Native Women in the Arts is excited to launch its new online concert series “Home Fires” just in time for National Indigenous History Month!

The Home Fires series features pre-recorded full-length performances by Prado Monroe, G.R. Gritt, Angel Baribeau, Candace Curr with Withe, Leah Shenandoah, Melody McKiver, and RIIT. 

These seven pre-recorded full-length concerts will be made available to the public to stream for free on NWIA’s YouTube Channel on June 1, 2022. 

G.R. Gritt

Juno Award-winning G.R. Gritt pulls effortlessly from the past to create soulful futurisms. With their new sound that elegantly weaves the melodies using vocals, guitar, and electronic elements. they create both intimate and anthemic music that would fit in a folk club, a dance club, and anywhere in between. G.R. Gritt is a Two-Spirit, Transgender, Francophone, Anishinaabe and Métis artist. 

Their music serves as one of these beacons of connection for all who come near it. Welcoming yet truthful, they reclaim space through songs that show that intersectional identity is expansive and not to be divided into parts. By exploring the emotional and cultural core of their heritage as a non-binary, queer, Indigenous artist they create new space and encourage others to do the same. 

They are a Northern Ontario Music and Film Award (NOMFA) winning artist for Outstanding Album by an Indigenous Artist (for Quantum Tangle’s album “Shelter as we Go…”), and a nominee for Outstanding Engineer, and Outstanding Album. In 2021, they were nominated for 2 SSIMA Awards – Metis artist of the Year and Social Voice and they won the FMO Songs from the Heart – Political category Award. 

G.R. Gritt released their full-length album, Ancestors, on April 16, 2021, on Coax Records, and their song “Ancestors ft. Kimmortal” made it onto Sirius XM Indigiverse’s Top 20 countdown for 2021.

Leah Shenandoah 

Leah Shenandoah M.F.A, B.S., is a Wolf Clan Member of the Onyo’ta:aká: – Oneida Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is an indigenous scholar, artist, activist, and musician currently enrolled as an Apparel Design Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University. Shenandoah combines indigenous methodologies, material culture, and activism to create a space of protection, comfort, and healing through her work. 

Shenandoah received a Master’s of Fine Art from Rochester Institute of Technology in Metals and Jewelry, Magna Cum Laude. Her M.F.A thesis “O’whahsa’ – Protection, Comfort and Healing” was a multimedia experience based on the Haudenosaunee legend of Skywoman. It consisted of: five textile, paint, and steel sculptures, five sets of jewelry, five outfits, and a 45-minute DJ set with 12 original songs written and performed by Shenandoah at the Hungerford Gallery in Rochester, NY (YouTube link below). Shenandoah also received a Bachelor of Science in Textiles, Cum Laude from Syracuse University. 

Her original compositions have received national and regional recognition. Shenandoah’s debut album, “Spectra” with producer JJ Boogie from Arrested Development, received a Native American Music Award for “Best Debut Album” and “Best Alternative Album” from the Syracuse Area Music Awards. Shenandoah’s art and jewelry have won awards from: Schemitzun Pow Wow, Eiteljorg Indian Market, & Ridgefield Fine Art Market. Her work has also been exhibited in national museums and exhibitions such as the “Changing Hands Exhibit” by the Museum of Art and Design, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Syracuse University Art Museum,  Iroquois Museum, Longyear Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, National Museum of the American Indian, Bausch and Lomb Gallery, Institute of American Indian Art Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Memorial Art Gallery, Lemoyne Art Gallery, Everson Museum of Art, Bevier Gallery, and the Alan Houzer Art Park. Shenandoah’s jewelry was showcased at the “Go Native Arts” fashion show with indigenous fashion designers Patricia Michaels and Dorothy Grant.

Prado Monroe 

Born in Vancouver, Canada on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations peoples. Of Metis descent, her mom hails from the North End of Winnipeg  – Point Douglas. Meanwhile, her father immigrated from Buenaventura, Colombia to Vancouver in the early 90s. Inspired by everything from Bjork, Whitney Houston, Nelly Furtado, Britney Spears, Crystal Waters – to the melodic trap sonics of Chief Keef, Azealia Banks, and Kanye West.  

Prado Monroe was gifted her first guitar and quickly started self-producing and releasing music on Soundcloud under the moniker of  “Alienkanye” at a prolific pace. The singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer began leading pen to various artists; she  was the contagious melodies behind various NY-based male internet rappers – further unearthing her love and disposition to wordplay and pop music, PM learned to lead without fear using her unique sound and no-bullshit delivery. 

Candace Curr and Withe

Cedar withes are used by Nuu-chah-nulth and Haida nations to make rope; the more withes, the stronger the rope. A powerful performance with many musicians working together to create such strength and the more withes the stronger we are.

Candace Curr is a storyteller, artist, and musician from Ditidaht First Nation on Vancouver Island. With her voice and ukulele accompanied by Rob Thompson from Haida Nation, Clayton Charleybo from Tsilhqot’in Nation, Trevor Ainsworth, and Emily Best. Sentimental listening songs that make you reflect and feel, as Candace Curr & Withe share songs that explore their lives and experiences. 

