ABOUT US

THE FOREST CITY LONDON MUSIC AWARDS

The not-for-profit Forest City London Music Awards (FCLMA) exists as a regional music incubator to preserve the rich music history of our region, celebrate the music makers of today and encourage a new generation of musicians.

Four Pillars of the FCLMA

We’re always looking for passionate people who can help make the awards program and Forest City London Music Week happen every year. Please contact us to inquire about joining any of our teams.

PRESERVE – CELEBRATE – ENCOURAGE – SUPPORT

The FCLMA is proud to acknowledge that the land on which we gather for our events is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendt, Attawandaron and Lenape Indigenous peoples. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties, including Treaty 6, the London Township Treaty.

 

OUR GOALS & OBJECTIVES

To support the careers of emerging and established musicians in the local area through:

  • Acting as a resource for those interested in the music industry
  • Promoting music education
  • Providing instructional seminars, workshops and other materials or programs on relevant topics 
  • Educating musicians through participation in performance events
  • Facilitating mentorship opportunities
  • Increasing the public’s understanding and appreciation of the local music industry both past and present
  • Promoting interest in music amongst youth
    • To recognize the achievements of musicians and others in the local music community through  Forest City London Music Awards,  London Music Week (FCLMW) and other forms of recognition from time to time
    • To host events that bring together members of the local music community

OUR COMMITMENT

The Forest City London Music Awards (FCLMA) believes in a world that is inclusive in approach and where equal opportunities and equitable outcomes exist for all. We are committed to developing and supporting a robustly diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, where all members create and feel a sense of belonging. Through all our endeavors, FCLMA strives to provide a basis for equality and inclusion. 

Forest City London Music Awards, curators of Canada’s only city specific Music Hall of Fame is grateful to have been awarded a London Heritage Award 2019.  We thank the Architectural Conservancy Ontario – London Region (ACO London) and Heritage London Foundation (HLF) for this distinction. Forest City London Music Awards Board of Directors – For the sympathetic reuse and conservation of a downtown landmark building at 182 Dundas Street, the former home of Nash Jewellers, and creating an inspiring venue and home for London Music Hall of Fame and London’s rich musical heritage

OUR HISTORY

Unite the music community in a celebration of their own brightest stars.

It was a simple wish to award London’s musicians. It grew from the initial London Music Awards in May 2002 at Club Phoenix to a week of recognition, appreciation, mentorship and performances. Canada’s only city-specific Music Hall of Fame preserves the rich musical heritage. More than 300 volunteers have contributed to the realization of that early dream.

Forest City London Music Awards

The team of volunteers includes the Board of Directors, a Steering Committee and innumerable people at events and behind the scenes who provide time and expertise. They work throughout the year to present a week of activities that support, honour and promote the region’s music legends, popular artists, emerging musicians and the industry that creates the soundtrack of the city.

Early history

2002   London Music Awards first event

2005   Re-branded as The Jack Richardson Music Awards.

Jack was honoured to lend his name and his philosophy about nurturing Canadian talent, which was mirrored by the goals of the awards program and the mission of the not-for-profit organization. Jack Richardson (1929-2011) was the first Hall of Fame inductee under the new banner in 2005. His induction recognized the long-time Londoner and legendary Canadian record producer’s role in encouraging excellence in the local music scene, his advocacy for education in the field as a Fanshawe College professor. funding chair Mario Circelli was a co-founder of the London Music Awards before he helped create the JRLMA. John B. Young was a co-chair along with Circelli before taking the helm. Grant Stein has also served as Board Chair. In the early days, Circelli and the volunteer group began inducting worthy musicians into the London Music Hall of Fame (virtual at first) and the annual Lifetime Achievement Award (formerly the Dennis Brown Award) which honours a commitment to music above all else in a career.

Hall of Fame

Inductions over the years have represented the diverse talent nurtured in London:

  • The Amabile Choirs of London
  • metal stars Kittie
  • Garth Hudson (The Band)
  • Joey Hollingsworth
  • Phil Murphy
  • Orchestra London
  • dance band leaders Alf Tibbs and Johnny Downs

Memorable moments:

  • 1970s rock band Thundermug reuniting for the 2006 ceremony
  • Canada’s Country Gentleman Tommy Hunter accepting an on-stage honour at his farewell concert at the RBC Theatre at Budweiser Gardens (then the John Labatt Centre) in 2012

They join previous inductees in the ‘virtual’ hall on our website and in our physical London Music Hall of Fame on Dundas, thanks to the generosity of Mike Manuel and the Manuel family. The London Music Hall of Fame is curated by the FCLMA and is Canada’s only city specific music hall of fame. 

