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Oshawa Music Awards set to highlight the cream of the crop in Durham music scene

Kevin Comeau, left, and Cody Bowles are the rock duo Crown Lands. They have been nominated for Artist of the Year at the 2020 Oshawa Music Awards. (Photo by Chelsea Birnie)

After an exhaustive selection process, the nominees for the 2020 Oshawa Music Awards have been named.

The nominees in the five major categories were unveiled during a press event held at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery on Friday, Feb. 7.

Up for Artist or Band of the Year are Oshawa’s Crown Lands, Whitby’s Chastity, and Uxbridge’s Robyn Ottolini.

In the Emerging Artist or Band of The Year category are Oshawa’s ZAFTIG, Ajax’s Nathan Carr, and Port Perry’s Hunter Sheridan.

In the running for Single of the Year are Daniel Caesar’s “Cyanide,” Shawn Mendes’ “Senorita,” and “The Girls I Know Didn’t Think So” by Chastity.

Album of the Year nominees are Caesar for “Case Study 01,” Skye Wallace’s self-titled album, and Sum 41’s “Order in Decline.”

Lastly, in the hunt for Music Video of the Year are The Doozies’ “26 oz,” Jules McCools “Encore,” and Leah Daniels’ “ToGetHer.”

Voting for these categories runs through March 15. To vote, or for a complete list of biographies and nominees, visit

Organizers also announced the winners of the Music Industry Leader Award, Kevin Simpson and Jayson Callan, managers of Long & McQuade in Oshawa. This honour recognizes those in the community who had made a substantial impact on the music industry in 2019.

The 2020 Oshawa Music Award Lifetime Achievement – Hall of Fame Awards are presented to individuals who represent the best of the Durham Region music industry.

This year’s recipients are Bill and David Wilson of Wilson & Lee, an Oshawa music store which was open for almost 100 years before closing late last year.

Other honourees include Mogens Galberg of the Greenbank Folk Music Society, the members of the bands Reign Ghost, Christmas, and a Sprit of Christmas, and the late-Mike Kupnicki, a musician, and owner of Alto Music.

Three more categories, Music Teacher of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Durham Song of The Year, are accepting submissions until Feb. 15. More information is available at Founded in 2018, the Oshawa Music Awards are part of Oshawa Music Week (March 30 to April 4), and is run by students of Durham College’s music business management program. The awards take place April 4 at The Oshawa Music Hall.