RIIT 

From the land that never melts comes a sound that radiates life, youth, and promise. Riit, from majestic Panniqtuq, Nunavut, is a new artist making space for herself in the electropop world with Inuktitut lyrics and deep rhythmic vocals layered over gemological synth cuts and sticky, staticky electronic textures. Riot’s music emerges from very distinct circumstances of place, language, and experience.

Throughout her debut full-length album, produced by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and recorded in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and Toronto, Riot sings about the clarity of forgiveness, the imprint of the past on the present, and personal disconnection. In Inuktitut, Riit’s songs explore family, life, and love. Riit also nods to Nunavut’s rich yet underapprecaited legacy of songwriters, with covers of Inuititut classics included on the record.

The monoamine-fueled flush of “qaumajuapik,” the first song shared from her forthcoming debut full-length album, expresses how intense attraction messes with your sense of time, where a single blink contains a universe. Heart races, clock stops. Produced by Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck), the song sweeps in on a buzzy gust before the Tangerine Dream-esque modulations kick in. Teardrop bleeps fall over Riit’s clear voice like a sunshower (the song title means ‘you are shining’).

On the strength of a 3-song EP released in 2017 by Aakuluk Music, Nunavut’s first record label, Riit was nominated for Best Radio Single (Indigenous Music Awards) and Indigenous Artist of the Year (Western Canadian Music Awards). The host of a groundbreaking Inuttitut-language children’s show, Anaana’s Tent, and soon-to-be recipient of an Emerging Talent Award of Excellence for her broadcast work, Riit is one of the faces of a Nunavut youth movement, a group of remarkable, driven and increasingly high-profile individuals who are creating mainstream waves through art. For an artist who has performed only a handful of shows, a performance in London for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry & Meghan) and a sold out show in Paris are highlights of a young career.

Now signed to Six Shooter Records, Riit will release her debut full-length album in 2019.

Melody McKiver 

Melody McKiver’s (they/them) musical work integrates electronics with Western classical music to shape a new genre of Anishinaabe compositions. They are the current recipient of the Canada Council’s Robert Flaming Prize awarded annually to an exceptionally talented young Canadian composer, and a recurring invited participant in the Banff Centre for the Arts’ Indigenous Classical Music gatherings. A frequent performer across Turtle Island, Melody has performed at the National Arts Centre, Luminato Festival, Vancouver’s Western Front, and the Toronto International Film Festival. They have shared stages with Polaris Prize winners Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq, and Jeremy Dutcher, and performed with acclaimed filmmaker and musician Alanis Obomsawin. As a composer, Melody was commissioned by Soundstreams and Jumblies Theatre to compose Odaabaanag, a string quartet responding to Steve Reich’s Different Trains, drawing on interviews conducted with Anishinaabe elders. Melody has scored several films and was invited to the Berlinale Talents Sound Studio as a music and composition mentor for the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival. Additional commissions have included Cluster Festival, Marina Thibeault, Duo AIRS, Carnegie Mellon University, TORQ Percussion, and the Elora Singers. A proud member of Obishikokaang Lac Seul First Nation, Melody is currently an Assistant Professor of Music Composition at the Brandon University School of Music and a member of the Mizi’iwe Aana Kwat (LGBTQ2S+ Council) within the Anishinaabe Nation of Treaty #3. Upcoming projects include a setting of Métis author Katherena Vermette’s poem river woman for SATB choir and percussion quartet and a full-length album in late 2022. Melody holds an MA in Ethnomusicology from Memorial University and a BFA in Music and Indigenous Studies from York University.

Angel Baribeau  

With their breathtaking vocals paired and stunningly vulnerable lyrics that cascade over listeners’ emotional terrains, singer-songwriter Angel Baribeau is a notable force. This Montreal based, queer, non-binary, Indigenous artist originally from the Cree community of Mistissini, Quebec, first started through the formation of their early indie folk outfit, Simple Human Tribe. Their solo work gained momentum in 2014, when they were selected for feature on the #1 iTunes chart-topping N’we Jinan compilation album, Eeyou Istchee Volume 1.

Angel’s six-track EP’s debut single Love Is Up The River quickly garnered more than 20,000+ streams on Spotify and hit Top 10 on the NCI FM Indigenous Music Countdown. Their next single “Wish We Were Older” followed its path blazing its way to #1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown and was featured on CBC North & APTN National News. The official music video for the single won Best Music Video at the Toronto Indie Indie Shorts Film Festival 2021. Siibii’s gifts have attracted multiple recognitions including the Young Canadian Songwriters Award (2021) presented by SOCAN Foundation and the Canadian Walk of Fame, RBC Emerging Artist Program award (2021). Currently, Angel is casting their self-titled sophomore album, “Siibii”, set to be released in 2022, which will be an introspective compilation of works as they step into their reclaimed identity. Angel is a powerful changemaker, who unwaveringly upholds the responsibility they feel to pursue their talent while also pushing for more representation within the industry.


Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is one of the leading arts organizations in Canada for Indigenous women and other gender marginalized Indigenous artists working at the intersection of customary and contemporary practices. NWIA serves as a site of artistic exchange, encouraging dialogue between artists and audiences about social, cultural, and political issues and their relationship to artistic expression.

