Prince Albert’s Jake Vaadeland didn’t have a front row seat for the Saskatchewan Country Music Association (SCMA) Awards, but he did have a great view of the fan reaction.
Vaadeland performed at a live show on Apr. 23 instead of watching the awards, but friends, fans, and family members in the audience were quick to let him know he’d won.
“Part of it was my phone blowing up with messages from friends,” Vaadeland said during an interview on Thursday. “I was on stage most of the time when the audience would start cheering and stuff, informing me that I had won another one and another one.
“It was pretty exciting and overwhelming, but I tried to keep my composure as I was on stage. I think that kept me from getting overly excited and analyzing exactly what was happening.”
Vaadeland was a perfect four for four, winning awards in every category he was nominated in. That includes Songwriter of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year wins. His latest album, “Retro Man”, was named Alternative Country Album of the Year, and country music lovers named him the Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year.
It’s an impressive haul for the young musician, and one he hasn’t quite come to grips with.
“I still, surprisingly, haven’t gotten overly excited about it, so maybe it still hasn’t sunk in,” he said. “I was very excited to hear about it, of course. It’s a little overwhelming, really.”
Vaadeland was one of several Prince Albert musicians nominated for an SCMA award, and the Gateway to the North contingent didn’t go home disappointed.
Prince Albert almost had a clean sweep of the instrument categories, with local musicians Mick Gratias (Bass Player of the Year), Dean Kushneryk (Drummer of the Year), Dean Bernier (Fiddle Player of the Year), and Terry Lasko (Guitar Player of the Year) walking away with top honours.
Regina’s Jeffery Straker was named Keyboard Player of the Year in the only instrument category that didn’t go to a Prince Albert musician.
Prince Albert’s Donny Parenteau was named Record Producer of the Year for his song “These Days”, Sheryl Kimbley was named the SCMA’s Humanitarian of the Year, and local radio station Saskatchewan Country CKBI beat out the competition for Radio Station of the Year.
“I’m really happy about that,” Vaadeland said when asked about the Prince Albert trophy haul. “I think that it shows there’s lots of support for local musicians here, and that (the opportunities) are not just going to people higher up in other places. Everybody’s getting a chance—the local musicians around here—and I really appreciate that.”
Vaadeland is waiting to hear back for confirmation on a number of future projects. His next scheduled performance is Country at the Creek in Big River on June 9.