Local talent earns recognition

Fans get rowdy as Bombargo plays a set list heavy with fare from their upcoming album.

Bombargo, Rosie & the Riveters and Lucy James among nominees for inaugural Saskatchewan Music Awards

SaskMusic has unveiled the list of nominees for the inaugural Saskatchewan Music Awards, and some local Prince Albert talent made the list.

There are a total of 18 categories including artist of the year in nine different genres, single of the year, industry achievement, venue of the year, producer of the year and the Breaking Borders award presented by the Derek Bachman Foundation. The awards are intended to highlight the local music community in Saskatchewan.

The awards will kick of Saskatchewan Music Week, and take place on Nov. 25 at The Exchange, 2431 8th Ave., Regina.

The long list of best Saskatchewan album will also be announced at the event, with public voting to commence online the following day.

Among the shortlisted nominees is Bombargo, the Saskatoon-based band fronted by Prince Albert’s Nathan Thoen. They’re up for rock/pop artist of the year, along with One Bad Son, Surf Dads, the Pistolwhips and the Sheepdogs.

Another Saskatoon-based band with Prince Albert roots has also been shortlisted.

Rosie & the Riveters, which is performing at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre Thursday, was nominated as roots/folk artist of the year. They’re going up against Colter Wall (the son of former Premier Brad Wall), Ellen Froese, Jeffery Straker and Kacy & Clayton.

The Ness Creek Music Festival in Big River is shortlisted in the venue of the year category, going up against Saskatoon’s Capitol Music Club and Broadway Theatre, Regina’s The Exchange and Swift Current’s Blenders Music Series at the Lyric Theatre, Swift Current.

Under Industry achievement, Jam Street Music Sessions owner Lucy James has made the list of nominees. She is going up against 91.3 CJTP – Regina Community Radio, Shann Gowan, Susan Busse, The Broadway theatre and Trifecta.

In addition to teaching at Jam Street, James runs monthly open mic events that help give young artists exposure while exposing kids to live music. She also helps put the music together for events such as the Street Fair and Culture Days.

“It’s cool. It feels good,” she said.

“It did surprise me, because there are so many people doing awesome work in the industry. It’s nice to be recognized.”

James said that it’s about time there were general music awards in Saskatchewan. Previously, there have only been provincial country music awards.

“I think it’s awesome,” she said.

“There hasn’t been anything for the rest of the music industry. It’s such a good stepping stone too. It’s an opportunity to be recognized by the rest of the country.”

While those acts were receiving the nomination news, another local act was shortlisted for a different set of awards.

The Wolfe, the rock trio that got its start at Jam Street Music, was nominated for two Indie Week Awards – best emerging artist and best music video. They also announced that they’ll be opening for One Bad Son at the Coors Event Centre in Saskatoon on Dec. 22.

Full list of Saskatchewan Music Awards nominees:


Official 2018 Saskatchewan Music Award Nominees

Alternative Artist of the Year

Bears in Hazenmore

Close Talker

Megan Nash

Nick Faye & The Deputies

The Garrys


Avant Garde/Experimental Artist of the Year

Factor Eight

Jesse Brown

Marie-Véronique Bourque


Steve Leidal

Wolf Willow


Country Artist of the Year

Blake Berglund

Jay Semko

Jess Moskaluke

Justin LaBrash

Tenille Arts


Electronic Artist of the Year



Natural Sympathies




Indigenous Artist of the Year


Dale Mac

Joey Stylez

Marentin Fehr



Hip Hop Artist of the Year


Factor Chandelier


Samurai Champs

Shawn Jobin


Metal/Loud Artist of the Year

Altars of Grief

Blue Youth

Hell Hounds

Shooting Guns

Soul Mates


Rock/Pop Artist of the Year


One Bad Son

Surf Dads

The Pistolwhips

The Sheepdogs


Roots/Folk Artist of the Year

Colter Wall

Ellen Froese

Jeffery Straker

Kacy & Clayton

Rosie & the Riveters


Venue of the Year

Blenders Music Series at the Lyric Theatre, Swift Current

Capitol Music Club, Saskatoon

Ness Creek Music Festival, Big River

The Broadway Theatre, Saskatoon

The Exchange, Regina


Producer of the Year

Bart McKay

Factor Chandelier

Jason Plumb

Jonathan Cruz and Leonard Chan of VBRTR

Ryan Andersen


Industry Achievement Award

91.3FM CJTR, Regina Community Radio

Lucy James – Jam Street Music Sessions

Shann Gowan

Susan Busse

The Broadway Theatre