Shai Awards

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Logo for the 2007 Shai Awards

What were the Shai Awards?

The Shai Awards were a people's choice awards nominating favourite Canadian music written and performed by Christians. The first Shai Awards was held in Toronto at Queensway Cathedral in 2005.

The Shai Awards were formally known as the Vibe Awards. Vibe Gospel Music (VGM), was a volunteer organization founded in 1998 by Dionne Smith. It was formed for Canadian gospel artists who needed a platform to showcase their talent and attain a position of credibility in the Canadian Contemporary/Gospel and world music arena. Dionne’s vision and passion for Canadian gospel musicians and the belief in the ability to move people through the power of music compelled her to transport this forum to all of Canada. Since it's inception in Calgary in 2002, the Vibe Awards show transformed from a music showcase to a full-fledged awards show open to all gospel artists throughout Canada, encompassing the various genres of music. Source: and


The mission of Shai Awards was:

  • To foster the growth of gospel (Christian) music across Canada, including the promotion of Canadian Christian Gospel artists on a national scale.
  • To host an annual people's choice awards gala, recognizing outstanding achievement in Christian Gospel music in Canada.
  • To provide opportunities for new artists where they can showcase their music in a concert-type environment.
  • To facilitate educational and training opportunities for Canadian Christian Gospel artists, to further develop their craft within Canada. These training opportunities, though facilitated by Vibe Gospel Music, will be taught and lead by experienced individuals and organizations.
  • To establish partnerships and develop relationships with others in the Christian Gospel music industry across Canada.

We want each artist to understand that we are affirming their calling as musicians in Canada. Canadian artists need to march forward and impact nations with their music, to see the hand of God in their ministry and the voice of God in their songs. Artists driven to serve both the poor and powerful, grateful for any opportunity to minister. We want to release them with a gift, blessing them with a double portion of anointing together with all that they have learned; we want to send them out as part of the Church to minister to our nation and the world.

Shai awards-pamphlet-2007.jpg

History of the Shai Awards

Vibe Gospel Music announces name change and completes successful restructuring

CALGARY, October 3, 2006 - Vibe Gospel Music officially announces its name change and restructuring to Axhead Inc.

After completing the 2005 Shai Awards in Ontario, President Dionne Smith and the Board of Directors agreed that it was time for the organization to complete a review of its events and consider restructuring the organization. "I had no idea what was in store nor could have imagined all that God would accomplish during the process," explains Dionne Smith, founder of Axhead Inc. (formerly Vibe Gospel Music). The decision to complete an organizational review and evaluation was timely.

On February 08, 2006, in Calgary, Alberta, Shai Awards became a subsidiary of a larger initiative. Axhead Inc. was restructured from a non-profit volunteer organization to one that was based on a true business model with Shai Gospel Music as the charitable arm added to it. Axhead Inc. was founded and established as the lead corporation managing and funding the Shai Awards, and Vibe Gospel Music Ltd. also became an ancillary partner whose purpose would be to serve as the non-profit portion of the tri-partnership.

2006 Shai Awards Cancelled Publish Date: Dec 09, 2005

VGM (Vibe Gospel Music) President Dionne Smith has announced that Vibe Gospel Music will not be presenting the Shai Awards in 2006.

The event was originally planned for the city of Winnipeg in the spring of next year. In a statement on line, Smith says that 2006 will be a year of restructuring to ensure the Shai’s longevity. The Shai Awards (originally called the Vibe Awards) is a Canadian “People’s Choice” awards for Gospel music artists, and was birthed five years ago in Calgary. The awards were first held in Mississauga in 2005.-

Axhead Inc. presented the 2007 Shai Awards at the Shaw Convention Centre in Edmonton, Alberta on January 25, 2007. Having recently announced a special partnership with Break Forth Canada, the largest Christian conference in the world, this event reached new heights. For Axhead Inc. this marked the kickoff of a new generation of events, activities and initiatives focusing on EXPRESSION, EXPLORATION AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH.

Shai awards-poster.jpg

Shai Awards Web Site

The web domain registered for the Shai Awards was The web site for the Shai Awards was designed and hosted by Electricurrent a web development company. Dionne Smith thanked Electricurrent with the following accolade.

"On behalf of VGM and the Shai Awards, I want to personally thank the management and staff of Electricurrent, for believing in what we are trying to do for our nation and Christian artists. The standard of excellence that they have demonstrated has raised the profile of gospel music in Canada. The quality of their product, their ability to create my visions beyond my own imaginations, their flexibility and the responsiveness of their staff has indeed exceeded expectations. They truly do everything in excellence as it should be done, when God’s people do it." -Dionne Smith, President, VGM Ltd. & The Shai Awards. Source: Electricurrent Promo kit

Winners of Shai Awards

The 2007 Shai Awards were held at the Shaw Convention Centre in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. The show was hosted by Richard Brown and Janelle. Performances were given by Greg Sczebel, Matt Brovwer, Drentch, Amanda Falk, Fresh I.E., The Lapoints, Rocky Mountain Choir, Isaac Agyeman, Olivier Cheuwa, Flaming Fire, Jon Bauer, Jah Pickney and Daniel Richter. Tickets sold in advance for $40 and at the door for $50.

The following artists and bands won a Shai Award:

  • Aboriginal - Darius Ferris (ON) for album "Me and Jesus Will Be Waiting"
  • Artist of the Year - Starfield (MB)
  • Children - Simplesong (ON) for album "Simplesong"
  • Choral - Rocky Mountain College Choir and Orchestra (AB) for album "Bow Down"
  • Contemporary/Pop - Starfield (MB) for album "Beauty in The Broken"
  • Country - Lauren Dally (ON) for album "Released"
  • Female Soloist of the Year - Amanda Falk (MB)
  • Folk - Carolyn Arends (BC) for album "Pollyanna's Attic"
  • Francophone - Diane Tarantino (ON) for album "Coeur pleìn"
  • Group of the Year - Starfield (MB)
  • Hard Music - Thousand Foot Krutch (ON) for album "The Art of Breaking"
  • Inspirational - 4 Given (NB) for album "We Look To You"
  • Instrumental - Thérèse Motard (ON) for album "It Is Well With My Soul"
  • Jazz/ Blues - Danny Brooks (ON) for album "Soulville Rock This House"
  • Male Soloist of the Year - Dan Macaulay (ON)
  • New Artist of the Year - Jon Bauer (AB)
  • Rap/Hip-Hop/Dance - Paramedic (AB) for album "Paramedic"
  • Rock/Alternative - Thousand Foot Krutch (ON) for album "The Art of Breaking"
  • Seasonal - Rocky Mountain College Choir and Orchestra (AB) for album "Joy!"
  • Song of the Year - Endless written by Amanda Falk, Malynda Zacharias and Daniel Klaue
  • Southern Gospel/Traditional - Chosen Vessel (BC) for album Fire, Wind and Latter Rain
  • Urban/Soul - Toronto Mass Choir (ON) for album "The Live Experience"
  • Worship Album - Dan Macaulay (ON) for album "Captured Again"

Source: Shai Awards archived web page.

Media Coverage of the Shai Awards

2007 CTV News Video about the Shai Awards with Dionne Smith and Jon Bauer.

Article from SoulShine about the Shai Awards.

Shai awards-program-2005.jpg
Shai Awards 2005 recorded live at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga.