by Kevin Pollard
This year’s BreakForth Conference at the Shaw Conference Centre January 26-28 will once again bring in artists from across Canada and around the world to lead worship, teach sessions and perform at concerts each night. In a rare visit to Canada, Australia’s Hillsong Worship will lead worship at BreakForth for Friday, Saturday evening and Sunday main assemblies. They will also be teaching several classes including Songwriting, Worship Leadership and Worship Tech: Live Production.
Hillsong’s music is sung in churches around the world by 50 million people every week including well-known songs like “Shout To The Lord”, “Mighty To Save”, “Hosanna”, “Cornerstone” and “Broken Vessels”. This year the group garnered its first-ever GRAMMY® nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for “What A Beautiful Name”, that continues to be the fastest growing song in modern church history (100 million views on YouTube). Hillsong Worship was also recently named Billboard’s Top Christian Artist of 2017.
The Friday Evening concert features Israel Houghton, a prolific worship leader, musician, songwriter, producer and recording artist. His music ministry has included work on over 50 albums and earned six Grammy Awards and 13 Dove Awards. His group of world class musicians and singers, combined with worship songs like “I Am a Friend of God”, “You are Good”, “Just Wanna Say” and “In Jesus’ Name” have created a new sound that has revolutionized contemporary praise and worship music. Houghton’s Jesus at the Center album has been named by Worship Leader Magazine as one of the Top 15 Worship Albums of the Decade. His current album, Covered, quickly rose to number one on Billboard’s Top Gospel and Top Christian charts.
The Saturday evening concert will feature Family Force Five. With their boundary-blurring and infectious breed of pop music, FF5 carefully dreams up each stage production to deliver a live experience like no other.
Canadian Ben Cantelon has worked for several years with Worship Central and Holy Trinity in London. He’s a respected worship leader and songwriter within the UK and beyond. Cantelon’s music, including “Happy Day”, “The Way”, “Simple Pursuit”, “He Lives” and “Set Apart” and the songs on his latest solo album, The Ascent, Vol. 1, are reminders that “God is bigger than any of us, far brighter than any of our gloom and far more real than any of our denial.” Cantelon will be leading worship on Saturday morning and teaching classes on Songwriting and Leading Worship: The Lessons I’ve Learned.
Once again GMA Canada has partnered with Breakforth to bring this year’s Covenant Awards to Edmonton hosted by Carolyn Arends and Jon Buller, and will take place Saturday evening.
This year, the awards will have an emphasis on storytelling and community and allow the artists to form deeper connections among themselves and within the industry, helping to foster GMA Canada’s core values.
Following the 39th Annual Covenant Awards, GMA Canada will return to host the GMA Canada Worship Night which will be open to all Awards and Break Forth One 2018 attendees. This year’s worship leaders will include Ben Cantelon, Brian Doerksen and Jon Neufeld.