"Canada - where we eat our own". Those poignant words from singer/songwriter, Ian Thomas, elicited laughter from the audience who attended the last night of the Hamilton Music Awards on November 20, 2011.
Ian delivered his acceptance speech of the Hamilton Music Award for Lifetime Achievement with the humour for which he's famous. In a rousing video tribute to him, Hamilton's Bob Doidge of Grant Ave Studios, along with Canadian guitarist, Ric Emmett and others, spoke of Ian's caring, dedication, perseverance and never-ending sense of humour, necessary traits for the many aspiring musicians seated in that audience. Mayor of Hamilton, Bob Bratina, himself a musician over many years, was on stage with Emmett during the award presentation. But it was last year's recipient of the same award, singer/songwriter John Ellison, who, with his melodious and powerful voice sang, not called Ian to the stage to thunderous applause. This was one memorable moment at the2011 Hamilton Music Awards.
John Ellison presents the Hamilton Music Award for Lifetime Achievement to singer/songwriter, Ian Thomas
Shortly thereafter, the audience was treated to a 2-song set from Ian. As he delivered his famous hit, "Painted Ladies", he invited the audience to sing along on the well-known refrain. And sing people did, increasing the feeling that this was indeed a home-town event. There was little of the glamour one associates with major award shows i.e. gorgeous women in expensive, clingy gowns primping on a red carpet. This was a blue-jean, not bow-tie event but with one colourful and outlandish exception: local rocker and funny man, Mickey De Sadist of the Forgotten Rebels, who presented the award for Punk Rock Recording of the Year cracked up the audience with his massive pink bow-tie and top hat:
But while the awards were being presented inside the McIntyre Theatre, there was lots of posing, chatter and networking also taking place outside in the foyer where the award-winners were brought around from backstage for photos in front of a large back-drop with Hamilton Music Awards printed all over it. Wine was being served in the lobby and a DJ was constantly spinning music.
Local punk rocker and funny man, Mickey De Sadist at the 2011 Hamilton Music Awards
A comprehensive list of the major Hamilton Music Award winners, along with many photos from the event, is available online in today's HAMILTON SPECTATOR. Multiple award-winners included singer/songwriter, Jeremy Fisher, who earned Record of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Male Artist of the Year for his most recent release, "Flood".
Jeremy Fisher, songwriter, male artist and record of the year Award winner performs at the Hamilton Music Awards 2011
The rock-country band, the Dinner Belles, took home awards for New Group of the Year and Alternative Country Recording of the Year. Their live performance at the awards show of one of their songs proved how deserving they were of the accolades.
The show opened to the enjoyable reggae sounds of the Riddim Riderswho had also been nominated for a couple of awards. Master beat-boxer, Jay Hacheywowed the audience with his beat-boxing skills before presenting the award for Rap/Hip Hop Recording of the year to Canadian Winter. And while the audience didn't get to hear the beautiful voice of Rosanna Riverso who has been performing around Hamilton for years, they did get to see her gracefully accept the award for Female Vocalist of the Year.
Rosanna Riverso is the Hamilton Music Awards Female Vocalist of 2011
The People's Choice award for local group went to Live How You Live. This group,
captured the attention of an international audience with their song “One Life” being personally selected by Yoko Ono to commemorate her late husband John Lennon’s vision for peace and love in the world.
The night ended with the host, Tom Wilson, telling attendees there were free drinks for everyone at popular watering hole, Corktown, but it appears the real after-awards party took place much later at This Ain't Hollywood. According to local photographer, Gabriel Nicholson, on his facebook page:
This Ain't Hollywood kicked a-- tonight. Thanks to Tom Wilson, Harlan Pepper, The Ascot Royals and Engine Empire for a killer show, as well as Jesse Dore and Madeline Wilson (can barely see the screen, let alone speel, sorry Maddy) and all the staff at This aint and Lou Molinaro for a killer evening.