Rose Cousins was the big winner last night at the 25th annual East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) handed out last night at the Cunard Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, picking up three awards including Songwriter of the Year for "Go First," Folk Recording of the Year for her album "We Have Made A Spark" and Solo Recording of the Year.
According to the ECMA official site, rock band The Stanfields took home the Chronicle Herald Fan's Choice Entertainer of the Year award as well as Group Recording of the Year for "Death & Taxes." Meanwhile, Matt Mays earned Album of the Year honors for his latest effort "Coyote." Joel Plaksett Emergency won the Rock Recording of the Year award for "Scrappy Happiness" and singer-songwriter Dave Gunning earned Song of the Year honors for "These Hands." Other winners included Jenn Grant, George Canyon, Ben Caplan and Natalie MacMaster.
A Special Achievement Award went to longtime Newfoundland songwriter Ron Hynes and the late Raylene Rankin who died last September from cancer. And a special video tribute to the late Stompin' Tom Connors was shown during the ceremony which caused a standing ovation from the audience.
Finally, a special 25th Anniversary Award went out to 13 artists including Rita MacNeil, Rankin Family, Lennie Gallant, Ashley MacIsaac, Rawlins Cross, Roch Voisine and Great Big Sea for their musical contributions over the years.