Native Women in the Arts is Pleased to Announce the Shortlisted Nominees and Winner of the 7th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award

The Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award recognizes outstanding emerging Indigenous (Status and Non-Status First Nations, Métis, Inuit) artists from Northern Ontario who are women or otherwise gender marginalized (transfeminine, transmasculine, non-binary, gender non-conforming, Two Spirit). NWIA recognizes the specific barriers that many Northern artists face, and we aim to support Indigenous artists from the North by creating connections, professional development, and performance opportunities through our programming initiatives. 

Each of the five shortlisted nominees will be acknowledged with a $1,500 award and the winner will receive a prize of $5,000. The winner and their work will also be featured on our website.

The shortlisted nominees for the 7th Annual Barbara Laronde Award are:

  • Faith Turner
  • Naomi Desrochers
  • Ruby Thompson
  • Lynsey Kapera
  • Cherly Suggashie 

The Winner of the 7th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Awards is:
 

Candace Twance

Candace Twance is from the Ojibway community of Netmizaaggamig (Pic Mobert First Nation), located along the northern shore of Lake Superior. She currently raises her family in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her art practice is based on mixed-medium abstract painting, heavily informed by Anishinaabek thought, philosophy, and wisdom. Choosing materials that were traditionally valued and prized by Anishinaabek people, including beads, copper, fur, shells, and actual beadwork pieces, Candace incorporates these cultural artifacts into her work to acknowledge their historical use and to honour them. Her work has a close connection with the land, often basing composition on landforms, waterways, and landscapes.

As she describes, “it’s about physical, material, tangible things – and hard work; a lifestyle on the land. This is how my ancestors lived, and it’s about where I’m from. My work is also about transcending the physical realm, alluding to the concept of cellular memory. The spiritual teaching is that there is more to life than the physical realm. When I’m creating layers in my work, using mirrors, and creating veils of lines, I’m alluding to this idea of realms. In a way, it’s also about our bodies, as Anishnaabek people. Our bodies are holding that connection to land and place, always.

Candace has earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and has most recently completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology.
 

Storm Dreamer Kwe, c. 2022
Acrylic Paint, Oil Stick, Canvas

Candace Twance was selected from a number of nominees from across Northern Ontario. NWIA’s Artistic Director, Ariel Smith remarked: “ On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA, we are thrilled to present this award to Candace Twance, and to recognize her commitment to the development of her artistic practice. We are confident that Candace has a great future ahead of her and wish her, the shortlisted candidates, as well as all of the nominees the very best in their endeavors. NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Candace Twance with a $5,000 cash prize and to acknowledge each of our shortlisted nominees: Faith Turner, Naomi Desrochers, Ruby Thompson, Lynsey Kapera, and Cherly Suggashie with a $1,500 prize. A huge congratulations to all!”

Cloud Moving Away, c. 2021
Acrylic Paint, Paper, Charcoal, Oil Pastel, Canvas

About the Barbara Laronde Award

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous Gender Marginalized artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many Northern artists face. Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award.

Prayers Up, c. 2019
Acrylic Paint, Canvas

About Native Women in the Arts (NWIA)

Established in 1993, Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Women and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized Folks from diverse artistic disciples who share a common interest in culture, art, community, and the advancement of Indigenous Peoples. 

NWIA Presents unique artistic programming while developing, supporting, and cultivating practices in the performing arts, literary arts and publishing, visual arts, customary arts, and community development projects. NWIA’s influence has been felt in communities across Canada. We nourish and transform our communities by pursuing the highest standards of artistic excellence, and by offering development opportunities to emerging artists.

Native Feminisms with Natani Notah

Native Feminisms with Natani Notah co-presented with Indigenous Creation Studio, Saturday, March 26, 2022, online from 1 PM – 4 PM EST. 

Artist Natani Notah will examine the present-day and historical roles of Indigenous women, their intellectual work, feminine aesthetic traditions, and the relevance of contemporary art and performance through text, media, and online discussion for two events on March 26, 2022. The Reading Group Afternoon Tea Session, 1 PM – 2 PM EST, followed by a TalkBack Session for Indigenous Artists 2:30 PM – 4 PM EST. 

Pre-registration required. Please note there are two separate events to register for. Zoom link to register:

https://utoronto.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrceGorjotEtUVOlSAcoPQxD0dB7qBrZyW

Natani Notah (www.nataninotah.com) is an interdisciplinary artist, poet, and graphic designer. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation (Diné) and of Lakota and Cherokee descent. Inspired by acts of decolonization and Indigenous feminism and futurism, her work explores contemporary Native American identity through the lens of Diné womanhood. By way of fragmented abstraction, bodily scale, and the marrying of natural and synthetic materials, her work provokes conversations about what it means to be a colonized individual in the present-day USA. Notah has exhibited across the U.S. and is currently a 2021-2023 Tulsa Artist Fellow. Notah holds a BFA and minor in feminist, gender, and sexuality studies from Cornell University, and an MFA in art practice from Stanford University.

