You’ve gotta support local talent.
With that mantra in mind, the Red Deer Entertainment Awards are being launched to honour entertainers who are enriching our local cultural scene.
“I think it’s important that we do this,” said Red Deer musician Jesse Roads, who’s behind the first-annual awards presentations to be made Saturday, Jan. 14, at The Vat.
Since Edmonton and Calgary bestow recognition on their own performers, Roads figured it was time to dole out some love to deserving local musicians, comedians and their supporters. “It’s an effort to recognize the tireless efforts of our peers,” he added, stressing the awards are not meant to be a “who’s best at what”competition — at least not in this first year.
Most categories are non-competitive, with pre-announced winners — but there will be a few surprises be announced at the podium in four competitive categories.
The Singer/Songwriter of the Year Award has five nominees — Randi Boulton, Ryan Carnduff, Bradley Abel, Curtis Phagoo and Shiv Shanks — and the Cover Band of the Year Award will go to either 89, The KlamDaggers or Sharkpuncher.
The public can also vote by commenting on Roads’ Green Goose Entertainment Facebook page about who should get the Group of the Year Award, and whether Damian La Grange, Balaclava or Tigermilk should get the Best New Group Award.
Otherwise, Roads said local music promoters Quan Diep and Justin Shadows will share Promoter of the Year honours, Bo’s Bar and Stage will get recognition for being a premiere live music venue, while The Vat’s owner Terry Cave will get the Red Deer Scene Award for building the city’s social scene.
Red Deer Scene founder and local musician Carl Stretton will be honoured with an Achievement Award “for his commitment and efforts on all fronts,” while Bull Skit will receive a Comedy Achievement Award, and Clint Worke and The Dirrty Show will share a Comedy Recognition Award.
Local musician Paeton Cameron will get the Open Stage Award for hosting several open-mic shows, and local entrepreneur Sean Draper will get a Special Contributions Award for “nurturing community spirit” through his downtown businesses, including Red Boar Smokery and To the Lost.
Roads said he’s received a lot of great feedback — and a few comments about who else should have been recognized. The awards board (including members David Gilmore, Cory Harding, and Peter Michaels) are always willing to add another name to the roster — or consider a nomination for the 2017 Red Deer Entertainment Awards.
Tickets are avialable at www.brownpapertickets.com.