Both Hall of Fame inductees and Lifetime Achievement honorees are determined each year by the Steering Committee and Board according to criteria and a process that start with public nominations.

The Lifetime Achievement award is handed out at the gala. Past recipients include:

  • jazz pianist John Noubarian
  • London Kiwanis Music festival organizer and administrator Charlotte Cleland
  • famed promoter/manager Saul Holiff
  • Canadian choral leader John Barron

The Awards Gala

Come for the awards – stay for the music. Two galas at each end of Music Week recognize local talent as nominated and voted on by the public in 28 categories – country to classical, pop to punk, including those for Contributor, Fan Favourite, Producer/Engineer and Music Video of the Year. Live performances at the event bring scores of London-area musicians to the gala stage.

Memorable moments:

  • London-tied artists as punk rockers Sheep Look Up
  • honky-tonk heroes The Rizdales
  • Juno-winning hip-hop artist Shad
  • singer-songwriter Basia Bulat
  • rock band Hue with guest violinist Mary-Elizabeth Brown
  • Garth Hudson soloing at the keyboard

The musicians are paid for their performances through the support of generous sponsors.

Seminars, free for all levels of experience, skills and knowledge, are a key component of the London Music Awards. Top producers and engineers, performers and off-stage contributors share their expertise with emerging and established artists, offering everything from an assessment of a recording to booking tips.

The Youth Award was established to encourage and support high school bands. Winners are determined at the dynamic Highschool Battle of the Bands with meaningful opportunities for development provided.

The Ken Palmer Bursary is awarded to a graduating high school student pursuing music education at a post-secondary level in Ontario. The award honours the late Ken Palmer, who was an integral part of the London music scene for more than 40 years as a performer with the Dixie Flyers, Artistic Director of the Home County Music & Art Festival and a music teacher.

The last five years

On November 12, 2016 the Forest City London Music Hall of Fame officially opened to the public at 182 Dundas Street (former Nash Jewellers location) with a special concert featuring Garth Hudson of The Band, Priscilla Wright and Denise Pelley. The physical location for the Hall of Fame was an original goal of the board, along with holding a week-long celebration of local music. In 2017 the organization launched the inaugural London Music Week, bringing together all of these special events and many performances highlighting local artists and venues. 

The FCLMA curates Canada’s only city-specific music week – FC – London Music Week.

In the summer of 2018, the not-for-profit organization returned to its roots and its initial wish to unite the community in celebration of its music-makers. The name Forest City London Music Awards reflected this re-focus. The goals to Preserve, Celebrate, Encourage and Support continue to be the pillars of the organization.

The future

The Forest City London Music Awards, is grateful for the support of the London and area communities as we work together to:

  • recognize the area’s musicians and music industry
  • foster excellence and education
  • preserve our music history
  • nurture the music yet to come

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS/STEERING COMMITTEE

2022 FCLMA Board of Directors

Mario Circelli – Founder & Chair

Jennifer Watts – Co-Chair

Scott Bollert – Officer
 

Karie Wells – Officer

Open – Officer
 
Open – Officer
 
Open – Officer
 

James Reaney – Ex-Officio

Past & Present Steering Committee Members

(In No Particular Order)

We invite those we missed (unintentionally) let us know & we will add your name.

