Awards Guidelines and Categories, FAQs

S

Submissions closed for 2020. Congradulations to all award nominees!

NON MIA MEMBER

MIA MEMBER

WILL RECEIVE 10% OFF TOTAL COST (BEFORE TAXES)

  Single Category Submission Multiple Category Submission (2+)   Single Category Submission Multiple Category Submission (2+)
Early Bird Artistic Award* 15% 15% Early Bird Artistic Award* 15% 15%
Artistic Award $60 $80 Artistic Award $54 $72
Industry Award $10 $10 Industry Award FREE FREE
Festival TBA   Festival TBA  

*Early bird pricing Jan 7 – Feb 12, 2021


 

BREAKOUT WEST SUBMISSION FAQ'S

1.     When is the submission deadline?

The submission deadline for BreakOut West 2021 midnight PST on Friday, 19 March 2021


2.     Who can apply for the awards?

Submissions can be made by the Artist/Industry professional themselves or they can be submitted on the Artist’s/Industry professional’s behalf.


3.     Do I have to complete my entire submission at one time?

  • No. You have the ability to sign in and out of your submission at any time to be able to complete it over the course of time.
  • Once you confirm and complete your submission, and after payment is accepted, you will no longer be able to sign into that specific submission.
  • Make sure to have all information correct before confirming your submission.

4.     How do I know that my submission has been properly submitted?

Submitting is a four-part process:                

  1. On the media page you will be asked to install the Aspera app. Have ready all media, music and documents.
  2. Complete and upload music, info and pictures for your online submission.  
  3. Complete payment page
  4. You will receive and email indicating that you have completed. Keep that for reference if you have any questions

5.     Do I have to be a member of my province's Music Industry Association to submit to the awards or play the Festival?

  • No. It is recommended that nominees, and those submitting, be a member of a Western Canadian Music Industry Association but is not required.

The Western Canadian Music Industry Associations include     

      • Music BC
      • Manitoba Music
      • SaskMusic
      • Alberta Music
      • Music Yukon
      • Music NWT

*Note, all MIA members will receive a discount for their submissions.


6.     How can the payments be made?

  • You can pay with Visa or MasterCard. No debit cards.
  • You will be prompted to enter the payment information upon completion of your submission.

7.     Are Non-Canadians eligible for any of the categories?

  • No. The Nominee must have been born in either Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon or NWT and must have lived in one of those Provinces or Territories for six consecutive months in the past year (January 1, 2020 - April 8, 2021).

            OR

  • The Nominee must have maintained a residence in a Western Canadian Province or Territory for the entire period of January 1, 2020 through April 8, 2021.
  • For groups, 50% of the group's members must meet residency requirements. Proof of residency may be required.

8.     Can submissions be made to more than one category?

9.  What is meant by release date?

  • All nominees (either to Artistic or Industry Award categories) must have released a minimum of 3 songs to radio, retail, or online between January 1, 2019 and April 8, 2021.
  • Full-length (Recording of the Year) means that the album is either a minimum of 30 minutes or contains at least six songs.
  • At least 50% of the tracks must be previously unreleased cuts. A cut is defined as material previously released to radio or retail.
  • All recordings must fulfill all legal requirements, meaning that the songwriters have been properly credited and mechanical royalties have been paid.
  • There are no release date requirements to apply to the Festival.
     

10.  If a Release/EP/Multi Media Item hasn’t been previously nominated, can it be nominated again the following year?

Yes, because the eligibility period is longer than one year, an album may be eligible for two consecutive years.

However:

  •  the album must still meet all release requirements.
  •  no album will be selected as a final nominee in the same category two years in a row.
  •  an album cannot be submitted in one genre category one year and in a different category the next

11.  What is the definition of a release and a release and a full-length Album?

Minimum 3 newly recorded songs, full-length means that the album is either a minimum of 30 minutes OR contains at least six songs.


12.  Will EPs be eligible for nomination?

Yes, as long as the EP is at least three songs.


