The Porcupine Awards
1990-2012


Copyright © Steve Fruitman, CIUT-FM 2013

The Porcupine Awards Categories
Winning a Porcupine does not imply that one is The Best.
But it does imply that they have given us their best.

The Porcupines were introduced in 1990 as a way to shine some light on those who deserve to be noted for their work at enshrining Canadian folklore into the sub-conscious realm, thereby empowering us all to continue that growth. They started out as a by-product of 'The Great North Wind' radio programme (1988-1999) hosted by me, Steve Fruitman, at CIUT-FM, the University of Toronto radio station.  They were awards for artists of folk oriented musics and those who help sustain them by giving them jobs or recording contracts when they could be making a lot more money elsewhere.

In 1999, I began broadcasting a new radio show called 'Back To The Sugar Camp' but continued giving out Porcupine Awards, albeit still in the Great North Wind weather vane. They strutted out of the folk genre, expanding horizons into other vistas of Canadian music that reflected the playlists of The Sugar Camp. Back To The Sugar Camp morphed into Sugar Camp Music in 2012 and the Porcupines continued as per usual.

The emphasis was based strictly on personal observation and awarding those whom I feel truly deserve recognition for what they do. In the classical sense, these awards are totally flawed, unscientific but undeniably deserving. They have nothing to do with any official industry oriented organization or government affiliation. To be considered one has only to fall within the philosophical content of my radio program.

While the Porcupines Awards have recognized the works of many people over the years, glaring omissions are obvious. However, I do try to get around to including as many artists as possible. As the Awards have grown over the years, it has come to my attention that certain individuals, or groups, have won them a few times. To get rid of these winners, and to make way for others deserving of due recognition, I have decided to retire any 3 time winners into the Porcupine Awards Hall of Fame. This is sort of like sending them to Porcupine heaven!

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Why The Porcupines

Coming from the Northern Ontario mining and lumbering community of Timmins, the heart of the Porcupine Region, it was only natural for me to name the awards after my spiritual home, thus incorporating the rugged awareness of Canadian being. The Porcupine was a place where peoples from various cultures came to work hard, live hard, and make decent lives for themselves. They came from Scandinavia, Europe, China and the British Isles; from Toronto, Quebec and the Maritimes. They blended naturally without governmental interference, retaining certain virtues of their cultural past while developing a new, vibrant soul that makes the Porcupine so distinct. I like to think of this as the true Canadian spiritual way. Besides, it's where Stompin' Tom Connors began his professional career. It all goes back to Stompin' Tom!

*        *        *
The Awards Program

The Porcupine Awards were presented on-air at CIUT-FM in early December. The awards are presented by the following categories.

The Porcupine Awards have now been discontinued as of December, 2013 as I am embarking on a totally different kind of radio program. The new program is called 33 45 78, an all vinyl show that would not fall under the scrutiny of the Porcupines. Thus it ends!

 Steve Fruitman, Founder of the Porcupine Awards



Porcupine Awards
Categories

The Porcupines are an evolving thing. One read through the years of their history reveals just how much they have changed since their inception. Sometimes it gets rather confusing but by growing and changing, they remain healthy! Therefore the following categories are current as of 2010.


MAC BEATTIE AWARD

This is the Mac Beattie Award for musicians who are identifiably Canadian.

Mac Beattie began singing about his beloved Ottawa Valley with his group The Ottawa Valley Melodiers in 1929. He was widely known as Mr. Ottawa Valley. Indeed, he performed with the Gavans of Quebec, stepdancing great Donnie Gilchrist, as well as hosting radio and television programs, including 11 guest appearances on the Don Messer show. He died in 1982 leaving us a legacy of great identifiably Canadian songs. He was also a great washboard player, singer and bandleader. He was the recipient of the very first Golden Porcupine Award for lifetime achievement, posthumously,  back in 1990. Est. 1993.

