The Manitoba Country Music Association has handed out its annual awards and a couple of Portagers took home some hardware.
The big award of the night was the Fan's Choice Award and it was won by Kendra Kay. Kay grew up in Elkhorn but a good piece of her band is from the area. Troy Flammand of Portage has been a part of the group for several years and says Kendra and their manager stressed the award was indicative of all the hard work everyone on the team has put in. Flammand added they love to have fun on stage and they have been doing their best to make sure fans have a great experience at all of their shows whether it be a short opening set or a full-blown concert. Flammand was also nominated in the All-Star Band category for guitar but that went to Brennan Wall of Winnipeg who plays alongside Jess Moskaluke. Paul Fontaine (drums) of St. Laurent and Michael Audette (fiddle) of Lorette are also part of the band. Kay was honoured as the Female Vocalist of the Year as well.
Country 93's Randi Lynn of Portage received the Radio Personality of the Year trophy given to a radio host dedicated to promoting Manitoba country music. Randi often features local bands on her show and has helped out at festivals like Howl at the Moon and Dauphin's Countryfest. She also hosted the recent Manitoba-Saskatchewan Showcase at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Calgary. You can hear her show on Country 93 most weekday afternoons from 2pm to 8pm.
The Group or Duo of the Year trophy went to Past the Perimeter based out of Stonewall. They beat out the likes of Doc Walker and Petric and have now won the award two years in a row. The year before, they were winners of the Emerging Artist Award. The band played many of the big festivals and venues in the area this year and have also worked with the likes of Murray Pulver and Bart McKay who both grew up in Portage, and are well respected in the music industry across Canada.