I am incredibly pleased to tell you that this year is quickly ramping up to be a giant success!
With the kick-off launch party only just around the corner, we are all giddy with excitement. This year we will feature 2012 97.7 RockSearch winners, The Standstills, as our headlining act at the Launch Party. Also, we will feature Canadian Idol judge, Zack Werner, who will be talking about the music business, what judges look for and also about his Idol School in Toronto (anyone submitting to our rising star category this year will want to be in attendance).
The Launch Party is happening April 23rd at the Merriton Community Centre in St. Catharines. Doors open at 7 and it is a pay-what-you-can donation entry like we did last year.
I would also like to let you all know that we have been talking to some very famous Canadian Artists and you never know who you will be rubbing shoulders with at the Launch Party! I wouldn’t miss it!
If you are a newcomer to the NMA experience, I’ll let you know a little bit about how it works:
We begin accepting submissions at 7pm on April 23rd. While you can physically submit your music that night, we ask you that you also submit it right here online.
After the 23rd, submissions will be open for an additional 6 weeks, so you’ll have plenty of time to get your music in.
The cost of submissions will be $19 for three songs submitted in a single category. With this we will give you one free ticket to the show! Nominated or not! I think that’s great value, don’t you?
If you become nominated for an award, you will get a ticket to the ceremony for every member of your group.
And new this year, if you become nominated, you will also receive a photo shoot courtesy of Altoft Photography!
What happens next is simple: Once submissions close, your music will be judged privately by actual famous music stars and record label execs. This judging process happens in an online setting and is entirely separate from each judge; so basically, each judge will review the submissions in the privacy of their own workspace or home using their computers or iPads or what have you. No judge knows the other judges and we only see the automatic tally when they are done.
So in short, not one person here in the NMA team has any part of the judging process. This keeps the judging honest and without potential corruption.
From there we find the top 2, 3, 4 or 5 artists in each category and nominate them for an award. The amount of nominees are in direct relationship with how many artists entered in that respective category.
Next comes the Nomination Party where we eat, drink, watch local talent perform and create a big jam session. Later in the evening, we will announce the nominees.
Now it gets really exciting! For the next month, we will promote these nominees until we are sore and dehydrated!
We want to get the “eyeballs to the artists”!
Niagara promotion is one thing, but we dream bigger. We want the Canadian music scene to know who you are!
And remember this, it is an honour to have your music constructively critiqued by actual famous artists and the people who made them famous. We promise to show you your score sheet and the comments that the judge has left when the awards are over. This way you can get professional advice on your music, image, lyrics, production, etc. so if you are not nominated, it does not mean you don’t deserve it, it means you need to tighten a few things for next year.
A question that some people ask is “why am I paying money to have my music judged?”
The answer is easy: First, we are not a rich organization. Every one of us volunteers our time to this cause. In order to have trophies, put on a show, etc, we need a little money. Secondly, if the entry was free, everyone would submit all the time. For example, we would get many people who breath heavily into their iPhone records or something and submit that. More bogus submissions means more work for us sorting it all out and it would be very hard.
Make sense? Good!
Now after that month long promoting blitz, we will have the awards ceremony. This will happen in late July. Celebrities will be present, photos and video taken, limousine rides in and a huge celebration as we announce the winners!
The feeling, friends, of winning an award for all of your hard work in an industry that is rarely rewarding is AMAZING! I can tell you this from experience – I won two Niagara Music Awards myself for my orchestral score compositions before I took the reins to the NMAs. And let me tell you, it was such a great feeling to be noticed and honoured.
And yes, folks, I’m not only the Director of the Niagara Music Awards, I’m also a musician.
So what is this all really for? This is a celebration of the great artists that Niagara has bred. This is a recognition for so much hard work that often doesn’t get recognized. This is bringing the eyes of Canada and the world to our stellar artists. This is coming together as a community and supporting each other.
This, my friends, is NMA6!
Niagara Music Awards