News

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 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.