This October, BreakOut West heads back to Kelowna, BC, for the first time since 2010. Now in its 16th year, the gathering continues to develop, support, and honour the best of western Canadian music, with its annual conference, festival and the Western Canadian Music Awards. This year, Kelowna-born rock band, The Grapes Of Wrath, will be celebrated for their decade-spanning career, and inducted into the Western Canadian Music Hall Of Fame.
“We are especially excited to be receiving this honour in Kelowna, the town where we got our start,” says founding member, Kevin Kane. “Incredible to think that it’s been 40 years since we were two teens and a tween, gathering every Friday night in a basement in Glenmore to bash out British Invasion and punk rock songs.”
The Hall Of Fame award annually recognizes an artist/band that has made a significant impact in their career; traditionally being awarded to an artist/band from the host province.
“The Grapes of Wrath will join a great group of past inductees who have built the Canadian music scene and have been recognized worldwide as a key element in the soundtrack of the past few decades,” comments Robyn Stewart, Executive Director, Western Canadian Music Alliance. “We are incredibly excited to honour them with this induction in Kelowna.”
The full list of Western Canadian Music Awards nominees have been announced and member voting has concluded. Winners of the artistic categories will be announced on Thursday, October 11 at the WCMAwards Reception in Kelowna, and Industry and Specialty Award categories will be presented on Saturday, October 13 at the Industry Awards Brunch at the Delta Hotel in Kelowna. The Grapes of Wrath will be honoured at the Industry Awards Brunch and will be officially presented with their award on the 13th, where they will be performing as part of the festival.
Brothers Tom and Chris Hooper met Kevin Kane in 1977, as the three were entering their teens in Kelowna, BC. Their first band was a punk combo called Kill Pigs which played faster than the singer could sing. The Hoopers and Kane would go on to form other bands (Gentlemen of Horror and Empty Set) during their teens, and returned to working together musically again in April of 1983. Taking the name, The Grapes Of Wrath, from a book of movie reviews, they began writing and rehearsing in earnest, gaining enough confidence to open for acts in Seattle and Vancouver. Using proceeds from gigs and yard sales, the band recorded their debut 4 song EP the following summer, signed to Vancouver’s fledgling Nettwerk, and went on to release their follow up debut full-length album, September Bowl Of Green, in 1985.
The band’s second album, Treehouse, was their first for the major label Capital, earning gold status in Canada. Their 1989 release, Now and Again, was the band’s big breakthrough, and featured newly added keyboardist, Vincent Jones. Singles, All The Things I Wasn’t, and What Was Going Through My Head, propelled the album to platinum status and soon the band went from playing bars to theaters and touring Europe, opening for acts such as Lloyd Cole and Texas.
Extensive international touring for their 4th album, the platinum-selling, These Days, put its strain on the band. Succumbing to the classic “musical and personal differences”, the Grapes parted ways after a Halloween show in 1992. In the summer of 2010, after 18 years, the original founding members (Chris and Tom Hooper and Kevin Kane) found themselves on stage together again at a festival in Surrey, BC. In 2013, the band released High Road, their first album of new material in 22 years.