While most musicians seeking to build a career need to hit the bigger markets—like Vancouver or Calgary—24-year-old Thomas Kjorven has done the opposite, choosing to make the move from the Coast to Kelowna.
And it doesn’t seem to have hurt him much.
“It’s been really great here,” said Kjorven, who is nominated for three BC Interior Music Awards.
Kjorven arrived in time to see BreakOut West and the Western Canadian Music Awards, but didn’t apply to participate until recently, hoping to make a debut in Whitehorse, Yukon having seen the scene as it played out on Kelowna’s streets.
He doesn’t find out about that opportunity for a while yet, but when the call came in late Tuesday evening to hustle down to the Kelowna Community Theatre the next day to find out about the BCIMA nominations, he was one of the first on hand to hear his name called as in the best new artist category.
“New artist is always the really exciting one,” said organizer Shelley Vida, noting there’s an extra nominee this year.
It is the only category to get four nominees, instead of three, simply because the judges couldn’t whittle the pack any further.
No matter what happens between him and those other three up-and-comers, though, Kjorven said the nomination will help him immensely.
“It’s great for a few things. One is just credibility. This is something that people see I’m here and I’m working,” he said.
While he couldn’t finish the sentence mid-press conference, organizers have consistently pointed to several spin-off benefits the artists who win will enjoy. Not only do they play for local crowds, but they are also going to be performing before several industry insiders with ties to festivals throughout the area including Festivals Kelowna, Funtastic, Driftwood, Merritt Mountain Fest and Dancin’ Barefoot.
That should mean more gigs, more exposure, and possibly a move up to the WCMAs, for those who are not already rolling in those circles.
And in the meantime, organizers for the BCIMA show are expecting it will likely sell out, particularly given the success of BreakOut West.
Performances will include Juno Award winner Greg Sczebel, Darby Mills (with a rock collaboration), Aiden Mayes and Ari Neufeld, Adham Shaik (with a First Nation’s Collaboration), Leah West, Kira Gosselin, Miss Quincy.
The other nominees for New Artist of the Year include Devon Coyote, Nixie and Kate Morgan.
Astral Media is supporting the People’s Choice category through an online category on their websites. The nominees include Dominique Fraissard, Jodi Pederson, Kira Gosselin, Leah West, Sasha Lewis, Trinity’s Tattoo.
The other nominees include:
Single of the Year Nominations
Andrew Allan – Loving You Tonight | Greg Sczebel – I’ve Got That Feelin’
Leah West – Spring
Album of the Year Nominations
Greg Sczebel | Wasabi Collective | Jodi Pederson
Engineer of the Year Nominations
Jude Davison | Jim LeGuilloux | Wassabi Collective
Producer of the Year Nominations
Greg & Jerry Sczebel | Wassabi Collective | Dominique Fraissard
CD/DVD Artwork Design of the Year Nominations
Jane Eamon | Wassabi Collective | Jude Davison
Music DVD/Video of the Year Nominations
Greg Sczebel | Jude Davison | Immaculate
Songwriter of the Year Nominations
Leah West | Greg Sczebel | Jane Eamon
GROUP of the Year Nominations
Greg Sczebel | Bucknife | Wassabi Collective
New Artist of the Year Nominations
Thomas Kjorven | Devon Coyote | Nixie | Kate Morgan
Aboriginal Recording of the Year Nominations
Dallas Arcand | Mathew Phoenix | Mike Gouchie
Blues Recording of the Year Nominations
Thomas Kjorven | Miss Quincy | Sabrina Weeks and Swing Cat Bounce
Concept/Collaboration Recording of the Year Nominations
Jude Davison | Chloe, Kyle and Company | John Lee Sanders
Country/Bluegrass Recording of the Year Nominations
Cynthia Leigh-Ann | James Avery | Mike Gouchie
Folk/Traditional Recording of the Year Nominations
Miss Quincy | Jane Eamon | Dominique Fraissard
Gospel/Christian Recording of the Year Nominations
Greg Sczebel | Daniel Bremnes | Colors & Tone
Roots/World Recording of the Year Nominations
Adham Shaikh | Dominique Fraissard | Chloe, Kyle and Company
Instrumental Recording of the Year Nominations
Michael Musclow | Chris Madsen | Roslyn Frantz
Metal Recording of the Year Nominations
Inzombia | Zen Rising | Odinfist
R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Nominations
Greg Sczebel | Thomas Kjorven | Wassabi Collective
Rock Recording of the Year Nominations
Fields of Green | Bucknife | Trinity’s Tattoo
Pop/Contemporary Recording of the Year Nominations
Greg Sczebel | Leah West | Jodi Pederson
Urban/Dance Recording of the Year Nominations
Jimmy Current | Wassabi Collective | TassNata