It’s official; marking its fourth annual year celebrating music in Durham Region, the Oshawa Music Awards have announced this year’s nominees!
Spanning seven award categories — including Durham Song of the Year, Emerging Artist or Band of the Year, Album of the Year, and more — public voting for nominees has officially begun via theomas(dot)ca. It will close on August 20th at 11:59 p.m. EST, and the awards are across three days: September 9, September 16, and September 23.
This year’s recipients of OMA’s Music Industry Leader and Lifetime Achievement/Hall of Fame honours were also revealed; Artemis Chartier will receive the 2021 honour of Music Industry Leader of the Year, and Ivan Berry — alongside the late Al Cole and the late Andy Gondek — will receive Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame nods.
“The OMAs are excited to officially reveal the names of our nominees,” says co-director, Julius Allan Rondilla. “The Durham Region is front row to so many incredibly talented candidates; our arts scene is home to some of the nation’s best!”
// 2021 Official Nominees & Recipients
Artist or Band of the Year — Presented by 360 Insights Crown Lands (Context: Fearless Pt. I) Judgement (Define Alive) Lindsay Schoolcraft (World’s Away)
Single of the Year Crown Lands (Context: Fearless Pt. I) Hunter Sheridan (To You, My Friend) Valdii (The Mirror)
Songwriter of the Year — Presented by Trent University Durham GTA Judgement w/ Evangelos Aivaliotis, Riley Robertson, James Hack, Cameron Smith (Terra Firma, November, Define Alive) Tania Joy (Planks and Marietta, The Drought) The Rockin Krolik (More Than Enough)
Music Video of the Year Dead Defined w/ Director Luke Camozzi (Lifeline) Gal George Gjurin w/ Director Gal George Gjurin (Secret) Judgement w/ Director Roberto Spadafora (Define Alive)
Emerging Artist or Band of the Year NERiMA (Home) Hollowsage & the Three Mile Islanders (Nuclear Home) Nothing Special (Brandi)
Album of the Year Crown Lands (Crown Lands) Hollowsage & the Three Mile Islanders (Nuclear Home) Hunter Sheridan (Life Is a Dream)
Durham Song of the Year Daniel Raymond (115) Gal George Gjurin (I Don’t Want to Meet You In Heaven) Tania Joy (Planks and Marietta)
Receiving two nominations of her own, Canadian folk singer/songwriter Tania Joy hosted the broadcasted nomination event.
“We were honoured to have Tania Joy host our nominee announcement ceremony,” says OMA Director Thao Nghiem. “She is not only such an enthusiastic supporter of Durham’s local arts community, but an amazing contributor to it as well.”
Based in Uxbridge, Tania Joy was proud to host the event. “There’s something about this place,” she muses of the Durham Region and its rich creative scene. “It's got such a tight-knit and supportive arts community — from sculptors, to musicians, to theatre, as well as the #1 bookstore in Canada…
“I think we’re all pretty proud to live here.”
Tania Joy walks the talk in more ways than one, having hosted an open mic night at local pub, Col. McGrady’s, for nearly a decade. With performance credits with the likes of Serena Ryder, The Weeknd’s original backing band, and more, she is a multi-talented artist with a forthcoming new sophomore EP slated for this Fall. Among her recently released singles are “The Drought,” a moseying country-soul musing on the loss of love, “Who I Am,” a rootsy anthem embracing unspoken fears, and “Planks and Mairetta,” an acoustic, reflective protest song, with all proceeds directed towards Black Lives Matter.
“The Drought” and “Planks and Marietta” were recognized in her nomination for Songwriter of the Year, and “Planks and Marietta” received a nod for Durham Song of the Year.
Launched in 2018, previous Oshawa Music Awards’ recipients include Shawn Mendes, Crown Lands, Zaftig, Skye Wallace, Mogens Galberg, and more.
The 2021 Oshawa Music Awards are proudly presented by Durham Region Economic Development and Tourism. Sponsors and contributors consist of Spark Centre, Trent University, 360Insights, Long & McQuade, 94.9 The Rock, SOCAN Foundation, and Durham College’s Music Business Management Program.
“While honouring and supporting local artists is important every year, and the reason we founded the OMAs in the first place, the 2021 Awards hold a special significance given the hurdles musicians have faced over the last year,” Thao Nghiem adds. “With that, we look forward to celebrating a bright spot on the horizon with the announcement of this year’s official nominees!”
The 2021 Oshawa Music Awards are across three days: September 9th, September 16th, and September 23rd.
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