Planning had been in place well before the first gala as the volunteer group steering The Jacks brought along oversight of two honours handed out previously as the London Music Awards (2003, 2004). After awards founder, Mario Circelli, was given the good graces of legendary Canadian producer, Jack Richardson, the name was then changed to Jack Richardson London Music Awards. Jack was honoured to lend his name as his philosophy about nurturing Canadian talent, which was mirrored by the goals of the awards program and the mission of the not-for-profit organization.
Jack Richardson was the first Hall of Fame inductee under the new banner in 2005, recognizing the long-time Londoner and legendary producer for his role in encouraging excellence in the local music scene and advocating for education in the field as a Fanshawe College professor. Excellence and education remain key goals for The Jacks as the awards continue to honour his name after his passing (1929-2011). One of his last major public appearances was at the 2011 Jacks gala at the London Music Hall when Richardson was saluted with a standing ovation and fans and friends lined up to chat with him at the gala’s finale.
The Jacks continue to oversee Hall of Fame inductions. Guy Lombardo, Garth Hudson (The Band), The Amabile Choirs of London, metal stars Kittie, Orchestra London, dance band leaders Alf Tibbs and Johnny Downs and musician, bandleader and educator Phil Murphy are among those following Richardson under the JRLMA banner. Memorable moments included 1970s’ rock band Thundermug reuniting for the 2006 ceremony and Canada’s Country Gentleman Tommy Hunter accepting an on-stage honour at his farewell concert at the RBC Theatre at Budweiser Gardens (then the John Labatt Centre) in 2012.
They join previous inductees in the “virtual” hall on this website and in our physical Hall of Fame on Dundas, thanks to the generosity of the Manuel family.
Like the Hall of Fame inductions, the JRLMA Lifetime Achievement award is determined each year by the JRLMA Board of Directors. That award is handed out at the gala with recipients including world renowned drummer Graham Lear, jazz pianist John Noubarian, London Kiwanis Music fest organizer and administrator Charlotte Cleland, who is also a piano teacher, and Canadian choral leader John Barron.
Live performances at The Jacks have brought scores of London musicians to the gala stage. Among them; Juno-award-winning hip-hop artist Shad, singer-songwriter Basia Bulat, and rock band Hue with guest violinist Mary-Elizabeth Brown (before they found new bases in Canada or even the U.S). The musicians are paid for the performances through the support of generous sponsors who back the not-for-profit JRMA.
The educational component of The Jacks (Sound Check for Success) has flourished with free seminars being part of each year’s event. The free professional development day has had top London producers and engineers, performers and contributors sharing their expertise with emerging and established artists. In another project encouraged by Jack Richardson, youth category winners are judged at a “Jack’s Battle of the High School Bands” held at various venues.
Our founding chair Mario Circelli, also a co-founder of the London Music Awards, was the first awards leader, as he helped the JRLMA evolve. John b. Young was a co-chair along with Circelli before taking the helm. The 2013 edition of The Jacks was lead by chair Grant Stein.
In 2015, the Jack Richardson Music Awards were re-branded as the Jack Richardson London Music Awards to emphasize the focus on London-area music.
The Jack Richardson London Music Awards is a not-for-profit Board of Director driven organization. The program relies on volunteers from the London community to plan, produce and execute the various events surrounding the Awards gala. Since it’s beginning, some 200 volunteers have donated their time, skills and music passion to make the JRLMA a success.
On November 12, 2016 the Jack Richardson London Music Hall of Fame officially opened to the public at 182 Dundas Street, downtown London with a special concert featuring Garth Hudson of The Band, Priscilla Wright and Denise Pelley. London Mayor Matt Brown along with Garth Hudson, Mike Manuel (JRLMA supporter and philanthropist), local dignitaries and Jack Richardson’s children (Brook, Garth, and Kelly) took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
In 2017 the organization launched the inaugural Jack Richardson London Music week (JRLMW).