The Hornby Island Blues Society is this year’s Blues Booster of the Year!
The board of directors of the Toronto Blues Society has unanimously agreed to honour the Hornby Island Blues Society with this year’s Blues Booster of the Year award, a very special Maple Blues Award honouring outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues music industry.
“Twenty years in, Hornby Island Blues Society has polished a gem with their annual workshop week,” said Toronto Blues Society president Derek Andrews. “Their dedication and community-building deserves to be recognized.”
The volunteer-driven organization hosts the Hornby Island Blues Week and Music Camp every May on beautiful Hornby Island, BC. Its mandate is to bring blues performers to the island to create a greater awareness of Canadian blues music and of the depth that Canadian musicians have to offer. The workshops each year aim to provide an opportunity for the enrolled student musicians to enhance their skills by learning from some of the best Canadian blues artists invited to participate each year. In addition, the organization supports blues performances on Hornby throughout the year and also provides outreach for Blues in the Schools. Each year an average of 80 participants register for the workshops and more than 50 volunteers help to make them happen.
“It is indeed an honour to receive this recognition. Anytime we can have our name in the same room with [Stony Plain Records co-founder] Holger Peterson is a good day for Hornby Blues. This award represents the work of the entire Hornby Island community, and this acknowledgment in our 20th anniversary year is very meaningful,” said Al Forrie, president of the Hornby Island Blues Society. “As a teaching camp, it has been a blast to watch the instructors who teach at our workshop inspire students like no one else can. For many of those students, it’s a dream come true to work with and learn from the pros, and for Hornby Blues, it has been a privilege to keep the blues vibrant in the Canadian blues community.”
This year, May 4 through May 11, participants will be able to receive instructions from guest musicians Gary Kendall, Suzie Vinnick, Jack de Keyzer, Cecile Doo-Kingué, Rick Fines, Michael Jerome Browne, Chris Whiteley, Diana Braithwaite and more.
Visit hornby-blues.bc.ca for more information.
The Maple Blues Awards will be held on Feb. 4, 2019. The gala event is considered to be the premier blues event of the year. Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards are available online at rcmusic.com or at the Koerner Hall box office (The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto) or by phone at (416) 408-0208. TBS Charter Members can purchase best available seats for a discounted price of $35.