Innovative Technology Keeps Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards Running Smoothly

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On Friday, November 3rd at the MTS Centre in downtown Winnipeg, music fans will witness history in the making with the inaugural Aboriginal People's Choice (APC) Music Awards.

Honouring the best in Aboriginal music, this spectacular gala event will feature performances by the best Aboriginal recording artists from across the continent, playing unforgettable music for fans of all nations. Making this event even more unique is how technology is being used to introduce and share aboriginal music and culture with all Canadians and audiences around the world.

According to Errol Ranville, Executive Producer of the Manito Ahbee Festival and APC Music Awards, this is the first time that online voting will be used for an awards show of this caliber. "It is also a first for the Aboriginal community, where people from every nation - the fans, can participate in selecting their favourite artists. The people will truly decide” he stated.

IBM and Function Four, a Winnipeg-based technology company, are each playing key roles in ensuring that the technology behind the awards runs efficiently and effectively. Providing a full range of technology solutions, both companies have worked together to provide a high-tech, automated online voting, registration and artist catalogue system.

“We are excited about the use of technology to engage Aboriginal people in the voting process, and we are proud to be working with one of our Aboriginal Business Partners in the development and delivery of a reliable platform to support the goals of the Peoples' Choice Music Awards,” stated John Longbottom, Aboriginal Market Development Executive for IBM Canada Ltd.

“Making technology more available to the Aboriginal community and sustainable capacity development of the community are two objectives of IBM's National Aboriginal strategy. The Awards program gives us another opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to the Aboriginal community, and we are pleased to be working with the Awards staff and Function Four to deliver this unique system” he continued.

“It is exciting to be using technology to engage the Aboriginal Community in celebration of its people, music and culture,” added Bruce Hardy, President of Function Four. “As an innovations company, we are typically behind the scenes, conducting research on how the Internet is affecting various aspects of our society. Our partnership with IBM has enhanced the opportunity to apply technology in extremely innovative and creative ways.”

Results will be tabulated by an outside accounting firm, with the results kept secret (even from event organizers) until the night of the awards.

"IBM and Function Four are integral parts of our technology team," continued Ranville. "With this system in place, we will be able to engage the Aboriginal community not just in the use of technology, but in the voting process itself. In the future, we may even be able to use the information collected in our database to determine what segments of our community are voting, how they heard about us, and the best way to reach people. It's all about building relationships and connecting with the fans."

Voting for the Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards is fast and easy. Starting on August 7th, fans can vote online for their favourite artists in each category. This will narrow down the selection of nominees, with 3-5 artists chosen for each category. Final voting to select the winners begins September 13th, ending on October 13th.

Here's the scoop on the voting process:

1. Visit
2. Browse the artist profiles and listen to artist submissions.
3. When you are ready, select "Online Membership" to register.
4. Fill in the online form.
5. Once you submit this form, you will receive a PIN and password by email.
6. Return to this site and log in with the PIN and the password. If a round of voting is happening, vote for your favourite artist in each category. Vote as many times as you like!
7. Come back regularly to sample new submissions and cast your vote - new artists are added daily!

It's really that simple! So what are you waiting for - sign up today to make your vote count. Membership for Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards is free for this first year.


Background Information:

Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards

The APC Music Awards is the only event where you, the fans, have the opportunity to choose which artist will be honoured in each category. Be a part of Canadian Aboriginal music history — sign up today to cast your vote. Online voting, world wide, begins August 7, 2006.

The Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards is the first awards show of its kind. It provides an opportunity to showcase Aboriginal music to the rest of the world and to expose Aboriginal recording artists to a national fan base, music industry, and media.

This inaugural event will serve to give Aboriginal artists increased profile, and bring the artists, industry and fans closer together.
A four-year plan is in place for Manito Ahbee and the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. Manitoba Lotteries is the Presenting Sponsor in the inaugural year, with a financial commitment towards the festival and awards show.

Manito Ahbee – A Festival For All Nations


The International Competition Pow Wow takes place at MTS Centre on Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5. It’s the first time Winnipeg’s brand new concert and event facility will experience a Pow Wow. Participants are invited from all over the world for this celebration of traditional dance, drumming and song.

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The Education Day for Aboriginal youth is a highlight of Manito Ahbee, with Elders sharing traditional teachings, music symposium, and workshops on various topics. More than 3000 students will take part in Education Day.

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The Music Festival rocks Winnipeg on Thursday, November 2 and Saturday, November 4, with featured musical performances taking place in several venues over two nights.

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The Indigenous Marketplace & Trade Show will encircle the International Competition Pow Wow grounds within the MTS Centre on Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5. Artwork, crafts, clothing, jewelry, woodwork, and other merchandise will be available, as well as exhibits, information and services. Up to 50 spaces are available for vendors to be part of this exciting trade show and marketplace, with thousands of visitors expected.

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