Mike Sanyshyn, a man with deep Aldergrove roots and a long history in country-roots music, was awarded the prestigious Gaylord Wood Traditional Country Music Award by the B.C. Country Music Association.
Sanyshyn has played in a wide array of situations over the years, from performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, with recording artist Aaron Pritchett, and acting as musical director for the British Columbia Country Music Association Industry Awards, to big concert and festival appearances.
The late Gaylord Wood played guitar and fiddle for many years in western Canada, and was best known for his work with the band Backseat Driver.
Sanyshyn is a “first call” studio musician, respected fiddle instructor and judge. As an artist he has released three CDs and an original book of music. He is also an accomplished mandolin player.
Sanyshyn is a third generation fiddler, following in the tradition of his father and grandfather. Born in the beautiful and rugged peaks of Coleman Alberta, in the Crowsnest Pass, he began playing fiddle at eight years old.
As well as learning various styles, from Canadian Old Time to Bluegrass, Celtic, Swing and Metis Fiddle, Sanyshyn also studied classical music for five years which helped him “get the proper technique… Learning to play classical music has definitely impacted my career in a positive way,” he says.
Sanyshyn was named the B.C. provincial champion four times, placed in the top three at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championships, the best finish ever for a B.C. fiddler to date.
At the age of 22 Sanyshyn was selected to play for Mercury recording artist Duane Steele in a band hand-picked from across Canada. Their first show was opening for Nashville stars Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw.
“That was my first introduction to touring and being exposed to big crowds. We also opened for Trisha Yearwood, Terri Clark, Prairie Oyster and many other acts,” said Sanyshyn.
“We were on the Rita and Friends Show and had our first appearance on the Canadian Country Music Awards Show. That time was huge for me as it gave me my start on the national scene.”
Subsequent opening spots included Alan Jackson, Big and Rich, Merle Haggard and Shania Twain, and he has also graced the stage with Ian Tyson, Randy Bachman, One More Girl, Johnny Reid and Nashville star Luke Bryan.
Sanyshyn has been featured on numerous videos for the likes of Aaron Pritchett, Chad Brownlee, Lisa Brokop and Duane Steele.
He’s also performed on television, including the Vicki Gabereau Show, Canada AM and Breakfast TV, plus various telethons.
He is well respected in the music community and is known as a mentor for up and coming fiddlers.
His signature sound has been recorded on hundreds of CDs and millions have heard Mike’s fiddle on the Vancouver Olympics segment in Torino introducing Whistler 2010.
It’s a four stringed instrument no longer than your arm but for Mike Sanyshyn its meant 30 years of steady, varied and fascinating work.
Sanyshyn also received the BCCMA’s Website of the Year Award. His website (www.mikesanyshyn.com) was developed by Robert White and Sanyshyn’s wife and musical partner, singer Tianna Lefebvre-Sanyshyn.
Follow this on-line link for a clip of Mike and Craig McGregor performing two traditional fiddle tunes, Smash The Window and McNabb’s Hornpipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfs8fO9BQOs#t=78
The BC Country Music Association’s 2014 award winners are:
Album of the Year Dallas Smith – Tippin’ Point
Country Club Act of the Year Chris Buck Band
Country Club of the Year Roosters Country Cabaret
Country Music Person of the Year Linda Corscadden
Country On Air Personality Area Code 250 Roo Phelps/Casey Clarke– Country 100.7 Penticton
Country On Air Personality Area Code 604 Curtis Pope – Country 107.1 Abbotsford
Entertainer of the Year Dallas Smith
Fans Choice Award Aaron Pritchett
Female Vocalist of the Year Karen Lee Batten
Gaylord Wood Traditional Country Award Mike Sanyshyn
Group Duo of the Year One More Girl
Male Vocalist of the Year Dallas Smith
Mike Norman All Star Band – Bass Kirby Barber
Mike Norman All Star Band – Drums Pat Steward
Mike Norman All Star Band – Guitar Darren Savard
Mike Norman All Star Band – Keyboard Carly McKillip
Mike Norman All Star Band – Special Instrument John Ellis – Steel Guitar
Producer of the Year Tom McKillip
Radio Station of the Year Country 107.1 – Abbotsford
Ray McAuley Horizon Award Me and Mae
Recording Studio of the Year Studio Downe Under
Roots Canadiana of the Year Award The Matinee
Single of the Year Award Tippin’ Point – Dallas Smith
Socan Songwriter of the Year Award Chad Brownlee – Just Because (Chad Brownlee, Mitch Merrett, Brian White & Phil Barton)
Video Director of the Year Award Stephano Barberis
Video of the Year Award Aaron Pritchett – Boat on the Water
Website of the Year Award Mike Sanyshyn – Robert White/Tianna Lefebvre-Sanyshyn www.mikesanyshyn.com
Humanitarian of the Year Award Linda Corscadden – Journey On Cancer Foundation/FCK Cancer
Presidents Citation Award David Wills
Life Time Achievement Award Ken McCoy – Male Vocalist
Life Time Achievement Award Jake Stolz – Guitar Player
Volunteer of the Year Award Charlene McMorris
Country Music Hall of Fame inductees announced
Lower Mainland-based country music makers will be honoured with a Hall of Fame induction this fall at the B.C. Country Music Association (BCCMA) Hall of Fame show in Mission.
The BCCMA’s 2014 Hall of Fame inductees are: Kenny Hess (Mission), Anne Lord (Chilliwack), Gerry King (Surrey, deceased), Rick Tippe (Maple Ridge), Terry Gray (Langley), Bill Rea (California, deceased), Sue Irving (Surrey), Les Redekopp (Surrey), Jim Howe (Surrey) and Dan Earle (Kamloops).
The BCCMA, with Rockin’ River Productions, is presenting the Hall of Fame Show, Nov. 9, at Mission’s Clarke Theatre, 33700 Prentis Ave.
“The contributions of this year’s inductees were, and are, paramount to the ongoing tradition and success in all areas of country music in B.C.,” says BCCMA vice-president Linda Corscadden.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring you a show honouring these pioneers.”
The Hall of Fame Show will feature performances by Kenny Hess, Kate and Becca Hess, Kama King (Gerry King’s daughter), Jackson Hollow, with more to be confirmed.
This year marks the 28th year since the first induction of Ray McAuley into the BCCMA Hall of Fame – the perfect time to bring together the past and the present. Support of this show not only pays tribute to these invaluable champions of B.C. country music history, but also gives back to help the BCCMA educate the country musicians industry builders of tomorrow.
Tickets for the BCCMA Hall of Fame Show are on sale now at the Clark Theatre box office or online at http://www.ticketzone.com/hof2014.
The doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m.
The BCCMA is thankful to its sponsors Rockin’ River Productions Inc, Roosters Country Cabaret, Lordco (Mission) and Pioneer Chrysler (Mission).