13.  Can a submitted Album/EP include cover songs?

  • An Album and/or EP will be eligible for all categories if at least 50% of the tracks on the recording are previously unreleased cuts.
  • A cut is defined as material previously released to radio or retail.
  • Exceptions to this are Electronic/Dance and Instrumental categories which must be at least 75% previously unreleased cuts.

14.  Are Seasonal/Christmas Albums/EPs eligible?

Yes, as long as they still fit into a particular genre and meet all of the necessary residency and release requirements.


15.  Can submissions be made into both the Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year and Composer of the Year categories?

Yes. See Artistic Awards Categories for more information.


16.  If there is a project that has more then one producer or engineer how should it be entered?

  • A co-production or co-engineering team may enter as a team or as two separate entries.
  • If making one entry, the team will be recognized.
  • If making separate entries the other co-producers or co-engineers must be listed and credited where applicable.

17.  Is there a minimum number of submissions needed in order for a category to proceed?

  • Yes. There must be a minimum of four submissions for a category to proceed in any year.
  • If there aren't enough submissions the category is skipped for the year and nominees can resubmit their album for the following year.

18.  How are the jurors selected?

  • The jurors will be chosen for their demonstrated knowledge and expertise in their fields and for their impartiality.
  • WCMA board and staff members are not allowed to sit as jurors or to influence the jurors' decisions of the juries.

 

 

Return to the Top

 

Awards and Festival Guidelines

1. RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: ARTISTIC

  • All artistic award nominees must be residents of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon and/or the Northwest Territories, for at least six months between January 1, 2019 and April 8, 2020 The mandate of the Western Canadian Music Alliance is to support artists and companies who reside in western Canada a majority of the time and as such contribute to healthy and thriving music communities in the region. 
  • Groups: 50% of group members must meet residency requirements.
  • Proof of residency may be required.

 

2. RELEASE REQUIREMENTS: ARTISTIC

  • The nominee must have a commercial release between January 1, 2018 and April 8, 2020.

 

A release is defines as:

  • A minimum of 3 new songs must be commercially released and not be part of a collection previously nominated within 24 months of the submission deadline.
  • At least 50% of the tracks on the recording must be previously unreleased cuts.
  • Exceptions to this are Jazz and Classical, and Electronic/Dance and Instrumental categories which must be at least 75% previously unreleased cuts.
  • ‘Cut’ is defined as material previously released to radio or retail
  • All recordings must properly credit all songwriters.
  • All mechanical royalties must be paid.

3.  RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: INDUSTRY

  • All industry award nominees must be residents of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon and/or the Northwest Territories, for at least six months between January 1, 2019 and April 8, 2020 Companies must be registered companies in Western Canada. The mandate of the Western Canadian Music Alliance is to support artists and music companies who reside in western Canada a majority of the time and contribute to a healthy and thriving music community in their respective region. 
  • Groups: 50% of group members/company must meet residency requirements.
  • Proof of residency may be required.

 

 
4. MUSIC INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP 

It is recommended that submitting artists and industry members be a member of a western Canadian music industry association, but is not required. If accepted, the submitting artist or industry member will be contacted to ensure current membership with their local music industry association.

The western Canadian music industry associations include the following:     

      • Music BC
      • Manitoba Music
      • SaskMusic
      • Alberta Music
      • Music Yukon
      • Music NWT

 

5. NOMINATION & SUBMISSION DEADLINE

      •  Submissions Open: 11:00 a.m. CST on Monday, January 7, 2020.
      •  Submissions Close: 11:00 p.m. CST on Monday, April 8, 2020.

 Instructions for Submitting an Entry:

            •  Submission to the awards and festival does not guarantee either nomination or festival acceptance.
            •  Festival applicants must submit at least three professionally recorded songs for adjudication.
            •  There are no release date requirements for tracks submitted for festival consideration.
            •  All submissions are accepted online only. Before uploading any music, you will be instructed to install the Aspera app if you don’t already have it it.
            
