All the winners from the 2023 Music Nova Scotia Awards | Music | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
The 2023 Music Nova Scotia Awards were handed out in Yarmouth over the weekend. Andrew Jackson (centre), Rankin MacInnis (left) and Jah'Mila (right) came away as big winners.

All the winners from the 2023 Music Nova Scotia Awards

Andrew Jackson, Jah’Mila and Rankin MacInnis led the crowded field with multiple award wins over the weekend.

There’s a new king of music in town: Juno Award-winning trombonist and composer Andrew Jackson took home Musician of the Year honours at this year’s Music Nova Scotia Awards, fresh off a year in which the Halifax artist assisted on Terra Spencer and Ben Caplan’s terrific Old News and David Myles’s It’s Only a Little Loneliness, while also directing the Halifax Jazz Festival and continuing to host The Outer Edge on CKDU 88.1 FM. Jackson led all Nova Scotia Music Award-winners this year, with three awards (and a piece of four, counting Old News). In addition to claiming the weekend’s biggest honour, his joint record with guitarist Sam Wilson (New Doors) won Jazz Recording of the Year, and he was also chosen as 2023’s Media Arts Award-winner.

Jackson wasn’t the only big winner: Mabou multi-instrumentalist Rankin MacInnis was named Entertainer of the Year. The frontman of Rankin MacInnis & The Broken Reeds claimed two awards, along with reggae powerhouse Jah’Mila. (As well as Entertainer of the Year, he also earned a Live Sector Award for his Winter Warmers concert series at the Marquee, while Jah’Mila took home honours for African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year and New Artist Recording of the Year).

Speaking by phone with The Coast, MacInnis called the ceremonies in Yarmouth a “joyous weekend,” filled with “a few good nights of great music and great laughter, and impromptu jams that led into the wee hours.” He’s gearing up for another season of Winter Warmers concerts, along with a debut album his band plans to release in 2024.

“It’s been a goal of mine for forever,” he says. “This is a six, seven-year dream, in a way. But we’re finally at a place where the things that were taking the focus away from the album—the building of [annual Mabou festival] Blueberry Jam and Rankin’s Winter Warmers—are both at a place now where the job is more to maintain the engine, make sure the light doesn’t come on.” The band, he says, has a “bunch of tunes” and plans to record through November and December.

See the full list of 2023 Nova Scotia Music Award-winners below:


African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year: Jah'Mila

Americana/Bluegrass Recording: The Bombadils - Dear Friend

Blues Recording of the Year: Jon Hines - A Pale Blue Dot

Classical Recording of the Year: India Gailey - to you through

Country Recording of the Year: Elyse Aeryn - Joy State of Mind

DJ of the Year: Kayo

Electronic Artist of the Year: Rich Aucoin

Entertainer of the Year: Rankin MacInnis

Folk/Roots Recording of the Year: Terra Spencer & Ben Caplan - Old News

Hip Hop/Rap Recording of the Year: Classified - Retrospected

Indigenous Artist of the Year: DeeDee Austin

Jazz Recording of the Year: Jackson\Wilson Duo - New Doors

Loud Recording of the Year: Kilmore - From The Inside

Music Video of the Year: Nicole Ariana - Shameless (Directed by Griffin O'Toole)

Musician of the Year: Andrew Jackson

New Artist Recording of the Year: Jah'Mila - Roots Girl

Pop Recording of the Year: Good Dear Good - Arrival

Prix de l’Acadie: Peanut Butter Sunday

R&B/Soul Recording of the Year: Nicole Ariana - Crybaby

Rock Recording of the Year: Steel Cut Oats - At The Eleventh Hour

SOCAN Songwriter of the Year: Adam Baldwin


Artistic Development Award: Micah Smith

Emerging Industry Professional of the Year: Nik MacDonald

Live Sector Award: Rankin's Winter Warmers

Media Arts Award: Andrew Jackson

Recording Sector Award: Erin Costelo

Sound, Tech and Production Award: John Mullane (Future Dad)

Volunteer of the Year: Phil Demille

**Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Rankin MacInnis and Jah’Mila led all award-winners. The Coast regrets the error.**

About The Author

Martin Bauman

Martin Bauman, The Coast's News & Business Reporter, is an award-winning journalist and interviewer, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Capital Daily, and Waterloo Region Record, among other places. In 2020, he was named one of five “emergent” nonfiction writers by the RBC Taylor Prize...
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