Indigenous Creation Studio (@indigenouscreationstudioutm) aims to transform institutional models of trust-building and strengthen Indigenous peoples in their homelands resourcefully through art. Initiated by Maria Hupfield, Canada Research Chair in Transdisciplinary Indigenous Arts, and is housed within the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is one of the leading arts organizations in Canada for Indigenous women and other gender marginalized Indigenous artists working at the intersection of customary and contemporary practices. NWIA serves as a site of artistic exchange, encouraging dialogue between artists and audiences about social, cultural, and political issues and their relationship to artistic expression.

Nominations Now Open for the 7th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award! – Deadline December 31, 2021

This award recognizes outstanding emerging Indigenous (Status and Non Status First Nations, Métis, Inuit) artists from Northern Ontario who are women or other-wise gender marginalized (transfeminine, transmasculine, non-binary, gender non-conforming). You can nominate yourself or another artist. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and up to 5 shortlisted artists will receive prizes of $1,500 each.
 

Eligibility

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
     
  • Must be an Indigenous person living in Northern Ontario (Métis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status First Nations peoples).
     
  • This award is for women and other gender marginalized folks. NWIA respects trans women as women and uses the term “gender marginalized” to be inclusive of not only women but also trans men and other transmasculine, transfeminine, non-binary, Two Spirit and genderqueer folks. Cis-gendered, heterosexal men are not eligible for this award.
     
  • Must be at the emerging stages of artistic career. NWIA defines an emerging artist as:
    • In the early stages of their career, regardless of age
    • Has created a modest body of work
    • Has had some evidence of professional achievement but may not yet have a substantial record of accomplishments.
    • One who is not yet recognized as an established or mid-career artist by other artists, curators, producers, critics, community members, and arts administrators.
  • Open to all artistic disciplines including:
    • Traditional/Customary Arts (Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving)
    • Visual Arts (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation and Performance Art)
    • Performing Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre) 
    • Media Arts (Film, Video, New Media)
    • Literary Arts (Prose, Poetry, Creative-Nonfiction, Spoken-Word)
  • Live in one of these geographical regions in northern Ontario:
    • Kenora District 
    • Algoma District 
    • Cochrane District 
    • Manitoulin District 
    • Nipissing District
    • Parry Sound District 
    • Sudbury District 
    • Timiskaming District 
    • Rainy River District 
    • Thunder Bay District
       
  • All eligible artists are encouraged to self-nominate.
     
  • Individuals can also nominate an eligible artist they feel deserves this award.


Please ensure your nomination includes all of the following items:

  • Artist Resume or CV
  • Short bio up to 250 words max
  • Maximum 1 page letter outlining why you, or the artist you are nominating, should receive this award.
  • Images, audio, written or video support material of your artwork. Please do not send more than 10 individual files or any originals. 
  • Maximum 1 page letter of support from the nominator or in the case of a self nomination, a letter from someone who is familiar with the nominee’s career in the arts. 

Nominations Open: October 30th, 2021

Nomination Deadline: December 31, 2021

Value of Award: $5,000 for prize winner/ $1,500 for up to 5 shortlisted nominees

Award Jury: * NWIA Board of Directors

Our Vision for Award: To support and celebrate the achievement of Indignous gender marginalized artists from Northern Ontario, and to provide financial support and career enhancing opportunities to encourage their continued excellence.

The Impact: The Barbara Laronde Award is given in the spirit of fostering the careers of emerging artists from Indigenous (on and off reserve) communities in Northern Ontario. NWIA recognizes the specific barriers that many Northern artists face, and we aim to support Indigenous artists by creating connections, professional development, and exhibition opportunities through our programming initiatives.Since 1994, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word presentations, exhibited visual and media arts, and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also hold community-driven artist talks, workshops, commissions and symposiums. Our programming is offered to diverse audiences in Toronto and Northern Ontario.

Please share this call on Facebook, Twitter, and by email to family and friends!

Please submit your nomination directly to Native Women in the Arts at awards@nwia.ca or if you have any questions. 

For more info visit: www.nwia.ca/apply/

*In the event of a  direct conflict of interest with an NWIA board member and a nominee, said NWIA Board member will recuse themselves from the selection process. Examples of direct conflicts of interests include a nominee being a family member, partner, employee or employer of a board member. A board member being from the same community as a nominee, or having worked in collaboration with or curated a nominee in the past would not be considered a direct conflict of interest. 

Native Americana: Indigenous Women in Roots Music

Native Women in the Arts announces the launch of a new summer concert series, Native Americana: Indigenous Women in Roots Music. This concert series will launch June 25th, and continue throughout the summer, featuring live-streamed performances by Samantha Crain, Dawn & Shawna Redskye, Celeigh Cardinal and more!

American roots music would not exist without Black and Indigenous people. Their artistry, talent, and cultures informed, birthed, and shaped the genres which fall under the musical umbrella often referred to now as Americana, including folk, country, blues, old time, rock ‘n’ roll, and bluegrass.

