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!

Artist Call: Market Builder Residency for Aboriginal Artists and Industry


The deadline is this Thursday for the Aboriginal Music Program's new Market Builder Residency! It's an exciting opportunity for artist development, both creatively and professionally. 

The Market Builder Residency (a partnership between Manitoba Music and the Canada Council for the Arts) will provide export-ready artists and up to five mid-career industry with a week of networking and development opportunities in Toronto, Canada (you must hold a valid Canadian passport and be of First Nation, Métis, or Inuit ancestry to apply.)

The Aboriginal Music Program provides fantastic support for artists through AMP Camp, Native America North showcases, their new AMP Sessions video series, and more. This new residency is geared towards mid-career artists and industry, which can be a challenging territory to navigate.

The residency will run February 9-13, 2015 and each day will consist of round table discussions, self-directed mentor sessions, networking dinners, and meetings with established labels, music media, and managers.

See details below and apply at http://www.manitobamusic.com/mbuilder-artists.

Submission guidelines from aboriginalmusic.ca:

Important Dates November 20: Submission deadline November 24: Invitations sent to successful applicants December 2: Registration deadline (registration fee due in full) December 4: Participants announced

Roundtrip economy fights (if needed), accommodations, ground transportation, and some meals will be provided for participants.

It is free to apply. A registration fee of $150 ($75 for members of music industry associations) will be required from all artists and industry who are invited to participate.

Artists considered for this opportunity must:

  • Have a history of at least eight paid performances each year that stretches back a minimum of three years (i.e. October 2011 to October 2014)
  • Have a significant regional profile as demonstrated by album reviews and/or artist profiles in print and online media
  • Have a professional website that features high resolution promotional photographs, quality video content, booking information, and links to social media page
  • Have a minimum of 14 recorded songs available for purchase or free download online
  • Be of First Nation, Métis, or Inuit ancestry
  • Be a solo artist or the band member responsible for the majority of business operations and networking
  • Have attended at least one music industry conference outside of their home city or community in the past three years (i.e. October 2011 to October 2014)
  • Be registered with SOCAN
  • Have a valid Canadian passport
  • Be 18 years of age or older

Industry professionals considered for this opportunity must:

  • Have a signed contract that identifies you as the manager, agent, publicist, publisher, or label for at least one music artist (self-managed artists and radio hosts do not qualify)
  • Be dedicated to building a career in the music industry as demonstrated by conference attendance, music industry association membership, and business-related accomplishments
  • Have a business registered
  • Be of First Nation, Métis, or Inuit ancestry
  • Have a valid Canadian passport
  • Be 18 years of age or older

To submit, fill out the appropriate submission form online at the link below (artists must also update their websites for the jury):

Artist submissions will be evaluated based on:

  • Music
  • Creative goals
  • Business goals
  • Profile ,as demonstrated by album reviews and/or media coverage and online media
  • Website quality

Industry professional submission will be evaluated based on:

  • Business goals
  • Dedication to building a career in the music industry as demonstrated by conference attendance, music industry association membership, and experience
  • The success of the applicant’s client(s) as demonstrated by regional profile, performance history, and music-related accomplishments

Submissions will be rejected if incomplete.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Greyeyes, Aboriginal Music Program Manager Manitoba Music P: 204.975.0284 E: alan@manitobamusic.com

Diverse as This Land: Apply Now


The Diverse As This Land program explores how land shapes voice and reveals the dynamic spectrum of Indigenous artistry today. The program enrolls 12 singers, actors, and storytellers in the performing arts each year and is currently accepting applications.

From banffcentre.ca:

Indigenous Arts at THE BANFF CENTRE offers a 10-day voice intensive which is an in-depth examination of the human voice as primary channel for communication in the performer-audience relationship. Working from the feet up, the emphasis will be on establishing a grounded, spine-breath relationship that enables free expression of creative impulse.

