Native Women in the Arts is pleased to announce the shortlisted nominees and winner of the 9th 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 9th Annual Barbara Laronde Award are Lucia LafordAmber WabooseSara KanutskiLeslie Neshkiwe, and Acadia Solomon.

The Winner of the 9th Annual Barbara Laronde Emerging Artist Awards is Mishiikenh Kwe Autumn Smith.
 

Mishiikenh Kwe

Mishiikenh Kwe (Turtle woman, Autumn Smith) is an Anishinaabe woodland artist from the caribou clan, and a member of Magnetawan First Nation. Her research based practice revolves mainly around using art as a way to remember what she has learned and to help teach others. Autumn’s main inspirations are stories passed on from her grandmother and moments taken directly from her own lived experience as an Anishinaabe Kwe.
 

Saabe Dream c.2023

Mishiikenh Kwe was selected from a number of nominees from across Northern Ontario. NWIA’s Artistic Director, Quach George remarked: “ On behalf of the Board and staff of NWIA, we are thrilled to present this award to Mishiikenh Kwe and to recognize her commitment to the development of her artistic practice. We are confident that Mishiikenh Kwe 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 Mishiikenh Kwe with a $5,000 cash prize and to acknowledge each of our shortlisted nominees: Lucia Laford, Amber Waboose, Sara Kanutski, Leslie Neshkiwe, and Acadia Solomon with a $1,500 prize. A huge congratulations to all!”
 

Mishibizhiw and the Canoers c.2022


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.
 

Rest c.2022

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 presents Thirst Nation: Dusk, at the TD Music Hall, Saturday, March 30, 2024, with performances from Tygr Willy, Mx. Caligula, Thrasher, Indigibabes – Madame Ode’Miin Surprise, Salty Bae, Nenoo Freebird, and Bitchtina Columbitch, Janis Jameson, fox L’amour, Daisy Badcock, and DJ Gussyee. 

Thirst Nation is a queer artistic event series that prioritizes and elevates queer Indigenous folks who are Trans, 2 Spirit or IndigiQueer from across Turtle Island and neighboring nations to the south. The series has functioned as a cabaret, talk-show, and now an immersive artistic party centered on joy, celebration, sexuality and queer expression. 

After the success of their first event ‘Thirst Nation: Chill’ at the Rhubarb Festival hosted by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Native Women in the Arts is proud to present ‘Thirst Nation: Dusk’ on Saturday, March 30, 2024, from 8PM – 12AM at the TD Music Hall, 178 Victoria St, Toronto.

Featuring up and coming DJ Gussyee, with performing artists Indigibabes Burlesque – Bitchtina ColumbitchSalty Bay, and Nenoo Freebird. Local starlets Janis Jamesonfox L’amourDaisy Badcock, and Thrasher. With Ottawa’s Caligula and your hosts for the evening; ‘Canada’s Them Fatale’ Tygr Willy and ‘Mother of the House of Indigibabe’s Burlesque’ Madam Ode’miin Surprise.

Step into the seductive thrivance of Thirst Nation: Dusk, a tantalizing soirée set to ignite the TD Music Hall with an evening of Indigi-queer euphoria. Surrender to a symphony of sensuality and explore the depths of desire amidst a tapestry of leather, wetness, blue hues, fiery oranges, and the enchantment of sunset. Join us as we revel in the allure of our theme, where artists and guests alike are urged to immerse themselves fully.

Tickets Are on Sale Now!  

General Admission – $30, Indigenous Discount Code: DUSK24 
 

TYGR WILLY

Don’t worry babes, Tygr Willy burnt down Neverland and saved all those thotty Faeries. Tygr Willy is Canada’s Them Fatale sure to leave you tongue tied. They’re part of the illustrious K-POP Drag Girl group ‘the Rice Queens’, and the group has toured to Ottawa Capital Pride and Calgary Pride this past summer 2023. They’re notorious for producing such events as; Thirst Nation, Our Flag Means Queer, Passion Fruit, Colour Me Now, and Drop Deadly Gorgeous: the Pageant.  All events prioritizing the Drag, Burlesque, Club Kid nightlife scene focusing on gender expansive and racialized artists.

