Nominations Now Open for the 9th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award. Deadline to apply is January 31, 2024.

This 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, Two Spirit, gender non-conforming). You can nominate yourself or another artist. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and up to 2 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, 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 (examples: Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving)

    • Visual Arts (examples: Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation, and Performance Art)

    • Performing Arts (examples: Dance, Music, Theatre) 

    • Media Arts (examples: Film, Video, New Media)

    • Literary Arts (examples: 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.

  • Individuals who have been shortlisted for the award previously are still eligible to win the award.

  • Previous winners of the Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award are ineligible to be shortlisted or win the award.

Please ensure your nomination includes all of the following items :

  • Artist Resume or CV

  • Short bio up to 250 words max

  • A 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: November 10, 2023

Nomination Deadline: January 31, 2024

Winner Announced: April 2024

Value of Award: $5,000 for prize winner/ $1,500 for up to 2 shortlisted nominees

Award Jury: *NWIA Board of Directors 

Please submit your nomination directly to Native Women in the Arts at awards@nwia.ca You may also direct any inquiries regarding the award if you have any questions.  

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

*In the event of a direct conflict of interest between an NWIA board member and a nominee, said NWIA Board members will recuse themselves from the selection process. Examples of direct conflicts of interest include a nominee being a family member, partner, employee, or employer of a board member, A board member being from the same community/band 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. 

Our Vision: To support and celebrate the achievement of Indigenous 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 Emerging Artist 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 theater, 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, Northern Ontario, and online.

History: The Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde, and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists Sandra Laronde’s 19 years of leadership at NWIA that 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.

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

Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the shortlisted nominees and winner of the 8th 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 Northern Ontario 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 8th Annual Barbara Laronde Award are Teddy SyretteEvelyn Pakinewatik, and Cheavaun Toulouse

The Winner of the 8th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Awards is Storm Angeconeb.
 

Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award Recipient 
Storm Angeconeb

Storm Angeconeb is an Ojibwe visual artist from Treaty Three Territory, Lac Seul First Nation. Who was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and currently resides in Red Lake, Ontario. 

Much of Storms’ work includes animals and birds as representations of herself or those close to her. Over the past few years, her artwork has been seen throughout Winnipeg from murals to lightboxes. Storm continues to practice her art through painting, digital art, and beadwork.
 

Image: Storm Angeconeb, Creation Story, Digital.

Storm Angeconeb 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 Storm Angeconeb and to recognize her commitment to the development of her artistic practice. We are confident that Storm 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 Storm Angeconeb with a $5,000 cash prize and to acknowledge each of our shortlisted nominees: Teddy Syrette, Chevaun Toulouse, and Evelyn Pakinewatik with a $1,500 prize. A huge congratulations to all!”
 

Image: Storm Angeconeb, Sisters, Digital.

The Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award

The Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist 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.

Image: Storm Angeconb, Aandeg, Digital. 

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. 

Exhibition: Materialized

Native Women in the Arts and Critical Distance Centre for Curators are pleased to present Materialized in partnership with Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and Partners in Art. The exhibition is curated by Ariel Smith and features works by Joi T. Arcand, Celeste Pedri-Spade, and Catherine Blackburn, with a public art billboard by Nadya Kwandibens.

On view: April 21 – June 3, 2023 / Opening reception: Friday, April 21, 2023
 

Image: Catherine Blackburn, Scooped (detail), 2017, photos, 24 kt gold-plated beads, seed beads, thread, 12 x 9cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Combining portrait photography with elements from adornment arts, textiles, sculpture, and customary Indigenous art practices, Materialized examines themes of intergenerational memory, familial narrative, and decolonization. By using their craft to reclaim portraiture as a form of self-expression and self-determination, each artist resists the colonial metanarratives contained in settler-made images of Indigenous subjects.

Images left to right: Celeste Pedri-Spade, Shirley’s Tobacco Bag, 2014, Delica beads, brain-tanned moose hide. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Rebecca Bose. 

Joi T. Arcand, Through That Which is Scene, 2014, found objects, photographs, acrylic sheets, wood, glue. Courtesy of the artist.

Through their multifaceted practices, the artists in Materialized individually and collectively raise—and unpack—crucial questions about photography: How can photographs—both archival and contemporary—support personal and familial histories? And how can these same photographs act as the basis for social, political, and conceptual explorations of Indigenous identity when they are put through a process of physical materialization?

Image: Nadya Kwandibens, Shiibaashka’igan: Honouring the Sacred Jingle Dress, 2019, digital photography. Courtesy of the artist.

As a satellite component of this indoor exhibition, Animakee Wa Zhing #37  First Nation artist and recently appointed Toronto Photo Laureate, Nadya Kwandibens’ photograph Shiibaashka’igan: Honouring the Sacred Jingle Dress (2019) will be presented on a public billboard located outside Artscape Youngplace at 180 Shaw Street.

