Vernon singer Darby Mills

Vernon singer Darby Mills

Awards show takes the stage Saturday

KELOWNA — It’s time to cheer on your favourite local musicians.

After months of preparation, the B.C. Interior Music Awards will unveil 24 category winners along with stellar performances by nine diverse B.C. artists, Saturday.

“This is sure to be the most exciting stage presence yet as the B.C. Interior Music Awards again celebrate excellence at the Kelowna Community Theatre,” said Shelly Vida, BCIMAs’ co-producer. “Music appreciators of all ages will find offerings from the best and brightest indie musicians with blues, funk, pop, country, rock, folk and world. Where else can you celebrate and discover B.C.’s best?”

The Easter long weekend event starts with one-on-one workshops followed by a songwriters’ panel on Friday from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Workshops are free if you have a ticket to the awards’ show or pay $10 at the door at the Kelowna Community Theatre if you don’t have an awards’ ticket, said Vida.

These activities lead up to the Saturday night finale held at the Kelowna Community Theatre with doors opening at 6 p.m. and the show starting precisely at 7 p.m.

“The stage will be alive with led panels, plasma screens and rear and side projections for performance media,” said Vida.

North Okanagan artists nominated for awards include Andrew Allen (Single of the Year); Jodi Pederson (People’s Choice, Album of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Recording of the Year); Immaculate (Music DVD/Video of the Year); Chris Madsen (Instrumental Recording of the Year); Odinfist (Metal Recording of the Year); and TassNata (Urban/Dance Recording of the Year.)

This year’s awards show will be hosted by Mark Burley from Astral Radio.

Live performers include the Adham Shaikh Collective (a Juno nominee from Nelson playing a world groove blend of fusion, dub, world beat, tech house, ambient, and jazz); Greg Sczebel (a recent Juno winning World Vision Salmon Arm artist); Leah West (multi-gifted Kelowna artist and one of the most popular artists on Reverbnation, MyBand on Facebook, and MySpace with more than one million plays); Mike Gouchie (Penticton artist who opened for George Jones’ 2010 Canadian tour); Vernon-based Canadian rock legend Darby Mills (The Headpins) and guests; Kira Gosselin and the Heart to Heart Choir (Kamloops mixture of folk, pop, rock, and urban groove); Miss Quincy (Northern B.C. artist touring in Europe, playing grassroots gypsy blues); Aidan Mayes with Ari Neufeld (Penticton favourites playing full contact folk); and Kate Morgan (17-year-old old Kamloops resident who shared the Lilith Fair stage).

“Artists, industry professionals, performers and fans of live music will all mingle as we kick off this third annual awards night celebrating the best in B.C.’s professional independent musicians,” said Vida.

Tickets (including Friday’s workshops) are available at www.selectyourtickets.com.