WCMAs to go on without Carly Rae

Carly Rae Jepsen. (WENN.com)

Carly Rae Jepsen. (WENN.com)

Darryl Sterdan, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET

Call her absent. And call the Western Canadian Music Alliance delighted.

When the 10th annual Western Canadian Music Awards are handed out Sunday in Regina, the region's biggest musical export of 2012 -- Kelowna pop princess Carly Rae Jepsen, nominated for Pop Recording of the Year -- won't be in the house. She'll be opening for her boss Justin Bieber in Las Vegas. For most award-show organizers, that would be cause for panic or worse. But for the WCMA, it's good news. Same as it was last year when Saskatoon rockers The Sheepdogs couldn't make it.

The goal of the alliance -- which stages the annual awards show as part of the BreakOut West Festival and Conference -- is to provide western musicians and bands with the tools and opportunities they need to create, sustain and expand their careers. Even if they expand so far that they're too busy to come back to see their success celebrated.

But Jepsen is far from the only name on this year's roster. Between now and Sunday, hundreds of Canadian musicians and international industry professionals will descend on the Queen City for a weekend devoted to honouring and showcasing the best music west of the Ontario border. The highlights, of course, are gala award ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday night, when 28 awards will be presented in musical and industry categories. Major players include Vancouver indie-rockers Said the Whale, who lead the pack with four nominations, while B.C. folk-rocker and Juno winner Dan Mangan, Manitoba singer-songwriter Daniel ROA and Saskatchewan alt-country outfit Deep Dark Woods have three nods. Other prominent nominees include Marianas Trench, Weakerthans leader John K. Samson, Doc Walker and Big Sugar's Gordie Johnson. (See major nominees below.) Saskatchewan rockers The Northern Pikes will also be inducted into the hall of fame during the Sunday ceremonies, which will include performances by Mangan, Said the Whale, Jason Plumb, Rah Rah and others.

In addition, some 50 bands will perform in nine local venues over two nights, and a BreakOut conference will feature two days of panel discussions and workshops where artists can interact with managers, agents, producers, promoters and other professionals from Canada, the U.S. and Europe, making connections that can lead to tours, licensing deals and other opportunities.

Here are the major nominees at the 2012 Western Canadian Music Awards:

Rock Recording

Dan Mangan | Oh Fortune (BC)

Double Fuzz | Double Fuzz (AB)

KEN mode | Venerable (MB)

Said The Whale | Little Mountain (BC)

The British Columbians | Made For Darker Things (BC)

Pop Recording

Adaline | Modern Romantics (BC)

Carly Rae Jepsen | Curiosity (BC)

Library Voices | Summer of Lust (SK)

Marianas Trench | Ever After (BC)

The Magnetic North | Constellations (AB)

Rap / Hip Hop Recording

Animal Nation | The Basement Tapes Vol.1 (BC)

Cityreal & Wes Mackey | Good Morning Blues (BC)

Evil Ebenezer | The Birds (BC)

Swollen Members | Dagger Mouth (BC)

ZZBRA | The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (BC)

Country Recording

Doc Walker | 16&1 (MB)

Jake Mathews | Red Tail Lights (AB)

Keith and Renee | Best Day (MB)

Sean Hogan | Phoenix (BC)

Tenille | Real (AB)

Independent Album

Dan Mangan | Oh Fortune (BC)

Foam Lake | Force and Matter (SK)

John K. Samson | Provincial (MB)

Said The Whale | Little Mountain (BC)

The Deep Dark Woods | The Place I Left Behind (SK)

darryl.sterdan@sunmedia.ca


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