During the voice intensive, participants will have opportunities to: develop a deep understanding of your unique breath and voice foster a tangible awareness of your own vocal and physical habits experience and incorporate a voice warm-up progression into your artistic practice explore a wealth of tools with which to tap into your imagination build a coherent and integrated approach to physical, vocal, and text/lyrics preparation deepen your ability to be in relationship with your music or scene partners, and your audience The program is intended for anyone who works in any sound tradition with physical, emotional, and vocal freedom. Singers, actors, storytellers.

Enrolment is limited to 12 participants of Indigenous descent who are 18 years of age or older. Full scholarships are available. You only have to pay for your travel to get to Banff. Imagine 10-days in Banff working on your voice.

It's an incredible opportunity to develop your voice in the beautiful setting of The Banff Centre! Apply now - the deadline is April 18th - and tell us all about it.

More information and application form available here.


Kinnie Starr and Cris Derksen: The National Music Centre Artists in Residence


The new Astral Radio Artist-in-Residence program at Calgary's National Music Centre is currently hosting electro-cellist Cris Derksen and hip-hop chanteuse Kinnie Starr for a week of collaboration and experimentation.

The National Music Centre (NMC) kicked off the Astral Radio Artist-in-Residence (A.I.R.) earlier this year with Kurt Swinghammer and last week welcomed Cris Derksen and Kinnie Starr to collaborate, record and perform with the NMC collection - a collection that boasts over 2,000 instruments and artifacts.

From nmc.ca:

The National Music Centre (NMC) and Astral Radio are thrilled to welcome the fifth installment of the NMC Astral Radio Artist-in-Residence program with Toronto’s Kinnie Starr and Vancouver’s Cris Derksen tackling the amazing NMC collection for a week of recording and sonic experimentation...

Together, they are launching their new collaborative project, BEAMS. Sharing a strong interest in landscape and heritage both physically and sonically, they are a perfect match for exploration and creative discovery.

“We are extremely excited to work with the instruments at NMC” says Derksen “to expand on what we’re already doing, but to also delve into a whole new world of experimentation with instruments we’ve only heard about, but never had  the chance to actually play.”

The goal of the residency is for Starr and Derksen to use these new and innovative instruments to collaborate in creating something unique and fresh. “It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to expand the perimeters our tools can take us,” says Derksen “I think KStarr and I are a perfect match – we instantly speak the same language about music and how to take it to the places we want to go, seeking the same path and outcomes.”

We're big fans of both Derksen and Starr here at RPM (in case you hadn't noticed) and are thrilled about this new project. The outcome is sure to be fantastic.

For anyone in the Calgary area, you can attend the performance this Friday December 7th at 8pm. Visit nmc.ca/whats-on/kinnie-starr-and-cris-derksen-in-concert for details.

For more information on the NMC Artist-in-Residence program including how to apply, visit nmc.ca/musicians.

Artist Call: CIRAA Mentorship Program


The Canadian Independent Recording Artists' Association (CIRAA) has a new mentorship program for up-and-coming artists. Check out the details below and apply by December 16th.

The Canadian Independent Recording Artists' Association (CIRAA) is Canada's only national not-for-profit organization dedicated exclusively to Canadian independent recording artists. The organization has just announced a new mentorship program and is currently accepting applications.

The program includes 15 hours (over a three month period) of in-depth, personalized, one on one advice from an established working musician. The mentors include Austra, Jeremy Fisher, Peter Katz, and The Good Lovelies and what topics will be covered is open to the mentor and mentee, based on the needs of mentee. A tailored fit!

The deadline for the first mentorship with Austra is December 16th, 2012. The instructions on how to apply, from ciraa.ca/mentorship.php:

1) The basic requirementsto apply for a mentorship are: -Be a member of CIRAA (Not a member? Join Here ) -Have performed 10 shows in the last year -Have released at least one album or EP Please detail your evidence of the basic requirements in the clearest and easiest way possible on one page.

