Awards - 1997
FITZGERALD AWARD FOR CELTIC FIDDLING:
first recorded for Rounder Records in the United States in 1976
when he was just 21. A fiddling, step dancing sensation, he was steeped
in the music of Cape Breton where he spent most of his summers. At an early
age he listened to the fiddling of Bill Lamey and Angus Chislom.
Later he was asked to join the Cape Breton Symphony with Buddy MacMaster
and other great fiddlers, appearing regularly on John Allen Cameron’s
TV program. It was there that he met the late Winston ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald
and adopted the master’s relish for swing dance music. Jerry has gone on
to become one of the deans of the Scottish fiddle in America of his generation.
WESTERN CANADIAN AWARD:
worked hard at her craft and deserves mention here. Her songwriting skills
have grown through her desire to learn the music. A good bluegrass bass
player, she has performed through North America. Her songwriting skills
have been honed, her musicianship and ability to sing with feeling are
recognized by fellow musicians and audiences.
AWARD FOR PERSEVERANCE:
Cavalini Silver, Toronto/Nfld
always wanted to be a singer, always wanted to record her own songs written
to celebrate the experience of her upbringing in a Portuguese/Newfoundland
home. Daughter of a Portuguese stowaway and Newfoundland-Irish mother,
she recalls the good times when Portuguese sailors would drop in from the
fishery, bringing with them olives and wine and other Portuguese delicacies.
And oh how they partied. After an initial start at a career in the early
1970s, she gave it up to raise her sons in Toronto who went on to play
hockey in the NHL. Now, after all these years, she has finally released
her first album of songs.
NOEL DINN HERITAGE
a working class, musical family, Liette was inspired by the traditional
sounds of her family. Learning the violin, she soon learned the reels and
other dance tunes of the people around her. Sister to Porcupine Award recipient
Lina Remon - for her book on Madame La Bolduc - Liette last year
recorded and released a precious family portrait in music, complete with
the encapsulated stories of her family members.
AWARD FOR FIELD RESEARCH:
Lynn has been
personally responsible for archiving the history of Canadian Country music.
His knowledge and love of the subject have made him a wise father-figure.
The recent compilation album that he is responsible for assembling, ‘It’s
The Saturday Night Barndance’ features some of the recording pioneers
of the CKNX Barndance scene, right on up till the present. It includes
some very rare recordings and good liner notes which would probably have
been more in depth had he the budget to do so.
& Brit Griffon, Cobalt, ON for We Lived A Life And Then Some:
The Life, Death, and Life of a Mining Town, Between The Lines Pub.,
Toronto, ON - ISBN 1-896357-06-7
A great undertaking,
the oral history of the Cobalt mining camp. It takes a good look at the
folklore, the legends and characters who took part in this incredible history.
A rich and creamy, working class story as told by the residents of this
once famous mining town. The book includes artwork by Sally Lawrence
and Rob Moir.
AWARD FOR OLD TIME MUSIC:
Family, Lakefield, ON
is following in the footsteps of the Maritime success stories, The Rankins,
The Barra MacNeils, etc.,it was the dedication and devotion of their
Frank and Julie who originally formed the Leahy
Family Band over twenty years ago. As each new sibling was born, it
was drummed into them that they too would soon stepdance into the family
tradition. Keeping a family of 10 kids on the go was never easy: each member
had to learn to play more than one instrument and to do so well. Their
current incarnation is testament to their tremendous skills and determination
to follow through in the footsteps of their heritage.
of Fiddlers’ Green, Ontario
26 years ago
the Friends got together to perform their favourite songs and tunes together.
The set up their own folk club and hosted it weekly for twenty years. With
a great collection of material at their disposal, their performances were
punctuated by stories, anecdotes and periodic nonsense, and of course the
no holds barred jokes of Tam Kearney. Joining him were the late
Parry, Finest Kind’s Ian Robb, luthier Grit Laskin, with
Stevenson, Alistair Brown and Geoff McClintock. Their
club helped launch the careers of others such as Margaret Christl and Stan
Rogers as well as some of their own individual careers.
