Red Deer singer-songwriter Ryan Langlois won the $75,000 career development prize as the second-place finisher in Alberta Music’s Project WILD.
Edmonton roots group The Prairie States won the top prize of just over $100,000, while Calgary’s pop-country duo Leaving Thomas came in third with $50,000.
Langlois is planning to put the money toward making his next “dream” album, backed by a professional band. He said Project Wild’s eductional process was very helpful, and he called his selection, over dozens of other Alberta musicians, “overwhelming.”
The three finalists hit the stage at Knoxville’s Tavern in Calgary on Saturday might for the program finale, where the prizes were awarded.
Even as a top three finalist, Langlois said he felt like a winner. “I am so thankful,” said the 38-year-old, who’s described as having a soulful voice and thoughtful lyrics.
Langlois, who was formerly in the Boom Chucka Boys, is also a top 10 finalist for the Alberta Country Music Awards for his first solo album, Light > Dark, as well as single of the year and male artist of the year.
He spoke publicly about his anxiety and depression during a fundraiser in September. Langlois is releasing a single about depression called You Don’t Walk Alone before the holiday blues hits for many people.