1993 CHARLIE 'CHUCK' ANGUS, North ON
1994 TOM CONNORS, ON
1995 FRED EAGLESMITH, ON
1996 GLEN REID, ON
1997 GAIL GAVAN, QC
1998 BETH FERGUSON d. ON
1999 TANGLEFOOT, ON
2000 KAREN TAYLOR, ON
2001 RHEOSTATICS, ON
2002 BRIAN PICKELL, ON
2003 DAVID FRANCEY, ON
2004 TIM HUS, AB
2005 BRENT QUADE, ON
2006 MICHAEL LADEROUTE, ON
2007 KATE WEEKES, YT
2008 JON BROOKS, ON
2009 THE UNDESIRABLES - SEAN COTTON & CORIN RAYMOND, ON
2010 HANK FISHER a.k.a. WASHBOARD HANK, ON
2011 BONNIE STE-CROIX, QC / NS
2012 MATT MASTERS, CALGARY AB

LENNIE BREAU AWARD

The ultimate musicianship award named after the ultimate musician!

Lenny Breau was a jazz guitarist that reached the highest pinnacle of musicianship in this country. Having started out as a child protégé in his father's Hal Lone Pine Band in the 1950s, he drifted into orbit as a jazz master who's work will probably never be equaled. Like Jimi Hendrix, he was a true original. This award is for the aspiration of musical greatness. Est. 1995.

1995 DOUG COX, dobro, BC
1996 J.P. CORMIER, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, NS
1997 DAVID WOODHEAD, bass, guitar, ON
1998 DAVE MacISAAC, Celtic guitar, NS
1999 AL BRISCO, steel guitar, ON
2000 CARLOS DEL JUNCO, harmonica, ON
2001 OLIVER SCHROER d., violin, ON/BC
2002 DAISY DEBOLT, voice, ON
2003 HARY MANX, mohan veena, BC
2004 MICHAEL KAESHAMMER, piano, ON
2005 KEVIN BREIT, guitar, ON
2006 STEVE DAWSON, guitar, BC
2007 OCTOBER BROWNE, guitar, ON
2008 PIERRE SCHRYER, fiddle, North ON
2009 MARGARET STOWE, guitar, ON
2010 CHRIS QUINN, banjo, ON
2011 GEORGE KOLLER, double bass, ON
2012 SUZIE VINNICK, guitar, SK/ON

THE CEC McEACHERN AWARD

for an outstanding musical accompanist

Cec was always a sideman - but what a sideman he was! He was basically second in command of Don Messer & His Islanders. A second fiddler, electric guitarist, multi-instrumentalist who couldn't read a note but could figure out how to play almost anything. Used extensively in recording sessions, Cec went mostly un-noticed, as do most other session players, or 'second fiddlers'. This Awards is to recognize some of the session artists like Cec who should be better known for making others sound so good. Est. 1997.
1997 TONY QUARRINGTON, ON
1998 MAYBELLE CHISHOLM McQUEEN, NS
1999 ZEKE MAZUREK d., ON
2000 MICKEY ANDREWS, ON
2001 TOM LEIGHTON, ON
2002 GEORGE KOLLER, ON
2003 JASON FOWLER, ON
2004 CHRISTOPHER McKHOOL, ON
2005 PETER JELLARD, ON
2006 BURKE CARROLL, ON
2007 TREASA LAVASSEUR, ON
2008 RACHEL MELAS, ON
2009 JOHN SHOWMAN, ON
2010 JEFF BIRD, ON
2011 GARY CRAIG, ON
2012 SHELLEY COOPERSMITH, ON

THE CLASSIC CANADIAN ALBUM AWARD

must be at least 25 years old

This is dedicated to the recognition of a truly Canadian classic that should be included in every record collection, from Cape Spear to Tofino, Pelee Isle to Alert. To be considered, an album has to be at least 25 years old, which means at best, 1985 now. Est. 1995

