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MusicNL gala rocks Twillingate

Ralph O’Brien lauds diversity of performances after winning Lifetime Achievement Award


The Newfoundland and Labrador music scene has come a long way in 50 years.

“I am so in awe of the talent that was here tonight,” Lifetime Achievement Award winner and all-around legend Ralph O’Brien said. “Fifty years ago, we didn’t have all this, this diversity.’

Oct. 14 saw the culmination of MusicNL’s annual conference and awards ceremony, hosted in Twillingate this year. From folk to metal and rock to country, a dozen acts performed on the final night, entertaining hundreds of people in the J.M. Olds Collegiate gymnasium, transformed into an appropriate venue for a provincial event.

According to executive director Glenda Tulk, this year saw the event travel to its smallest community yet, but all to good effect.

“It’s always a challenge to come to a small centre to do this kind of conference and awards show,” she told The Central Voice. “The venues are smaller, but the audiences often aren’t.”

Several artists commented on the welcome they received from Twillingate, promising to return. Tulk said part of the benefit of taking the event to new locations is that it gives those communities the confidence to take on other large events. It also creates connections between artists and venues off the beaten path, encouraging the former to come back for other shows.

“We’ll get an influx, in the next few weeks, of memberships in this region,” Tulk said, noting that MusicNL has to work to represent the whole province and not only the Avalon. “They know it’s for them too.”

MusicNL 2018 winners, presented at awards show

Instrumental Artist/Group of the Year: Ouroboros

Split Rock Brewing Co. Celtic/Traditional Artist of the Year: Rum Ragged

Yamaha Canada Side Musician of the Year: Maria Cherwick

Electronic Artist of the Year: Game Boy

Town of Twillingate Folk/Roots Artist of the Year: Rube & Rake

Rap/Hiphop Artist of the year: Chessclub

Molson/Coors Rock Artist of the Year: Mick Davis and Thin Love

The Anchor Inn Group of the Year: Rum Ragged

The Telegram/Central Voice Fans’ Choice Entertainer of the Year: The Swinging Belles

Pop Artist of the Year: Fortunate Ones

The Bee’s Knees/Posie Row Female Artist of the Year: Sherry Ryan

DC Design House Male Artist of the Year: Mark Bragg

Big Story Entertainment Alternative Artist of the year: Mark Bragg

MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law Country Artist of the year: Carolina East

Classic Hits Coast 101.1 FM Jazz/Blues Artist of the Year: Earle and Coffin

FACTOR Album of the Year: Fortunate Ones, “Hold Fast”

Ron Hynes SOCAN Songwriter of the Year: Mark Bragg

Lifetime Achievement Award: Ralph O’Brien

OZFM Rising Star of the Year: Rube & Rake

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