Posted On: Sep. 17, 2017

BreakOut West 2017 is a wrap! The 15th annual BreakOut West proved western Canada has an amazing breadth of talent in every musical genre and industry role imaginable, turning Edmonton into a bustling hub of music performance, business and camaraderie from September 13-17, 2017. With a sold-out kick off concert on Thursday evening, 21 jam-packed conference sessions with over 545 one-on-one meetings between artists and industry, and a showcase festival with over 60 artists at 10+ venues, BreakOut West was a successful event for the artists and the industry. 35 international delegates arrived to seek new business, network and have some fun through the weekend, as well as hundreds of artists and industry members from our own region.


The 2017 Western Canadian Music Awards were also handed out to winners over the weekend, with Saskatchewan's Andy Shauf and his recent release "The Party" taking home the most awards, including Pop Artist of the Year sponsored by SOCAN Foundation, Songwriter(s) of the Year sponsored by SOCAN, and Recording of the Year sponsored by Stingray Music. Several of Edmonton's own were honoured with awards including Nuela Charles for Urban Artist of the Year, Jay Gilday for Indigenous Artist of the Year sponsored by APTN, 100 Mile House for Roots Duo or Group of the Year sponsored by the City of Edmonton, and for the second year in a row, Striker for Metal/Hard Music Artist of the Year. The Industry Awards Brunch also honoured Edmonton native Kathy Kirby posthumously; Kirby was an integral part of the music scene in Edmonton until her passing in 2014. Paul Brandt was honoured as Hall of Fame Inductee for 2017 and also performed an acoustic song at the Industry Awards Brunch. Artists from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Yukon also took home awards, and showcasing artists were present from each province and territory, including artists from the Northwest Territory and Nunavut.


The 15th annual BreakOut West was made possible thanks to financial support from FACTOR the Government of Canada, and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, as well as the support of the Province of Alberta, City of Edmonton, and Tourism Edmonton. BreakOut West thanks all our funders, partners and sponsors from 2017 and all the way back through its history, and looks forward to many more years of celebration and career development of artists from western Canada.


For the 16th annual BreakOut West in 2018, the event returns to British Columbia, and it's host city of Kelowna! The host committee and Kelowna community are excited to see the event return to the Okanagan area to showcase what the city has to offer, "Last time Breakout West was in Kelowna in 2010, the delegates and the local community had an absolute blast." says Karma Lacoff, Host Committee Chair. "Since then Kelowna has exploded with vibrant growth; we've got new venues and new relationships with businesses including our local wineries and breweries. Our host committee is stoked to welcome the music industry back in 2018!"


BreakOut West 2018 will take place from October 10-14, 2018 in Kelowna BC. For more information as the event develops and for year-round opportunities supported by BreakOut West, visit


2017 Western Canadian Music Award Winners - Artistic Awards


Blues Artist of the Year

Big Dave McLean (MB)


Children's Artist of the Year presented by Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium Society

Ginalina (BC)


Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year presented by Canadian Music Centre

Standing Wave (BC)


Classical Composition of the Year

"Immersion" - Jordan Nobles (BC)


Country Artist of the Year presented by Dauphin's Countryfest

The Washboard Union (BC)


Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year

IsKwé (MB)


Francophone Artist of the Year

Ponteix (SK)


Indigenous Artist of the Year presented by APTN

Jay Gilday (AB)


Instrumental Artist of the Year

Five Alarm Funk (BC)


Jazz Artist of the Year

Michael Kaeshammer (BC)


Metal/Hard Music Artist of the Year

Striker (AB)


Pop Artist of the Year presented by SOCAN Foundation

Andy Shauf (SK)


Producer of the Year presented by Nimbus School of Recording & Media

Jesse Gander (BC)


Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the Year

The Lytics (MB)


Rock Artist of the Year presented by Radio Starmaker

Dan Mangan (BC)


Roots Duo/Group of the Year presented by the City of Edmonton

100 Mile House (AB)


Roots Solo Artist of the Year presented by the Province of Alberta

Corb Lund (AB)


Songwriter(s) of the Year presented by The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)

Andy Shauf - "The Magician" (SK)


Spiritual Artist of the Year

Warren Dean Flandez (BC)


Urban Artist of the Year

Nuela Charles (AB)


Video Director of the Year

Zach Wilson (SK)


Visual Media Composer of the Year presented by Green Sky Labs Inc.

Matthew Schellenberg (MB)


World Artist of the Year

Andino Suns (SK)


2017 Western Canadian Music Award Winners - Industry Awards, Special Awards and Hall of Fame Induction


Audio Engineering Award
Sheldon Zaharko (BC)


BreakOut Artist of the Year presented by CKUA Radio Network
The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer (BC)


Community Excellence Award presented by Alley Kat Brewing Company
West End Cultural Centre (MB)


Excellence in Visual Design
Renée Mak (BC)


Impact in Artist Development
Paquin Artists Agency (MB)


Impact in Live Music presented by Music Canada Live
West End Cultural Centre (MB)


Impact in Music Marketing presented by Edmonton Tourism
Susan Busse - Susan Busse PR (SK)


Recording of the Year presented by Stingray Rising Stars
Andy Shauf - The Party (SK)


2017 Heritage Award

Ken Regan


2017 Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award

Kathy Kirby (posthumously)


2017 Hall of Fame Inductee

Paul Brandt