The “NCEIA Dolphin Music Awards” are an annual iconic ‘local music’ event, organised by the North Coast Entertainment Industry Association (NCEIA).
Way back in 1991 a group of forward thinking local musicians conceived of The Dolphin Awards as a way of helping raise the profile and community awareness of the music & entertainment industry within the region.
The original core group, inspired by well-known local musicians and activists Mook and Shanto (most recently of of Byron Vista Social Club fame), decided to stage an event that would celebrate original north coast music and help focus community attention on this important and often over-looked industry and create a forum for dialogue and flow of information.
And so in 1991 the first fledgling North Coast Music Industry Dolphin Awards were held in Byron Bay. It was a humble beginning – but as is the case with all good ideas, it has taken root and grown. And, like all voluntary enterprises, there have been ups and downs over the years, but its longevity is evidence of its value and relevance. At the very minimum the Dolphins have encouraged many aspiring young writers and has created a valuable outlet for musical creativity and recording artistry in the local region.
The Dolphin Awards Presentations, now in their 24th year , are held at a participating venue in the Northern Rivers Region. The 2006 Awards were presented at the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay, 2008 at the One Bar and NightClub Lismore, 2009 at the Ballina RSL and 2010 at the One Bar and NightClub Lismore. in 2012 and 2013 the awards were held at the Star Court Theatre in Lismore. Last year the NCEIA Dolphin Music Awards were held at Ballina RSL and we are looking forward to holding the awards night there again this year. The night features the best of North Coast talent, and rewards the efforts of artists and industry workers in 21 awards categories, which are sponsored by supportive businesses of the North Coast. Media coverage, especially by the ABC and Northern Star, has grown each year and the awards have become a genuine opportunity for aspiring talent to develop a local and national profile.
Since that first inspirational event, the Dolphin Awards have assisted hundreds of north coast singers, songwriters, composers, graphic artists, record and video producers in developing their careers, providing an accolade for Dolphin winners to use in the promotion of their act or product. It remains the only regional music awards in NSW, and is increasingly being recognised by funding bodies and government agencies as a making a real and enduring contribution to the infrastructure and professionalism of arts workers in the region.
The NCEIA Dolphin Awards are open to all original recording artists, songwriters and composers and video producers, both amateur and professional, living in the (02)66 code area.