Mississauga’s Goan-origin Ian D’Sa and his band Billy Talent honoured at Canadian Music Week

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Billy Talent
Billy Talent performing at Canadian Music Week.

MISSISSAUGA: On their silver jubilee, Mississauga’s powerhouse band Billy Talent was honoured with the coveted “Legends of Live” award at the Canadian Music Week festival on May 11, catapulting them into the ranks of former winners “Tragically Hip” and “Blue Rodeo”.

The award ceremony was hosted by Canadian Paul Shaffer of David Letterman fame.

Billy Talent, formed back in 1993, have come a long way, opening up for Guns ‘n’ Roses at their Toronto performance in 2016 and have headlined arenas like the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Ian D'sa
Ian D’sa.

They have also performed in many places in Europe. The original band members consisted of Goan origin Ian D’sa (lyricist and producer), Ben Kowalewicz (vocalist), Jonathan Gallant (bassist) and Aaron Solowoniuk (drummer), who due to multiple sclerosis left a couple of years ago and was replaced by Jordan Hastings of Alexisonfire.

However to his credit and despite his MS condition, Aaron showed up to accept the award and marked the occasion by delighting the attendees by performing for one of their songs, “Rusted from the Roof”. Jordan took over for the next song “Try Honesty.”

Billy Talent on stage
Billy Talent on stage.

The evening was showered with performances from other bands with many more people, companies and venues being honoured adding yet another notable Peel region winner at the ceremony, the Metalworks Production Group, for best audio visual production company of the year. Metalworks is the brainchild of Gil Moore, former member of “Triumph”, one of Canada’s topmost internationally renowned bands.

Canadian Music Week is Canada’s leading annual entertainment event dedicated to the expression and growth of the country’s music, media and entertainment industries. Combining multifaceted information-intensive conferences, a trade exposition, awards shows and the nation’s largest new music festival, CMW spanned a seven-day period from May 7 – 13, 2018 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel and in more than 40 downtown Toronto venues, attracting participants from across the globe.

Barenaked Ladies
Barenaked Ladies.

This premier celebration of music also recognized Canadian icon and living legend Paul Anka with the lifetime achievement award at its main gala evening on May 10 held at the Rebel night club in Toronto.

Hosted by Jessi Cruickshank, the fabulous Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards also paid tribute to Arcade Fire who received the 2018 Allan Slaight Humanitarian Spirit Award in deference of the band’s humanitarian efforts. Regine Chassagne and Win Butler of Arcade Fire showed up for the accolades.

Jessi Cruickshank
Jessi Cruickshank.
Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire.

Members of Tragically Hip, Michael Bublé and former Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chrétien, were also present at this lavish affair that was peppered with performances by “Pursuit of Happiness” and “Barenaked Ladies.”

Robert “TooTall” Wagenaar, Patti-Anne Tarlton, David Farrell and Jeff Craib were also in attendance as 2018 inductees to the Canadian Music & Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.

Michael Buble and Paul Anka breaking bread
Michael Buble and Paul Anka breaking bread.

The night ended with a splendid rendition of “My Way” by the one and only Paul Anka, well known in India for his songs “Diana” and “Puppy Love” among several others.

Throughout the week they were many awards, performances and appearances by well known personalities in the music industry, too numerous to name.

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