September 26, 2013
by Nathan Chamberland


Congratulations to all nominees! Here are NMA6’s big winners!


Album of the Year: A Book for Wanderers

Songwriter of the Year: Aaron Berger

Female Vocalist of the Year: Jane Baker

Male Vocalist of the Year: Anthony Botting

Original Group of the Year: The Black Flies

Adult Contemporary Artist: Paul Federici

Best Bar Band: Vinyl Flux

Blues Group of the Year: The Brant Parker Band

Country Group of the Year: Straight South

Electronic Dance Music of the Year: Michael O’Howe (Status Update)

Engineer of the Year: Winding Path Media

Folk Group of the Year: Jordan Raycroft

Heavy Metal Group of the Year: Silo 66

Hip Hop Group of the Year: The KaC Himself

Instrumental Artist of the Year: M-Phaktor

Jazz Group of the Year: Dually Noted

Music Video of the Year: The Snips

New Artist of the Year: Paige Kopp

New Group of the Year: Barbudos

Original Song of the Year: Thunderclap!

People’s Choice Award: Cory Cruise

Rising Star: Spencer Mackenzie

Rock Group of the Year: Crutch

World Group of the Year: Fenian Raid

Special Achievement: Pete Haverkamp

September 2, 2013
by Nathan Chamberland

NMA6 saved!

Hello all!

Thanks so very much for hanging in there with us as we met and slaughtered every challenge that presented itself.

As you may already know, NMA6 was hit with a big challenge: The massive Niagara storm we had late this summer put our chosen venue under two feet of water, thereby rendering the venue unfit and unsafe to host the awards show. This within weeks of the day of the show.

We needed to scramble and figure out where we were going to go! As you can imagine, there is quite a bit that goes into putting on a show of this size. So, when one important card falls, the house falls and we need to rebuild. That one card – being the venue – was kind of a big one!

Within weeks, we found the 2013 home of the Niagara Music Awards!

Tuesday, September 17th at 7pm
The Seneca Theatre, Queen Street, Niagara Falls

Please note that the Seneca Theatre is smaller than venues of NMA’s past, so I urge you to reserve your tickets now at! They will be gone fast!

So, as soon as we learned of the flooding, we sent out emails to all submitters and all nominees. We took to the radio waves, to social media, to twitter. We had to get the word out quickly and I think we did a pretty good job of it but still, some people were unaware.

If you are a nominee, a part of a band that was nominated, a submitter that was not nominated (you get ONE free ticket), or if you have already purchased tickets, you are probably scratching your head right now. You’re probably wondering where your ticket is.

Here is the answer: There are no physical tickets this year. There is a giant guest list and you’re on it!

You will shortly be getting an email that will ask you to respond and let us know who your guests are.

If you have not gotten an email by September 10th, please email me directly at

This is ramping up to be quite a show and VERY intimate!

We are all working around the clock to bring you the best of Niagara’s artists!

If you have any further questions, please direct them to

Here we go, people!


Nathan Chamberland

July 3, 2013
by Nathan Chamberland

And the nominees are…

UPDATE! Click here to our 2013 Nominees page to view the nominees bio, photo and listen to their tunes!

Wow! What an incredible turnout at the NMA6 Nomination Party! We had such a great time! Great performances, great food, great drinks and AWESOME nominees!

This year we were humbled by the sheer amount of submissions we received. It was truly a great sign that Niagara is still teeming with kick-ass artists and that we are all alive and well!

What’s even better to hear is that there were many MANY new artists submitting.

In reality, we all know that this is an award show and as such, not everyone is a winner or a nominee. This, you see, does not serve to tell non-winning artists that they aren’t good or that they don’t have what it takes, but rather help propel them higher with knowledge of what they must do to reach these goals. Everyone has to start somewhere and learning/growing is the most important tool an artist can have aside from talent. This is why we will give you score sheets when this is all over. This way everyone can see what aspect of their craft needs work and what doesn’t, as evaluated by musical celebrities and the ones who made those celebrities celebrities. In most cases, though, it is simply that there are perhaps 20 amazing bands and our judges have to really work hard to find a few nominees in a sea of excellence. Tough job for the judges!

