The Maritime Gospel Music Association (MGMA) & The MGMA Gala Awards Continued!

   The MGMA web site states the following benefits offered to artist members: opportunities to sing at MGMA concerts; marketing through their web site, promotion to the Maritime Church Directories; artist listings on www, sound bites, links etc.; assistance in CD launches; official news releases to media; individual schedule promotions; liaison with and relationship development with all media especially Christian radio; discounts with Maritime merchants, studios etc.; exclusive radio play and promotion on radio's “the Atlantic Gospel Connection.” Benefits of personal memberships are cited as: preferred seating at MGMA sponsored events, discounts at area merchants; product discounts from MGMA artists during concerts, voting rights for recognition awards; and the satisfaction in helping promote Gospel music in Maritime Canada.
   The MGMA sponsors events throughout the year. Some include: an MGMA Christmas Dinner and Concert (Fredericton, NB), a MGMA gospel concert held during Frex (the Fredericton Exhibition in September), MGMA concerts held during Frostival (Fredericton’s celebration of winter held January-February), various other MGMA sponsored concerts around New Brunswick, the MGMA Gala and Awards (in Fredericton, NB in October), etc.
   Returning to the MGMA Gala and Awards…. Nominations for awards are given are open on-line, world-wide for the first round of voting. The next round of voting, which determines the winners and is not a blind vote, is restricted to those holding paid MGMA membership.
   Female Soloist for 2016 winner was Roxanne Norrad (Boiestown, NB). This is her fourth consecutive win in this category. In 2013 she won New Artist. Norrard, who has been singing since she was a child, began her solo ministry in 2012 and recently joined the trio, Golden Harmony.
   Also, sharing Female Soloist for 2016 was Wanda Grieve (Harvey Station, NB). It was her first win. Wanda, who started singing at the age of three, loves singing for the Lord, who she says is her Saviour, best friend and anchor of her life. Grieve was also inducted into the NB Gospel Music Hall of Fame this year.
   Male Soloist of 2016 went to Matt Linton, his third consecutive win in that category. He also won Song of the Year and Album of the Year in 2015. Linton, a former New Brunswicker and ordained minister, now lives in Katy, Texas, his home base for fulltime gospel music ministry. His web site is
   New Artist of 2016 is Tricia McAleer (Geary, NB) has been singing since she was a little girl. She started singing in her home church and is working on having a demo done.
   The McGuires (Carlingford, NB) cleaned up at the Gala, winning CD of the Year for “Living for that Day,” (selected by a committee of judges); Song of the Year for “Cover Me,” written by Penny McGuire (selected by a committee); Songwriter of the Year, Todd McGuire for “New Man in My Shoes”; Female Vocalist, Penny McGuire; MGMA Radio Personality (for their show “Prime Time Live with the McGuires) and Duet of the Year. The McGuires have been singing together for twenty-one years since meeting at Bible School. This is their third consecutive year to win a MGMA award. Todd wrote “New Man in My Shoes” about seventeen years ago and has co-written several songs with Penny since then. Penny says, “I've been writing gospel music beginning twenty-six years ago, when I was in high school. I wrote three songs oh my own and Todd and I have collaborated on several more…” Their web site is

   Trio of the Year (their third win) and the Joey Knight Award for People’s Choice Artist of the Year (determined by popular vote during the evening event by those attending) went to Golden Harmony (Sussex, NB), with Chris Smith of the trio getting Male Vocalist of the Year, his second consecutive win. Previously they have won the 2012 Bill LaPointe Award. With seventeen years in ministry, this group has toured throughout North America and are 2012 NB Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductees. You can look them up at

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