Guidelines and Categories, FAQs, and Previous Winners

Frequently Asked Questions and Previous Winners Coming Soon!

Guidelines and Categories

ARTISTIC AWARD CATEGORIES

Please review the below Western Canadian Music Artistic Award Category information. Ignoring any requirements or restrictions may result in submission disqualification.

  • Awards are presented to an Artist or Group or Songwriter.
  • Unless otherwise stated, 50% of the submitted recorded tracks must be original material.
  • If submitting as a group, 50% of the group must meet residency requirements (see Artistic Award Guidelines for full list of requirements).
  • All categories are chosen through an adjudication process and all applicants must meet all residency and release requirements in order to be considered for nomination (see Artistic Award Guidelines for full list of requirements).

AWARD CATEGORIES #1

An album may only be submitted for nomination in ONE of the following categories* :

*Please make sure the submission fits within the specified guideline requirements.
Once submitted, no changes can be made.

 

Blues Artist of the Year (formerly Blues Recording of the Year)

  • Definition – This recognizes an artist whose music styles include traditional or contemporary, acoustic or electric blues. Live recording must have 50% new material that has not been released by the artist.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Children’s Artist of the Year (formerly Children's Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music styles, musical quality (dramatic quality if narrative), originality, repertoire and creative and imaginative impact are suitable and obviously directed to a young listening audience. Material must be musical in nature or contain musical elements (ex: narratives or dramatic recordings must contain original music).
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year (formerly Classical Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist/ensemble whose music styles includes instrumental soloists, large or small chamber ensembles, as well as instrumental soloists with chamber accompaniment. This includes vocal or choral works.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Country Artist of the Year (formerly Country Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music is country music, including but not limited to alt-country, traditional country, western swing and other recognized country music styles.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year (formerly Electronic/Dance Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music styles and original recordings are composed with electronic equipment as the essential song writing tools and defined by their electronic elements. Vocals or tracks containing prominently recognizable samplings, interpolations or replayed elements will be eligible ONLY if the artist/group can provide written confirmation that reasonable attempts have been made to obtain proper clearance.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Instrumental Artist of the Year (formerly Instrumental Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music has at least 75% non-lyrical tracks (tracks without lyrics) and may represent all genres and styles.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Jazz Artist of the Year (formerly Jazz Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music style is jazz music, (instrumental or vocal), including but not limited to traditional jazz, ragtime, swing, bebop, hard bop, cool jazz, fusion, Latin, Cuban or Afro-Cuban jazz, smooth, avant-garde, free improvisation, third stream, orchestral, world music-influenced.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Metal/Hard Music Artist of the Year (formerly Metal/Hard Music Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music styles is metal or hard music including but not limited to heavy metal, traditional/classic metal, metalcore, thrash metal, death metal, black metal and sub-genres.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Pop Artist of the Year (formerly Pop Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music styles is pop, including but not limited to mainstream pop, top 40, CHR, HOT AC, as well as indie and other pop styles not accessible on mainstream radio.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the Year (formerly Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music styles predominantly fall in the genre of rap music. Lyrics must be delivered in an MC style and music/beats must reflect the sound of traditional and/or current rap. Tracks containing prominently recognizable samplings, interpolations or replayed elements will be eligible ONLY IF the artist/group can provide written confirmation that reasonable attempts have been made to obtain proper clearance.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Rock Artist of the Year (formerly Rock Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose musical style embraces rock and alternative music often revolving around the electric guitar or acoustic guitar, the uses of a strong back beat laid down by a rhythm section of electric bass guitar, drums, and keyboard instruments. Styles may encompass such sub-genres as, soft rock, glam rock, punk rock, progressive rock, hard rock, contemporary and/or popular rock.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Roots Duo/Group of the Year (formerly Roots Duo/Group Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes a duo or group whose music styles are composed vocal or instrumental music influenced by roots music styles, repertoire, performance practices and musical structures and that may use new sounds/instrumentation. The music is often, but not always, composed by the submitting artist.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Roots Solo Artist of the Year (formerly Roots Solo Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music styles are composed of vocal or instrumental music influenced by roots music styles, repertoire, performance practices and musical structures and that may use new sounds/instrumentation. The music is often, but not always, composed by the submitting artist.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Spiritual Artist of the Year (formerly Spiritual Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music styles demonstrate inspirational faith including (but not limited to): traditional, contemporary, country, alternative, pop/rock, and urban/dance. Submissions will be accepted from choirs, groups, solo performers and instrumental artists. Note: Beginning in 2016 this is considered a genre based category, rather than an open category.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Urban Artist of the Year (formerly Urban Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music style may include but is not limited to R&B, soul, funk, or nu jazz.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

World Artist of the Year (formerly World Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist whose music style draws on one or more traditional music genres from around the world or a cross-cultural mix of music. Songs must be predominantly World Music.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

 

**All details are subject to change

 

AWARD CATEGORIES #2

An album may be submitted for nomination in ANY of the following categories* :

*Please make sure the submission fits within the specified guideline requirements.
Once submitted, no changes can be made.

