Devin Cooper, a rock n’ roll/country mainstay on local radio stations in Red Deer, was one of the big winners at the second annual Red Deer Entertainment Awards — winning the Artist of the Year award in front of a packed house at The Krossing on Jan. 13.
“It is unbelievable. I am from just outside of town here and have been playing in Red Deer since I was 16. It has been unreal with all the support from people in Red Deer this last year. The year has been very eventful,” Cooper said.
That year has included shows at Red Deer venues like The Krossing and Bo’s Bar and Grill, as well as bigger stages such as the Ponoka Stampede and the Calgary Stampede.
“It is super cool. I keep taking it one step at a time and keep progressing as things happen,” he said.
Cooper added his growth can be, in part, attributed to the support of Red Deer promoters like Jesse Roads, who was the main organizer for the Red Deer Entertainment Awards.
“We have all types of awesome performances happening,” Roads said. “We just had Mz. Teaze on stage, she was unreal and we have all types of different entertainment awards which try to recognize as much of the entertainment scene as possible.”
Growing the awards in the second year was important to Roads because it helps showcase a growing and diverse entertainment scene.
“It is so important that we acknowledge each other and just have a night to all be in the same room. All the people in that room are always on tour or doing something different, they would never be in the same room. It is a good community thing,” Roads said.
Making the awards more inclusive is something Roads and his group of organizers intended to do this year and going forward.
“We opened a lot more to the public vote. That isn’t the only deciding factor, but we did decide it would be nice to have everyone get a chance to say something. We also have some music videos this year so we are trying to diversify a bit and keep growing,” he said.
Year three is already in the works and Roads hopes to grow the event even more to include theatre and other categories.
“It is one of those deals where we have to try to make it as inclusive as possible,” he said.
He added, “Thank you to everyone for being a part of it. I am looking forward to year three.”