First-ever Fraser Valley Music Awards announced

Event to be held in Abbotsford next July, thanks to $50,000 grant

A new major music event is coming to the Fraser Valley.

The first-ever Fraser Valley Music Awards (FVMA) will be held in Abbotsford next July, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) successfully landed by Abbotsford’s 101.7 CIVL Radio.

FVMA co-ordinator James Kasper, who founded the Vancouver Island Music Awards in 2002, said the event’s mandate will be to celebrate local arts and culture and provide resources and support for local musicians.

“The music scene is not going to be the same next year, so we need to acknowledge it this year. The aim of this event is to inject new life into local arts and culture,” Kasper said.

“There is an abundance of great music in the Fraser Valley, and we want to bring attention to it and bring all facets of the scene together on one night to network and celebrate.”

Musicians in the Fraser Valley will be asked to provide their music to the FVMA jury when the submission period begins Feb.1. Meanwhile, CIVL Radio is recruiting volunteers and seeking out sponsors to attach their name to the new initiative.

“We think the talent exists in the Valley at a level whereby the next Arcade Fire or Feist can be from east of the bridge,” said Aaron Levy, CIVL station manager. “Our goal is to provide a jumping-off point from which they can achieve that level of success.”

Over the past few years, CIVL Radio has organized similar events, including a Battle of the Bands whose winners (Derrival) have gone on to the Peak Performance Project  and the Fox Seeds competition (John Welsh).

Western Jaguar won the 2015 Battle. A 2016 Battle of the Bands will be one of the major events leading up to the 2016 FVMA.

An FVMA compilation album will also be released in the months prior to the main event in July.

Those interested in getting involved in the FVMA as sponsors or volunteers are asked  to email fvma@civl.ca or call 604-851-6330.