1995 McKENNA MENDLESON MAINLINE, ON  - STINK, 1969
1996 WARD ALLEN, d. ON  - COUNTRY HOEDOWN VOLS 1-3, early 1960s
1997 GORDON LIGHTFOOT, ON -  DON QUIXOTE, 1973
1998 NED LANDRY, NB - BOWING THE STRINGS, 1966
1999 STOMPIN TOM CONNORS, ON - BUD THE SPUD, 1969
2000 PERTH COUNTY CONSPIRACY, ON - ALIVE!, 1970
2001 STAN ROGERS, d. ON - FOGERTY'S COVE, 1976
2002 THE PAUPERS, ON - MAGIC PEOPLE, 1967
2003 KING BISCIUT BOY (d.) WITH CROWBAR, ON - OFFICIAL MUSIC, 1972
2004 WILLIE P BENNETT, d. ON - TRYIN' TO START OUT CLEAN, 1975
2005 VARIOUS ARTISTS: LA VEILLÉE DES VEILLÉES, 1973
2006 THE ESQUIRES, ON - THE ESQUIRES, 1964
2007 THE HALIFAX THREE, NS, 1964
2008 BARRY LUFT & TIM ROGERS, AB - SONGS OF THE IRON RAIL, 1982
2009 THE KEATNIKS, NL - THE KEATNIKS, 1965
2010 BILL HOUSTON, ON - THE KING OF WHITE OTTER LAKE, 1975
2011 WAKAMI WAILERS, ON - THE LAST OF THE WHITE PINE LOGGERS - 1986
2012 MARGARET CHRISTL - LOOKING TOWARDS HOME - 1984

THE GEM OF CANADA AWARD

the album that should be included in every record collection in the land

The album of the year award that should also be considered for every record collection in the land. Simply the album that I have the most respect for in the past 12 months of moons. It is an album that I am sure will endure as a great legacy recording in years to come. Est. 1990.

1990 ROGER AUBREY / GAETAN PROULX, QC - UNE VIELLEE AVEC...
1991 PHILIPPE BRUNEAU, QC / FR - PHILIPPE BRUNEAU
1991 TAMARACK, ON - FIELDS OF ROCK AND SNOW
1992 ANITA BEST,/ PAMELA MORGAN, NL - THE COLOUR OF AMBER
1993 BILLMacNEIL, ON - VOICE OF THE PIONEERS
1994 LES FRERES LABRI, QC - QUAND L'VENT VIRE DE COTE
1995 FIGGY DUFF, NL - A RETROSPECTIVE 1974 - 1993
1996 JEAN-PAUL LOYER, d.  QC - OJNAB
1997 LA BOTTINE SOURIANTE, QC - EN SPECTACLE
1998 TESS LEBLANC, QC  - TESS -- JACKIE WASHINGTON, ON - MIDNIGHT - CHOO CHOO
1999 BLACKIE & RODEO KINGS, ON - KINGS OF LOVE
2000 BILL LAMEY, d. NS  - FULL CIRCLE
2001 MICHAEL OCCHIPINTI, ON  - CREATION DREAM
2002 MOSE SCARLETT, ON - PRECIOUS SECONDS
2003 GLENN GOULD, d. ON - A STATE OF WONDER
2004 MARIA DUNN, AB - WE WERE GOOD PEOPLE
2005 ERYNN MARSHALL, BC - CALICO
2006 AL CHERNY, d. SK/ON - LIVE: THE LOST RECORDINGS
2007 NORTH TO ONTARIO 2007 BLUEGRASS COMPILATION
2008 ENOCH KENT, ON - ONE MORE ROUND
2009 LE VENT DU NORD, QC - LA PART DU FEU
2010 BOBBY HILL, QC -  RADIO DAYS - 1953-1968
2011 RITA CHIARELLI, ON - MUSIC FROM THE BIG HOUSE SOUNDTRACK
2012 ANNABELLE CHVOSTEK, QC / ON - RISE

AWARD FOR MUSIQUE DU MONDE

That which was brought here to enrich us all

The effects of on-going immigration on Canadian culture has left multitudes of remarkable twists and turns. Bringing with them here their varied states of folklore, these New Canadians open new worlds of music for us. This is musique that gets a little more 'Canadian' with time. Est. 1998.

