Guest Post by Kelley Edwards

Posted: March 15, 2014

The East Coast Music Association have a series of honours to be presented at this year's Industry Awards Brunch.  One of which is an award named after Canadian music icon and champion, Stompin’ Tom Connors.

STOMPIN TOM CONNORSAs the story goes... in 1993, Stompin’ Tom was presented with the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award at the ECMAs. Connors accepted the award on one condition – that an award be created to honour those who have made a long-term contribution to the East Coast Music industry.

Every year four individuals are given this award, each person representing one of the four Atlantic Provinces.

This year the recipient from Nova Scotia is Big Pond’s own Florence (Flo) Sampson. Flo is a well known piano player who has been part of the East Coast Music Scene since she was a young girl. Her contributions to the industry have long been applauded and this year, her efforts will be officially recognized.

The announcement came as quite a surprise to Flo. In fact, others had heard the news before she did. She was just coming in the door of her Big Pond, Nova Scotia home when her phone was ringing. It was her son Gordie calling from Nashville to congratulate her. Since she had just spoken with Gordie the day before, she said her first thought was that something was wrong.  Instead, he gave her the good news.

“He asked what I thought of my award, but I had no idea what he was talking about” she laughs. “When he told me I nearly fell off the chair!”

Music has always played a very big part in the lives of Florence and her family. Her father, Bernie Ley, was a renowned Cape Breton fiddler - instilling his love of music in his children. From an early age, Flo played dances and concerts, accompanying her father on piano as he played jigs and reels. Flo says she couldn’t help but think of him when she heard the news about the Stompin’ Tom Award.

“If my father were here today, he would be so proud.  He’s the one who started it all, really."

amy-and-flo-sampsonThere are so many other folks who are proud of Flo Sampson, and grateful that her contribution is being recognized.  Matter of fact, her own children could be considered part of Flo’s ongoing contribution to East Coast Music, as both are musicians and learned at the knee of their mother.

Daughter Amy Sampson-Young, a singer, guitar player, and former member of the band Ashego, can testify to her mother’s gift and deserving talent.

“I am so very proud of, and happy for Momma Samp. She is one of a kind. Incredibly generous in sharing her talent and truly loves every moment of it. There is nothing she loves more than being able to pass along even just a little of the wealth of the musical knowledge she has gained over the years. Well deserved for a caring, hard working, all around wonderful woman.”

Flo & Gordie SampsonHer Grammy Award winning son Gordie Sampson, who now calls Nashville home, was equally as thrilled about his mother’s recognition.

“We are very proud! Music has been her life - all her life and she has been very giving with it... to see her recognized for it like this is wonderful”

Flo is known as a generous performer. She loves to shine the spotlight on those around her, always encouraging, always sharing. This holds true whether she is on a big stage, or at a house party - just one of the many reasons why Florence Sampson is such an appropriate recipient of this honour. Even when talking about it, she refers to the contribution and impact of Stompin' Tom Connors.

SEA AND BE SCENE photo - ECMA award“It is so amazing for Tom to pass the torch the way he did. He could have just accepted his own award and moved on, but he didn’t. He saw people working hard every day. He thought about those to come. He realized how important it is to recognize the contributions of others and to him, the music of Canada - especially the East Coast - was everything. I am so grateful and proud to be given this honour."

For more information on the Industry Awards Brunch, the ECMAs and East Coast Music Week 2014 visit www.ecma.com

Find Florence Sampson on Facebook - Florence Sampson


For more posts by Kelley Edwards check out

Kelley Edwards The Perfect Path to Parrsboro, NS 

Get Gone With Kelley & Jon to Wonderful Wolfville

Christina Patterson's Cake Toppers Take the Cake

The Hallowed Halls of Holy Angels

and A Fabulous Fall


1 Comment »

  1. Great job Kelley...loved the pics as well, we are all so happy for Flo and very proud.

    Comment by Debbie Mullins — March 20, 2014 @ 9:44 am

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