Best Canadian Solo Male

Joel Plaskett

“It’s harder for me to get out to shows,” says Joel Plaskett, this year’s winner for both Best Canadian and Best Local Male Musician. “I still really want to be part of the community, but I have to travel so much that it’s difficult.” Whether through his days at the helm of Thrush Hermit, leader of The Emergency or on his more recent solo recordings, Plaskett has been the most constant and influential voice on this city’s musical landscape. Although his presence may be waning, he still speaks of the city’s scene with equal parts proud father and avid fan. “There’s just such a great sense of community,” he says. “With all the students that come through here there’s always a constant influx of new ideas that really keeps things fresh.” It’s this constant development that Plaskett values in his own work as well. “I want my music to reflect the fact that I have gotten older,” he says. Although the question of how much longer he will be around to be called a local musician often comes up, Plaskett shrugs it off. “There may have been opportunities that I have missed, but it has been really creatively rich for me here. I also don’t think my records have suffered sonically or artistically, and I put that higher than any commercial success.”

Runners-up: Sam Roberts, Bryan Adams