DJ – GUSSYEE

GUSSYEE is an Indigenous DJ, producer and artist residing in Tkaronto whose work is a multidisciplinary queer approach to challenging coloniality and environmental destruction while emphasizing the sovereignty of two-spirit bodies. Expressing individuality across cultural practices is an important part of the artistic process for GUSSYEE, subversion, strife and confrontational imagery expressed through indigenous beliefs creates dialogue between the artist and their approach to conceiving art.

GUSSYEE is an up-and-coming force in queer nightlife, recently becoming a resident DJ at Houndstooth Bar with their BYOV event. Furthering their practice, GUSSYEE is premiering INFERNO – a demonic inspired queer rave that is specifically curated for trans and 2spirit identifying individuals on March 21st at Drom Taberna.

MADAME ODE’MIIN SURPISE

The creator of IndigiBabes Burlesque. Madame Ode’Miin Surprise is the mother of Babes, an auntie, artist, and educator. Madame is truly like a craving for strawberries on a warm summer evening, mouthwatering and sweet with a little tartness that will always leave you wanting more!

SALTY BAE

Member of IndigiBabes Burlesque, Salty Baby hails from the rocky shores of the Bay of Islands, Newfoundland. They bring the salty Atlantic Ocean with a side of sass! Be prepared to get wet!

MX. CALIGULA

Caligula (they/she) is a 23yo métis drag artist based in Ottawa. A student of the game for over 3 years now, Caligula’s drag is all about blending the smart and the stupid together in a high energy, choreo-filled, and out of the box package.

When not hosting their monthly show, Caligula’s Cabinet of Curiosities, you can find Caligula working on wild mixes, designing visuals for their numbers or scurrying around your local thrift store like the gremlin they truly are. 

As a former Mx Capital Pride winner, Caligula’s goal is to highlight the diverse beauty of non binary drag.

THRASHER

Thrasher is a distressingly stunning mixed Indigenous and European, Queer, classically trained dancer and aerialist. In her almost 15-year burlesque career, she has performed on national and international stages, including Vienna and Montreal, as a solo performer, and she is ½ of the Dynamite Duo TnT. She regularly appears in Toronto at Live at The Funktion, produced by Sweet Rosie Mae. She has also performed with Bootleggers Burlesque, Legacy Cabaret, Les Femme Fatal Women of Colour Burlesque and many more! She has appeared in TV commercials and the feature film Becoming Burlesque, directed by Jackie English. You won’t be able to take your eyes off of her as she commands the stage.

Thirst Nation

Thirst Nation is an Indigenous Queer and 2-Spirit cultural impact that bridges the artistic communities with shared or allied sexuality, gender expansion and creative expression. First created as a late-night talk and cabaret formatted show during the 2020 lockdowns, the show was created by Anishinaabe/Chinese/White mixed raced artist Tyler J Sloane under the name “Thirsty 2 Spirit Tuesdays” through the Glad Day Lit and Twitch Platform. Due to the viewership of the show and the ability to bridge folks from across Turtle Island and the Tri-Nations, the show rebranded to Thirst Nation with Weird Alice assisting administratively . The design and format created by Tygr Willy, the duo brought on Performance Artists in the forms of; Burlesque, Clown, Clown, Drag, and Stand-up. The show held a beacon for bringing positivity and uplifting audience members of Indigenous background and allied communities. The show continued from 2020 to 2021 where it culminated in its online format during the 2021 Pride Toronto Hybrid Festival.

This new era of Thirst Nation now launches into an in-person gathering of artistry, expression, and pride. Tygr Willy brings a new team: multidisciplinary Filipinx Canadian artist Alexi Pedneault/Kuya Atay with initial consultation by T’ànchày Redverse/Midnight Wolverine – a multidisciplinary performer, writer, and Draglesque artist, Riley Kucheran – a fashion designer and reIndigenizing scholar who recently helmed the successful ‘Unceded Dancefloors’.


Kwe Performance Series

Thirst Nation: Dusk is presented as part of the 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.
 

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 disciplines 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. 


