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'New optimism for music' in the air as 2024 ECMA nominations announced

Sea Ruth, a member of the Umbrella Collective, which was nominated for Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year, performs at the ECMA announcement. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
Sea Ruth, a member of the Umbrella Collective, which was nominated for Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year, performs at the ECMA announcement. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

With seven nominations, P.E.I.'s East Pointers led the pack as the 2024 East Coast Music Awards kicked off the trip to Atlantic Canada's big music week in May.

The nominations were announced Tuesday in Charlottetown, where the awards will be handed out during the May 1-5 event.

"We're bringing a new optimism for music," said Andy McLean, CEO of the East Coast Music Association, of this year's celebrations.

"After several years of extreme difficulty through the COVID years, we have the most number of submissions ever for people, musicians who want to be part of ECMAs. For me, that's the lifeblood of what's going on in the music community."

This is the second year in a row that East Pointers have led the competition. Last year, they tied with Classified at the top with six nominations.

This seems to be the year that music is making a comeback after the pandemic, says Andy McLean. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Nods for the group include Album of the Year for Safe in Sound, which is also nominated for Contemporary Roots Recording, Group Recording, and Pop Recording.

Nova Scotia leads the regions for nominations with 88, followed by:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 52.

  • Prince Edward Island: 41.

  • New Brunswick: 24.

  • Cape Breton: 18.

Jenn Grant of Nova Scotia earned six nominations, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Tim Baker of Newfoundland and Labrador also had six, including Album of the Year and Solo Recording of the Year.

Kinley, nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year, performed at Tuesday's event.

"ECMAs is my favourite party of the entire year and I'm so excited that P.E.I. is hosting it," she said.

Kinley, nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year, at Tuesday’s event.
Kinley, nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year, at Tuesday’s event.

Kinley, nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Pop Recording of the Year, at Tuesday’s event. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

"Everyone is touring so much all year and then we finally come [together]. It's like our Old Home Week here."

She said it's great to have the multi-day event in Charlottetown because everything is so close together and it's easy to get around and see lots of different things.

This will be the 36th year the ECMAs will celebrate the creation of music in Atlantic Canada.

"People are coming in from all over the world to see what Atlantic Canada has on display and P.E.I. is extremely well represented this year. So I think it's gonna be great for everybody," said McLean.