 

Aboriginal Artist of the Year (formerly Aboriginal Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This recognizes an artist in any musical styles created by Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis. If a group or duo, at least 50% of members must have Indigenous, First Nations, Aboriginal and/or Metis origin. Submissions into this category may also be submitted into one genre category in the same year.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

BreakOut Artist of the Year (New Category)

  • Definition – This award will be given to an artist/group that has had an exceptional year including but not limited to chart success, media exposure, industry recognition, and touring.
  • Eligibility – These recordings can be live, or fully produced, and CAN be released outside of the 24 month eligibility period. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Classical Composition of the Year (formerly Classical Composition of the Year)

  • Definition - This award goes to the composer of instrumental or vocal works for soloists, chamber ensembles, instrumental ensembles, instrumental soloists with large ensemble or chamber ensemble accompaniment. The work must appear on a recording that includes all original western Canadian classical works composed within the last fifty years. A composition is generally one body of work, but may contain multiple movements to make up one composition. Submissions into this category may also be submitted into one genre category in the same year. If you choose to apply to Classical Composition of the Year you CANNOT apply for Instrumental Artist of the Year.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Francophone Artist of the Year (formerly Francophone Recording of the Year)

  • Definition - This is awarded to the artist/group performing in French. At least three of the total tracks submitted must contain vocals sung in the French language. Submissions into this category may also be submitted into one of the other genre categories in the same year.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria..

Producer of the Year

  • Definition - This is awarded to the producer and recognizes excellence in music production. International product qualifies, as long as the producer is western Canadian. A Producer must have contributed to a minimum of 50% of work.
  • Eligibility – The body of works of the producer within the last 12 months from (the submission deadline) will be considered for this award. This may include one or multiple production projects.

Recording of the Year (formerly Independent Album of the Year)

  • Definition - This is awarded to the artist/group. This award recognizes excellence in a complete recording and may represent all genres and styles of music. Submissions into this category may also be submitted into one genre category in the same year.
  • Eligibility – A full length recording with a minimum of six (6) songs or 30 mins commercially released within 24 months of the submission deadline and not be part of a collection previously nominated. These recordings must be fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Songwriter(s) of the Year

  • Definition – This award goes to the songwriter(s) who are based western Canada. Copyright owners (Publisher or Songwriter) must submit one (1) song as a representation of the creative success of each songwriter’s body of work during the eligibility period. A songwriter writing alone or in collaboration with others is eligible, as long as one (1) is western Canadian. A songwriter may make a submission as a single songwriter or as part of a song writing team. Songwriter(s) who wish to be considered as a team must all agree to submit as a team. One physical trophy is awarded. Western Canadian songwriters who write for international artists/releases are eligible. A song does not need to contain lyrics to be eligible. Songs submitted must have been released, in any format, during eligibility period. I.e., songs released as singles or videos during the eligibility period may stand for nomination, even if they were released on an album prior to the eligibility period.
  • Eligibility – The song must be released commercially and not have been previously nominated within 24 months of the submission deadline. This recording can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Video Director of the Year (formerly Video of the Year)

  • Definition - This award recognizes the unique contribution a video makes to both the commercial success and the experiential elements that support a song. Submissions must include links to the video online. The award goes to the director of the video. International product qualifies, as long as the director is western Canadian. A co-director is eligible, as long as he/she is western Canadian.
  • Eligibility – A full length video release and not previously nominated within 24 months of the submission deadline. The video can be live, or fully produced. If a directing group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.

Visual Media Composer of the Year (New Category)

  • Definition - This is awarded to the songwriter/composer of instrumental or vocal works composed for, but not limited to film, television, theatre, soundtrack, video game. A composition/song may be one body of work, or may contain multiple short segments of composition/vocal work. The song/composition must be solely for the screen project and not be included in an already available commercial release.
  • Eligibility – The song/composition must be released commercially and not have been previously nominated within 24 months of the submission deadline. This recording can be live, or fully produced. If a group, at least 50% of the members must fulfill the eligibility criteria.