Manitoba Wins Big at Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards

Posted on

Manitoba was the big winner at the 2005 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (CAMA). Six local acts took home a total of eight awards at the gala event in Toronto on November 25, including double winners Little Hawk and Ryan D’Aoust. The annual event, now in its seventh year, is held to honour the achievements of outstanding Aboriginal musicians and industry members in Canada.

Little Hawk, aka Blue Bomber Troy Westwood, took home trophies for Best Album of the Year and Best Folk Album for his album 1492-1975. Sixteen-year-old left-handed fiddler Ryan D’Aoust won Best Fiddle Album for his album Southside of the Strings. D’Aoust, who hails from Norway House, was also awards the Galaxie Rising Stars Award, an award won last year by fellow Manitoba act Burnt. Galaxie, CBC’s Continuous Music Network, grants the award to a promising newcomer in Aboriginal music.

Other winners include Burnt for Best Group or Duo, Hank Horton for Best Country Album, and Kimberley Dawn for Best Song/Single. Lisa Meeches and Kyle Irving took the Best Television Program Award home to Winnipeg, for the program First Nation Invasion. This is the first year that the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards celebrate the producers with the Best Television Program Award.

The CAMAs are a highlight of the annual Canadian Aboriginal Festival (CANAB), North America’s largest multi-disciplinary Aboriginal arts event, which took place November 21-27 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. A delegation of 17 local solo artists and bands, totaling 32 individuals attended and showcased at the festival, making 2005 one of Manitoba’s strongest showings in the 12-year history of the event.

In addition to many of the 2005 CAMA nominees, the Manitoba delegation includes several showcasing acts that took over Toronto's Original Motorcycle Cafe & Lounge on Saturday night for an evening of incredible music, including Juno Award-winning rock act Eagle & Hawk and CAMA winner Kimberley Dawn. All 17 acts will travel to Toronto with the MARIA's Aboriginal Music Program.

The showcase and trip to Toronto are signature events in MARIA's Aboriginal Music Program and coincide with the release of the second Manitoba Aboriginal Artists promotional CD, co-produced by MARIA and NCI radio. All 18 acts on the CD are participants in the Aboriginal Music Program, which provides promotional and professional development activities for Aboriginal artists organized by Aboriginal Music Program Director Errol Ranville and Aboriginal Music Program Coordinator Alan Greyeyes.

The delegation traveled with the support of The Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism – Arts Branch, and MANITOBA FILM & SOUND, as well as the Manitoba Music and Motion Picture (M3P) program.

With the support of MARIA's Aboriginal Music Program, Aboriginal artists participate in workshops, showcases and business development programs targeted to develop their careers in music. Other partners in this program include Western Economic Diversification Canada and Manitoba Advance Education and Training – Employment and Training Services.

In 2006, the CAMAs will leave Toronto for the first time and travel to Winnipeg where awards will be handed out on November 3, 2006 at the MTS Centre. The event will coincide with the inaugural Manitoba Aboriginal Festival, presented by the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation, running November 4-5, 2006.

For a complete list of nominees and winners for the 2005 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, please visit

Read more news