1998 DJELEM, QC
1999 MARCELO PUENTE, ON
2000 BOTH ENDS OF THE EARTH, CA
2001 ORCHID ENSEMBLE, BC
2002 JANE BUNNETT, ON
2003 GALITCHA, ON
2004 REMBETIKA HIPSTERS, AB
2005 ALAN MEROVITZ, AB/ON
2006 POMEGRANATE, ON
2007 THE SULTANS OF STRING, ON
2008 JAYME STONE & MANSO SISSOKO, ON/QC
2009 NJACKO BACKO, ON
2010 NOT AWARDED
2011 LENKA LICHTENBERG, ON
2012 NOT AWARDED

OLIVER SCHROER OFF-BEAT AWARD

music that goes way out on a limb without getting snapped off

While we're all intrigued by space exploration, there are those who explore inner musical space and by recording their experiences take us way the hell out there. People continue to explore new musical territory. This might not result in a highly saleable product. It may produce shaken heads and runny noses. But it is the art-form of the enlightened forces; without these people we would remain in our caves, fed by the establishment and pretend to be at peace. Est. 1990. Renamed after Oliver Schroer, 2010.
1990 POLKA DOGS, ON
1991 DOMINQUE TREMBLAY / PHILIPPE GAGNON, QC
1992 THE FRERES BROTHERS, ON
1993 BARNEY McCAFFEREY, ON
1994 OLIVER SCHROER d, ON
1995 FINNIGAN'S TONGUE, ON
1996 MICHEL FAUBERT, QC
1998 THE SADIES, ON
1999 DAVID WOODHEAD, ON
2000 DAISY DEBOLT, ON
2001 MAGOO, ON
2002 WOODCHOPPERS ASSOCIATION, ON
2003 WASHBOARD HANK FISHER, ON
2004 AL MADER a.k.a. MINIMALIST JUG BAND, BC
2005 DAVE CLARK, ON
2006 LEWIS MELVILLE, ON
2007 ANDREW NEVILLE & THE POOR CHOICES, AB
2008 MARK SEPIC, ON
2009 TIM POSTGATE HORNBAND, ON
2010 CREEKING TREE STRING QUARTET, ON
2011 DAVID WOODHEAD CONFABULATION, ON
2012 PETUNIA, QC / BC

NEW DRAGON MINE

The find of the year Award!

Stompin' Tom once wrote a song called 'The Birth of the New Dragon Mine' about the Texas Gulf Sulphur Co.'s find just north of The Porcupine in 1965. Just when things were looking down, as mines were running out of high grade ore, this new find brought a brighter future for the people of The Porcupine. So this is for this year's big find. Est. 2005.

2005 CORIN RAYMOND, ON
2006 KIM BEGGS, YT
2007 TONY ALLEN, ON
2008 DAVID CELIA, ON
2009 ELENA YEUNG, BC
2010 CHRIS BARTOS, ON
2011 MIKE PENDERGAST, PEI
2011 LEON GALLANT, PEI
2012 SCARLETT JANE, ON

PORCUPINE SONG OF THE YEAR

Sometimes we put too much stock in entire albums of work while a certain song can worm through our spheres of consciousness because it's just so good. Just one song that answers to no-one, that takes on a life of it's own, that is singable, hum-able, and easy to play. Est. 2001.

2001 MARIA DUNN, AB - WHISKEY EVENING
2002 JENNIFER NOXON, ON - EVERYDAY
2003 RONNIE HAYWARD, BC - WHISKEY FLAVOURED KISSES
2004 SHAWN SAGE, ON - MARIJUANA & ALCOHOL
2005 THE D RANGERS, MB - COUGHIN' UP BLOOD
2006 DIGGING ROOTS, ON - 80 YEAR OLD MOOSHIM
2007 HARRY MANX & KEVIN BREIT, BC/ON - BOTTOM OF THE HILL
2008 ROSEMARY PHALEN, ON - HUMMINGBIRD
2009 KATHERINE WHEATLEY, ON - HALLELUJAH
2010 BRI-ANNE SWAN, ON - STARS ARE FALLING
2011 CATHERINE MacLELLAN, PEI - SNOWBIRD
2012 WHITEHORSE, ON - PETERBILT COALMINE

STEVE'S FAVOURITE ALBUM OF THE YEAR

The album I've enjoyed listening to the most in the past year
(it doesn't have to be new)

This is the album that I've most enjoyed listening to during the past 12 months. For whatever reason, it just hits me and I can't get enough of it. Unlike the Gem of Canada album of the year, this one is more of a personal choice - something that I really want to hear again and again. Est. 2001.

