Abbotsford’s Ben Cottrill, who was a nominee in the pop category, opened the Fraser Valley Music Awards last Thursday in Chilliwack. (Photo by Claudia Wyler Photography)

Abbotsford’s Ben Cottrill, who was a nominee in the pop category, opened the Fraser Valley Music Awards last Thursday in Chilliwack. (Photo by Claudia Wyler Photography)

Four Abbotsford musicians among winners of Fraser Valley Music Awards

Awards presented by CIVL Radio in 16 categories on Nov. 21

Four musicians from Abbotsford were among the winners at the Fraser Valley Music Awards (FVMA) last Thursday (Nov. 21) at Corky’s Pub in Chilliwack.

The awards were presented in 16 categories, with the following Abbotsford residents receiving honours: David Ivan Neil (country), Stephen Carl O’Shea (electronic), Kristin Witko (experimental and pop), and Eric “The Lightning” Taylor (metal).

The FVMAs are an undertaking of CIVL Radio under the direction of station manager Aaron Levy.

The fans had their first chance to choose their favourite, and their almost 400 votes gave the Dakota Leslie Award to Maple Ridge’s Western Jaguar.

The night’s biggest moment came with the presentation of the first-ever FVMA Lifetime Achievement Award to Trooper guitarist and co-founder Brian Smith of Langley.

Prior to accepting the trophy, Smith and the crowd were treated to a congratulatory video featuring some of Canada’s top musicians as well as a variety of other well-wishers.

Among those in attendance to help celebrate Smith were his wife Joanne and daughter Jolene, Ra McGuire (Trooper singer and musical partner for more than 50 years), and past band-mates Tommy Stewart and Doni Underhill.

The event was hosted by local producer and comic Harry Doupe.

Other winners or the 2019 Fraser Valley Music Awards were:

• Dale Sawatzky of Langley in the blues category

• West My Friend of Langley for folk

• Hooper Turnt Sanger of Surrey for hip hop/urban

• Natalia Pardalis of Surrey for jazz

• Joanie Loves Chachi of Chilliwack for punk

• Gone Sugar Die of Langley for rock

• Lori Paul off Chilliwack for Achievement by a Female Artist

• Alexis Lynn of Surrey for Achievement by a First Nations/Indigenous Artist

• Mackenzie Widdows of Mission for Achievement by an LGBTQ2+ Artist