2) Send a 1 page letter making your pitch. CIRAA will be selecting the top 3 to 5 applications and forwarding them to the mentor for the final decision. So make your argument about where your career is, why you need this mentorship and why you believe this mentor is a good match for you as a mentee.

3) E-mail your application to mentorship@ciraa.ca with the following info: -Subject: Application for Mentorship with “name of the mentor” -Include links to your social media/online presence -Attach your 1 page Basic Requirements and 1 page Pitch. Failure to follow these instructions will likely disqualify your application. If you have any questions, feel free to email gaby@ciraa.ca with your questions.

When you're ready to apply, send it all in to mentorship@ciraa.ca. Good luck!

Artist Call: Aboriginal Music Week 2013


Aboriginal Music Week is one of the largest gatherings and celebrations of Indigenous music and musicians. In 2013 they're moving up the annual event from early November (brr!) to late August (yay!). Applications are now open - send yours in now!

It will be the fifth annual Aboriginal Music Week in 2013 and the festival will span August 16-21, taking place on outdoor stages and nightclubs in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The fest is currently accepting applications from Indigenous artists for performance spots.

From Call for Submissions: Aboriginal Music Week 2013

To be considered for a performance spot, you must: • Have a current or upcoming professional release (EP / full-length) • Have at least two professional print resolution photographs • Have a professional website • Have a music video on YouTube or a quality video of yourself performing on YouTube • Be willing to collaborate with other artists on stage during the festival • Be willing to provide at least one song for the free download page on the festival website • Accept the festival's radius clause for the city of Winnipeg (six months before the festival and three months after the festival) • Have the ability to book your own flights (the festival may be able to pay a flight buyout, but we won't be handling any of the bookings) • Be a nice person

NOTE: The radius clause does not apply to artists or bands that live in Winnipeg

Please submit the following in person or by mail: • One-page biography in Microsoft Word format (.doc) on CD • A stage plot and tech rider for the performance that you would like us to book (complete our template and send us a list of the backline models you need if you don't already have a stage plot and tech rider) • Two print resolution digital photos on CD • A performance history with dates, venues, city/community and venue capacity for the last 12 months in Microsoft Word format (.doc) on CD • One copy of your current professional release on CD • Your website address • Links to your video(s) on YouTube • Your contact information (full name, mailing address, phone number, email, website) • Contact information for your booking agent or the band member that handles booking (full name, mailing address, phone number, email, website)

Please send submissions to: Aboriginal Music Manitoba Inc. C/O AMW2013 Programming Committee 1-376 Donald Street Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 2J2

Please feel free to contact alan@ammb.ca for more information about our Call for Submissions.

The submission deadline is Wednesday, December 19, 2012 (in office – not post marked). For more info visit aboriginalmusicweek.ca.

See you at the festival!

Artist Call: APTN First Tracks


Each year, APTN First Tracks produces up to six music video for emerging Indigenous artists or groups in Canada. Join the ranks of First Tracks artists like Derek Miller, Joey Stylez, George Leach, Cris Derksen and Kristi Lane Sinclair and apply now.From APTN First Tracks:

APTN is providing an opportunity for up to six emerging Canadian Aboriginal musicians or musical groups to have a music video produced. APTN First Tracks will provide a contribution toward the production of a music video to be filmed in the spring/summer of 2012. All genres of music videos in English, French or any Aboriginal language are accepted and requests may come from Canadian record companies, record producers, managers or artists. The criteria for selected songs will be based on the overall quality of the submission, with consideration given to music, lyrics, quality of performance and production, and market potential. Applicants must submit a master of the song (only one song per artist or group) to be considered. Please refer to the Application Form for a full list of requirements.

To submit your song for consideration download, and complete in full, the APTN First Tracks Application Form before 5:00 PM Central Standard Time on July 31, 2012. Incomplete applications are automatically deemed ineligible. Be sure to read the Rules and Regulations before submitting your application.

Apply now! For more information, visit: aptn.ca/pages/firsttracks.

