2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards Winners Announced

The recipients of the Canadian Folk Music Awards were announced last Saturday, December 3, as part of the 12th Annual CFMA Gala at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto. Hosted by musicians Jean Hewson and Benoit Bourque (La Bottine Souriante), Canada’s folk music community celebrated with a night of tributes and lively performances, including sets by Bruce Cockburn and Sultans Of String.

Nineteen award categories were presented overall. Songwriter and guitarist David Francey won two awards, Solo Artist of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year for his 2016 offering, Empty Train.

Jadea Kelly was named Contemporary Singer of the Year for 2016’s Love & Lust. Donovan Woods’ album Hard Settle, Ain’t Troubled earned him English Songwriter of the Year.

In addition to performing at this year’s ceremonies, multi-genre Toronto act Sultans of String were also named World Group of the Year.

Additionally, Nova Scotia’s indie-folk quintet Hillsburn were honoured as New/Emerging Artists of the Year. Hillsburn also played a crowded showcase at Hugh’s Room as a part of the CFMA weekend ceremonies, and recently released a video for With the Larks off their own 2015 debut full-length, In The Battle Years. The 2017 follow up is expected in May, as the band continue confirming major festival appearances for summer, as well as planning an Eastern Canadian tour in early 2017.

New/Emerging Artists of the Year, Hillsburn, release With the Larks video.


Steve Edge – one of the founders of the Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club – was honoured as the 2016 CFMA Unsung Hero. Finally, James Keelaghan’s My Skies was chosen as the National Strum Song for 2016, as presented by CFMA and MusicOntario.