Lance Lapointe was awarded Artist of the Year at the Vancouver Island Music Awards on April 9.

Alberni musician honoured

Port Alberni's Lance Lapointe won Artist of the Year at the Vancouver Island Music Awards.

Port Alberni musician Lance Lapointe was honoured as Artist of the Year at the 12th annual Vancouver Island Music Awards.

The VIMA’s have been celebrating the Vancouver Island music scene since 2002 by acknowledging and rewarding excellence in the artistry and work ethic of Vancouver Island and Canadian artists. This year the ceremony was held in Victoria on Saturday, April 9.

Lapointe is a Port Alberni-born singer, songwriter and guitarist who strummed his way to the top of the indie rock scene in 2009 with his debut album, Separate Ways. After touring and recording world wide, Lapointe returned to his roots on Vancouver Island.

“The win was a surprise,” Lapointe said, who was also nominated for rock recording of the year for his song, Tonight. “I didn’t win the best rock recording so I figured for artist of the year, there was like 10 other nominations, I’m probably not going to win.”

After performing his new single, Girl, at the award ceremony, Lapointe left the venue to play another gig before Artist of the Year was announced.

“I told the organizers and a producer that I knew, If I win by chance can you accept it for me and just text me,” Lapointe said.

Shortly after leaving, Lapointe did receive a text and did indeed win Artist of the Year.

“I got the shuttle to bring me back to the award ceremony and someone already accepted for me… I came in and everyone cheered and I gave a big speech and that was it,” Lapointe said.

Lapointe’s sound is self-described as alternative-country-rock with a taste of folk, R&B and blues. He is an independent artist but said in the wake of receiving Artist of the Year, record companies have been reaching out in hopes to sit down with the west coast artist.

“It’s hard to sign a deal without giving up so much of your creative influence. I like being independent because then I make 100 per cent of my royalties,” Lapointe said.

“When it gets to the point where I can’t even keep up then maybe I would sign to somebody.”

As a young teenager, before performing on big city stages, Lapointe began his musical endeavors as a member of the Mount Klitsa Junior High School band and gives many thanks to his band teacher, Sarah Falls, who he said played and incredibly important and encouraging role during his learning years.

“Huge shout out to Sarah Falls…I can’t thank her enough,” Lapointe said.

Lapointe plays at Darcy’s Pub in Langford with his band Bipolar Bear every Saturday night and continues to be inspired by the west coast music scene.

“Vancouver Island still likes the acoustic players, they still go out and see bands because it’s more memorable,” Lapointe said. “I couldn’t be happier with the music scene here.”

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