The excitement surrounding the 2020 Saskatchewan Music Awards (SMA) is growing despite the event being done virtually due to restrictions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The third annual awards show takes place on Sunday and highlights the province’s growing music industry and many of its great artists.
“It’s a good way for us to be able to spread that word among our national colleagues and international music resources,” said Lorena Kelly, SaskMusic communications and operations manager. “It’s always nice to have something to promote and celebrate.”
The show will feature a number of pre-recorded performances by ADEOLUWA, Belle Plaine, Last Birds, and The North Sound.
Fourteen awards are being handed out, including Country Artist of the Year with some heavyweight nominees such as Tenille Arts and The Hunter Brothers.
Kelly said there’s a good mix of current and rising stars in the Saskatchewan music industry, something that will be apparent in Sunday’s show.
“With the music industry, there’s always this in and outflow of new artists and established artists, people releasing albums on different timelines,” Kelly said.
“We always have a fresh new crop of artists coming in and it’s always so much fun to discover what kind of music is being made.”
Regina’s Ava Wild received her first Saskatchewan Music Awards nomination this year in the Alternative Artist of the Year category.
“It’s a mixed feeling because on one hand, I know there’s a lot of people that aren’t represented and I feel like they should be,” Wild said.
“But on the other hand, I spent years not really getting much acknowledgment for what I’ve been doing so it’s always nice to get that ‘tip of the hat’ like we see what you’re doing and we appreciate you for sharing that.”
Despite not having an award show to attend in person, Wild said she’ll find a way to enjoy the night.
“I’m not sure quite how I’m going to celebrate it, but I might get myself a tub of ice cream and eat it in my bathtub while watching it,” Wild laughed.
Dylan Hryciuk of Saskatoon is a creative director with Versa Films and has two videos nominated for the Music Video of the Year – “Blessed Be,” by Spiritbox and “Summer Haze” by Velours.
Hryciuk won in the same category in 2019 for the video “Petite Fleur” by Ponteix.
“It means a lot to be recognized. Our team puts a lot of work into every project,” Hryciuk said.
“I’m a little insane about all the details of every project. You put in all that work and you hope that people like it and the videos both have done very well.”
Hryciuk said he will miss the networking opportunities among artists that you get at a live awards show, but is looking forward to not having to address a large crowd if his name is called.
“It’s a bummer that we can’t all get together. I met some of the filmmakers last year and that was an exciting part,” Hryciuk said.
“Win or lose, I don’t have to get in front of a 1,000 people or however many people there are, so that that eases my mind a lot because I’m a behind the camera person.”
Both Wild and Hryciuk said it’s been an interesting year due to COVID-19 and they are taking the time to hone in on their crafts and releasing content they can be proud of.
“I already waste all my hours being way too meticulous with every video so this only enhanced that because I’m stuck inside anyways and I have more time,” Hryciuk said.
Wild said she has taken full advantage of being at home as she continues to grow as an artist.
“I’ve spent the last year producing music in my bedroom and virtually collaborating with people which I hope to start rolling out this year,” Wild said.
“I think it’s really valuable to be able to take the time and figure out a process that is just mine and exists for the pure purpose of being art and being creative as opposed to what is marketable.”
You can follow Wild and Hryciuk on Facebook and Instagram – @avawildmusic/@avaiswild – @versafilms.
The SMA’s can be watched on SaskMusic’s Facebook Page and YouTube channel at 8 p.m.