•  Payment of the entry fee may only be made by credit card online.
            •  Online submissions must be completed by 11:00 PM CST on Monday, April 8, 2020.
            •  One submission must be completed for each category submitting to.
            •  Read all guidelines and category requirements prior to submission to ensure eligibility.
            •  Please complete submissions accurately and in full. 
Submitted information is what jurors consider when adjudicating final completed submissions.

 

6. NOMINATION AND VOTING PROCEDURES

Each submission will be considered for selection as one of the five nominees in each category. The submissions will be screened upon completion to ensure that each submission is complete and meets all eligibility requirements. Any submissions that are incomplete or ineligible will be disqualified. No refunds will be issued.

A panel of impartial jurors from across Canada will adjudicate all submissions and select the final five nominees in each category. The jury committee reserves the right to categorize a submission at their sole discretion.

In the event that a category is overpopulated, a ‘super jury’ will be convened to conduct the first review.

Electronic voting will be open to all current members of the western Canadian music industry associations and to jurors for final voting to select the winners. Final voting results are equally weighted between western Canadian music industry association members and jurors.

*The Audio Engineer ​​​​​​, Jazz, Francophone and Classical, Producer, Children's, Excellence in Visual Design will be selected and voted on solely by jurors and will not be open to voting by music industry association members

 

7. MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS OF ONE ALBUM

Each category has its own restrictions and requirements. Make sure to read the Artistic Awards Categories for a complete list of all category specifications.

 

8. NOMINATION SUBMISSION IN SUCCESSIVE YEARS

Because the eligibility period is longer than one year, an album may be eligible for two consecutive years.

However:

  •  The album must still meet all release requirements.
  •  No album will be selected as a final nominee in the same category two years in a row.
  •  An album cannot be submitted in one genre category one year and in a different category the next.

All details are subject to change.

 

9. MINIMUM NUMBER OF SUBMISSIONS

There must be a minimum of four (4) submissions for a category to proceed in any year. If four (4) submissions were not received for a particular category, that category is skipped for that year and nominees can resubmit their album the following year.

 

10. JURY SELECTION

Each award category will be juried by a group of at least ten jurors unless otherwise stated in Guideline #5. The jurors are chosen for their demonstrated knowledge and expertise in their fields. The jury is ensured to be inpartial. No WCMA board or staff member is permitted to vote or influence any adjudication.

The WCMA reserves the right to select juror(s) who are not a resident of one of the five member regions if it is necessary to compile a strong, impartial jury in a given year.

 

 

Return to the Top

Artistic Award Categories

Artistic Award Categories

Please review the below Western Canadian Music Artistic Award Category information. Be advised that any deviation from the requirements below may result in your submission being disqualified. If you have any questions about the below criteria, please contact johnny@breakoutwest.ca

Awards are presented to an Artist, Group, producer, or songwriter depending on the category.

Unless otherwise stated, at least 50% of the submitted recorded tracks must be original material.

If submitting as a group, at least 50% of performing members must meet Canadian residency requirements (see Award and Festival Guidelines for full list of requirements).

All applicants must have an eligible release in order to be considered for nomination (see Award and Festival Guidelines for full list of requirements).

All awards are chosen through an adjudication process. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT

 

 

 

AWARD CATEGORIES #1

 

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

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 residency requirement.

*Please read the guidelines for each category carefully and submit only if eligible. Non-eligible submissions will be disqualified.  Once submitted, no changes can be made.

 

Blues Artist of the Year 

  • Definition – This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in traditional or contemporary blues, performed either acoustic or electric. Live recordings must contain 50% new material that has not already been commercially released.

Children’s Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in music suitable for, and directed to, a young listening audience.. Material must be musical in nature or contain significant original musical content (ex: narratives or dramatic recordings must contain original music).

 Classical Artist 0r Ensemble of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in instrumental soloist(s), (a) chamber ensemble(s) (large or small), and/or instrumental soloists with chamber accompaniment. Submissions may include vocal or choral works.

