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Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2008/09/29 - Winnipeg singer-songwriter Steve Bell leads the list of nominees at the 30th Annual Covenant Awards taking place at First Alliance Church in Calgary, Alberta on Friday, October 24 at 7:00 pm Mountain time.
In the wake of his acclaimed 2007 Symphony Sessions album, Bell personally secured eight nominations for the Canadian Christian music awards, including Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Producer of the Year together with colleague Dave Zeglinski. Graphic artist Brian Kauste is additionally in the running for CD/DVD Artwork Design of the Year for his work on the project.
Following close behind with seven nominations each were Edmonton-based worship leader Jon Bauer and four Ontario acts including children’s performers God Rocks!, rock band Manic Drive, the roots collective Newworldson and new recording artists The University of Toronto Gospel Choir.
The popular modern worship band out of British Columbia, Starfield, sits alone with six nominations.
An unprecedented 55 Covenant Awards will be handed out in 2008 in a wide variety of categories ranging from Choir and Southern Gospel to Rap/Hip Hop and Hard Music. There will also be a Lifetime Achievement and Blessings Fan Choice Award.
With several artists on hand, the list of nominees was officially unveiled at the Calgary location of Blessings Christian Marketplace on September 16. A total of 676 category submissions were made by Christians artists from throughout Canada, an increase of 12 per cent over last year. Determining the nominees and eventual winners were close to 100 industry-based judges comprised primarily of fellow musicians.
Produced by the Gospel Music Association Canada, the Covenant Awards is the pinnacle event in what is known as GMA Canada Week. Activities include a national music conference, artist showcases, talent search competition, worship night and industry awards banquet.