The local signer was one of a few musicians to be honoured at the Kootenay Music Awards.
10 musicians were presented with awards in Nelson Friday night.
Rutledge, a 20-year-old folk and bluegrass singer, took home "Artist of the Year".
"That was really amazing and really humbling. It was a huge surprise and I'm just so thankful for everyone's support. It was a shock and definitely something I'm going to be proud of for a long time."
This was his second year in a row winning at the Kootenay Music Awards, claiming both "Breakthrough Artist of the Year" and "Folk Group" last year.
Rutledge was recently part of the CBC Searchlight competition, where he made it to the Top 100 and was featured in an article about 12 of the standout performers.
He was ultimately eliminated, but believes these kinds of exposure and a recent tour through the US west coast have been tremendous opportunities.
"2018 has been treating me very well as far as furthering my career. It's been an exciting year."
Going forward, he hopes to record more music and add more touring dates.
Also at the KMA's, The Burn Ins from Elkford won "Best Blues Song" for their track Let Me Be, while Creston's Emma Kade took home "Best Pop Song" for Until My Heart Quits.
More details on all the winning performers are available here.
- David Opinko
Audio: Dawson Rutledge