On March 30, 2014, the finest of Canadian talent including aboriginal musicians will take the stage in Winnipeg, Manitoba for the 43rd annual Juno’s. Juno.ca quotes Winnipeg’s Mayor Sam Katz saying that Winnipeg is a dynamic, energetic city full of music and culture. It is the home of several Juno Award winners and nominees. Katz goes on to say that they are known for great food and excellent hospitality.
Winnipeg was recently named one of the Culture Capitals of Canada. It is home to such acts as The Weakerthans, Del Barber, The Wailin’ Jennys, Imaginary Cities, Doc Walker, and many others. The city has a great diversity of music genres, including award-winning Aboriginal and Francophone artists.
According to a CBC article, the five Aboriginal musicians at the Juno’s represent very different yet equally amazing musicians. They will shape the way that Aboriginals are seen at the Juno’s and change history once more. It is too bad they won’t be showcased live as their talent is equal to any that will take the stage.
Desiree Dorion a Métis born in Manitoba, whose music contributions not only includes two major albums; she’s also a music workshop teacher, a very accomplished lawyer, and a soon to be mother of two children. Her album Small Town Stories is an excellent example of country music at its best.
Also a country music singer, Nathan Cunningham is from Alberta. Not only does he lead a legitimate country music life, he has done a lot of wonderful collaboration including some in the hip hop genre.
Cunningham’s Road Renditions album won multiple Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards last summer. He also teamed up with Smashville and is featured currently on a good song called Money with a friend of his, Rellik. Cunningham’s latest work is on an album Highway Reclamation, an ode to life on the road as a singer.
Inez Jasper is a proud member of the Chilliwack’s Sto:lo Nation. Jasper takes what has been passed down over generations and delivers it in a respectful, fresh way. Jasper’s album Burn Me Down is possibly a dance album, following closely with her culture.
Ottawa’s Amanda Rheaume is from both the NWT near the Hudson Bay and Manitoba’s north. Rheaume’s latest album Keep a Fire pays respect to the gift she has and shares with all music lovers.
Lillooet’s George Leach is one of the heavy hitters of this category this year. Leach is a hard-working, energetic singer who will not stop his concerts even in the rain. Leach is a nonstop festival of music; everyone should experience his Surrender album.
These Aboriginal musicians represent a vast and ever-changing pool of remarkable Canadian talent at the Juno’s. On March 30 when Canada is celebrating the accomplishments of its musical leaders, the above mentioned will be considered for holding down a category that still is not broadcast live but is one of the most important.
Opinion by: Nicole Drawc