From the 2011 First Tracks, watch: Cris Derksen - "Pow Wow Wow", directed by Lisa Jackson:

Artist Call: Manifesto and ORIGINS Calling All Native MCs


ORIGINS: Breaking Beats & Boundaries is calling Native MCs to compete for a chance at a paid performance spot at the Manifesto Festival 2012.

Compete on June 30th in front of a panel of industry judges in Toronto, Ontario, for your chance to win the grand prize of paid performance spot at Manifesto 2012!

Submissions can be made online at: themanifesto.ca/submissions/origins.

And then stick around, as the event is being followed by performances from Kinnie Starr, Iskwé and A Tribe Called Red, hosted by Wab Kinew. Get the details on that on Facebook.

Good luck!

Artist Call: Documentary Series Seeking Music Submissions


Attention musicians! The upcoming documentary series Watchers of the North is looking for music submissions for possible use in the APTN television series.

Watchers of the North is a 6-part documentary series that will be broadcast on APTN in 2013. In both English and Inuktitut, the series is about the Canadian Rangers in two communities who patrol areas Canadian Forces can't easily access while being first responders in their communities in search and rescue and emergency situations. It focuses on close to a dozen Inuit Rangers in two communities and how their way of life is changing on and off the job.

We can't wait to see it!

And your music could be a part of it! Here's more info from the producers:

  • We’d love to feature Inuit musicians, whether they weave traditional sounds like throat singing into their modern music, or are creating unique sounds of their own.
  • We’re also looking for a wide variety of musicians and musical styles by Indigenous artists – First Nations, Metis, Aboriginal especially instrumental, but lyrics may work, too because episodes and scenes focus on a wide variety of people and different moods- some sequences are more thoughtful, others more action-packed.
  • At this point, we’d like to receive submissions as emailed links to EPKs and streaming audio.
  • What we can offer to musicians in return for their musical involvement in the series is exposure for their music: profiles of them on our blog (www.watchersofthenorthblog.com) and website (to be launched in 2013 with the series), Facebook page, twitter etc., as well as credits on our TV credit roll and on the website.
  • We’re also seeking a particularly versatile aboriginal musician or composer who has experience (ideally) creating music for film ,TV or theatre, to compose a few original short instrumental pieces that we will use regularly throughout the series. This would involve remuneration for that work.

To be considered, send your streaming audio links to Maureen Marovitch maureen@picturethis.ca.

Artist Call: Asinabka Festival Residency in Music Production


Calling First Nations, Métis and Inuit musicians between the ages of 18 and 30! The Asinabka Festival is offering a one-week residency in music production. Apply now.

Asinabka is a festival of film and media, but they are also presenting a residency for emerging and aspiring musicians and those interested in music production. The deadline for applications is April 30th, so read on and submit soon.

From Residency in Music Production, Call for Applications:

Are you an aspiring First Nations, Métis, or Inuit musician? Are you between the ages of 18 and 30? Do you want to learn how to produce your own music?

The Asinabka Festival is partnering with Sign Star Records, an Aboriginal owned Record Company based in Ottawa, and the Saw Video Media Arts Centre, to offer a one-week residency in music production.  This residency is for beginners and emerging artists, who will learn and work hands on with one of the music industry’s top production/recording software’s.  Participants are encouraged to have a draft of a song, either partially or fully written, so that they can incorporate their own music into the workshops.  After the residency, one applicant will be given the opportunity to continue working with Sign Star Records to produce their music!  Non-musicians interested in the post-production of music are also welcome to apply.


  1. A brief bio: Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? Where did you go to school? Where have you worked or volunteered?
  2. A letter of intent (1 page): Tell us why you want to participate in this residency, and how you think you will benefit! What type of music do you play? Do you have a specific song that you’d like to work on?  Do you have any performance experience?
  3. Support material: Please submit a demo, a recording of your music, or music you’ve helped produce (MP3 or CD format, or an Internet Link to the works online location).

Email submissions are welcome!

