2016 JUNO Awards now accepting submissions for Aboriginal Album of the Year


Submissions to the 2016 JUNO Awards are now open! The Aboriginal Album of the Year award celebrates the best music from Indigenous artists in Canada. Get in there!

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) announced on October 1 that the JUNO Awards is now accepting submissions for Aboriginal Album of the Year (sponsored by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network).

The category is open to albums released by Canadian citizens between September 1, 2014 and November 13, 2015. With respect to album length, a project that is 20 minutes or six unique songs is now considered a full album and is eligible for the Aboriginal Album of the Year category. The early bird submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST on October 23, 2015. The final submission deadline is 5:00 p.m. EST on November 13, 2015.

From our friends at ammb.ca:

"Winning the Aboriginal Album of the Year at the JUNOS was a long standing dream of mine," says 2015 category winner Tanya Tagaq. "Being nominated among my peers gives a sense of warmth, celebration, and team work that is rarely found in a competition based system. Support our communities by submitting yourself or a friend. Our music is crucial."

Eligible music styles include all traditional Aboriginal music: Iroquois, Social Pow Wow Drum (I.e. Sioux, Assiniboine, Cree, Ojibway & Blackfoot, etc.); all Hand Drums (e.g. Inuit, Dene, Cree, Mic Mak, West Coast, etc.); Inuit Throat Singing; Traditional Flutes; Metis, Cree & Mic Mac Fiddling. In addition, fusions of all genres of contemporary music that incorporate the above and/or reflect the unique Aboriginal experience in Canada, by virtue of words or music.

Visit junoawards.ca/submissions for details and to complete your online submission.

Nominees will be announced on February 2, 2016 at the JUNO Nominee Press Conference, the 2016 festivities will be hosted in Calgary with JUNO Week running from March 28 to April 3, and the awards will be broadcast on CTV from The Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday, April 3, 2016. See you there!

Call for Submissions: Canadian Aboriginal Music Directory


Aboriginal Music Manitoba is producing a directory of recording artists, from all genres, from across Canada.

The Aboriginal Music Directory will be sought after by managers, labels, festivals, radio programmers, publicists and many others who could be beneficial to an artist's career. Get in there!

From Aboriginal Music Manitoba, Now Taking Submissions for the Canadian Aboriginal Music Directory

To be considered for the guidebook, you must: • Be of First Nation, Inuit, or Métis ancestry • Live in Canada • Have a current or upcoming professional release (demo / EP / full-length) • Have professional promotional material (photos, bio, website or MySpace)

Submit the following in ONE email message to alan@ammb.ca: • “Aboriginal Music Directory” in the subject line • A 100-word biography or profile for yourself or the band (this will be printed in the directory and MUST BE 100 WORDS LONG) • Please identify your genre in two words or less (eg. country/rock, blues, hip hop) • Two high-resolution digital promotional photos • Contact information for bookings: contact name, phone, email, and one website • A high-resolution scan of the album cover for your current of upcoming professional release (demo / EP / full-length) • One link to your music video or live performance video on Youtube/Vimeo.

Submission deadline: September 9, 2011.

Call for Submissions: All My Relations Stage


If you missed the January deadline to apply for a showcase at this year's Aboriginal Music Week, here's a second chance!

Tracy Bone and JC Campbell have partnered with Aboriginal Music Manitoba to deliver the All My Relations Stage which will present up to six Indigenous artists.

To be considered for a performance spot, you must:

• Have at least eight original songs written and ready to perform (no cover bands). • Have at least one professional print resolution digital promo photo (performance photos will not be accepted). • Be 18-years-of-age or older.

Please submit the following by email in one message: • Email subject line should read: “AMW – All My Relations Stage” • 300-word biography in Microsoft Word format (.doc) attached to the email. • One print resolution digital promo photo (not a photo of you performing) attached to the email. • One website address (it must have your bio and a radio player with your most recent music available- Myspace, CBC Radio 3 profile, BandCamp, or ReverbNation are acceptable). • Links to your video(s) on YouTube or Vimeo. • Your contact information (full name, mailing address, phone number, email, website).

Please send submissions to: Aboriginal Music Manitoba Inc. C/O Alan Greyeyes alan@ammb.ca

The submission deadline is Wednesday, August 24, 2011Read the all the info at Aboriginal Music Week: Call for Submissions: All My Relations at Aboriginal Music Week


RPM Podcast #002: "Winnipeg"


In our second episode of the RPM podcast we travel deep into the heart of Indian Country, to the crossroads of Canada—the city of Winnipeg.

In this episode, we connect with some of Winnipeg's rising stars, including  Métis singer-songwriter Don Amero, Cree/Dene R&B singer IsKwé, Uptown Magazine's 2011 best new solo artistAnishinaabe hip-hop artist Lorenzo, the hyper-connected and highly influential Aboriginal music promoter and events producer Alan Greyeyes, and APTN anchor Dana Foster, who recently relocated to Winnipeg from the west coast.

We find out what makes Winnipeg so...well...wonderful, and discover how the local Indigenous music scene is exploding with talent while being grounded in community and industry support.

Download: RPM Podcast #002 - "Winnipeg"

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We also can't forget to shout out the talented hip-hop artist Young Kidd, whose anthemic track about his hometown, "Wonderful Winnipeg", opens and closes the episode.

We couldn't showcase the diversity of 'Peg City's Indigenous music scene in a single podcast, but watch coming RPM YouTube Playlist - "Winnipeg"  for video selections and, check out the  feature editorial from Julie Lafreniere on the rise of Winnipeg's Indigenous hip-hop scene.

The RPM podcast is produced & engineered by the amazing Paolo Pietropaolo.

