Sunday, July 29, 2007

November 2005 - Canadian Urban Music Awards

© November 2005 - Canadian Urban Music Awards (CUMA) By Bryen Dunn, Toronto -

The 2005 Canadian Urban Music Awards (CUMA) were recently held in Toronto over a two night span. The first night was the Gala Dinner and Awards Presentation held on the 53rd floor of the TD Bank Tower, with a panoramic view of the downtown core and Lake Ontario.

The overall feel was somewhat low-key given the organizers push to grow the Awards and gain a broader audience. Hosts Rich Fagon and Arisa Cox looked awkward in the large venue with the sparse audience. Part of the problem was the empty tables purchased by label execs and sponsor organizations that didn’t bother to fill the seats with people. It’s fine to toss money toward the cause, but actually showing an interest makes a huge difference as well. As well, the pricey $150.00 tickets for this event likely make it out of reach for the real fans.

Established in 1996, the Urban Music Association of Canada (UMAC) is a not-for-profit, member driven organization dedicated to building the domestic and international profile of Canadian urban music. CUMA is the annual signature event that spotlights leaders in the industry in several categories, honouring the best Canadian urban artists.

Canadian Idol judge Farley Flex was presented with the Special Achievement Award for raising the profile of urban music in Canada. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to jazz drummer Archie Alleyne, who has played with countless jazz greats throughout his 56-year career.

The Kool Haus event the following evening was better attended at $30.00 a head, which is worth the price just to check out the performances and possibly rub shoulders with Canada’s next big sensation.

The show will be broadcast on December 21st at 9:00 PM on SUN TV ( ). Seems like quite the delay in broadcasting and not much of a surprise when all the winners have already been chosen and listed on the website ( )

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