With that said, we would like to truly thank ALL of the great artists for their submissions. Big or small, young or old, new or vetrans: you stepped up – and that’s what counts. Never give up… ever.

I am reminded of the Latin verb: Surgite! (Push on!) And also, semper ubi sub ubi (Always wear underwear)

This brings us to the Award Show!

We are happy to announce that the NMA6 Official Ceremony will be held at the Niagara Centre for the Arts on Epworth Circle in Niagara Falls on Tuesday, August 6th at 7pm. You can purchase tickets right now on our site! I would suggest purchasing them right away as this year we gave away many tickets with each submission. There are not as many available.  Get ‘em while they’re hot!

Finally, my friends, without further delay, I give you the nominees for the 6th Annual Niagara Music Awards:

The nominees for NMA6 (The 6th Annual Niagara Music Awards) were announced last night at Boston Pizza in Welland.

Adult Contemporary
Chris Madronich
Cory Cruise
Paul Federici

Album of the Year
Aaron Berger and the Blue Stars
The Black Flies
A Book for Wanderers
Fenian Raid

Best Bar Band
Submit your favorite free online

Blues Group of the Year
The Brant Parker Band
Rich and the Poor Boys

Country Group of the Year
Mary Lou Minor
Peace River Band
Straight South
Wendy Lynn Snider

Electronic Dance Music of the Year
Defence Mechanism
Micheal O’Howe (Status Update)
Unit 42

Engineer of the Year
Freddy Gabrsek
Jay Baty
Winding Path Media

Female Vocalist of the Year
Jane Baker
Katey Chrest
Mariannie Ompoc
Rita Visser
Wendy Lynn Snider

Folk Group of the Year
The Black Flies
Jordan Raycroft
Rita Visser

Heavy Metal Group of the Year
Civil Hades
Silo 66
Wretched Pain

Hip Hop Group of the Year
The KaC Himself
Spitters Union

Instrumental of the Year
Peace River Band
Ray Caldwell

Jazz Group of the Year
Dually Noted
Greg Holmes

Male Vocalist of the Year
Aaron Berger and the Blue Stars
Anthony Botting
John Boyd
Jordan Raycroft
Paul Federici

Music Video of the Year
The Graveyard Birds
The KaC Himself
The Snips
Spencer Mackenzie

New Artist of the Year
Kelly Macdonald
Paige Kopp

New Group of the Year
Stereo Sunrise

Original Group of the Year
Aaron Berger and the Blue Stars
A book for Wanderers
The Black Flies
Civil Hades
Theatre Crisp

Original Song of the Year
A Book For Wanderers
Fenian Raid
Hidden Agenda
Ola, Chloe & Joel
Paul Federici
Straight South

People’s Choice
All nominees are eligible for People’s Choice. Vote for your favorite free online at

Producer of the Year
Not enough submissions

Progressive Rock group of the Year
Not enough submissions

Punk Rock Group of the Year
Not enough submissions

Rising Star
Paige Kopp
Spencer Mackenzie

Rock Group of the Year
A Book for Wanderers

Songwriter of the Year
Aaron Berger
The Black Flies
Jordan Raycroft
Katey Chrest
Paige Kopp
Paul Federici
The KaC Himself

World Group of the Year
Chino Chinwa
Fenian Raid

Good luck to all of the nominees!

Cheers and see you all on August 6th when we find out who won!

-Nathan Chamberland

June 24, 2013
by Nathan Chamberland

NMA6 Nomination Party happens Tuesday, July 2nd at Boston Pizza Welland!

Due to overwhelming submissions and some technical difficulties, the NMA6 Nomination Party is moved to July 2nd!

Worry not, artists! All of your submissions are received and are populated on a revolutionary online voting form for our celebrity judges!

We just need to speed things up a bit for the judges.

Please come out to Boston Pizza on Niagara street in Welland on July 2nd at 8pm to find out who the nominees are!

If you have any questions, please contact

See you all on July 2nd!



April 12, 2013
by NMA

Greetings to our wonderful music community here in Niagara!

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!


Nathan Chamberland
Niagara Music Awards