By JEFF GARD, Northumberland Today
Wednesday, September 3, 2014 2:14:49 EDT PM
PORT HOPE – Still being new to town, Sheila Hash and Brandon Heard may not yet be well known in Port Hope, but they certainly are making a name for themselves nationally.
More specifically, with their company Mediavandals – a website and graphic design agency – and on the Canadian country music scene.
They are headed on Thursday to Edmonton where they are nominated for a Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Award this week for Album Design of the Year (Jessica Moskaluke’s Light Up the Night).
This is the third CCMA Award nomination for Mediavandals following previous album design nominations for Chad Brownlee’s Love Me or Leave Me and Hey Romeo’s Twist of Fate.
“Everyone who makes the final ballot has excellent work. It’s nice to be recognized by our peers for the work that we’ve done,” Hash said. “It’s a great feeling and we’re really proud of the work that we do for all of our artists – not just the ones that are nominated.”
To get through the balloting system with several rounds of voting and emerge as an award nominee, Heard said it’s rewarding to be considered “one of the best in Canada” in that category.
After arriving in Edmonton today, there are a few different award shows leading to the main televised broadcast on Sunday night. The awards ceremony that will include the Album Design of the Year award will be held on Friday.
Hash and Heard said there are plenty of conferences, seminars and showcases to attend. The CCMA nomination only helps them grow their business.
“When we go to the award shows, you’re bumping elbows with some of the best in the industry,” Heard said. “This gives (the artists) even more exposure too.”
While they work with numerous country music artists now, Hash and Heard started out with independent of any genre.
“We got Chad Brownlee when he was just starting out and everything just kind of snowballed from there,” Hash said.
“Typically we offer website and all different types of graphic design and album artwork,” Heard noted. “We’ve worked with musicians since the very beginning and musicians need albums design, poster design, logo design, all the social media banners and of course the website. We can offer them the full package. Not only musicians, we do work for small businesses, lawyers, accountants, NHL players.”
Now Mediavandals is based out of Port Hope after the couple relocated from Oshawa. Heard likes that the work can be done from any location while Hash appreciates still being close enough to Toronto and have the chance to meet with clients face-to-face on a regular basis.
They certainly are enjoying being Port Hope residents since moving here in July.
“Absolutely amazing. People are great, friendly – big difference from big cities,” Heard remarked.
Added Hash, “mainly just the small-town vibe,” is what they enjoy.
“I mean, it’s obviously not a small town with 16,000 people but it’s got a small-town vibe,” she continued. “Everyone is really friendly, the landscaping is gorgeous, we love the community. When we were doing our house hunt, we pretty much went everywhere between here and Toronto and all the way up to Peterborough and something kept bringing us back to Port Hope.”
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