Local girl Jodi Pederson needs your votes to make it in the top of this year’s BCIMAs’ People’s Choice.

Local girl Jodi Pederson needs your votes to make it in the top of this year’s BCIMAs’ People’s Choice.

Award nods go to familiar and new faces

The North Okanagan is once again well represented at this year’s B.C. Interior Music Awards.

The North Okanagan is once again well represented at this year’s B.C. Interior Music Awards.

The nominations for the top-three contestants were announced Wednesday at a press conference in Kelowna, and the top nominees include some familiar and some new faces, and voices, from the area.

Top of the list is Andrew Allen for Single of the Year for his song, Loving You Tonight, nominated along with Salmon Arm’s Greg Sczebel for I’ve Got That Feelin’, and Kelowna’s Leah West for Spring.

Allen was a big winner at the 2009 BCIMAs, picking up the People’s Choice and receiving three other awards.

On the phone from the airport in Phoenix, Ariz., part of a radio promotional tour he is doing in the U.S., Allen says he won’t be able to attend this year’s ceremony, April 23, as he will be in the States, but is honoured to be nominated once again.

“To be recognized by your hometown/home area is always an honour. It’s like family and friends are patting you on the back, giving you high fives and simply saying ‘way to go’,” he said, adding, “I’m an Okanagan boy through and through.”

Signed to Epic Records, a division of Sony Music, earlier this year, Allen just wrapped up a tour with American artist Joshua Radin, playing to 2,000-plus fans a night, and has been home to Vernon once since, for three days.

“I did my laundry and my taxes,” he laughed.

On the top 10 Canadian music charts, Loving You Tonight has started to receive airplay Stateside, and will be the first single off Allen’s upcoming CD, still untitled.

“The album is done. We are just finalizing the track listing. We’re hoping to release it in the summer, although I’d prefer May,” he said.

Another local who has been nominated for three BCIMAs is Jodi Pederson, who was recognized for Album of the Year (for her CD Seasons), and Pop/Contemporary Recording of the Year (for single Comfortable).

She has some competition from Greg Sczebel, who has been nominated in both categories, along with seven others.

Pederson is also in the running for the BCIMAs’ People’s Choice award, along with five other artists, which are voted on by the artist’s fans.

There were 428 submissions for this award, and voting continues at www.BCIMA.org.

“I have some very talented competition so it is such an honour to make it this far,” said Pederson, who was a winner at the 2010 We Are Listening, singer/songwriter competition. “I want to thank all who have voted and supported me, it’s very much appreciated and I hope support can continue.”

Pederson found success at an early age when she was discovered by Jack Lenz of Lenz Entertainment (producer/composer of TV shows and films, including Passion of the Christ.) Her most recent album, Seasons, and subsequent singles, such as December’s Christmas with You, have garnered radio play across the country.

Pederson’s next album will be recorded in May and will be followed by a cross-Canada tour.

Up for Best Instrumental  Recording of the Year is Pederson’s former guitar instructor, Chris Madsen, whose multi-media project Song of the Troubadour, featuring a CD and accompanying book, was released last year.

“As a master guitarist I have honed my craft over 45 years of daily playing,” he said. “My advice to all is create from inspired passion. If you do or do not get awards and such, it is no reflection on your gifts. The greatest award is knowing your life has given its all.”

Other North Okanagan acts recognized with nominations are Armstrong’s Odinfist for Metal Recording of the Year, Vernon hip hop artist Tassnata (Justin Nerling) for Urban/Dance Recording of the Year, and fellow local MC Immaculate (Julian Wolansky) for Music DVD/Video of the Year.

Some 430 nominations were filed for the 25 categories for this year’s BCIMAs. (Three categories did not have enough nominations –– jazz, classical and children’s –– and therefore were deleted.) The top three will now go through the round two judging process to determine a winner in time for the awards show April 23 at the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Expected to perform at the ceremony, from 7 to 10 p.m., is Vernon’s very own Darby Mills, with a rock collaboration, along with Adham Shaik with a First Nation’s collaboration, Aiden Mayes and Ari Neufeld, Greg Sczebel, Kira Gosselin, Leah West, and Miss Quincy.

Tickets to the event are available through www.selectyourtickets.com or by following the link at www.BCIMA.org.