Please join us for the opening reception on April 21, 2023, from 6 PM to 8 PM. A panel with the artists and curator will take place on April 22, 2023,  from 1 PM to 3 PM at Urbanspace Gallery. Capacity is limited, register on Eventbrite.

Opening Reception: April 21, 2012, 6 PM – 8 PM, 401 Richmond Building, Suite 122

Artists Panel: April 22, 2023, 1 PM – 3 PM, 401 Richmond Building, Ground Floor

Location & Accessibility Information

Critical Distance Gallery is located on the ground floor at 401 Richmond, a wheelchair-accessible building with a ramp at the Richmond Street doors, and an accessible washroom on every level. The gallery is equipped with automatic doors and access to exhibitions, artworks, publications, and events is prioritized from development through production for all programs. This exhibition will include visual description. Information on additional access measures will be posted as it becomes available. For further access-related questions, please contact Critical Distance Gallery at info@criticaldistance.ca

Artists & Organizations

Celeste Pedri-Spade is an Anishinabekwe artist from Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation. She identifies as a “mark maker” who works primarily with textiles and photography. Celeste holds a PhD in Visual Anthropology and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University where she is also the inaugural Associate Provost of Indigenous Initiatives. Her art practice is committed to honouring the women in her life and exploring the tactile and sensuous meanings made possible through creative entanglements with our material environments.

Joi T. Arcand is an artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan, Treaty 6 Territory, currently residing in Ottawa, Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan in 2006. In 2018, Arcand was shortlisted for the prestigious Sobey Art Award. Her practice includes installation, photography, and design and is characterized by a visionary and subversive reclamation and indigenization of public spaces through the use of Cree language and syllabics. She is currently a student at University nuhelotʼįne thaiyotsʼį nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills and a member of the art and curatorial collective: Wolf Babe.

Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak Saskatchewan, of Dene and European ancestry, and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweler, whose common themes address Canada’s colonial past which is often prompted by personal narratives. Her work merges mixed media and fashion to create a dialogue between historical art forms and new interpretations of them. Through utilizing beadwork and other historical adornment techniques, she creates space to explore Indigenous sovereignty, decolonization, and representation. Her work has been exhibited in notable national and international exhibitions and fashion runways.

Nadya Kwandibens is Anishinaabe from the Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation in northwestern Ontario. She is an award-winning photographer and a Canon Ambassador. In 2008 she founded Red Works Photography. Red Works is a dynamic photography company empowering contemporary Indigenous lifestyles and cultures through photographic essays, features, and portraits. Red Works specializes in natural light portraiture and headshot sessions plus event and concert photography. Nadya’s photography has been exhibited in group and solo shows across Canada and the United States. She currently resides in Tkarón:to on Wendat, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga of the Credit River & Dish With One Spoon Territory.

Ariel Smith is an award-winning nêhiyaw, white settler and Jewish filmmaker, video artist, writer, and cultural worker. Having created independent media art since 2001, she has shown at festivals and galleries across Canada and Internationally.

Ariel has worked as a programmer/curator for such organizations as Saw Gallery, The Ottawa International Animation Festival, Reel Canada, imagineNATIVE, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, and the National Gallery of Canada. Ariel works as the Artistic and Managing Director of Native Women in the Arts and is in the process of completing an MFA in Film Production from York University.

Critical Distance Centre for Curators (CDCC), a not-for-profit gallery, publisher, and professional network devoted to the support and advancement of curatorial inquiry in Toronto, Canada, and beyond.

With a focus on critically-engaged, collaborative, and cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making, Critical Distance is an open platform for diverse curatorial perspectives, and a forum for the exchange of ideas on curating as a way to connect, engage, and inform people and publics across cultures, disciplines, geographies, and generations.

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 8th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award

This 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, Two Spirit, 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, 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 (examples: Beading, Carving, Quillwork, Tufting, Weaving)
    • Visual Arts (examples: Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation, and Performance Art)
    • Performing Arts (examples: Dance, Music, Theatre) 
    • Media Arts (examples: Film, Video, New Media)
    • Literary Arts (examples: 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.
  • Individuals who have been shortlisted for the award previously are still eligible to win the award.
  • Previous winners of the Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Award are ineligible to be shortlisted or win the award.

Please ensure your nomination includes all of the following items :

  • Artist Resume or CV
  • Short bio up to 250 words max
  • A 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 7, 2022

Nomination Deadline: December 31, 2022

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

Award Jury: *NWIA Board of Directors

Please submit your nomination directly to Native Women in the Arts at awards@nwia.ca You may also direct any inquiries regarding the award if you have any questions. 
 

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

*In the event of a direct conflict of interest between an NWIA board member and a nominee, said NWIA Board members will recuse themselves from the selection process. Examples of direct conflicts of interest include a nominee being a family member, partner, employee, or employer of a board member, A board member being from the same community/band 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. 