2001 IAN BELL, ON  - SIGNOR FARINI and other adventures
2002 TANNIS SLIMMON, ON  - OAK LAKE
2003 CORB LUND BAND, AB - FIVE DOLLAR BILL
2004 LES CHAUFFEUR A PIEDS, QC - DEJEUNER CANADIEN
2005 CARLOS DEL JUNCO, ON - BLUES MONGREL
2006 ROMI MAYES, MB - SWEET SOMETHIN' STEADY
2007 THE UNDESIRABLES, ON - DOG HOUSE DREAMS
2008 OLD MAN LUEDECKE, NS - PROOF OF LOVE
2009 THE WESTERN STATES, MB - BYE AND BYE (TIED WITH) CORIN RAYMOND - THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A SMALL TIME
2010 DAVID CELIA, ON - I TRIED
2011 STEPHEN FEARING, NS & ANDY WHITE, AUST - FEARING & WHITE
2012 DAVID GOGO, BC - SOUL BENDER

THE PORCUPINE BOOK AWARD


 


A fairly self evident title, recognizing music and folkloric books that should be on any Canadian bookshelf. Est. 1991.

1991 POSEN, I. SHELDON, ON - SINGING AND DANCING AND ALL SORTS OF FUN
1994 LINA REMON, QC - PAROLES ET MUSIQUES: MADAME BOLDUC
1995 GENE WILBURN, ON - Northern Journey: A Guide to Canadian Folk Music on CD
1996 STOMPIN TOM CONNORS, ON - BEFORE THE FAME
1997 CHARLIE ANGUS  / BRIT GRIFFIN, North ON  - We Lived A Life And Then Some
1998 MICHAEL TAFT, SK - DISCOVERING SASKATCHEWAN  FOLKLORE
1999 SHELDON MacINNIS, NS - A JOURNEY THRU CELTIC MUSIC
2000 MARK MILLER, ON - SUCH MELODIOUS RACKET
2001 MICHAEL BARKLAY - IAN JACK - JASON SCHNEIDER, ON - HAVE NOT BEEN THE SAME
2002 JOHN EINARSON / RANDY BACKMAN, MB / BC - TAKIN' CARE OF BUSINESS
2003 RICK JACKSON, CA - ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CANADIAN COUNTRY MUSIC
2006  HOMER HOGAN, d.  - LISTEN: SONGS AND POEMS OF CANADA
2007 SHAKIN' ALL OVER - The Rock ní Roll Years in Canada, compiled and edited by Peter Goddard and Philip Kamin, ON
2009 JASON SCHNEIDER, ON - WHISPERING PINES: The northern roots of American music
2010 JOEY TAYLOR, ON - SIX STRING NATION
2011 JOHN EINARSON, IAN TYSON, SYLVIA TYSON - FOUR STRONG WINDS - The life and times of Ian & Sylvia
2012 DAVE BIDINI - WRITING GORDON LIGHTFOOT

THE RECORD PRODUCER AWARD

for those who make CDs sound so good

This one recognizes the excellence of the recording arts, a process which makes all musicians sound so good. We all want great sound and these are the people who produce it. Est. 1996.

1996 JOHN SWITZER, ON
1997 BILL GARRETT, QC
1998 ANDRE MARCHAND, QC
1999 EVELYN DATL, ON
2000 COLIN LINDEN, ON
2001 SCOTT MERRITT, ON
2002 JAMES STEPHENS, ON
2003 PAUL MILLS, ON
2004 IAN TAMBLYN, QC
2005 GLEN MARSHALL, ON
2006 ALEC FRASER, ON
2007 STEVE DAWSON, BC
2008 DAVID ESSIG, BC
2009 SEAN COTTON, ON
2010 DON KERR, ON
2011 DAVID GAVAN BAXTER, ON
2012 JOBY BAKER, BC

THE HAYES-McQUESTON AWARD

This is awarded to players of Old Time Music. Jack Hayes was a Square Dance caller from Toronto, well loved, who died in the early 1990s. Tom McQueston was a great old time fiddler who actually taught Graham Townsend - he died at the age of 102. This award used to be called the Jack Hayes award was re-named 2011, EST 1993.

