Rita MacNeil, Jay Smith to be posthumously recognized by ECMA

Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post
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CHARLOTTETOWN — The East Coast Music Association has announced that Rita MacNeil and Jay Smith will be honoured posthumously during East Coast Music Week in April.

MacNeil, who died last year of complications following surgery at the age of 68, will be recognized with the Directors' Special Achievement Award. Smith, who died last year at the age of 34 while on tour with Matt Mays in Edmonton, will be honoured with the Musician's Achievement Award.

It was also announced that Cape Breton's Flo Sampson will be one of five people honoured with the Stompin' Tom Award, alongside Alan Dowling, Kellie Walsh, Susan Hunter, and Bob Mersereau

Other special honourees include The Chaisson Trio who will receive the the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award, and Grady Poe who will be presented with the Industry Builder Award.

“ECMA is happy to honour the industry players and musicians who have left a lasting mark on the Atlantic Canadian music scene,” said Heather Gibson, chair of the ECMA board of directors in a release. “Their talent, commitment, and impact on the industry continues to inspire.”

East Coast Music Week is set for April 2-6 in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

The Director’s Special Achievement Award, the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award and the Musician’s Achievement Award will be presented at the East Coast Music Awards gala, April 6. The Industry Builder Award and the Stompin’ Tom Awards will be handed out at the industry awards brunch, April 5.

Geographic location: Edmonton, Cape Breton, Charlottetown

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