CANADIAN FIDDLE AWARD:
Ivan was born
in New Brunswick in 1940 and started gigging with his dad, Curtis Hicks,
when he was only 6, first as a mandolin player, and a short time later
as a fiddler. His father, a self-taught fiddler with great technique and
stubborn resolve to play it right, was Ivan's main inspiration. Now in
his mid-fifties, he has gone on to become a major proponent of 'down east
fiddling'. He teaches, he volunteers for fiddle fests, he has his own radio
program and is known for his compositions, dexterity and the fame associated
with having won the Maritime Fiddle Championships held in Dartmouth,
Nova Scotia, 5 times.
from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Ken started playing folk and blues music in
his teens, having learned the music of Pete Seeger, Woodie Guthrie and
Leadbelly through local music store owner Einar Nordstrom. Although
he’s now living in BC, Ken stuck to his hometown roots for many years,
increasing his abilities to write, sing and perform folkblues.
for Québécois traditional music, blended with her other musical
tendencies, have produced some great musical sessions, some of which are
captured on her CD Feet to the Fire. Produced in Québec
by André Marchand, and utilizing the resources of many of
Launadiere’s fine musicians, Linda’s journey has come round full tilt with
authority, enthusiasm and joy. Her early work with Québec City based
Cajun band Josephine exposed her to many Québécois
musicians and thus her love for what is truly a Canadienne experience.
AWARD FOR ONTARIO SONG:
the late Irish traditional singer - hotellier Lennox Gavan, Gail
has taken to performing her rocking country music throughout the Ottawa
Valley. Having recorded three albums, she has included a good measure
of Mac Beattie’s music and other songs about the Valley. Her upbringing
in Gavan’s Hotel was filled with Irish nights, fiddle nights, traditional
singing nights, and many other excuses to party. She is bringing the music
back to the people.
MDME. LA BOLDUC
AWARD FOR QUEBECOIS FOLKLORE:
Simon Riopel has delved into the past and produced a living music that
reaches into the depth of his family’s tradition. With his companion, Eric
Beaudry, he brought it all together in the CD called Ni Sarpe
Ni Branche, playing the way his father or his grandfather would,
and utilizing the technology of the times to record it so clearly. Still
only a youngster, it is people like Simon who will propel the wonders of
folk music well into the twenty-first century.
SONG OF THE YEAR:
- proprietor of the Free Times Cafe, Toronto - providing a home
for the singer/songwriter folks for the past 17 years.
radio programmer, Folk Routes Folk Branches, CKUT FM, Montreal -
has been a booker, promoter, enthusiast, collector, writer and now radio
host for the past 25 years.
radio programmer, Acoustic Routes, CKLN FM, Toronto - has been selflessly
promoting the careers of Toronto-based artists for year. Pat Paget Project
and careers of Ron Sexsmith and Bob Snider owe a lot to this
- folklorist, Kitchener, ON - has collected folklore of The West. Had radio
show on the CBC in the 1950s. Performed songs collected by Edith Fowke
on her Radio Program. Holder of an expansive archieve.
Again by Jim Armour, Toronto
A tougue in
cheek poke-at song sung in the traditional way. While Jim has not recorded,
he is an enthusastic student of traditional folk music which he can never
quite get enough of. This song was written as a parody with brilliantly
GOLDEN QUILL AWARD FOR SONGWRITING:
Toronto, ON for The Whole Night Sky
Bruce has many
honours to his credit and doesn’t really need recognition here to validate
his amazing career. However, how can we pass up this opportunity to honour
a truly great Canadian singer/songwriter who has moved so many people,
with his abilities to paint landscapes, bringing home the sense of responsibility
we much each bare in the face of human activity. His relentless work on
behalf of banning land mines, something he’s fought for some years, is
finally proving fruitful. This is our humble way of honouring him. This
song, in our humble opinion, ranks up there with some of his best work.
It was recorded on his 1996 album The Charity of Night.
ROAD KILL AWARD:
been a few years since we last awarded this Porcupine to anyone, in fact
in the history of the Porcupines, it's only been awarded twice before.
However, Guy Lafleur, the legendary Montreal Canadien hockey player
deserves this for his hockey instructional record backed with a disco track,
complete with singers. Right out of the BeeGees book. The album
(produced in the early 80s) comes complete with instruction booklet and
a poster of Lafleur, half nude, sitting with his skates on in front of
his Number 10 hockey sweater. Two minutes for looking so good Lafleur.
Québec City, QC
performed for a time with La Bottine Souriante (their second album)
and has since gained the respect of his fellow musicians for his great
flute, flageolet and bones playing. Currently in the group Enterloupe
with Paul Marchand and Eric Favereau, he has taken fairly
obscure tunes and recorded them on his first CD called Au Tour du
Flageolet, utilizing many forces that have influenced his own playing
over the years into the mix. A great player - even better teacher.
originally from Québec, was influenced by the sweet guitar sounds
of American bluegrass and folk, and the reels of Québec. When he
joined up with his musical partner Paul Mills, aka Curly Boy
Stubbs, in the 1970s, he was enticed into working as a producer at
the CBC. Since that time Garrett has put his name on classic Canadian
albums, recorded to CBC standards, by the likes of the Schryer Triplets,
Stan Rogers, Graham Townsend, Steel Rail and JP Cormier. His
recent involvement with Borealis Records ensures that Bill Garrett will
continue working on producing great Canadian folk oriented projects in
has been one of the quiet players on the Toronto music scene for over 3
decades. A producer, performer, but mostly an accompanist, he's there to
make others sound great. His guitar work is superb, but it is his ability
to improvise so strongly, and yet so tastefully, that makes him a favourite
choice as a session artist or backup musician.
