P.E.I.'s Garnet Buell honoured to win Stompin' Tom Award

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P.E.I.'s Garnet Buell honoured to win Stompin' Tom Award

P.E.I.'s Garnet Buell honoured to win Stompin' Tom Award

Each year, someone from the music community in each region of Atlantic Canada is honoured by the East Coast Music Association with The Stompin' Tom Award.

It's presented to someone who has made a long-term contribution to the East Coast music scene, an honourary award suggested by Stompin' Tom Connors himself.

At this year's event in Saint John at the end of the month, it's being given to Island musician Garnet Buell, often called P.E.I.'s country gentleman.

"It was awesome," Buell told Mainstreet's Angela Walker about the news. "It really threw me, I never expected that."

Buell has released seven albums over his career, and has played uncounted shows all over the Island. He was also a mutual admirer of the man the trophy is named for.

"I knew Tom, and that's what makes it more important," said Buell. "I would run into Tom on the ferry, and we would have a nice chat. So I got to know him pretty well."

Important fundraiser

Buell's legacy is more than musical. His shows have long been a fundraiser for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, another reason he was chosen for the award.

"This is good for everyone," said Buell. "When I'm onstage, I'll ask for a show of hands, how many people have been in the QEH this past year? And there will be a lot of hands go up."

Over the years, he says he has raised $387,000 for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and would like to pass $400,000 this year.

Doing fewer concerts these days

His own health has slowed him down in recent years, but he's still keen to be on stage.

"I used to have about 10 or 12 concerts, but last year it was four, and this year I think we'll go back to three."

Buell said he'll put his Stompin' Tom Award right beside his Order of P.E.I.

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