Jack Richardson Music Awards honours local artists

Nominees include members from Western community

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Olenka and the Autumn Lovers

This Sunday, London’s growing music community will come together to celebrate the Jack Richardson Music Awards at The London Music Hall.

The awards will be handed out to local musicians in over 20 diverse categories, including classical, country, folk and punk. More than 100 artists, groups, personalities, venues and ensembles have been recognized with a nomination.

“I think the JRMAs have widened the range of styles of performances. That’s been a goal of the JRMA chair, John Young, and I think it’s having a good influence on the JRMAs,” Grant Stein, committee member of the JRMAs and 94.9 CHRW and tvWestern station manager, said.

Among the long list of nominees includes an impressive number from the Western community.

The UWO Singers are up for the Classical award for a choir or choral.

“It’s always a happy thing [to be nominated],” UWO Singers director Victoria Meredith said. “It’s an honour and it recognizes the outstanding work that our students do.”

The 45-voiced choir has already been the recipient of about 20 national awards, including six CBC Choral Competition prizes and five Canadian Music Educators Association performance awards.

CHRW’s music and promotions director Alicks Girowski is nominated in the Contributor category. This award is given to someone who has made a positive impact on the local music scene in the past year. Also from CHRW, Geoff Bardwell and Jonathon Coe are both nominated in the Club DJ category.

Western student Olenka Krakus, front woman of Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, is up for two awards. She earned a solo nomination for best Contemporary Singer/Songwriter and her band is nominated in the Traditional Folk/Roots category.


“This year’s nomination of the full band is particularly nice, because it allows my bandmates to receive their well-deserved share of the attention,” Krakus said. Olenka and the Autumn Lovers recently won CHRW’s local album of the year award.

Other Western nominees include Theodore Baerg and Sophie Roland, both from the music faculty, who are nominated for Classical voice. Alumnus Fraser is nominated alongside Krakus in the Contemporary Singer/Songwriter category.

“It feels quite swell to be nominated alongside some great writers,” he said.

This year’s award show will also recognize John Barron with the Dennis Brown Lifetime Achievement Award. The London choral leader and music educator has been contributing to the local music scene for almost 40 years. He co-founded, alongside Brenda Zadorsky, the Amabile organization, an educational and award-winning choral program for children, youth and adults in London.

“Every community needs to recognize its artists,” Stein said of the JRMA’s importance. “I think it brings attention to the efforts, successes and the history of London musicians and gives all local artists a chance to see what others have found possible.”

Aside from Sunday night’s award ceremony, the JRMAs will be hosting events all weekend long. The JRMA Youth Category invites bands and artists from the Thames Valley District School Boards to perform Saturday evening at Fanshawe College. Free music industry seminars will also be held on Saturday and will cover a range of topics such as recording, connecting to fans and making money.

The 2009 Jack Richardson Music Awards will take place Sunday April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at The London Music Hall.

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