The nominees for the 26th annual Maple Blues Awards have been announced, and Crystal Shawanda, Blue Moon Marquee and Angelique Francis are among the leading nominees.

Suzie Vinnick, Sue Foley, Colin James, Harrison Kennedy and Steve Marriner are also nominated for multiple awards.

The Toronto Blues Society will also introduce the new Indigenous Blues Artist category at the ceremony in January. A committee of Indigenous advisors are overseeing the criteria and outreach to a burgeoning community of Turtle Island blues creators.

Indigenous blues artists are represented among the major categories in this year’s Maple Blues Awards, including Blue Moon Marquee, Crystal Shawanda, Murray Porter, Dalannah Gail Bowen and Lyle Odjick.

The nominees for entertainer of the year are Blue Moon Marquee, Bywater Call, Crystal Shawanda, Steve Marriner and Sue Foley.

The award for new artist/group of the year will go to either Angelique Francis, Campbell & Johnston, Lyle Odjick, Marcus Trummer or the South Island Rhythm Kings.

The nominees for songwriter of the year are Blue Moon Marquee, Colin James, Colin Linden, Harrison Kennedy and Suzie Vinnick.

This year’s nominees for the Blues With a Feeling Award for lifetime achievement are Alec Fraser, Bobby Dean Blackburn, Brent Parkin, Dalannah Gail Bowen, Danny Brooks, Harrison Kennedy, Murray Porter and Tom Lavin.

Presented by the Toronto Blues Society, the Maple Blues Awards are Canada’s biggest night in blues. This year’s winners will be announced at the awards show at Koerner Hall in Toronto on Jan. 30, 2023.

Nominees are selected by a panel of 53 experts, including radio hosts, journalists and festival organizers across Canada.

The winners of the six instrumental categories are determined by the nominating panel. The other award winners will be selected by blues fans, who can cast their votes at until Dec. 1.

See the full list of nominees and cast your vote at