In commercial roots/americana music the longstanding and ongoing appropriation, erasure and marginalization of Black and Indigenous folks and their work, particularly in old time, country, and bluegrass, has resulted in these genres largely being seen as “white music”. This is not only historically inaccurate, it also does not reflect the reality of contemporary Indigenous and Black artists working with these genres today.

During National Indigenous History Month, Native Women in the Arts is thrilled to Launch a new concert series showcasing Indigenous women working in roots music.

Native Americana: Indigenous Women in Roots Music will feature artists whose musical stylings pull from and incorporate elements of folk, country, bluegrass, blues and roots rock.

Due to the pandemic this concert series will be presented online via live streams on Native Women in the Arts’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

The recorded performances will then be archived on Native Women in the Art’s youtube channel for audiences to enjoy anytime.

Native Americana: Indigenous Women in Roots Music

Featuring Samantha Crain + Dawn & Shawna Redskye

LIVE on Facebook & Instagram 

Friday, June 25, 2021

7 PM – 9 PM EST

Samantha Crain is a Choctaw singer, songwriter, poet, producer, and musician from Oklahoma. She is a two-time Native American Music Award winner and winner of an Indigenous Music Award. Her genre spanning discography has been critically acclaimed by media outlets such as Rolling Stone, SPIN, Paste, No Depression, NPR, PRI, The Guardian, NME, Uncut, and others. She has toured extensively over the past 11 years nationally and internationally, presenting ambitious orchestrated shows with a band and intimate folk leaning solo performances. She has toured with First Aid Kit, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lucy Rose, The Avett Brothers, The Mountain Goats, Brandi Carlile, Langhorne Slim and many other bands and artists.

Dawn and Shawna Redskye are two Anishinaabe Irish sisters weaving personal narratives of love, land, displacement and medicine. Through their songs- carried by warm blood harmonies, poetic and sometimes hard-hitting lyrics, acoustic guitar and banjo-they aim to challenge colonial impressions of past and present. They are currently working on their first full length album.

Later This Summer

“I’ve always connected with artists whose voices resonate; you can feel it in your body. That is what I’ve  always wanted to be.”

With a confident voice and boundless energy, Celeigh Cardinal owns a stage, connecting deeply with her audience through humour, passion and love. Whether sweetly strumming an acoustic guitar or leading  her band in a rocking rave-up, she commands our attention. Her singing is rich and deep with a  burnished maturity and a nimble technical virtuosity that wraps itself around notes with a purr, a snarl or something in the middle. Her songs are authentic and heartfelt and connect us to the healing power  of music. Cardinal has received many accolades and nominations for her two full-length albums, but  most notably was awarded the 2020 Juno Award for Indigenous Artist of the Year and recently received two 2020 Western Canadian Music Award Nominations.

More to be Announced Soon! 

Kwe Performance Series

Native Americana is presented as part of Native Women in the Arts’ Kwe Performance Series which showcases Indigenous women and other gender marginalized Indigenous artists from diverse nations and communities, leading to a deeper understanding and appreciation for Indigenous arts, culture, and community.

The Kwe Performance Series events include performances and workshops for the community in Toronto as well as outreach to on-reserve and under-serviced communities in Ontario.

Winner of the 6th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award & Short List Nominees

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the shortlisted nominees and winner of the 6th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award

The Barbara Laronde Award is given in the spirit of fostering the careers of emerging Indigenous artists in Northern Ontario who are women and/or Two Spirit people and/or gender marginalized people*.

NWIA recognizes the specific barriers that many Northern artists face, and we aim to support Indigenous artists by creating connections, professional development, and performance opportunities through our programming initiatives.

Due to a record number of nominees this year, and the ongoing hardships of COVID-19, NWIA decided to do a shortlist of nominees as well as a winner. Each shortlisted nominee will be acknowledged with $1,500 and the winner will receive a prize of $3,500. The winner and their work will also be featured on our website.

The shortlisted nominees for the 6th Annual Barbara Laronde Award are:

Jana Rae Yerxa

Melody McKiver

Courtnee Osawabine

Sonya Belisle

Taryn Bobiwash

Leanna Marshall 

The Winner of the 6th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Awards is:

Michel Dumont

Michel Dumont is a queer Métis Two Spirited disabled artist who currently resides in Thunder Bay. He enjoys breathing new life into discarded vintage tile by making mosaic pieces. He also works in wearable art, using packing tape, mylar, cellophane and LED lights. He’s shown at Queer Landscapes, Queer Intersections at the John B. Aird in Toronto, and the Queer and Peace Vernissage, Dawson College, Montreal.

Eye of Nanabijiou (Photo Courtesy of Artist)

Michel Dumont was selected from a number of nominees from across Northern Ontario. NWIA’s Artistic Director, Ariel Smith remarked: “ On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA, we are pleased to present this award to Michel Dumont, in recognition of not only their talent, but  their commitment to the development of their craft and artistic practice and to their community. We look forward to seeing what the future has in store for this artist and wish them all the best in their endeavours. NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Michel Dumont with a $3,500 cash prize. On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA we are also thrilled to acknowledge our shortlisted nominees Jana RaeYerxa, Melody McKiver, Courtnee Osawabine, Sonya Belisle, Taryn Bobiwash and Leanna Marshall with $1,500 each. A huge congratulations to all.”

