Dawn Tyler Watson, Matt Andersen and the Smoke Wagon Blues Band were among the big winners of the 24th annual Maple Blues Awards, honouring the best of the blues across Canada.

The Toronto Blues Society broke up this year’s celebrations into four virtual award ceremonies hosted throughout February from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.

Dawn Tyler Watson was named entertainer of the year, taking home one of the biggest awards. The Montreal-based singer’s latest honour arrived after she won the Juno Award for blues album of the year in 2020 for her album Mad Love. 

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Matt Andersen was named both acoustic act of the year and male vocalist of the year. The Juno nominee from Perth-Andover, N.B., was celebrated for his latest album Halfway Home By Morning.

The Smoke Wagon Blues Band from Hamilton, Ont., was another two-time winner, earning trophies for new artist of the year and recording/producer of the year for their song Ballad of Albert Johnson with producer Steve Sherman.

Toronto blues veteran Jack de Keyzer led this year’s list with five nominations (along with two others for members of his band), and ultimately took home one award for electric act of the year.

The Blues with a Feeling Award for lifetime achievement went to Canadian roots legend Ken Whiteley and East Coast blues fixture Joe Murphy.

Among this year’s other Maple Blues Award winners were Colin Linden for songwriter of the year and Angel Forrest for female vocalist of the year.