Our Vision for Award: To support and celebrate the achievement of Indigenous 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 theater, 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, Northern Ontario, and online.

History: The Barbara Laronde award was created to honour the legacy of NWIA founder Sandra Laronde, and her vision and commitment to Indigenous artists 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.


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

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 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.

Inaabandam Symposium

SAVE THE DATE!

Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) is pleased to announce that we will be hosting a symposium titled Inaabandam January 17 – 19, 2020, in Toronto, Ontario. 

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

Inaabandam will feature open teachings with elders, panel discussions, exhibitions, receptions, and screenings.

Inaabandam will take place January 17, 18 and 19, 2020, at the Toronto Media Art Centre on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the traditional territories of the Huron – Wendat, Haudenosaunee, and Anishinaabe.

Registration for Inaabandam will begin on Friday, November 1, 2019.

The cost of registration will be $50 for the whole weekend or free for those who are low income and get be done through Eventbrite at https://inaabandam.eventbrite.com.

Inaabandam (pronounced in-aw-buhn-duhm) means to dream a certain way in Anishinaabemowin.

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

Stay tuned for the full program schedule and more details. 

Nominations Now Open for the Barbara Laronde Award – Deadline September 30, 2019

This call for nominations is open to emerging Indigenous artists from Northern Ontario who identify as Women (Trans, Non-Binary, Genderqueer, Two Spirited & Cis). Please note that you can nominate yourself or someone else.

Eligibility:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • To be considered for an award the artist must be an Indigenous person living in Northern Ontario (Métis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status First Nations peoples)
  • This award is for Indigenous artists who identify as Women which includes Trans and Two-Spirit Women as well as Cis Women. This award is also open to Two-Spirit artists who may identify as Non-binary and Genderqueer who prefer the use of they/them pronouns.
  • Must be at the emerging stages of artistic career. We define an emerging artist as:
    • In the early stage 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 artists by other artists, curators, producers, critics, community members, and arts administrators.
    • One who shows significant potential, yet may be under-recognized
  • 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
  • Must 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 apply.
  • Individuals can also nominate an eligible artist they feel deserves this award.

To apply please submit the following:

  • One-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 original artworks.
  • A full length bio and resume
  • If you are submitting on behalf of yourself please include a letter of support from someone who is familiar with your career in the arts.

Application Deadline: September 30, 2019

Value of Award: $1500 Cash

Please note: The award recipient will be chosen by the board of directors of NWIA

Our Vision: To support and celebrate the achievement of an Indigenous Women (Trans, Non-Binary, Genderqueer, Two Spirited & Cis) artist from Northern Ontario, and to provide financial support and career enhancing opportunities to encourage their continued excellence.

The Impact: The Barbara Laronde Award will foster the careers of emerging artists from Indigenous (on and off reserve) communities in Northern Ontario by showcasing excellence and innovation. NWIA recognizes the geographic and economic barriers that many Northern artists face, and aims to support artists by creating connections, professional development, and performance opportunities. 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.

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

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

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

Raven Chacon Mini-Festival

Native Women in the Arts, The Music Gallery, and Arraymusic present Raven Chacon Mini-Festival.

We are pleased to team up once again with The Music Gallery along with Arraymusic to present the Raven Chacon mini-festival featuring the world premiere of For Zitkála-Šá, dedicated to the first American Indian librettist.

Friday, April 12 – Sunday, April 14, 2019
Doors: 7:30PM | Concert: 8PM
The Music Gallery, 918 Bathurst St.
$20 Regular / $10 Members, Students / $15 Advance at musicgallery.org

Festival pass $30

Originally from the Navajo Nation, Raven Chacon, born in 1977, is a composer of chamber music, a performer of experimental noise music, and an installation artist. He performs regularly as a solo artist as well as with numerous ensembles in the Southwest and beyond, and was a long-time member of the Indigenous art collective Postcommodity. Chacon’s work explores sounds of acoustic handmade instruments overdriven through electric systems and the direct and indirect audio feedback responses from their interactions.

FRIDAY NIGHT 4.12

On Friday night, the Array ensemble takes on a selection of Chacon’s chamber works including a newly commissioned work.

SATURDAY NIGHT 4.13

Native Women in the Arts co-presents Saturday night’s For Zitkála-Šá, dedicated to the Dakota violin teacher, activist, and librettist for The Sun Dance Opera, (1913), the first American Indian opera. Each composition is custom written for an Indigenous woman currently working in contemporary music performance or composition: Suzanne Kite, Laura Ortman, Carmina Escobar, and Cheryl L’Hirondelle. The evening also features Raven collaborating with the caustic improvisation of c_RL (Allison Cameron, Nicole Rampersaud, and Germaine Liu).

SUNDAY 4.14

On Sunday, Anishinaabe-Irish (Nipissing First Nation) saxophonist Olivia Shortt (Stereoscope Duo, Dialectica) opens the show with an intensely wide-ranging approach to her instrument.