London Music Week organizers ‘overwhelmed’ by success of online events

London Music Week drew thousands of viewers to its online events celebrating artists in all genres with the Forest City London Music Awards.

The awards and other online events drew about 14,000 viewers over the week, said co-founder and chair Mario Circelli.

“Everything was fantastic,” said Circelli, who oversaw creation of dozens of videos and live online events, such as the SoundCheck For Success professional development workshops and panels.

“The response was just overwhelming. We could gauge by their reactions after the events in emails and messages sent to us after each event.”

The classical, jazz and world music awards were distributed Sept. 13, followed by groupings of other award categories Thursday through Sunday.

Award winners were led by hip hop artist Casper Marcus and jazz vocalist Sonja Gustafson, who each won their fourth London Music Award.

London brothers Bert, Joe and John Niosi from the big band era and R&B singer Grant Smith of Grant Smith and The Power were inducted into the Forest City London Music Hall of Fame.

Lifetime achievement awards were given to the late Martin Boundy, a British-born conductor and organist who led a number of music groups in London, and Terry McManus, a retired professor at Fanshawe College’s Music Industry Arts program, artist manager, musician and songwriter.

The SoundCheck for Success panels and workshops were fully booked (no charge, but limited to 60 people each) and included some of the most renowned producers and music makers in Canada and the U.S., led by Ken Caillat, co-producer of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all time.

More than 37,000 music fans cast votes for this year’s awards, an increase of 15 per cent over last year.

Circelli said the hope is to go live next year and many artists and talents who took part this year indicated they’d like to come to London for an event next year.

“When we went into this, it was uncharted territory for us,” said Circelli. “But we decided early on that if we were going to do it, we’d do it right with the highest possible quality level and I think we achieved that. We’re really happy with the responses from people. But it’s a colossal amount of work compared to putting on a week of live events.”

2020 Forest City London Music Award winners

  • Classical instrumental (group): El Sistema South London, Stephen Wolsley
  • Classical instrumental (solo): Annette-Barbara Vogel, violin
  • Classical vocal (choir/group): Kammerchor, Ariel Harwood-Jones
  • Classical vocal (solo): Bethany (Hynes) Turpin
  • Jazz instrumental (solo/group): London Jazz Orchestra (group)
  • Jazz Vocal (solo /group): Sonja Gustafson
  • Contributor: Ryan Labrèche
  • Pop: Connor Morand
  • Blues: Rick Taylor
  • Country: Aaron Allen
  • World Music: Lorraine Klaasen
  • Folk/Roots: Andy Chillman & The Chill Men with Jess Jones
  • Contemporary Singer Songwriter: Joe Borowsky
  • Metal: Solarus
  • Punk: Heart Attack Kids
  • Rock: Texas King
  • Hip Hop: Casper Marcus
  • Club DJ: Brown Skin Lady
  • Electronic: UNBLOOM
  • Cover Band: Def Bombs
  • Tribute Artist: Megan Schroder (Patsy Cline Tribute)
  • Fan Favourite: Lost In Japan
  • Live Venue: London Music Hall
  • Ontario Independent Recording Artist: Tongue Helmet
  • Producer/Engineer of the Year: Kyle Ashbourne, King Crash, Mesa
  • Ontario Major Label Recording Artist: Arkells
  • Music Video of the Year: Edward Platero, director, JoJo Worthington’s Stabilize

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