 Country Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in the country genre.Submissions may include alt-country, traditional country, western swing, and/or another recognized country music style.

Electronic & Dance Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in original musical recordings composed significantly with electronic equipment as the essential songwriting tools, and defined by their electronic elements. Tracks prominently featuring recognizable samples, interpolations, or other borrowed elements will be eligible ONLY if the artist/group can provide clearance or written evidence that clearance has been sought.

 Global Artist of the Year 

(formerly World Artist of the Year)

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in one or more traditional music genres from around the world and/or or a cross-cultural mix of music. 

 Instrumental Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in instrumental music of any genre or style. Eligible submissions may contain no more than 25% tracks featuring lyrics or prominent vocals. 

 Jazz Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in jazz music (instrumental or vocal). Submissions may include traditional jazz, ragtime, swing, bebop, hard bop, cool jazz, fusion, Latin, Cuban or Afro-Cuban jazz, smooth, avant-garde, free improvisation, third stream, orchestral, and/or world music-influenced jazz compositions.

Metal & Hard Music Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in metal or hard music. Submissions may include metal, traditional/classic metal, metalcore, thrash metal, death metal, black metal, and any other relevant sub-genres.

 Pop Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in pop music. Submissions may include mainstream pop, top 40, CHR, HOT AC, as well as indie-pop and any other pop styles not available on commercial radio.

 R&B Artist of the Year 

(formerly Urban Artist of the Year)

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in the genre of R&B, soul, funk, or nu jazz.

Rap & Hip Hop Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in rap & hip hop music. Eligible submissions must contain lyrics delivered in an MC style and/or music/beats that demonstrate the sound of traditional and/or current hip hop. Tracks prominently featuring recognizable samples, interpolations, or other borrowed elements will be eligible ONLY IF the artist/group can provide clearance or written evidence that clearance has been sought.

 Rock Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in rock and/or alternative music. Rock music is typically defined by prominent use of the electric or acoustic guitar, aback beat laid down by a rhythm section of electric bass guitar, drums, and/or keyboard instruments. Styles may encompass soft rock, glam rock, punk rock, progressive rock, popular rock, and/or any other relevant sub-genres.

Roots Artist of the Year

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in vocal or instrumental music composed of, or influenced by roots music. Submission may include styles, repertoire, performance practices, and musical structures and that may use new sounds and/or instrumentation. Submissions are often, though not necessarily, composed by the submitting artist.

 Spiritual Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in music with spiritual and/or religious lyrical or thematic influence. Submissions may include traditional, contemporary, country, alternative, pop/rock, electronic, hip-hop, and/or R&B. Submissions will be accepted from choirs, groups, solo performers and instrumental artists. 

 

**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.

 

 

BreakOut Artist of the Year 

  • Definition – This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence with an exceptional year as a result of radio chart successes, media exposure, industry recognition, and/or touring success
  • 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 Composer of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence as a composer of new work composed within the past 10 years and that appears on commercially released recordings. This may include multiple compositions recorded on one or multiple releases. Recordings produced outside of Western Canada are eligible, provided the composer meets the eligibility and residency requirements. Recordings submitted in this category may also be submitted into a genre category in the same year.
  • Eligibility – A minimum of 1 composition 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.

 Francophone Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in performing in the French language. At least three of the total tracks submitted must contain vocals performed in French. 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.

Indigenous Artist of the Year 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence as a Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis artist or group who performs in either a traditional or contemporary musical style. In the case of a duo or group, at least 50% of members must identify as Indigenous, First Nations, Aboriginal and/or Metis. 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.