Ian Gifford, Catherine McInnes, Johann Kinting, Garwood Wallace, Jenny Nauta, Adam Debevc, Paul Breau, John Teeter, Marc Gammal, Meghan McCready, Lynn Dubuc, Matt Weston, Brendan Couture, Demetri Manuel, Alexandra Kane, Brady Parr, Jim McCormick, G. Scott Bollert, Alex Foster Roman, Andrew Purdy, Amanda Lynn Stubley, John B Young, Brandon Eedy, Brian McMillan, Brian Mortimer, Christine Paterson, Joseph Parry, Jacob Parry, Greg Hatchette, Ian Davies, Linda Wharton, Janis Wallace, Kevin Dunklee, Matt Farrant, Matt Grady, Tyler Hetherington, Melissa Parrott, Sarah Burke, Skye Sylvain, Simon Larochette, Fred Smith, James Tanney, Melissa “MO” Ogden, Greg Simpson, Michael Marucci, Darin Addison, Jenny Nauta, James Reaney, Adam Plante, Patrick Maloney, Andrea Dunn, Brad Gibb, Pierre Bussierre, Bianca Marcus, Josh Clark, Lauren Denualt, Matt Weston, Derek Leung, Cam Paton, Kathy Navackas, Kaarlo Koskiala, Steven Aziz, Janice Mills, Chris Parr, Steve Ward, Adam Dafoe, Edward Platero, Bob Breen, Brian Lambert, Christian Lewis, Marty Ryersee, Don DiCarlo, Aaron Murray, Glenn Waugh, Tommy Alcatraz, Silence Genti, Michael DeeVee, Steve Kopp, Barb Whitney, Gina Farrugia, Kate Milner, Andrew Petrasiunas, Tara Scott, Sarah Smith, Jody Stockfish, Dave O’Halloran, Rene O’Halloran, Dan Brodbeck, Kelly Ziegner, Sylvia Pozeg, Howie Kittelson, Vera Kittelson, Joel Jacobs, Aaron McMillan, Richard Gracious, Ryan McNevin, James O’Rourke, Bob Klanac, JW Huff, Carolyn Mitchell, Jeff Blake, Juliana Kopp, Destiny Q, Scott Hill, Demetri Manuel, Shannon Murray, Victoria Lee-Hudson Morse, Lucy Gravelle, Janice Drysdale, Will Haas, Maddox Bourdeau, Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Willie Loman, Stephen Harding, Ryan Spence, Colin Stewart, LaDel Sanders, Brian Lambert, Jeffy B, Grant Stein, Kate Young (MP), Donna Currie, John M. Sharpe, Paul Sharpe, Trish Kiwanuka, Marsha Haggarty, Ian Gillespie, Jacky El, Jade Bennett, Karie Wells

We’re always looking for passionate people who can help make the awards program and Forest City London Music Week happen every year.
Please contact us to inquire about joining any of our team.

WEBSITE:

Created by Jay Panaseiko/STUDIO73
 
Maintained by STUDIO73 and Silence Genti

Board Chair Bios

Mario Circelli, Founder & Chair 2002 – 2007, 2015 – Present

Mario is a musician, broadcast journalist, documentary filmmaker and communications expert. His music study began in elementary school. He began playing in bands in high school and continued throughout university and college before switching to behind the scenes work as an audio engineer and producer. He has produced and/or engineered over 40 records and compilation albums.

Circelli worked in radio and television for nearly 20 years before moving into the communication industry as a government and community outreach specialist.  His documentary credits include, “Stinkin’ Out The Joint” the story of London Ontario’s Punk Rock music scene, “In Our Own Words” which chronicled Italian immigration to south-western Ontario and work for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and several student films. Mario also operates a private consultancy focused on marketing, communications, media and event management.

Grant Stein, Chair 2013 – 2015

I was born into a transient family background, my father was in the Canadian artillery, his father was a Scottish orphan, virtually sold into Canadian history in 1904. My mother’s family has been in Ontario since the mid-1800s. Growing up, I moved around quite a bit, I was born in Oakville, ON, moved to Kingston, Gagetown, Montreal, Hemer West Germany, Ottawa, Lahr West Germany, Stuttgart West Germany, Ottawa, and during the next few years got into the radio broadcasting and lived in London, Toronto, Sarnia, and now…back to London, ON where I’ve been for 15 years….I’ve wanted to belong somewhere and I’ve chosen London, Ontario (believe). I Managed CHRW radio until I moved back to Ottawa.

John b. Young, Chair 2008 – 2012

John b. Young was a fixture at the Fanshawe College working for more than 34 years at the Fanshawe Student Union.

Over the decades, John championed programs that supported Canadian entertainers. Students were treated to free events during their lunch hours as 450 different acts performed at noon in the Student Union Building. Among them were comics Jim Carrey, Shaun Majumder, Russell Peters and McLean & McLean. Variety acts included America’s Got Talent finalist Stevie Star — “The Human Regurgitator” — and hypnotists Mike Mandell and Tony Lee.
Also performing were musicians Dayna Manning and Derek Trucks, both then in their teens. Canadian icons Ron Sexsmith and Sarah Harmer had gigs. Local ally Colin Stewart and the London Musicians’ Association helped bring in Forest City performers such as Paul Langille.

John was committed to presenting rising stars in the Canadian music scene. That brought Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea, Amanda Marshall,Treble Charger, Jeff Healey, Blue Rodeo, Molly Johnson and hip hoppers Maestro, k-os, Kardinal Offishall, Shad and Classified to Fanshawe.

On the bill at Thursday night pubs were bands such as The Tragically Hip, Big Sugar, Doug & The Slugs, Headstones and The Tea Party— who were all to become big stars across Canada.

