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Wales Folk Awards 2019

The inaugural Wales Folk Awards, held on 11 April, was a great evening for Welsh music. The Trials Of Cato, Vri, Calan and Gwilym Bowen Rhys performed to a packed hall at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. BBC folk show presenters Frank Hennessy and Lisa Gwilym hosted the celebration and guests from the world of music and the arts joined the evening to present some of the awards.

Awards were presented for 10 different categories and, in addition, a Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Roy Saer for his many decades of work and scholarship with the traditional songs of Wales. Roy began collecting and recording Welsh folk songs in the 1960s and his collection is at the heart of the St Fagans National Museum of History folk song archive.

Among the winners were Calan, who won Best Group; Alaw, who won Best Instrumental Track for Dawns Soïg / Dawns Y Gŵr Marw; The Trials Of Cato, who won Best Emerging Band; Gwilym Bowen Rhys, who won Best Emerging Artist; Vrï, who won Best Traditional Welsh Song for Ffoles Llantrisant; and Pendevig, who won Best Live Act.

The Folk Prize for the best collection of three original tunes went to Huw Roberts of Anglesey, well-known for his playing of the iconic Welsh instruments the triple harp and the crwth, as well as the fiddle.

The Awards were launched to celebrate the many talented performers lighting up the Welsh folk and traditional music scene, by a partnership which includes BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, trac (Wales' Folk Development organisation), the Arts Council of Wales, and significant individuals from the Welsh folk scene. The awards evening was kindly sponsored this year by the British Council Cymru Wales.