Manitoba is well-represented at this year's Western Canadian Music Awards.
Three artists have been nominated for the WCMA's Spiritual Artist of the Year: Robert Wilson (Fresh IE); Katrina Van Humbeck; and Danielle Savard.
Katrina Van Humbeck
When asked what it feels like to be nominated Katrina Van Humbeck laughs, saying, “I just need to process right now and I’m going to go back to doing my dishes.”
She gratefully shares, “I’ve seen such an overwhelming flowing of people saying ‘Congratulations, we’re so happy for you.’”
Van Humbeck teaches, creates, and performs music, particularly Jazz and Soul. She also directs a vocal Jazz ensemble in Winnipeg.
A part of her life she is proud of is being a wife and mother to three boys, one of whom is graduating today (June 25).
Her third album is in the works.
Over his long and successful career Wilson is used to awards, with two Grammy nominations, 22 Covenant Award wins, a GMA award, and Juno nominations including another this year. But, he says, being recognized for his music never gets old.
"I was on a five-year break from awards and stuff, so 2020 has been pretty awesome with the Juno nomination and the Covenant wins," Wilson says.
"This is really cool to be up in there with everybody else, it's great. To be still relevant today is a blessing."
While 2020 has come with new award nominations, it's still been a difficult year to be an artist, due to COVID-19, Wilson says.
"It's been tough, it's been really tough, in terms of travelling, touring, and finances. I'm finally starting to balance that and having a strategy to finish off the year being creative." He says he's looking forward
Wilson will be doing a special Canada Day concert from the centre of IGF with other local artists.
Danielle Savard says she was caught by surprise about the nomination. "I was at work and then I got this message on my phone from someone in the industry saying, 'Congratulations!' and I didn't even know. They told me to check my email and I was so excited."
Savard says it's her first big music award nomination. "It's an honour, it really is. This is all for God's glory. I want people to be touched through the music that I have to share so that they'll come to encounter Him in a closer way."
Savard is heading into the recording studio this week for a new project she's been working on with Jaylene Johnson helping co-write some of the songs, and will be produced by Murray Pulver.
She's passionate about music and works with seniors in a personal care home as a music therapist. The past few months have proved to be challenging but rewarding for her work. "It's been a whirlwind," she says. "Being a music therapist and working with the elderly, a really vulnerable population, I've been singing through a mask, strumming with gloves on, and wearing protective equipment. There have been so many challenges with it, but what's been beautiful to see is despite the barriers of having to wear that protection, music still reaches people and still touches people despite the restrictions that are in place."
The WCM Awards are part of the annual BreakOut West conference, which is currently scheduled to be held in Winnipeg from September 30 - October 4.