In the early 2000s, he landed Alexisonfire at a Fanshawe Orientation concert in for a few hundred dollars. The following year, Alexisonfire was commanding $6,000 a performance on the campus circuit.

John grew up in the Chatham-Kent community of Ridgetown. Music always had a powerful influence in his life. His two older sisters made him sing along to TV’s American Bandstand when he was 10. He listened to Windsor’s hit-making radio station CKLW during his teens. At Ridgetown District high school, he was the DJ at the weekly school dance.

By Grade 11, John was booking bands at the high school. He spent his summers in the early 1970s going to the Rondeau Pavilion (about 10 km from his home) seeing Bob Seger, Alice Cooper, Rare Earth and many other Detroit- and Toronto-based bands. He was a part-time DJ at Lake Erie pavilion and remembers the night Parliament-Funkadelic took the stage with the horn section dressed in pink satin Ku Klux Klan outfits.

In January 1972, during his senior year, he booked Randy Bachman’s post-Guess Who band Brave Belt for a high school dance. That summer John attended a number of Brave Belt performances. In late August, the band offered him work as a roadie. He accepted and was in the Toronto studios when Brave Belt recorded its third album — and changed its name to become Canadian superstars Bachman Turner Overdrive.

He still remembers a great cover that did not make the album. It was The Letter (the 1967 Box Tops hit). Randy Bachman’s guitar solo with Fred Turner’s deep vocals were very memorable.

During his years as a Fanshawe student, John became the VP Entertainment, presented his former bosses BTO in the cafeteria and organized many memorable evenings of entertainment. In his final year, he was elected the FSU President.

For a few years after graduating, he was off-campus, working in the Canadian music industry.

In the spring of 1981, the FSU opened the first Student Centre owned by students on a college campus in Ontario. John returned to Fanshawe after being hired by FSU president Tim Wharton. John and Tim are friends
to this day.

The following year the annual Campus Entertainment Conference (CEC) was about to be cancelled. John presented a plan for the FSU to host the CEC in London.

Schools involved helped establish a board for the new Canadian Association of Campus Activities (CACA) with John as the chair.

CEC 72 was a financial success and the FSU Executive agreed to donate $3,500 from the profit at that conference to help establish the CACA successor, the Canadian Organization of Campus Activities (COCA).

During his tenure at Fanshawe, John’s involvement with COCA included hosting or co-hosting three national and two regional conferences. He also sat on its board. He helped present many educational seminars and assisted on all supporting committees.

John credits his success to the scores of student leaders he has worked with — and their willingness to take risks and enthusiasm in supporting projects. Many of those leaders are now long-time friends.

He also would like to thank all the full-time staff at the FSU who supported him plus many peers in the industry, including Earle Taylor, executive director of COCA.

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

Message from the Chair

It is because of the immense talent in London and area that the not-for-profit Forest City London Music Awards (FCLMA) exists. We are here to preserve the incredible talent of the past, celebrate the music makers of today and encourage a new generation of musicians to explore, play and ply their music craft right here in London.

Putting together awards shows of this caliber and a full week of events is hard work and extremely time consuming. But it’s made possible by the dedication of some 60 plus volunteers. Together we curate Canada’s only city specific music week – London Music Week and Canada’s only city specific music hall of fame – London Music Hall of Fame which opened November 12th, 2016 at 182 Dundas Street.  We continue to encourage young musicians with FCLMA Battle of the High School Bands and by awarding the FCLMA Ken Palmer Music Bursary; a scholarship for graduating London high school students studying music. 

FCLMA Steering Committee members donate their time, energy and talent voluntarily and without pay. We could never achieve such success without the people who have worked so tirelessly to bring you the Forest City London Music Awards, London Music Week and the London Music Hall of Fame. On behalf of the Board of Directors I thank each and every one of you for your hard work! Thank you for believing in this project and the music makers that comprise the London and area music community.

The FCLMA partners and cooperates with many organizations in our community; Downtown London, the London Arts Council, London Music Office, Tourism London and Sunfest. They believe in what we are doing. Our sponsors and supporters have helped to make our the biggest celebration of London and area music!

From Guy Lombardo to Garth Hudson (The Band), from Tommy Hunter to Kittie from Marie Bottrell to Denise Pelley and all the great musicians in-between and throughout the decades; there is no doubt in my mind, Londoners make world class music. I salute you!

Kind regards,

MP Circelli
Chair, Forest City London Music Awards
London Music week

London Music Hall of Fame