Congratulations to our 2018 winners!

The Kootenay Music Awards and Kootenay Co-op Radio want to congratulate and thank all of our nominees and winners for their involvement in this year's event. With over 170 submissions and 2,000 votes, it is a great accomplishment just to be nominated. We are so honoured to be able to promote local talent from around the Kootenays and we couldn't do it without their support.


Best Reggae Song - The Hillties

 Two Ladies

The Hillties are a five-piece band (chapman stick, ukulele, guitar, drums and three-part harmonies) based out of Nelson/Victoria BC. Using this unique instrumentation we blend ska/reggae and funk into original music to keep the dance floor bumping all night.

Best Electronic Song - DEKKER


Though new to the Neuro/Dub scene, Ontario native Ryan Dekker is someone worth keeping an eye on. A true studio workhorse, he has amassed a hard drive full of sub-blistering bangers over the last few years, most of which have gone unheard to anyone other than his handful of loving (and patient) roommates. As a self-proclaimed, “lover of crisp tunes” he delivers exactly that with every one of his immaculately designed sounds, treating your ears to frequencies only ever rarely heard.

Best Blues Song - The Burn Ins

  Let Me Be

Elkford BC band, The Burn Ins, are signed to BC community record label Mighty Speck Records. Their bluesy indie-rock sound will take you on a delightfully dark journey into a foot-stomping good time. Members include Aaron Lyall on drums and bassist Kristine Lyall fronting the accompanying band with her own brand of soulful vocal stylings.

Best Roots Song - Ella and Talel


The art of making music with a lifelong friend is truly magical. Friends for nine years, Ella Korth and Talel McBriar have merged their musical abilities to produce a harmonious duo of singing and instrumentals. Both raised in Nelson BC, Ella and Talel, now seventeen and eighteen, have been playing folk music together since they were fourteen.

Best Cover Band - Heavy Airship

  Rock n' Roll

With a thunderous sound, Heavy Airship descends on the Kootenay region of British Columbia like a storm coming in from the Misty Mountain. In just a short time the Nelson-based Led Zeppelin tribute has gained a faithful following in the area and has shared the stage with the likes of Dr. Hook and the legendary AC/DC tribute act BC/DC. Recreating the classic sound of Led Zeppelin, Heavy Airship consists of Craig Thiessen on vocals, Gus Dixon on guitar, Quillan Hanley on bass guitar and Eddie Thomas on drums.

Best Rock Song - Rainboard

  Night Thief's Express

Rainboard is a two-piece space rock outfit. Tom Reimer and Lyndon Schiewe form this lush guitar and drums duo. Their mountainous homes of the West Kootenay region of British Columbia provide a perfect backdrop to writing their shoegaze-tinged brand of noise rock.

Best Pop Song - Emma Kade (ft Terrance Richmond)

  Until My Heart Quits

Emma Kade is a young, up and coming singer/songwriter from Creston BC. She taught herself how to play guitar at 13, and started writing original music. At 17, she was signed to a small American record label with which she recorded and released her debut album Transparent in 2014. Since then, she has opened for Juno award winners, worked with award-winning producers, and played shows all over BC. With lyrics beyond her years, Emma is a unique blend of folk and pop music, captivating every audience.

Best Venue - Spirit Bar

While Spiritbar resembles a nightclub you might expect to find in an urban, cosmopolitan centre, it is infused with a spirit that is distinctly Nelson.  Inclusive and diverse by design, Spiritbar is Nelson’s entertainment hub, hosting local and internationally established and upcoming acts.

DJs, rock bands, movie premieres, and burlesque shows have all graced the stage at Spiritbar.  Fashion shows, fundraisers and all sorts of other events are also finding a home in this versatile and uber-equipped venue. The vibe is friendly, and taken in sum with an impressive LED lighting array, killer sound system, and slick finishing - Spiritbar has been cemented as Nelson’s preferred entertainment venue.

Lifetime Achievement - The Pride: Sara Spicer & Mike (Hoola) Paine

After getting a loan from community futures in 1997, Mike Paine started his DJ business and a lifelong passion for music and event promotions. He started his DJ Hoola career at Club Utopia in the late 90's. In 2000 Mike partnered with his wife Sara Spicer aka DJ Lion-S and co-founded the Pride Promotions. They were the only people promoting electronic / dance music events in Nelson BC at that time. They also stepped into the position of music curating, talent bookings, artist management. and hosting for Shambhala Music Festival’s 6 state-of-the-art stages. They also became the stage directors of the Living Room. After Shambhala year 10 they retired from their position as head curators to focus their energies on the Living Room Stage. They continued to produce monthly shows in Nelson at SpiritBar and what is now Bloom Nightclub.

In a nutshell, they have produced and DJ’d upwards of 500 shows in Nelson, the surrounding Kootenay region, and beyond, over the last 20 years.

Best Music Video - Sexton Blake

 Go Outside

Sexton’s music is innovative and energetic with hip-hop, indie, synth-pop and electro influences, from the garage to the home studio to you. Miss Blake has a degree in opera and a certificate in musical theatre and has written and produced numerous musicals with Iron Mountain Theatre over the past 10 years. Now, she is telling stories differently through her songwriting and sharing with the world what is important to her – talking about anxiety, learning to say NO, reacting to the news, and LOVE.

Directed by Ben Walker and filmed by Bohdan Dorval.

Artist of the Year - Dawson Rutledge

  Same Old News

Dawson Rutledge is a hip, award-winning, sophisticated young songwriter from Cranbrook. He is a unique vocalist, and serious about his craft. At 20, Dawson is already something of a vet, having crammed a full-blown apprenticeship into 2 heady years. After being discovered at an emerging artist festival in Arizona, Dawson was introduced to Grammy Award-winning Producer Justin Guip, who was keen to record Dawson's music. Dawson has just returned from a West Coast USA Tour, promoting his new album "Monsters".