- the guy in the background that just about everybody uses - started playing
in the legendary folk troup Perth County Conspiracy in the early
1970s. Having mastered the art of electric bass, and especially the electric
fretless, he has performed and recorded with the who’s who of Canada: Stan
Rogers, Loreena McKennett, Eileen McGann, Oliver Schroer, Valdy, Anderson
and countless others. His sound is like that of no other.
His ability to play in almost any style, to solo, and his lesser known
talents on the electric jazz guitar, is astounding.
Rumball, Toronto/Timmins, ON
for her wonderful, gritty, get down to it vocals with the early Grievous
Angels, Michelle graces our airwaves each week to sing the Theme
song of The Great North Wind. It was only fitting to award her with
this special appreciation award.
Quixote - 1973
zoomed to the top of the folk ladder, not only in Canada, but in the world
with his incredible songs. But it was this album, filled with incredible
songs fit so well together, that put him over the top. Some say that this
was his greatest work that he never again equalled. The jury will always
be out on that one, but it was an album that I played over and over again,
and learned to sing almost every song. The album featured Red Shea and
Clements, Rick Haynes and Gordon Lightfoot on all the instruments
except for one: the mandolin on his hit song Alberta Bound was played by
GUEST OF THE YEAR:
Don Quixote - Christian Island (Georgian Bay) - Alberta Bound - Looking
At The Rain - Ordinary Man - Brave Mountaineers - Ode To Big Blue - Second
Cup of Coffee - Beautiful - On Susan's Floor - The Patriot's Dream. Produced
by Lenny Waronker; engineered by Lee Herschberg.
born jazz musician came to Toronto in the early 1960s and quickly formed
The Metro Stompers, a dixieland jazz band. Jim played bass for so
many great jazz artists visiting Toronto at places like the Colonial
Tavern. When he guested on Acoustic Workshop he was so intriguing that
Fielding had him back the following week to continue his tale.
GEM OF CANADA
by La Bottine Souriante
I fought hard
not to give them this award since they'd already been awarded with Porcupines.
However I couldn't resist. I listened to some other great albums trying
my hardest to choose them over En Spectacle, but to no avail. This was
simply the most enjoyable one. It was recorded live, in Québec,
with great audience sound, and great live sound, and featured works from
their repertoire over the past 20 years. But this will never happen again:
La Bottine is being retired into the Porcupine Hall of Fame, ineligible
for Porcupine Awards forever more. Promise.
Hall of Famers:
- country singer, Ontario
- fiddler, Manitoba
MacDonald - fiddler, Cape Breton
- singer, New Brunswick
Wade - band leader, Ontario
‘Chuck’ Angus - author, singer/songwriter, Northern Ontario
- singer songwriter, Ontario
television producer, Nova Scotia/Ontario
- television producer, Nova Scotia/Ontario
- fiddler, Cape Breton
and His Islanders, PEI
Wade and His Cornhuskers, Ontario
Valley Melodiers, Ontario
his early days in Ottawa with The Children and Three's A Crowd
in the 1960s, Cockburn was destined to become what he has. His early influence
of playing blues-style guitar has only been expanded upon but is essentially
the same. He has shared his life with us, painted in portraits through
his earliest works as a solo artists, all on the same record label, True
North. He's been awarded with Junos, the Order of Canada,
and many other awards. He's brought us consciousness of social concerns
through his spirituality. He's embroiled us in issues such as what they
call democracy in the face of what goes on in the world, sanctioned by
our governments. He even accomplished what Farley Mowat could not:
the United States with a Rocket Launcher and still not banned from entering
that land (Mowat did it with a whaling gun). More than twenty albums
of original work, more memories than most of us can remember, he's still
energetic, still composing, still youthful, looking at the world through
the innocent eyes of a beholder. He refuses to preach: he just paints a
scene and lets us wander into it. If he does nothing more, he has deserved
the credit to which this award attests to. He has accomplished enough for
at least one lifetime; hopefully he'll start working on another one.
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