DEADLINE:  Friday, April 30th 2012

For more information visit asinabkafestival.org/asinabkafestival/Events.html.

Artist Call: APCMA Now Accepting Submissions


The Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards (APCMA) are now accepting submissions for the artist and industry categories.

The Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards celebrates the best in Aboriginal music from across Turtle Island and around the world. The yearly event is one of the biggest music parties in Indian Country to be sure, and this year the APCMAs have established a new voting process for selecting nominees.

  • Round 1 of all APCMA categories will be juried by industry professionals. Each category jury will select up to five nominee.
  • The general public will select the winners in each category by voting on the aboriginalpeopleschoice.com website in Round 2.

Applications are now open!  Apply by Friday, June 29, 2012 at 5:00PM (CST).

Download the APCMA Entry Form here: http://aboriginalpeopleschoice.com/umedia/2012_APCMA_Official_Entry_Form.pdf

The artistic/genre categories are:

  • Best Blues CD
  • Best Country CD
  • Best Fiddle CD
  • Best Flute CD
  • Best Folk/Acoustic CD
  • Best Francophone CD
  • Best Gospel CD
  • Best Hand Drum CD
  • Best Instrumental CD
  • Best Inuit CD
  • Best Peyote CD
  • Best Pop CD
  • Best Pow Wow CD – Traditional
  • Best Pow Wow CD –Contemporary
  • Best Rap/Hip Hop CD
  • Best Rock CD

The specialty categories are:

  • Aboriginal Female Entertainer of the Year
  • Aboriginal Male Entertainer of the Year
  • Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year
  • Best Aboriginal Music Radio Station/Program
  • Best Album Cover Design
  • Best Duo or Group
  • Best International Indigenous Artist(This category for Indigenous Artists from  outside of North America)
  • Best Music Video
  • Best New Artist
  • Best Producer/Engineer
  • Best Television Program/ Promotion of Aboriginal Music
  • Single of the Year

Mail submissions to: Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards 509 Century Street Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 2J2

For more information: aboriginalpeopleschoice.com Jacquie Black or Sandy Fox Toll Free: 1-866-449-0251 Email: info@aboriginalpeopleschoice.com

Artist Call: "She's the One" Competition


The Ottawa Bluesfest is holding a Canada-wide competition for emerging female artists from all genres. Cash prizes and a slot at this year's festival could be yours! Applications are open now - at no fee to the artist - until March 31st. Here's the info.

The RBC Bluesfest is one of Canada's foremost music festivals and in partnership with Boom 99.7 has opened the She's the One competition to support emerging female artists.

Open to female artists of any age in any genre, applicants must either be the lead singer of your act/band or the leader performer in your instrumental act/band. All members of the band must be residents of Canada.

If you have a Sonicbids account, submissions are free (1 token) or you can submit via Surveygizmo (and kudos to the organizers for offering options! So many festivals are accessible through Sonicbids only these days and it's a shame... but I digress...).

From ottawabluesfest.ca:

There will be two categories:  1] Solo (i.e. Singer-songwriter)  2] Band

Initial submissions will be judged on the quality of performance, based on submtted YouTube/myspace Clips, etc. RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest will review these submissions, and three finalists will be selected from each category.  These six finalists will have a 20 minute slot to perform LIVE at the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest for a professional jury, on Saturday July 7th, 2012 with one winner chosen from each category.

What’s up for grabs?

Winners of each category will receive a cash prize: Solo Category winner will receive $2,000; Band Category winner will receive $5,000!

...Please note, if you are selected as a finalist, you MUST be available to travel to Ottawa to perform at the finals on July 7, 2012.

Please note, judging will be based upon a developed criteria including: performance, stage presence/showmanship, originality, musicality, audience reaction and 'It' factor. Above all, we are looking for a moving live performance both in online submissions and final competition judging.

For more information and to apply, visit ottawabluesfest.ca/shestheoneinfo. We look forward to seeing some of our Indigenous sisters up there!