Mary Walsh is thrilled to be back hosting ECMA awards in St. John's

St. John's is getting ready to host a musical gala this spring, when the East Coast Music Awards return for the big gala at Mile One Centre on April 30.

And hosting that show is Mary Walsh, who said she's delighted to be back with the ECMAs.

"The last time I was on the ECMAs I said that Peter MacKay was an arse-licker of Satan and it did go out live to the Atlantic provinces," Walsh said.

"That was my last ECMA experience, so I'm really happy to be back, and I promise not to call anyone an arse licker of Satan," she said with a laugh that makes one question whether she'll keep that promise.

Marg Delahunty — one of Walsh's personas from This Hour Has 22 Minutes and beyond — crashed the announcement Thursday morning at St. John's city hall with Mayor Danny Breen.

"Go on our and get a ticket, and don't make me come back here and smite you," she said, gesturing with her warrior princess sword.

For Walsh, the event is a great way to show off St. John's and the Atlantic region at their best.

"East Coast music is full of the most extraordinary range of music, and so that's what I'd like to do, is just showcase that," she said.

"There's hip hop, there's trad, there's classical, there's Indigenous, there's everything here in the East Coast — and everything is brilliant."

Francesca Swann/CBC

This year's gala will feature a posthumous hall of fame honour for prolific N.L. songwriter Ron Hynes.

It's a great boon for business, Breen added, for both the city and business in the downtown area, and will mean a lot of industry exposure for local talent.

"There will be a lot of visitors, a lot of musicians, a lot of people in the music industry here so there's access for local musicians to have the ability to meet with those and to be able to show their talent off at that level," he said.

"The big part of it is having an event that's so fantastic for the city. The activity in the downtown area is particularly significant."

The city put $100,000 forward for hosting the show, Breen said, adding that the city will make its money back with revenue at Mile One.

"I think this is just one of those things we just do fantastic. We're gonna be awesome hosts, we're gonna have great entertainment, and we're gonna have a whole lot of fun," he said.

"It's a good investment in the city and a great investment in our musicians and in our arts community."

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