 Producer of the Year

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in music production and is awarded to a producer or production team. International releases are eligible, provided the producer meets the residency requirement. A Producer must have contributed to a minimum of 50% of tracks on the submitted release.
  • 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 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in a complete recording and may represent any genre or style of music. This is awarded to an artist/group. 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 recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence in the craft of songwriting. 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 songwriting team. Songwriter(s) who wish to be considered as a team must all consent to submitting as a team. One physical trophy is awarded regardless of songwriting team size. 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. 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.
  • 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 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist who demonstrates excellence in the unique contribution a music video makes to both the commercial success and the public reception of a song. Submissions must include links to the video online. The award goes to the director of the video. Videos produced outside of western Canada may qualify, provided the director is based in western Canada.  A directing team is eligible, provided they meet the residency requirement.
  • 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 

  • Definition - This award recognizes an artist whose music demonstrates excellence as a songwriter/composer of instrumental or vocal works composed to be synchronized with a film, television production, live theatre, and/or video game. A composition/song may be one body of work or may contain multiple short segments of composition/vocal work. The work must be composed solely for the purposes of synchronization and may not be included in a previous 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.

 

Return to the Top

INDUSTRY AWARD CATEGORIES

Please read and understand all guidelines and category requirements prior to submitting.

 

 

Industry Award Categories

 

Audio Engineering Award

This award recognizes excellence in audio engineering. This can include studio engineering for recordings or live engineering for the stage and is awarded to the engineer. The award is open to, but not necessarily limited to, studio engineers, mixing engineers, digital audio engineers, venue, and/or touring front of house or monitor technicians. The recipient will demonstrate dedication and excellence in the field of audio engineering as demonstrated through their work. Submissions can include audio recordings, testimonials from clients, or both. This may include one or multiple production projects. Work done outside of Western Canada is eligible, as long as the engineer meets the eligibility and residency requirements. Submissions will be juried based on professional activity occurring within one year of the submission deadline.

 

Community Excellence Award

This award recognises an artist, group, music company, or organization that demonstrates a commitment to community development or philanthropy. This can be through programming or contributions that support a local initiative, a global cause, or to the broader music community. Active engagement with the public should be visible on an ongoing basis. Testimonials, past achievements, and ongoing projects can all be included in this submission. Submissions will be juried based on professional activity occurring within one year of the submission deadline.

 

Excellence in Visual Design

Visual design makes a specific contribution to the branding and marketing of music. This award recognizes excellence in visual design including album packaging, merchandise, show posters, web and social media design. This award recognises a designer or design firm who has created work of note with one or more artists or project, across various media. This may include one or multiple production projects. Work done outside of western Canada is eligible, provided the designer meets the eligibility and residency requirements. Submissions will be juried based on professional activity occurring within one year of the submission deadline.

 

Impact in Artist Development

This award recognizes music companies or individuals from western Canada who have had a significant impact on artist(s) careers within the eligibility period. The award is open to but not limited to artist managers, labels, agents, and publishers, including individuals, teams, or companies. The recipient will have demonstrated particular accomplishments in advancing the career of an artist or roster of artists. Collaborations with artists from outside of western Canada are eligible, as long as the nominee meets the eligibility and residency requirements. Submissions will be juried based on professional activity occurring within one year of the submission deadline.

 

Impact in Live Music

This award recognizes music companies or individuals who have had a significant impact on the live music community in western Canada within the eligibility period. This award is open to, but not necessarily limited to, agents, promoters, presenters, buyers, venues and/or festivals. The recipient will have demonstrated accomplishments in live music such as innovative programming, audience development, or programming for a specific community need. Consideration will be given to the promotion of western Canadian artists, the historical and cultural value of the applicant institution to the industry and the community, relationships between the applicant and artists, and overall public participation. Nominees must meet the eligibility and residency requirements. Venues and festivals must be located in western Canada in order to meet eligibility. Submissions will be juried based on professional activity occurring within one year of the submission deadline. 

Impact in Music Marketing

This award recognizes innovation, creative thinking, and hard work in the field of marketing in the music industry in western Canada. The award is open to, but not necessarily limited to, individuals and companies working in public relations, marketing, radio tracking, music distribution, artist management, live promotion, app development, and technology. The recipient will demonstrate success through dedication to the western Canadian music industry and demonstrating new ways of doing business. Submissions will be juried based on professional activity occurring within one year of the submission deadline.

 

Return to the Top