What is the Western Canadian Music Alliance?

BreakOut West, the Western Canadian Music Awards, and the Western Canadian Music Industry Awards are the primary events hosted by the Western Canadian Music Alliance – an organization created by the Music Industry Associations (MIA’s) of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory – to promote and celebrate western Canadian music.

Each year the event is held in a different western Canadian region on a rotational basis. This, our 15th Anniversary, will be held in Edmonton, AB from September 13 - 17, 2017. This four-day event is comprised of a 4-day music conference, a 3-night multi-genre music festival, the Western Canadian Music Industry Awards Brunch and the Western Canadian Music Awards Reception.

Mission Statement

BreakOut West is where the music industry gathers to celebrate, develop and support the best of western Canadian music. Western Canadian artists are developing sustainable careers of national and international scope. BreakOut West, the Western Canadian Music Awards Reception and the Western Canadian Music Industry Awards Brunch are viewed on a national basis as an integral component, not just of a western Canadian artist’s development but perhaps more importantly, of the Canadian music industry as a whole.

Western Canadian Music Awards History

From 1995 to 1999, the music industry associations of Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan joined forces to stage a yearly independent music festival and conference known as the All Indie Weekend. The success of these events led the three music industry associations to form the Prairie Music Alliance Inc. (May1999), a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization, who would host Prairie Music Week until 2002.

In January 2003, the Prairie Music Alliance Inc. united with the music industry associations of British Colombia and the Yukon forming the Western Canadian Music Alliance Inc. (The Northwest Territories joined in 2009). 

With the shared vision of developing the infrastructure of the independent music industry across western Canada, the Alliance continued the successful music festival and conference tradition with the Western Canadian Music Week (now BreakOut West), host of the Western Canadian Music Awards and Western Canadian Music Industry Awards. In 2017, BreakOut West celebrates its 15th year as an integral part of Canada’s music industry.