"They like me! They really, really like me!"
It was one of those moments for Maureen Washington on Tuesday, when she won a fan-vote based Monday Magazine M award for best jazz and blues vocalist or group at the Victoria Event Centre.
Washington grew up in Prince George and moved to Victoria four years ago to take a chance and further her musical career.
"So having the support in my new town and the support in Prince George, it's absolutely astounding because this is the first time I've ever been nominated and to win when there's been people nominated off and on throughout the years and bang -- I'm just dumb founded with all the support I have," said Washington.
It took a bit of time out of someone's busy day to find the website, register to vote and to vote, she added. She can't believe that many people took the time to do that -- for her, she said.
"It overwhelms my heart," Washington said. "It's so fabulous. To be honest I didn't think I would win because the other two musicians are fantastic, phenomenal musicians that have been playing for many, many years in the community. But my people were just gung-ho and going for it."
The evening of awards drove home the point for Washington that live performance is celebrated, ever-popular and still going strong, she said.
"There are days that you spin your wheels and you ask yourself what you're doing this for," said Washington. "But when you know you've got all these people cheering you on, it makes you think you're going to get up and do another show and keep pushing it forward."
Her category of best jazz and blues vocalist or group was called second during the gala evening.
"There was a part of me that was sitting there just asking for it to be over with because I'm dying and then when I heard my category would go second it was like -- what?! Wait! I'm not ready!" she laughed.
"They had a great MC and the staff at Monday Magazine is just so wonderful. It's their favourite event of the year and there's so much energy and talent in the room. And you know these artists that have been nominated are some of the best of the best. So it's a real highlight."
Washington has been nominated for a Vancouver Island Music Award for Female Singer of the Year and the awards gala will be held in Courtenay on June 23.
Copyright 2011 Glacier Media Inc.