What do you think of Indigenous music in Winnipeg? Drop us a comment below. We'd love to hear your thoughts.


Photo Illustration: Thanks to the talented Joi Arcand for her great rendition of the Winnipeg skyline and the Esplanade Riel bridge. 

Alan Greyeyes Keeps it Friendly in Manitoba


Alan Greyeyes, member of the Peguis First Nation, is known to every Aboriginal artist across Canada. He talked to RPM about his work with Manitoba Music, AMP Camp, and what it takes to make it as an artist.

RPM: So Manitoba Music is huge. Can you tell us how that got started?

Alan: Manitoba Music has been around since 1986. The Aboriginal Music Program was launched April 1st, 2004 and I’ve been here for about six years now.

RPM: How did you get involved with it?

Alan: About ten years ago I started out with my eye on the business side of the music industry. I went through university, did my BA with a major in economics, learned how to write funding applications and handle the marketing side of the industry – I learned about graphic design, editorial writing and photography. When this job came up I was lucky enough to be offered it. I’ve been here ever since. I also work with the Manito Ahbee Festival.

RPM: The Manitoba music scene has rocketed in the last ten years there. What elements do you think helped that growth?

Alan: Definitely the support of the provincial government. For the time I’ve been here, we’ve had a lot of support with the Aboriginal program through Eric Robinson - it’s really been his vision to create a Nashville-North for the Native community. So we’ve been able to, with his support, build an infrastructure here. And it’s not just him, there’s NCI FM – they recently launched a second station, StreetzFM, which is all hip-hop, and they’re doing a lot to support the music scene. Also APTN has their offices here. We have three or four Aboriginal print publications as well. So there’s a lot going on, a lot of media infrastructure here, and a lot of great artists.

RPM: How has Indigenous culture inspired your path to where you are today?

Alan: It comes down to values and the importance of giving back and supporting other people in the community - just trying to be nice in an industry that sometimes isn’t very nice. Trying to do things that benefit multiple people – that’s where the influences of Indigenous culture work their way into what I do on a daily basis.

RPM: The Manito Ahbee festival has really taken off. When did that start?

Alan: We launched in 2006 with a lot of support from the provincial government and some pretty significant private sector sponsors. 2006 was the first year we did the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards and the Manito Ahbee Festival. The festival has evolved since then. In the beginning it was really trying to be a catchall for all disciplines, film, visual arts, music, dance, but the festival definitely has more of a focus on music right now with the Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards and with traditional music and dance through the composition pow wow.

RPM: You’re also involved with AMP Camp which I attended last year and it was amazing. How did that start?

Alan: AMP Camp is a program we run through Manitoba Music and it’s a partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts. That program was really the brainchild of Gerri Trimble at the Canada Council for the Arts. My first year that I started here at Manitoba Music was the first year the partnership was implemented and the first year that ran the project. We’ve completed the fifth year of AMP Camp and we have the call out for the sixth year, which will be March 4-9, 2012. It’s with the vision and support of the Canada Council for the Arts that we’re able to do such a great development project for Aboriginal artists across Canada.

It’s business workshops in the morning and artistic workshops in the afternoons and evenings and we get instructors from across Canada that have a lot of practical and industry experience, but are also super nice and willing to sit down with the participants throughout the week and at meals and after hours and just share some of their experience and some of their knowledge. It’s not just “okay class is over we’re going to go our separate ways” – we try to bring people that will really be part of the community and who are interested in giving back.

You’re there to collaborate, you’re there to learn, and you’re there to share you experience with others. I’ve been lucky to be part of it. I don’t run it per se - we’re in collaboration with the Canada Council to set the agenda. I do a lot of the paperwork and a lot of the flight bookings and stuff like that – the details.

RPM: And you’re always one of the first ones awake there.

Alan (laughs): I value my sleep – I’ve got two kids now – so sleeping on the road is kind of a nice luxury. I’m just to getting up early – I’ve got that old man internal clock now.

RPM: What kind of thoughts to you have on the label of Indigenous music? Some people call it pigeon holing.

Alan: I tell artists to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, whether you’re a country artist submitting to the country music awards and doing gigs in country music venues, and also doing gigs on first nation reserves, or in Métis communities. You’ve got to pay the bills and if you’re labeled one thing in one community, and that gets you a couple gigs, I think you should take advantage of it. As far as pigeon holing goes, I haven’t seen too many negative connotations of that. I know that artists have spoken about that. If you’re at a level where you’re competing with people that have big machines and teams and infrastructure behind them, you’ve got to have that kind of stuff together as well. You’ve got to have a great website, you’ve got to have music videos, and management, and booking agents. If you don’t have that, you’re at a disadvantage, no matter what label you have on you.

RPM: In addition to promotion and marketing, what other advice would you have for upcoming artists?

Alan: In music, the song is King. So working on better songs, continuing to edit, write with others, read books, develop a unique perspective and a different way of seeing things is very important.

RPM: You heard it here kids – Alan Greyeyes says you should read books.

Alan: Read books! And be nice. Be nice is key. I know a number of artists and festivals that our board doesn’t want to work with just because they’ve seen them get arrested or they’ve seen them using drugs, or they’re just not conducting themselves well. Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do to help if they’re a jerk. Be nice - not just nice to the people who pay the bills, nice to the people who are picking up your luggage, nice to the people working the sound board, people who are working the door – when you’re an artist, all those people are there to take care of you so it’s really important to be nice to them.


Alan Greyeyes is the Aboriginal Music Program Coordinator at Manitoba Music, where he helps run AboriginalMusic.ca, AMP Camp and the Manito Ahbee Festival. You can also find him on Twitter: @alangreyeyes.