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Virtual award show catches Northern Quarter by surprise

Banff singer/songwriter Amelie Patterson and Canmore’s Northern Quarter were both award winners in their respective categories at the Calgary Music Awards (YYCMA), which were presented virtually Sunday (Sept. 20)

CALGARY – A pair of Bow Valley musicians recently brought home some new hardware.

Banff singer/songwriter Amelie Patterson and Canmore’s Northern Quarter were both award winners in their respective categories at the Calgary Music Awards (YYCMA), presented virtually Sunday (Sept. 20).

For the Canmore quartet, the news came quite literally as a surprise. Drummer Dave Crewe said the band was not together for the virtual award show, during which it took home the top honour of group of the year.

“None of us expected this award, so much so that we didn’t even get together to watch the show,” Crewe said.

Crewe, along.h his wife and fellow band member Wendy, tuned into the live stream. Carlos Nadeau and Kerry Hunter were unable to watch the awards.

“Wendy and I went down to Hy5 with my tablet to tune in, but there was a large delay. We actually found out from Phil Nugent, who was listening in as well, and his stream was ahead of ours,” said Crewe with a laugh.

Nugent was nominated for the YYCMA emerging artists award.

Crewe said while it is an honour to win the award, there is a sense of disappointment among the group as they were unable to accept the award in front of their peers and properly celebrate.

“You know, if COVID hadn’t happened we could have been up at the podium accepting the award as a group like real rockstars.”

The award is the culmination of three years of hard work writing, recording and playing live shows. The later being Crewe’s favourite aspect of being apart of the band, and something they have been able to do recently. The band returned to the stage playing at the PD3 bus on Aug. 22.

“Playing on the bus is definitely a highlight for us. It was a breath of fresh air for us to be back at it,” said Crewe.

Patterson was awarded the alternative recording of the year for her single “The Patient Kind,” a high energy indie-pop tune.

“It makes me feel celebrated and seen in my music community. I am grateful that we have the YYCMAs at all, and as emerging musicians, it is important that we have an event like this to celebrate local musicians,” said Patterson about receiving the award.

Patterson said credit for the award should also be bestowed upon Barry Mason and Kyle Tenove, her bandmates, who saw potential in the song when Patterson first played it for the two, who are also members of Sweet Barry Wine.

“The boys have such a great attitude. When you bring them an opportunity to be creative they will always come through,” she said.

It is the second win for Patterson in this category, previously winning in 2017. Just as in 2017, for her single “Roll Honey Roll,” Patterson teamed up with Calgary music producer Will Maclellan, whom she met at a residency at the Banff Centre.  

She described Maclellan as having a magic touch, and able to foster creativity, as he has had a hand in producing the past four winners in the alternative recording of the year category.

“We recorded ‘Roll Honey Roll’ in his basement studio and then returned a few years later to do ‘The Patient Kind,’ ” said Patterson. “It’s really cool because all of those past winners in that category would have come from Will’s basement studio in his house in Calgary.”

Despite being an upbeat song to dance to, “The Patient Kind” carries a message about love.

“The song is about knowing good love when you see it and being willing to wait it out … ‘If you’re not ready don’t worry about it, I’m the patient kind.’ ”

Fresh off the recent award win, Patterson isn’t slowing down. The Banff artist released her second single “Let your trouble go,” on Tuesday (Sept. 22). The song is part of her rolling singles designed to curate an alt-folk playlist called the Playlist.

Seth Williams another Bow Valley resident was nominated for a YYCMA, but did not win. The Canmore filmmaker was nominated for the music video of the year for his work on progressive metal band Heyoka's Mirror's song called "Asylum."

Evan Buhler

About the Author: Evan Buhler

Evan Buhler is an award-winning photojournalist and reporter who joined the Outlook in 2019. A native of Calgary, he previously worked in Salmon Arm, B.C.
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