Infinity Rose (Photo Courtesy of Artist)

*This award is for women and Two Spirit people, as well as other gender marginalized folks. NWIA respects trans women as women and uses the term gender marginalized to express inclusivity of transfeminine people who do not identify as women, as well as trans men and other other transmasculine people, non-binary and genderqueer people. Cisgendered heterosexual men are not eligible for this award.

About the Barbara Laronde Award

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many Northern artists face. Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award.

Michel Dumont in Performance (Photo by Elijah Nichols)

About Native Women in the Arts (NWIA)

Established in 1993, Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Women and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized Folks from diverse artistic disciples who share a common interest in culture, art, community and the advancement of Indigenous Peoples.

NWIA Presents unique artistic programming while developing, supporting, and cultivating practices in the performing arts, literary arts and publishing, visual arts, customary arts, and community development projects. NWIA’s influence has been felt in communities across Canada. We nourish and transform our communities by pursuing the highest standards of artistic excellence, and by offering development opportunities to emerging artists.

Native Women in the Arts & The Music Gallery Present Silla and Rise + Nannaam

Native Women in the Arts invites you to join us for a virtual concert presented in partnership with the Music Gallery. This Indigenous circumpolar showcase features performances by celebrated Inuit and Saami artists: Silla and Rise (Nunavut/Ottawa) and Nannaam (Finland). The FREE stream will be available to view on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at 7pm and can be accessed here.
 


Silla and Rise
Juno nominated act, Silla and Rise blend Inuit throat-singing and futuristic dance floor beats. Silla are Cynthia Pitsiulak (Kimmirut, NU) and Charlotte Qamaniq (Iglulik, NU) their name comes from the Inuktitut word “Sila” meaning weather. In respecting and honouring the need to preserve Inuit culture and paying homage to our land and the strong connection to its spirituality, they experience and perform the sounds of traditional and contemporary throat songs. Rise is Ottawa’s Rise Ashen, a Juno Award nominated global-grooves producer, DJ and dancer who has spent his life pursuing the intersection of traditional and futuristic music.


Nannaam
Nannaam, comprised of singer Heli Huovinen, an Inari Sámi artist from Finnish side of Sápmi, has worked with Sámi media and theatre since 2007. Joined by creative collaborator Urayakq, a greenlandic electronic musician/producer and DJ, the two perform Pop music in Inari Saami language.

Native Women in the Arts
Established in 1993, Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, and other Indigenous gender marginalized folks from diverse artistic disciplines and communities. 

NWIA supports multi-disciplinary artistic expression by connecting, training and presenting emerging, mid-career and established artists whose work reflects a commitment to art, culture, community, and the advancement of Indigenous people. NWIA serves as a site of artistic exchange, encouraging dialogue between artists and audiences about social, cultural and political issues and their relationship to artistic expression. Our programming connects to a diverse participant and audience base, predominantly in Toronto and Northern Ontario.


The Music Gallery
Established in 1976 by members of the Canadian Creative Music Collective (CCMC), the Music Gallery occupies a unique position within Toronto’s musical ecology that allows us to present, encourage and promote leading-edge contemporary music in all genres. For over 40 years, our mandate to foster innovation and experimentation in music has remained constant, and today, we are Toronto’s pre-eminent presenter of genre-defying concert music.

Deadline Extended for the Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award

New Application Due Date Extended to December 1, 2020.

This award recognizes outstanding emerging Indigenous artists from Northern Ontario who are Women or other-wise gender marginalized*

Please note that you can nominate yourself or someone else. 

Eligibility

  • Must be 18 years of age or older

  • Must be an Indigenous person living in Northern Ontario (Métis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status First Nations peoples).

  • *This award is for women and other gender marginalized folks. NWIA respects trans women as women and uses the term gender marginalized to be inclusive of transfeminine folks who do not identify as women as well as trans men, transmasculine folks, non-binary, Two-Spirit, and genderqueer folks. Cis-gendered, heterosexual men are not eligible for this award.

  • Must be at the emerging stages of an artistic career. NWIA defines an emerging artist as:
    • In the early stages of their career, regardless of age
    • Has created a modest body of work
    • Has had some evidence of professional achievement but may not yet have a substantial record of accomplishments.
    • One who is not yet recognized as an established or mid-career artist by other artists, curators, producers, critics, community members, and arts administrators.
  • Open to all artistic disciplines including:
    • Traditional/Customary Arts (Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving)
    • Visual Arts (Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation and Performance art)
    • Performing Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre) 
    • Media Arts (Film, Video, New Media)
    • Literary Arts (Prose, Poetry, creative-nonfiction, spoken-word)
  • Live in one of these geographical regions in northern Ontario:
    • Kenora District 
    • Algoma District 
    • Cochrane District 
    • Manitoulin District 
    • Nipissing District
    • Parry Sound District 
    • Sudbury District 
    • Timiskaming District 
    • Rainy River District 
    • Thunder Bay District

  • All eligible artists are encouraged to nominate.

  • Individuals can also nominate an eligible artist they feel deserves this award.

