BREAKOUT WEST WRAPS UP ITS 21st YEAR IN KELOWNA, BC
OVER 550 REGISTRANTS & 1,200+ FESTIVAL ATTENDEES
WELCOMED FOR THIS PAST WEEK’S EVENTS
74 CANADIAN SPEAKERS, PRESENTERS & MENTORS,
45 INTERNATIONAL DELEGATES, 26 CONFERENCE SESSIONS & OVER 1,100 ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS
59 WESTERN CANADIAN + INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS
GAVE OVER 110 PERFORMANCES DURING THE
THREE-NIGHT MUSIC FESTIVAL
WINNERS OF THE 2023 WESTERN CANADIAN MUSIC
INDUSTRY AWARDS REVEALED
SASKATOON, SK ANNOUNCED AS HOST CITY
OF BREAKOUT WEST 2024
KELOWNA, BC – October 16, 2023 – BreakOut West has officially wrapped its 21st year! Now celebrating more than two decades of immersive music industry and artist career development, plus highlight performances by some of the best acts coming out of western Canada and beyond, BreakOut West is thrilled to see another standout year come to a close.
“Thanks to everyone who helped make Breakout West a tremendous success,” says BreakOut West Executive Director, Michael Dawson. “We’re proud to have had a record number of submissions from artists and to have been able to present a sold out event in Kelowna. Every artist that graced a stage was exemplary and it’s our distinctive honour to present them as part of Breakout West.”
For five days, over 550 conference registrants and 1,200+ festivalgoers descended upon Kelowna, BC, which celebrated its third time hosting the event (previously held in 2010 and 2018). The 2023 event season wrapped yesterday after an exciting week filled with countless opportunities to connect and engage with professionals from across the music industry, while experiencing captivating live performances from the incredible talent coming out of the western provinces. Delegates joined from 12 different countries, with 119 speakers engaged across 26 conference sessions and over 1,100 one-on-one meetings, while attendees were able to take part in numerous meet up events and establish countless business opportunities. Music discovery was celebrated with 59 showcasing artists giving over 110 performances across Kelowna’s downtown core and cultural district.
Important topics of discussion were highlighted including the Breaking Down Racial Barriers panel, which brought together influential stakeholders and key decision makers from the Black music community and the broader music industry, service providing organizations, funders and government bodies that play pivotal roles in our industry. The speakers discussed the consolidated findings of the Western Canadian BDRB roundtables on anti-Black racism held by Alberta Music, SaskMusic, Manitoba Music and Music BC, with a resolute focus on solutions, as well as addressing the pressing racial barriers facing Black music artists and professionals in the region, toward a music scene that is truly inclusive and equitable for all.
BOW 2023 saw exciting new international additions, including its first-ever musical performer from Ireland – katie phelan – and a deep dive into the Hong Kong market. In partnership with Ear Up Music Global, BOW welcomed four industry delegates and two musical acts – Charming Way and The Hertz – from Hong Kong, to share their stellar performances and insight into the market’s growing and vibrant musical community.
Along with the conference and festival programming, the winners of the 2023 Western Canadian Music Artistic Awards were revealed during the Wednesday night Opening Reception, while the Industry Awards Brunch celebrated the recipients of those categories on Saturday, October 14. The Industry Awards Brunch also formally honoured the recipients of this year’s Specialty Awards – Razcalz (Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees), Mint Records (Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award) and Willie Thrasher (Heritage Award). See below for the 2023 Industry Award winners, and find a full list of all the 2023 Western Canadian Music Award recipients and nominees here.
BreakOut West 2023 saw incredible support from Creative BC, the province of British Columbia, the City of Kelowna, Tourism Kelowna, and Creative Okanagan, as well as generous partnership from local and national sponsors, all of which generously invested in the week’s events, enthusiastically bringing BOW back to Kelowna.
Looking ahead to the next year, BOW is thrilled to be heading to Saskatoon for the very first time.
“As the CEO of Discover Saskatoon, our announcement to host BreakOut West 2024 fills me with immense pride and anticipation,” says Discover Saskatoon CEO, Steph Clovechok. “Our city is a nexus of bridges and harmonious connections, and our commitment to music is strengthened through our invaluable partnerships with the Indigenous Music Association of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon. Together, we strive to present a confluence of traditions and innovations, celebrating both our rich musical lineage and the contemporary beats that pulse through our streets. The world is warmly invited to experience the symphony of cultures, sounds, and flavors that Saskatoon has to offer. In 2024, let’s come together and make resonant memories that will last a lifetime.”
2023 WESTERN CANADIAN MUSIC AWARDS INDUSTRY WINNERS:
Audio Engineering Award – Sheldon Zaharko (BC)
Community Excellence Award – National Music Centre (AB)
Excellence in Visual Design – Lyle Bell (AB)
Impact in Artist Development – Chris Wynters (AB)
Impact in Live Music (Sponsored by Canadian Live Music Association) – West End
Cultural Centre (MB)
Impact in Music Marketing – Birthday Cake Media (MB)
Producer of the Year – Boogey The Beat (MB)
2023 Western Canadian Music Hall of Fam inductee – Rascalz
2023 Kevin Walters Industry Builder Award – Mint Records
2023 Heritage Award – Willie Thrasher
All winners and nominees can be found here
About the Western Canadian Music Alliance / BreakOut West:
The Western Canadian Music Alliance is a pan western organization created by the Alliance Member Music Industry Associations (MIA’s) of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory, and in partnership with Nunavut, to promote and celebrate western Canadian music. WCMA, with the financial support of each provincial and territorial government partner, FACTOR, the Government of Canada and of Canada's private radio broadcasters, WCMA annually hosts their core artist and industry development event, BreakOut West. The event is held in a different western Canadian city on a rotational basis and is the prime music industry event in western Canada. BreakOut West 2023 will be held October 11 – 15 in Kelowna, BC, and includes a five-day music conference, three-night multi-genre music festival and special events. The 2023 Western Canadian Music Artistic Awards and Industry Awards will be announced in October 2023.
WCMA’s head office is in Winnipeg. We recognize the ancestral lands, from Treaty One Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
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DOWNLOAD – WCMA / BreakOut West 2023 logos