Two Chilliwack artists took home awards last week during the fourth annual Fraser Valley Music Awards (FVMA) on Nov. 21.
Singer-songwriter Lori Paul won the Achievement by a Female Artist award while local band Joanie Loves Chachi won in the Punk category. See the full list of winners at the end of this story.
“A beautiful surprise bestowed at the Fraser Valley Music Awards tonight, I was blown away,” Paul wrote on social media that night.
They were two of seven individual artists and bands nominated for the awards.
The nominees from Chilliwack were: Kellen Saip (blues and country), Lori Paul and Spiderlodge (country), Brizzy (hip hop/urban), Eddy J Band (country), Dear Father (blues), Chilliwack/New West band The Crescent Sky (folk), and Chilliwack/Abbotsford band Rachel and Ted Music (jazz).
A total of 16 awards were handed out in front of a full house at Corky’s Irish Pub in Chilliwack last Thursday.
The region was well represented with winners coming from Abbotsford (4), Chilliwack (2), Langley (4), Maple Ridge (1), Mission (1) and Surrey (3).
Kristin Witko of Abbotsford was the evening’s lone double victor, taking home awards for both the Pop and Experimental categories.
The fans had their first chance to choose their favourite, and the winner of the Dakota Leslie Award went to Western Jaguar of Maple Ridge with nearly 400 votes.
The night’s biggest moment came with the presentation of the first ever FVMA Lifetime Achievement Award to Trooper guitarist and co-founder Brian Smith of Langley.
Prior to accepting the trophy, Smith and the crowd were treated to a congratulatory video featuring some of Canada’s top musicians as well as a variety of other well-wishers. The reel included Bill Henderson of the group Chilliwack, Mike Reno of Loverboy, Kim Mitchell, Bryan Adams’ guitarist Keith Scott, Tom Cochrane, Darby Mills of Headpins fame, D.O.A. leader Joey Keithley, Sass Jordan, former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page, and Odd’s Craig Northey; as well as Rick Mercer, Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek, longtime agent Sam Feldman, and 2019 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Hayley Wickenheiser.
Among those in attendance to help celebrate Smith were his wife Joanne and daughter Jolene, Ra McGuire (Trooper singer and musical partner for more than 50 years), and past band-mates Tommy Stewart and Doni Underhill.
After greetings from Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove, guest presenters included local music icon Lori Paul, manager of music programs for CreativeBC Brenda Grunau, Chilliwack councillor Jason Lum, and Misfit, member of the multi-Juno winning Hip Hop group Rascalz.
The event was hosted by local producer and comic Harry Doupe. The Fraser Valley Music Awards are an undertaking of CIVL Radio under the direction of station manager Aaron Levy.
Winners for the 2019 Fraser Valley Music Awards:
Blues – Dale Sawatzky (Langley)
Country – David Ivan Neil (Abbotsford)
Electronic – Stephen Carl O’Shea (Abbotsford)
Experimental – Kristin Witko (Abbotsford)
Folk – West My Friend (Langley)
Hip Hop/Urban – Hooper Turnt Sanger (Surrey)
Jazz – Natalia Pardalis (Surrey)
Metal – Eric ‘The Lightning’ Taylor (Abbotsford)
Pop – Kristin Witko (Abbotsford)
Punk – Joanie Loves Chachi (Chilliwack)
Rock – Gone Sugar Die (Langley)
Achievement by a Female Artist – Lori Paul (Chilliwack)
Achievement by a First Nations/Indigenous Artist – Alexis Lynn (Surrey)
Achievement by an LGBTQ2+ Artist – Mackenzie Widdows (Mission)
Dakota Leslie Award for Fan Vote – Western Jaguar (Maple Ridge)
Lifetime Achievement – Brian Smith (Langley)