To nominate please submit the following:

  • Resume or CV
  • Short bio up to 250 words max
  • Max 1 page letter outlining why you, or the artist you are nominating, should receive this award.
  • Images, audio, written or video support material of your artwork. Please do not send more than 10 individual files or original works of art. 
  • Max 1 page letter of support from someone who is familiar with the nominee’s career in the arts.

Nominations Deadline: December 1st, 2020

Value of Award: $3,500 Cash

Award Jury: **NWIA Board of Directors

Our Vision: To support and celebrate the achievement of Indigenous Women and Gender Marginalized artists from Northern Ontario, and to provide financial support and career-enhancing opportunities to encourage their continued excellence.

The Impact: The Barbara Laronde Award is given in the spirit of fostering the careers of emerging artists from Indigenous (on and off-reserve) communities in Northern Ontario. NWIA recognizes the specific barriers that many Northern artists face, and we aim to support Indigenous artists by creating connections, professional development, and performance opportunities through our programming initiatives. For over 25 years, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word productions, exhibited visual and media arts, and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also hold community-driven artist talks, workshops, commissions and conferences. Our programming is offered to diverse audiences in Toronto and Northern Ontario.

Please share this call on Facebook, Twitter, and by email to family and friends!

Please submit your nomination to Native Women in the Arts: awards@nwia.ca 

For more info visit: www.nwia.ca/apply 

**In the event of a conflict of interest with an NWIA board member and a nominee, said NWIA Board member will recuse themselves from the selection process.

If you have any questions or need help with the application please feel free to reach out to Program Manager – Quach George at events@nwia.ca

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the winner of the fifth annual Barbara Laronde Award: Joe Wood.

2019 Barbara Laronde Award Winner, Joe Wood

Joe Wood was born in Nelson House MB, is a member of South Indian Lake First Nation, and identifies as Cree and Scottish. Joe is a self-taught visual and media artist who was raised as disabled. Her artistic practice has been a way to release anger, probe the unknown, and to express herself as a two-spirit person. Whether painting, drawing with charcoal or working with digital tools, Joe fearlessly pushes boundaries through her thoughtfully composed, minimalist aesthetic. Joe is based in North Bay, Ontario and has been a core member of Art Fix of Nipissing – a collective of artists with lived experience of mental health and substance use – contributing to project development, the design of an annual zine, and juried exhibition.

“Joe Wood’s recent work provides a glimpse into her experiences as a Two-Spirit Cree woman raised in Canada’s child welfare and mental health systems. The work is fierce yet vulnerable but most importantly, it is generous because it fearlessly speaks to truths Canada needs to hear. Her multimedia installations are created with a minimalist aesthetic which delivers a subtle yet meaningful impact – one which echoes Wood’s persona. I am grateful to this year’s Barbara Laronde jury members for providing Joe with a well-deserved opportunity to advance her career as she moves forward in her artistic endeavours.” – Chair of the Board, Aylan Couchie.

Wood was selected from a number of applications from across Northern Ontario. NWIA’s Artistic Director, Ariel Smith remarked:

“ On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA, we are thrilled to present this award to Joe Wood, in recognition of her talent, her resilience, and her commitment to her craft and community. We have no doubt she will continue to grow and evolve as a practising artist and wish her all the best in her future endeavours. NWIA is excited to support the continuing creative and professional achievements of Joe Wood with a $2500 cash prize.”

The 5th annual Barbara Laronde Award will be presented to Joe Wood on Friday, January 17 at 6 PM as part of NWIA’s Inaabandam Symposium.

The Inaabandam Symposium runs January 17 – 19, 2020, at the Toronto Media Art Centre (TMAC) located at 32 Lisgar Street in Toronto. The symposium will open with the award presentation followed by a performance from Melody McKiver, a catered reception and bar, and beats from DJ Jams.

In recognition of 2019/2020 being the 5th year of the Barbara Laronde Award, NWIA is also presenting a visual arts exhibition comprised of works by the 2015-2019 Barbara Laronde Award winners: Aylan Couchie, Janelle Wawia, Lucille Atlookan, Caitlyn Bird, and Joe Wood.

All events on Friday, January 17 are FREE and open to the community even if you will not be attending the symposium for its duration.

The Barbara Laronde Award Exhibition will be running from Friday, January 17, 2020 – Friday, January 31, 2020, daily from 11 AM – 6 PM at TMAC located at 32 Lisgar Street, Toronto, ON.

Join our FB Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/3293548850720515/

About the Barbara Laronde Award

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous Gender Marginalized artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many Northern artists face.

Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award.

About the Inaabandum Symposium

The Inaabandam symposium will foreground issues of concern and interest to Indigenous Women and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized artists from multiple disciplines including film, performing arts, visual art, and customary practices.

Inaabandam will feature open teachings with elders, panel discussions, exhibition, and reception. The symposium will take place on January 17, 18 and 19, 2020, at the Toronto Media Art Centre. Registration for the symposium is now open.

