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Manitoba Bands Take Home Hardware During Junos – Winnipeg Free Press 

By Rob Williams

KEN Mode made it into the Juno Awards history books on Saturday.

At the non-televised gala, the Winnipeg band’s album Venerable was named metal/hard music album of the year, beating out sentimental favourite Anvil.

The category is a new one and KEN Mode is the first band to win it.

“This one’s for Winnipeg,” vocalist-guitarist Jesse Matthewson said on stage during his acceptance speech.

Backstage, the trio — Matthewson, his brother Shane Matthewson (drums) and bassist Andrew LaCour — said the award was a validation of the genre and the long hours they’ve spent on the road.

“It means a lot for us… The Juno, we never thought we would get. It’s kind of an acknowledgment of the work we put in to working on the record,” Shane said.

“I feel Canada has a metal legacy that has gone unnoticed in the mainstream media; that bands like Voivod have not been recognized by the Junos is a shame. I think it’s time Canada woke up to the less savoury styles of art,” Jesse added.

KEN Mode was one of two local acts that won awards at the affair Saturday with the Wailin’ Jennys taking home the roots & traditional album of the year: group for their third album, Bright Morning Stars.

It is the second time the Jennys have won the award — they took home the prize in 2005 for their debut, 40 Days.

“We’re completely shocked. It was a really amazing list of nominees. We’re in great company. It may sound clichéd, but it really is an honour to be in that company,” said Ruth Moody.

“The roots scene in Canada is so incredibly strong. To get a nomination at all is an honour. To actually win is amazing,” Nicky Mehta said.

The Jennys — which also includes Heather Masse — held the audience at the event spellbound with a haunting a cappella version of Light of a Clear Blue Morning during the In Memoriam segment honouring people who have died in the past year.