History

Since it’s beginning, some 200 volunteers have donated their time, skills and music passion to London music Community. The initial vision was to one day hold a week-long celebration of London music and a brick-and-mortar music hall of fame.

Forest City London Music Awards:
Our organization has developed over the years with vision, courage, and incredible community support. With a dedicated team of volunteers, Board of Directors and Steering Committee, we continue to be inspired and excited by the talent in London and region. We celebrate our music legends, devoted bands, emerging artists, and the creators behind the scenes of our local music industry itself. Thank you for providing the soundtrack to our city.
 
The Jack Richardson Music Awards were first handed out in 2005. 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. Leadership of The Jacks was the role of founding chair Mario Circelli, also 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, and Grant Stein has also served as Board Chair. In the early days, Circelli and the volunteer group were able to secure an amicable arrangement with the LMA to become responsible for future inductions into the London Music Hall of Fame and the annual Lifetime Achievement Award (formerly the Dennis Brown Award) which honours a commitment to music above all else in a career.
 
Jack Richardson (1929-2011) was the first Hall of Fame inductee under the new banner in 2005. His induction recognized the longtime Londoner and legendary Canadian record producer’s role in encouraging excellence in the local music scene and advocating for education in the field as a Fanshawe College professor. Jack Richardson was a valued voice and touchstone for The Jacks as the organization developed. One of his last major public appearances was at the 2011 Jacks gala at the London Music Hall when Richardson was saluted with a standing ovation and fans and friends lined up to chat with him at the gala’s finale. In 2015, the Jack Richardson Music Awards were re-branded as the Jack Richardson London Music Awards to emphasize the focus on London-area music.
 
Hall of Fame inductions over the years have represented a diverse offering of talent. 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 are among those honoured. Memorable moments included 1970s’ rock band Thundermug reuniting for the 2006 ceremony and 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 the Manuel family.
Like the Hall of Fame inductions, the Lifetime Achievement honoree is determined each year by the Steering Committee and Board. This award is handed out at the gala with recipients including jazz pianist John Noubarian, London Kiwanis Music fest organizer and administrator Charlotte Cleland, famed promoter/manager Saul Holiff, and Canadian choral leader John Barron.
 
The Awards Gala is a great big party, recognizing local talent as nominated and voted on by the public in many genres, including categories for Contributor, Fan Favourite, Producer/Engineer and Music Video of the Year. Live performances at the event have brought scores of London area musicians to the gala stage. Among them were such London-tied artists as punk rockers Sheep Look Up, honky-tonk heroes The Rizdales, Juno-winning hip-hop artist Shad, singer-songwriter Basia Bulat and rock band Hue with guest violinist Mary-Elizabeth Brown. The musicians are paid for their performances through the support of generous sponsors.
 
The educational component of The Jacks has flourished with free seminars being part of each year’s event. We’ve had top producers and engineers, performers and off-stage contributors sharing their expertise with emerging and established artists, seeing everything from an assessment of a recording to booking tips. In another project encouraged by Jack Richardson, youth award winners are determined at the dynamic Highschool Battle of the Bands with meaningful opportunities awarded.
 
Additionally, the Ken Palmer Bursary is awarded to a graduating high school student pursuing music education at a post secondary level in Ontario. The late Ken Palmer 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.
 
On November 12, 2016 the Jack Richardson 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.
 
Evolving further, in the summer of 2018 our not-for-profit organization decided to go back to its roots and cease the use of the Richardson name in order to better represent the music community of London and area. The goals to Preserve, Celebrate, Encourage and Support will always be pillars of our organization.
 
Moving forward as the Forest City London Music Awards, we are grateful for the support of our community as we work together to recognize London’s musicians and music industry, fostering excellence and education, and nurturing the music yet to come.

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.

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