Maple Blues Awards Return to Koerner Hall January 30th – American Blues Scene

Maple Blues Awards Return to Koerner Hall January 30th – American Blues Scene

In spite of another year of uncertainty in the face of a global pandemic, Canadian blues artists continued to write, record, and yes, even tour throughout Canada and beyond. Musicians of all genres faced much adversity in 2022, but the current slate of nominees for the upcoming Maple Blues Awards show that hard times can channel intense creativity. That’s the blues, in a nutshell. 

Indigenous blues artists are well represented among the nominees, including BC-based duo Blue Moon Marquee, who are nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Acoustic Act of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Recording/Producer of the Year. 

Crystal Shawanda, of Wiikwemkoong First Nation, received nominations in three categories including Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Recording/Producer of the Year. Murray Porter of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory is nominated for the Blues With A Feeling Award, alongside BC-based Afro-Canadian Cherokee blues matriarch Dalannah Gail Bowen. Lyle Odjick, of the Algonquin reservation of Kitigan Zibi, QC is nominated for New Artist /Group of the Year.

Under the guidance of Toronto Blues Society Board of Director Elaine Bomberry, a new Indigenous Blues Artist category will be launched at the event.  A committee of Indigenous advisors are overseeing the criteria and outreach to a burgeoning community of Turtle Island blues creators.

Maple Blues Awards Return to Koerner Hall January 30th – American Blues Scene

Women and women-led groups account for a total of 29 nominations, including Angelique Francis, who has been nominated for four Maple Blues Awards in the categories of Female Vocalist of the Year, New Artist/Group of the Year, Recording/Producer of the Year, and Bassist of the Year, Sue Foley has been nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year and Guitarist of the Year, with Suzie Vinnick being nominated in the categories of Acoustic Act of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year, alongside many other incredible blues-women in multiple categories.

Public voting opens November 2nd, 2022 at 10:01 am Eastern Time and closes December 1st, 2022 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time. Fans can vote in eligible categories at here.

Winners of the Maple Blues Awards will be announced at the gala/performance on Monday January 30th, 2023 at Koerner Hall in Toronto. Tickets are on sale now and start at $35. Tickets for the not-to-be-missed event can be purchased here.

26th Annual Maple Blues Awards Nominees

Entertainer of the Year

Blue Moon Marquee

Bywater Call

Crystal Shawanda

Steve Marriner

Sue Foley

Electric Act of the Year


Colin James


Steve Strongman

Sue Foley

Acoustic Act of the Year

Blue Moon Marquee

Brandon Isaak

Harrison Kennedy

Matt Andersen

Suzie Vinnick

Male Vocalist of the Year

Harrison Kennedy

Jeff Rogers

Kevin Harvey

Matt Andersen

Steve Marriner

Female Vocalist of the Year

Angelique Francis

Crystal Shawanda

Meghan Parnell

Miss Emily

Suzie Vinnick

New Artist/Group of the Year

 Angelique Francis

 Campbell & Johnston

 Lyle Odjick

 Marcus Trummer

 South Island Rhythm Kings

Songwriter of the Year

Blue Moon Marquee

Colin James

Colin Linden

Harrison Kennedy

Suzie Vinnick

B.B. King International Artist of the Year

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Erja Lyytinen

Ghost Town Blues Band

Larkin Poe

Mavis Staples

Recording/Producer of the Year

 Long River

ARTIST: Angelique Francis

PRODUCER: Angelique Francis / Kiran Francis

Midnight Blues

ARTIST: Crystal Shawanda

PRODUCER: Dewayne Strobel

Open Road

ARTIST: Colin James

PRODUCER: Colin James / Dave Mezaros

Scream Holler & Howl

ARTIST: Blue Moon Marquee

PRODUCER: Blue Moon Marquee, Duke Robillard & Erik Nielsen

Thanks For Tomorrow

ARTIST: Harrison Kennedy

PRODUCER: Harrison Kennedy / Jesse O’Brian

Blues With a Feeling Award

(Lifetime Achievement Award)

Alec Fraser

Bobby Dean Blackburn

Brent Parkin

Dalannah Gail Bowen

Danny Brooks

Harrison Kennedy

Murray Porter

Tom Lavin

Guitarist of the Year

Colin James

Jack de Keyzer

Sue Foley

Teddy Leonard

Tony D

Harmonica Player of the Year

Guy Bélanger

Paul Reddick

Roly Platt

Shawn Hall

Steve Marriner

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year

Ann Vriend

David Vest

Debra Power

Jesse O’Brien

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne

Horn Player of the Year

Alison Young

Chris Whiteley

Loretta Hale

Pat Carey

Richard Thornton

Drummer of the Year

Chris Nordquist

Cory Blackburn

Jim Casson

Matt Sobb

Tom Bona

Bassist of the Year

Alec Fraser

Angelique Francis

Gary Kendall

John Dymond

Russell Jackson

Winners in instrumental categories — guitar, harmonica, piano/keyboards, horn, drum, and bass — will be determined by the Nominating Panel. Winners in all other categories will be selected by blues fans across the country.