Contributed photo Wikund vs. Wiklund

Local performers recognized at Red Deer Entertainment Awards this month

More honourees and awards this year, says organizer

Randi Boulton and Wiklund vs. Wiklund are among the entertainers at the third-annual Red Deer Entertainment Awards on Saturday, Jan. 12, at Bo’s Bar and Stage.

Organizer Jesse Roads says it will be a bigger, better event this year, with more awards, honourees and entertainers — including local rapper Blaze On3.

“This builds the community and is a way of giving back… it’s not really about who wins,” adds Roads. “It’s just such a good feeling, seeing everybody in together in the same room.”

For the first time, Heath West, a local music producer, writer and musician, is the official Guest of Honour at the Red Deer Entertainment Awards. Roads says, “This guy has contributed so much to the Red Deer entertainment scene,” helping other Alberta musicians shine as the producer at The Space studio in Red Deer.

Quan Diep will receive the Promoter of the Year award for bringing multiple bands — including big names such as Mother Mother and Dear Rouge — into multiple local venues. “It takes the right combination of vision, confidence and heart to take a risk on a show,” adds Roads, who wants to recognize the effort.

Bo’s Bar and Stage will win the Venue Recognition Award for bringing in “top-tier” performing acts, often seen on much bigger stages.

The Vat Pack (the house band at The Vat), which hosts the Sunday night open-mic night, gets the Open Stage Award for allowing anybody to be “a rock star for the night.”

The Red Deer Arts Council will be recognized for its hard work in raising the profile of all arts in Red Deer, while the Central Alberta Film Festival will be honoured for touting the value of local filmmaking in the Red Deer area, Alberta and beyond.

Roads is thrilled that both organizations have come on board to sponsor their own awards at the ceremony next year.

The Achievement Award will go to Nolan Nicoll, of The Velvet Olive, for bringing that bar and live music nook “back to life.”

The Red Deer Scene Award will go to that publication’s founder, local musician and music-booster, Carl Stretton, who recently retired.

The Social Contribution Award will be presented to LV’s Vinyl Cafe and its owner Lisa Spencer-Cook. “Lisa has done an incredible job,” with her house concerts becoming a regular thing at LV’s Vinyl Cafe, says Roads.

The nominees that local residents can vote for are:

Cover Band of the Year: The Klamdaggers, Wynterland, Stormforth, Field Town Felons, 89, Slappy Pappy.

Comedian of the Year: Zachary Landry, Greg Plett, Bradley Laden

New Group/New Artist of the Year: Byrdz of Prey, The Rumours, Emily Vay, Young Howler

Singer/Songwriter of the Year: Devin Cooper, Ryan Langlois, Ryan Carnduff, Nathan Danser, Thomas Hutlet, Randi Boulton, Melody Stang

Artist/Group of the Year: Wiklund vs. Wiklund, Ryan Langlois, Sweetgrass, Devin Cooper, Nathan Danser, Kayla Williams.

To vote until Jan. 5, please visit

Tickets to the awards are also available from TicketFly or at the door.

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