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Voting open for Gonzo Okanagan People’s Choice Music Awards

Click to play video: 'Support local musicians with Gonzo Okanagan People’s Choice Music Awards'
Support local musicians with Gonzo Okanagan People’s Choice Music Awards
If you are looking for a way to support our local musicians you have an opportunity to by voting for your favourite players in the valley's music industry in the Gonzo Okanagan People's Choice Music Awards. Sydney Morton has more. – Mar 17, 2023

Musicians give us so much; they bare their souls in their songs to help bring us up or down or feel less alone. Now, you can give back to them by nominating them for Gonzo Okanagan People’s Choice Music Awards.

Gonzo Okanagan highlights local musicians, entertainers, event listings and more in the Thompson Valley. This year, its publisher and CEO Brad Krauza is taking his mission to put local talent in the spotlight to the next level with the Gonzo Okanagan People’s Choice Music Awards.

“It’s a way of telling the musicians we see you and we hear you and we want to recognize you and this is what we’re doing,” said Krauza.

The award show does not recognize musicians alone — there are 25 categories to celebrate each vital part of the Okanagan’s music scene.

“We want to nominate them, so if you’re a music fan or a venue, we have music teachers that we want to support. We have (categories for) music videos and recording engineers, all genres of music and recording studios.”

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The awards were born from earlier in the pandemic, when we were all starved for connection, and now the event has become a reality, to reconnect musicians with their fans.

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Well-known voice of the Okanagan Leila Neverland is a master at connecting with her audience, commanding audiences with her roaring voice and encouraging them to become part of the song by singing along.

“The synergy that you can get in an audience setting is the highest form of the art itself,” said Neverland.

“What we do with musicians is spend a lot of time translating this invisible world into notes and sounds. But when we actually have the chance to bounce it off of other people … all the sudden all the worries of the day and the year and life just drift away.”

Connecting with the community and audiences is something Barry Mathers of Dirt Road Opera is in tune with.

“You don’t choose music, it chooses you,” said Mathers. “You definitely have a connection when people are giving you feedback and applauding, it helps a lot.”

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The awards show is also an opportunity for newer bands on the scene like Dying Breed to get their name out there.

“It is honestly the most exciting feeling in the world when you are sitting up on stage and they are smiling back or even singing your song,” said Dacoda Nevens, lead guitarist of Dying Breed.

Gonzo Okanagan will be accepting nominations until March 31 for all 25 categories. Then voting reopens for the top three of each category on April 10. It culminates with a Gala on June 16 that is open to the public. For more information about how to support your favourite artists, visit the Gonzo Okanagan website.

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