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GAMIQ 2008: Le Recap

Posted by Jer / September 22, 2008

with thanks to sarah for the pictures and to sarah and goran for their input

"En feu, Karkwa." So proclaimed Master of Ceremonies Rémi-Pierre Paquin after indie rock crew Karkwa had snatched their second award of the night. They weren't done. They went on to play a blazing live performance and walked away with a total of 3 GAMIQ awards (Best Indie Rock album, Songwriter of the Year, and Artist of the Year).

Music scenes don't just happen. They emerge out of moments, events and places where musicians and like-minded artists collide. The Gala de l’Alternative Musicale Indépendante du Québec not only does a great job of recognizing the depth and breadth of talent here in Quebec, it also serves as a place for the province's musicians to connect and realize that together they are greater than the sum of their parts.

Tucked away on Notre-Dame Ouest, near Atwater, the Corona Theatre was host to Quebec's best and brightest indie musicians for the 3rd edition of the gala. The evening had a carnival theme: an MC/ringmaster with a top hat, coat tails and a whip, and presenters you could only find in a freakshow, or in Montreal's late night club scene. Paquin was a solid host, though his one-liners were hit and miss (ed. note, I only got about 80% of them because French in-jokes are not my specialty). Before Duchess Says (winners of the Best Show category) took the stage, Paquin warned that people under 18 should leave the room. Now was probably a good time, he joked, for the youthful Coeur de Pirate to head to the washrooms. It turned out to be good advice. After spewing beer in the air and smearing it on herself and the stage, DS lead singer A-Claude wandered into the audience, sat on people's laps and screamed in their faces. Best show indeed.

The night belonged to Karkwa though, winning all three categories in which they were nominated. The well-deserving Bonjour Brumaire walked away with two awards (Best Emerging Artist, Best Indie Pop Album) for their excellent De La Nature Des Foules. Other winners included Gatineau (Best Hip Hop Album), National Parcs (Best Electro Album) and the Saint Catherines (Best Punk Album). Notably absent from the winner's circle were We Are Wolves, whose album got the most applause throughout the night, and Plants and Animals (yeah, I'm an Anglo, I would say that...luckily they have a shot at the Polaris this weekend). While we're on the subject of language, the French/English split in the community was evident last night, with cheers and jeers coming from different parts of the theatre depending on the artist's linguistic affiliations. But that's also part of why we need an event like the GAMIQ. By inter-mingling francos, anglos and in-betweens, the awards help unearth local musical talent, regardless of language. In the end, good music is good music.

misteur valaire and their army of synthesizers perform live at the GAMIQ

And the Gala had some stellar live performances to prove it. Gatineau opened with a gospel inspired rap rock number; Misteur Valaire were massive and géant with their synth-infused electro vibe. Paul Gott, lead singer of the Ripcordz and co-founder of the Montreal Mirror, received a GAMIQ tribute award for his involvement in Montreal's punk and indie music scene. After the tribute, Gott and crew ripped into a blistering track that proved to the youthful audience that old is the new young. (To see all the performances, check out this site later on this week).

Thanking the audience, Gott said that Montreal and Quebec's music scene is one of the best in the world. Even as $45 million cuts to the cultural sector (which were a persistent and sobering sub-text of the evening) threaten to erode the strength of music and arts scenes across the country, we can take solace in the fact it's been a great year for artists here in Quebec. Let's hope GAMIQ 2009 has as much to offer.

Here's the full list of winners:

Artist of the Year - Karkwa

Songwriter of the Year - Karkwa

International Career of the Year - Malajube

Show of the Year - Duchess Says

Breakthrough Artist of the Year - Bonjour Brumaire

Singer-songwriter Album of the Year - Taxidermie – Philippe B

Electro Album of the Year - Timbervision – The National Parcs

Experimental Album of the Year - Phon-O-Victo – Martin Tétreault & Kid Koala

Folk/Country Album of the Year - Raccourci – Dany Placard

Hip-Hop Album of the Year - Gatineau – Gatineau

Indie Pop Album of the Year - De la nature des foules – Bonjour Brumaire

Indie Rock Album of the Year - Le volume du vent – Karkwa

Metal/Hardcore Album of the Year - Prevail – Kataklysm

Punk Album of the Year - The Soda Machine – The Sainte Catherines

Rock’n’Roll Album of the Year - Piano élégant – Chocolat

World Album of the Year - Sur le toit des voisins – Gadji-Gadjo

DVD of the Year - Perreau & la Lune: live au Quat’Sous – Yann Perreau

Tribute award - Paul Gott

Winners were decided during a vote that lasted from August 6th to September 6th. The public vote counted for 50% of the final vote and the other 50% was determined by a jury (more than 200 people) made up of journalists (newspaper, radio, TV, web), venues and festival bookers, record store owners and cultural organization members throughout the province of Quebec, both francophones and anglophones.



PO / September 22, 2008 at 07:11 pm
when was the event?
Jer / September 22, 2008 at 08:59 pm
Oops...I cut out the line where I talked about trying in vain to live blog the event. That line also had the date of the event.

The GAMIQ awards took place last night, Sunday, Sept. 21 from 8-11pm.

O / September 22, 2008 at 09:53 pm
Seems like a fun event, but what's this about division between anglo and franco fans?
Jer / September 22, 2008 at 11:51 pm
It wasn't among fans...since most of the folks there were either in the bands, with the bands, or journalists/ bloggers/jury members. But there were definitely clear linguistic divides when it came to cheering for the nominees. Certain sections of the room cheered for all the anglo albums, other sections for the franco ones. As Goran mentioned in his comments to me, it just felt like there was split.

Of course, it doesn't hold in all cases...a lot of albums were universally applauded. But maybe there's still a lot of crossing over that needs to be done. Ultimately, I think that's what the GAMIQ awards are trying to do.
G / September 23, 2008 at 09:59 am
It's true... I need to start crossing over and swinging both ways more. I realized that night that I was very ignorant when it comes to francophone music, which is pretty sad given that all the bands there were dope.
anonyme / September 24, 2008 at 08:53 am
il était peut-être parce que chacun de vous, certes, ne sont pas si divergents en français?

Jer / September 24, 2008 at 11:00 am
Anonyme, je pense que on est en ne voulais pas suggeré que c'etait seulement les francos qui n'etait pas divergents en anglais. Je pense que ca passe au deux cotés. On est jamais assez "up to date" dans la musique d'un autre langue. Mais ca c'est pourquoi j'ai beaucoup aimer les GAMIQ.

Grace au podcast que je fait chaque semaine, j'ai la chance de rencontrer ou entendre beaucoup d'artiste locale (francais et anglais et autre), mais il y a toujours des groupes que m'echappe.

I do think it's getting better though, as I said in my comments to Olivier's WinterGloves post, which also brought up language issues. There's a healthy amount of crossover now in bands and in fans...let's hope the GAMIQ continues to try and help all the province's artists realize what they share in common (i.e. good music).
Adebayo / February 5, 2015 at 01:59 pm
Sorry to pander to your ego but I think you guys detfniiely deserve recognition for that album it's a brilliant work that still holds up after 100+ listens. Both my wife and I have it in our top 3 for '06 though I won't list the exact position, that would be pandering just a little too much. Greatly looking forward to the next one, whenever it comes about.
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