Accessibility Information

  • TD Music Hall is wheelchair-accessible
  • Private, barrier free washrooms are available at TD Music Hall.
  • There is no parking at TD Music Hall, however accessible parking is available in adjacent buildings.
  • TD Music Hall offers special (priority) access. Advance booking of this service is not required. However advance booking may be done by emailing: frontofhouse@mh-rth.com.
  • A limited number of courtesy wheelchairs are also available at TD Music Hall. Advance booking of this service is not required. However advance booking may be done by emailing: frontofhouse@mh-rth.com.
  • Support persons who are accompanying guests with special needs are welcome at TD Music Hall. All guests, including support persons, must have a purchased ticket to attend a performance or event.
  • Service and support animals are welcome at TD Music Hall. Service animals should have either a visible indicator, or an identification card or letter from a healthcare practitioner confirming that the customer requires the animal for reasons relating to a disability. You may contact the box office at: contactus@mh-rth.com to ensure suitable seating is reserved.
  • Patrons are discouraged from wearing scented products however we cannot guarantee a scent-free environment.
  • Certified First Aid, Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) service providers are on duty for every event. Please contact any usher if these services are required.

    Tygr Willy Photography by: Kikki Guerard

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

Women’s Hand Drumming in partnership with IndigenEd and the Centre for Indigenous Theatre

Native Women in the Arts, in partnership with IndigenEd & Centre for Indigenous Theatre, is pleased to present Women’s Hand Drumming.

This series of women’s hand-drumming sessions are intended as practice and learning spaces for emerging and novice drummers. Origin stories of songs, protocols, leading songs, and cultural contexts will be integrated into the teaching of each song & participants are encouraged to share their knowledge. These sessions aim to respect a diversity of teachings & beliefs – all participants are asked to attend with this intention in mind.

Fall Schedule:

Thursday, Oct. 12 – Veronica – Intention, Connection & Gratitude
Thursday, Oct. 26 – Aqua – Two Spirit Truth
Thursday, Nov. 9 – Veronica – Being Responsible for our Energy
Thursday, Nov. 23 – Veronica – Respect, Shaming & Moon Lodge
Thursday, Dec. 7 – Veronica – Affirmations & Manifesting

Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Address: 180 Shaw St, Suite 209, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5

These sessions are open to all female-identified and non-binary individuals. A light snack and refreshments will be provided. Children are always welcome. Please note that childcare is not provided. Sessions are DROP-IN & FREE though registration is requested. Please send your name and email address to drumming@nwia.ca, along with any questions you may have. There is no deadline for registration, and this circle will invite new members continuously.

Goals:

1. Gather and empower female identified people through music and ceremony.

2. Revitalize the traditional principles of gender equality mechanisms and spiritual practices and recognize rematriation in progress as a way to decolonize.

Featured Hand Drummer Hosts:

Veronica Johnny, Muskose’wukaw pussa’w Iskwao (Meadow Valley Woman) – is of mixed Cree Metis & Dene First Nations descent. She is a traditional & contemporary two-spirit Indigenous hand-drummer from Fort Smith, NWT. Veronica shares indigenous teachings, hosts drum circles and sings healing songs for the good of all life everywhere. She facilitates arts-education workshops including self-esteem, music and cultural teachings. Veronica is also a singer/songwriter and the front woman, vocalist and manager of The Johnnys, a high-energy rock band she founded with husband Dave Johnny; and an artist entrepreneur as the founder of IndigenEd – Indigenous Education for all – “creating understanding between Indigenous and non-indigenous people.”

Aqua Nibii Waawaaskone (Water Flower) is a hand-drummer and singer/songwriter. Aqua crafts music reflecting her deep respect for Indigenous traditions, and determination to thrive as an artist, Métis woman of Ojibwe descent. On one hand her process is one of purposeful reflection and healing, translating life’s challenges into melody and verse to uplift herself and others. On the other, she is mindful of remaining open to universal energies, allowing spirit to channel music through her, unfiltered, with surprising, powerful results. Aqua works to empower youth and women, is a longstanding facilitator of community drum circles, a partner with several Indigenous organizations, regularly collaborates with like-minded artists, and facilitates cultural workshops across Ontario.

Notes:

Along with learning and singing drum songs, each session will focus on one or more topics – indigenous teachings & perspectives will be shared within each.

To encourage giving the participants more experience, each facilitator will choose a helper each session.

Join the FB Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1475293159229919/