For more information on Inaabandam and to register for the symposium please visit: http://www.nwia.ca/projects/inaabandam/

About Native Women in the Arts (NWIA)

Over 25 years, NWIA has delivered theatre, dance, music, and spoken word productions and published three books of Indigenous visual art and writing. We also produce a series of community-driven artist talks, leadership and cultural workshops, youth arts projects to audiences interested in arts, culture, and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

*Gallery Photos by Liz Lott*

Inaabandam Symposium

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is pleased to officially announce the Inaabandam Symposium, co-presented with the Toronto Media Arts Centre.

REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!

Inaabandam will take place January 17, 18 and 19, 2020, at the Toronto Media Art Centre (TMAC) on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississauga of the Credit, and the traditional territories of the Huron Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe. Inaabandam (pronounced in-aw-buhn-duhm) means “to dream a certain way” in Anishinaabemowin. 

The Inaabandam Symposium will foreground issues of concern and interest to Indigenous Women and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized artists from multiple disciplines including film, performing arts, visual arts, and customary practices.

Inaabandam will feature teachings with elders; panel discussions with Indigenous artists, curators and leaders; a visual art exhibition, and an opening night reception. 

Panelist and moderators include Teddy Syrette, Melody McKiver, Tiio Horn, Janet Rogers, Jenny Blackbird, Kaya DaCosta, Joi T. Arcand, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Susan Blight, Aylan Couchie, Darlene Naponse,Thirza Curhand, Fallon Simard, Niki Little, Megan Feheley, Jocelyn Piirainen, Raven Davies, Dan and Mary Lou Smoke, Elwood Jimmy, Pam Palmater, Tannis Neilson, and more!

On Friday, January 17, 2020, from 5 PM11 PM the Inaabandam Symposium will open with the presentation of the 5th annual Barbara Laronde Award to winner Joe Wood. This will be followed by a musical performance from Melody McKiver, and a catered reception with bar and beats by DJ Jams.

Friday, January 17, 2020, will also be the opening of the Barbara Laronde Award Exhibition, on site at TMAC. This special exhibition will include work from the winners of the 2015 – 2018 Barbara Laronde Awards: Aylan Couchie, Janelle Wawia, Lucille Atlookan, Caitlyn Bird, as well as the 2019 Barbara Laronde Award Winner – Joe Wood. All events on Friday, January 17 are free and open to the public even if you are not registering for the symposium and attending it for its duration.

The Barbara Laronde Award Exhibition will be running from Friday, January 17, 2020 – Friday, January 31, 2020, daily from 11 AM – 6 PM in TMAC’s “Small Gallery” at 32 Lisgar Street, Toronto, ON. 

For more information on the Inaabandam Symposium, including schedule, event descriptions and accessibility, please visit the NWIA website www.nwia.ca/.

Registration

The cost of registration for the symposium will be $50 for the whole weekend or FREE for those who are low income. Registration for the symposium can be done at https://inaabandam.eventbrite.com.

Please note that after registering through Eventbrite NWIA will be sending delegates an Inaabandam Symposium info form to be filled out. This form allows us to get to know the needs of our symposium delegates (dietary, accessibility etc.) as we strive to best serve our community. 

Travel Subsidy

NWIA is able to offer a limited amount of travel and accommodation subsidies for Indigenous delegates traveling from out of town, who would not otherwise be able to attend the symposium. Priority will be given to emerging artists and artists from more remote communities. 

To apply for the travel subsidy complete this online form https://forms.gle/EahSZzLT1vR9Lyyr9.

Those who qualify will be contacted to book travel and accommodation.

Accessibility

At Native Women the Arts, we aim to create an environment that is considerate, barrier-free and accommodating to our community. Please visit our in-depth accessibility page before attending the symposium for more info http://www.nwia.ca/insymp19accessibility/

If you require further assistance in attending the conference please contact Program Manager, Quach George at events@nwia.ca

Barbara Laronde Award 

The Barbara Laronde Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists. It celebrates and acknowledges the career of one outstanding, emerging, Northern-Ontario based Indigenous Gender Marginalized artist, recognizing the geographic and economic barriers that many Northern artists face.

Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA paved the way for many Indigenous artists at various stages of their careers. The award is named after her mother, Barbara, who has been the backbone of her family and a leader in the Northern Ontario community, Temagami First Nation. Barbara inspired her children to be creative and entrepreneurial, and it is with this spirit that NWIA launched this award.

Toronto Media Arts Centre

The Toronto Media Arts Centre (TMAC) is a new permanent home for Toronto’s media arts organizations, and an accessible public space for art, creation and collaboration in the Queen West Triangle.

In the heart of Toronto’s Art and Design District, TMAC is a diverse and collaborative environment where everyone can engage meaningfully with art and technology. TMAC integrates creation, production, presentation, education, conservation and dissemination practices and with a focus on community building and inclusivity.

Native Women in the Arts

NWIA (Native Women in the Arts) is a not-for-profit organization for First Nations, Inuit and Métis women, and other Indigenous Gender Marginalized folks who share the common interest of art, culture, community and the advancement of Indigenous peoples.

**For NWIA “Gender Marginalized” includes Women, Trans Men, as well as Two Spirit people who may identify as Non-Binary or Gender Queer.