Aldergrove’s Shamir Virgo took home a Fraser Valley Music Award (FVMA) on Thursday night for “Excellence by a black, indigenous, mixed-race, or person of colour artist.”
CIVL Radio, a campus and community radio station that serves the University of the Fraser Valley, hosts and facilitates the annual awards, which had been previously handed out in concert-filled ceremonies.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people could tune in to CIVL 101.7 on Thursday night for a live reading of the winners.
“I just want to say thank you – thank you so much to everyone who has supported me and supported me in my music and just being there to support me as a person of colour,” Virgo said in his acceptance speech.
“I just really appreciate recieving this award and it really means a lot that I’ve come so far in the little time that I’ve been making music. This whole journey has been really great and really impactful for me and I just want to take a second to thank everybody who’s been there to support me and help me through all of this,” he added.
Aaron Levy, the host of the awards ceremony and CIVL Radio station manager, called Virgo one of the most exciting local characters involved in the FVMA’s.
“He was widely supported by other nominees in his bid to win the Fan Vote, where he was the first runner up,” Levy said.
Virgo was also nominated in the R&B category.
The Springmans, an Aldergrove family who features ukulele-strumming, djembe-drumming, and guitar-picking in their music, were also up for Best Gospel Group – which was won by Abbotsford resident Chelsea Amber.
The group previously won a Fraser Valley Music Award for their album Happy Beach in 2019.
Abbotsford artist Summer Crush took home “Excellence by a Queer Artist,” Langley performer Jenny Banai won in the Alternative/Indie category, and West My Friend, a trio with two Langley members, won “Best Folk.”
A grand prize of $2,500 will be given, as well as two consolation prizes, and category winners will receive $350 each in 10 competitive genres and 5 bestowed awards recognizing Youth, Queer, Indigenous, bImPOC and Female identifying artists.
A full list of winners can be found at www.fvma.civl.ca.
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