By Sarah Seeley
Indie rock band Paper Lions took home five awards at the 13th annual Music P.E.I. Awards Gala Feb. 1 at the P.E.I. Convention Centre.
The band consisting of singer and guitarist John MacPhee, bass guitarist Rob MacPhee, drummer David Cyrus MacDonald and guitarist Colin Buchanan, stole the show with the performance of their song Philadelphia.
By the end of the night, they had won pop recording of the year, album of the year, entertainer of the year and video of the year.
Band members thanked Music P.E.I. operations manager Mike Carver, their label Fountain Pop Records and the women in their lives for their support. They became more stunned each time they were called to the stage to accept an award.
When they were presented with their Group Recording of the Year award, John MacPhee wanted to acknowledge Three Hours Traffic for their help.
“We want to share this award with you tonight.”
In an email, John MacPhee said he was surprised Paper Lions won five awards. Usually bands win only one.
“We’re so thankful to be a part of this Island music community and it was very humbling to be honoured by our friends and peers.”
He also said the group worked hard on their new album.
“We poured so much into My Friends. That’s what made it so special to have it recognized among our Island friends the way it was.”
Meaghan Blanchard won Country Recording of the Year and Female Solo Recording of the Year. She performed Watching the Dandelions Grow from her album She’s Gonna Fly.
After the gala Blanchard said she was supposed to be on tour in Ontario, but she flew to Charlottetown just for the occasion.
“I couldn’t miss the Music P.E.I. Awards.”
She said she enjoyed performing in front of a local crowd.
“This place is packed with all my friends.”
Tim Chaisson won the Touring Artist of the Year. He took the stage singing The Other Side. Chaisson also gave an emotional tribute to his late uncle Lemmie Chaisson.
After the show, he said he enjoyed coming back to the Island after his busy tour schedule.
“It’s great to be touring all year and seeing familiar faces.”
Chaisson sings a variety of genres including folk and pop. He said a lot of his songs are relationship-based, but he hopes his fans relate to them and reminisce about similar experiences.
His goal for the future is to experiment with producing and collaborating with other artists.
“I also want to continue writing songs.”
Chaisson’s next show is Atlantica Hotel & Marina on N.S.’s western shore Feb. 8.
Teresa Doyle also performed at the gala. She sang Song Road and featured Holland College students from the School of Performing Arts.
“It’s fun to share the stage with dancers from Holland College.”
Doyle said music is a personal exploration.
“It’s a way of discovering what it means to be it is to a human being.”
Doyle is going on a tour week tour in Ontario and participating in a voice workshop.
The Trailside Café won Venue of the Year. It is owned by Pat and Meaghan Deighan. Pat said his wife discovered the place, which was already being used as a music venue.
“She knew it was an interesting place.”
The previous owner was already involved in the music scene, said Deighan.
“He helped guide us through.”
Meaghan Deighan said the award was a reflection of their effort.
“It’s been a lot of hard work and it’s nice to see the payoff.”