Editor’s note: The following is the first of four stories that will be published this week, featuring musicians with Colchester County ties who are nominated for East Coast Music Awards. The awards will be given out March 6 to 10. Part two featured Will Fisher; part three featured Charlie A'Court; part four featured Lone Cloud.
The 36-year-old Brookside native now living in Texas will be home this week for the 2013 East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) being held in Halifax.
“This will be my first time at the ECMAs, so it’s a new experience for me,” said Brouwer, whose album, ‘Till The Sunrise,’ is up for gospel recording of the year. “I’m really excited about getting to network with people and getting to know other Maritime artists.”
This isn’t Brouwer’s first ECMA nomination. His album ‘Where’s Our Revolution’ also picked up a nomination. The album also won the 2010 Juno Award for contemporary Christian/gospel album of the year.
Growing up on a dairy farm on Brookside Road, Brouwer’s family still lives in the area and he was home for a visit at Christmas, a trip that included a performance at the Marigold Cultural Centre.
“It was a blast,” he said of the Marigold performance.
Brouwer and his wife Hannah have been married for two-and-a-half years. He said the couple are thinking about moving back to Nova Scotia and his time at the ECMAs may help that.
“It really is a good chance to see other gospel musicians and get to meet them. Great music and great musicians really remember their roots and I’ve been exploring those with my last two albums. It’s been neat and I’m re-embracing that.”
Released in 2012, ‘Till The Sunrise’ was inspired by Brouwer’s marriage.
“It’s been life changing. It’s been such an inspiring and positive thing. A lot of musicians tend to write when they’re going through a difficult time and write about their experience, but I was in a happy and positive place. This went in some new directions for me.”
One of the album’s releases, ‘Ocean,’ was named best inspiration song of the year at the 2012 Covenant Awards, which were given out in November.
Brouwer moved to Texas through an outreach organization called The Loft, and he co-founded a non-profit organization called New Beginning Resources that works to serve impoverished communities by development of specific projects that provide direct physical and spiritual relief through education, health care, development and ministry. There are a number of projects on the go in Central and South America, including in Guatemala, Ecudaor and Haiti.
Brouwer currently works at a church in Houston.
“We do a lot of work with youth of the area. There’s a lot of cross-cultural work,” he said.
Native of: Brookside
Resides in: Houston, Texas
Family: Married to Hannah for two-and-a-half years; expecting their first child on Sept. 7.
Hobbies aside from music: Anything having to do with the outdoors – travelling, exploring new places, hiking and fishing.
ECMA nom: Gospel recording of the year for ‘Till The Sunrise.’