1993 HURONIA OLD TIME FIDDLERS, ON
1995 TOMMY ANDERSON, d, ON
1996 THE SCHRYER FAMILY, North ON
1997 THE LAHEY FAMILY, ON
1998 BILL ELLIOT, ON
1999 MURRAY SMITH, ON
2000 CHRIS COOLE, ON
2000 ARNIE NAIMAN, ON
2007 RAGGED BUT RIGHT, ON
2008 SHEESHAM & LOTUS, ON
2009 THE HAINTS OLDTIME STRINGBAND, BC
2010 MICHAEL JEROME BROWN, QC
2011 HOME SWEET HOME, YT
2012 SLOCAN RAMBLERS, ON


THE GREAT CANADIAN SONG AWARD

This is for a great, new, contemporary song which captures something unique about the country. Think of 'Something To Sing About' or 'Maple Sugar' or 'The Great North Wind' or The Travellers version of 'This Land is Your Land'. EST. 2010
2010 RON HYNES, NL - SAWCHUK
2011 ROB LUTES, QC - COLD CANADIAN ROAD
2012 MENDELSON JOE - I AM CANUCKIAN

THE GOLDEN QUILL

For Songwriting
Regardless of style or genre or the caliber of musicianship, there are certain qualities that sets the great ones apart. A great song leaves residue in the ears of a listener, evokes emotional triggers, expands the mind. While most songwriters would be content to compose one or two truly great songs, there are those who have produced hoards of them. Think of Paul Anka. This award is for that special kind of songwriter. Est. 1991.
1991 HOLMES HOOKE, ON  / BOBBY WATT, ON
1992 GLEN REID, ON
1993 KAREN GAMBLE, d. ON
1994 NORM HACKING, d. ON
1994 JOE HALL, ON
1995 JAMES KEELAGHAN, AB
1996 RICK FIELDING, d. ON
1997 BRUCE COCKBURN, VT
1998 GWEN SWICK, ON
1999 WILLIE P BENNETT, d. ON
2000 KIM BARLOW, YT
2001 MELLWOOD CUTLERY, ON
2002 BOB SNIDER, ON / NS
2003 STEPHEN FEARING, ON
2004 DANNY BAKAN, ON
2005 BRIAN BLAIN, ON
2006 DAVID BRADSTREET, ON
2007 DAVID FRANCEY, ON
2008 TANNIS SLIMMON, ON
2009 JORY NASH, ON
2010 ROSEMARY PHELAN, ON
2011 JON BROOKS, ON
2012 BARNEY BENTALL, BC

THE GOLDEN PORCUPINE

Lifetime Achievement award
The Lifetime Achievement Award winner is automatically inducted into the Porcupine Awards Hall of Fame. Est. 1990.
1990 MAC BEATTIE, d. ON
1991 GEORGE I TAYLOR, d. NS / ON
1992 WALTER OSTENAK, ON
1993 EMILE BENOIT, d. NL
1994 SAMUEL GESSER, d. QC
1995 EDITH FULTON FOWKE, d. ON
1996 ESTELLE KLEIN, d. ON
1997 BRUCE COCKBURN, VT
1998 STEVE "STEVEDORE STEVE" FOOTE, NB
1998 GRAHAM TOWNSEND, d. ON
1999 RICHARD FLOHIL, ON
2000 STOMPIN TOM CONNORS, ON
2000 NED LANDRY, NB
2001 IVAN HICKS, NB
2002 ENOCH KENT, ON
2003 FRANK WRIGHT, ON
2003 JACKIE WASHINGTON d. ON
2004 DAISY DeBOLT, d. ON
2005 ROY FORBES, BC
2006 HOMER & DOROTHY HOGAN d. ON / d. QC
2007 MARGARET CHRISTL, PA
2008 MURRAY McLAUCHLAN, ON
2009 RITCHIE YORKE, AUST
2010 IAN TAMBLYN, QC
2011 IAN TYSON, AB - SYLVIA TYSON, ON
2012 TO BE ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 12