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

The music industry associations of Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan staged independent music festivals and conferences known as All Indie Weekend in the prairies from 1995 to 1999. With this common project, these three industry associations have worked in tandem towards the shared vision of developing the infrastructure of the independent music industry in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. 

 After four successful All Indie Weekends, these associations decided to join forces and resources to create a new entity to further promote prairie music to the world. This new entity, called the Prairie Music Alliance Inc. (May 1999), is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization. All members in good standing of the three provincial recording industry associations are automatically members of the PMA. 

 The Western Canada Music Alliance Inc. (January 2003) was formed in late 2002 when the Prairie Music Alliance expanded, inviting the Music Industry Associations of BC and the Yukon to join forces in creating a new entity. While the Western Canada Music Week and Awards is a new event, there is a strong sense of history, a legacy of the successes of both Prairie Music Week and the West Coast Music Awards. The vision of developing the infrastructure of a regional music industry is intact and now shared across western Canada.