the 2013 East Coast Music Awards
Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year: The Stanfields.
Fans’ Choice Video of the Year: “Saddle Up” – George Canyon.
Album of the Year: “Coyote” – Matt Mays.
Group Recording of the Year: “Death & Taxes” – The Stanfields.
Solo Recording of the Year: “We Have Made A Spark” – Rose Cousins.
Song of the Year: “These Hands” – Dave Gunning.
Aboriginal Recording of the Year: “We Are Medicine People” – Lone Cloud.
African-Canadian Recording of the Year: “Ocean Blue” – Cam Smith.
Blues Recording of the Year: “Triumph & Disaster” – Charlie A’Court.
Children’s Recording of the Year: “La vie pour moi” – Donna & Andy.
Classical Composition of the Year: “Between the Shore and the Ships” – Derek Charke.
Classical Recording of the Year: “Between the Shore and the Ships” – Helen Pridmore and Wesley Ferriera.
Country Recording of the Year: “Where Does The Time Go” – RyLee Madison.
Electronic Recording of the Year: “Red Potion” – English Words.
Folk Recording of the Year: “We Have Made A Spark” – Rose Cousins.
Francophone Recording of the Year: “Mosaik” – Vishten.
Gospel Recording of the Year: “Old Man Winter” – Stephanie Mainville.
Jazz Recording of the Year: “Swim” – Joel Miller.
Pop Recording of the Year: “The Beautiful Wild” – Jenn Grant.
Producer of the Year: Daniel Ledwell
R&B/Soul Recording of the Year: “Triumph & Disaster” -Charlie A’Court.
Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year: “Havre de Grece” – Radio Radio.
Rising Star Recording of the Year: “In the Time of the Great Remembering” – Ben Caplan
Rock Recording of the Year: “Scrappy Happiness” – Joel Plaskett Emergency.
Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year: “Row Upon Row of the People They Know” – The Once.
Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year: “The Other Side” – Tim Chaisson.
Songwriter of the Year: “Go First” – Rose Cousins.
Composer: Rose Cousins.
Traditional Instrumental Recording of the Year: “Cape Breton Girl” – Natalie MacMaster.
World Recording of the Year: “Constellation” – Gypsophilia.
Directors’ Special Achievement Award: Raylene Rankin, Ron Hynes.
Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award: Bucky Adams.
– with files from The Canadian Press