Indigenous Music Presents Professional Development Opportunities for Artists in Northern Manitoba, BIPOC Women and Gender Diverse Creatives in Winnipeg

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Indigenous Music

The Indigenous Music Development Program (IMDP) at Manitoba Music has presented a busy month of professional development programming, including a music business residency program in The Pas and a live sound intensive in Winnipeg. 

Artists from Northern Manitoba have gathered in Opaskwayak Cree Nation for Kiwetinook Kitoschikewin, a new residency program. Running March 20 - 23 at Kikiwak Inn & Conference Centre in Treaty 5 Territory, The Pas, the program has offered a small group of emerging Indigenous artists mentorship opportunities with music industry professionals to further develop their business and creative skills. Participants, mentors, and speakers shared their music on stage at Aseneskak Casino for a special showcase on March 22. The residency was made possible by support from FACTOR and the Government of Canada, and the Province of Manitoba. 

Mentors included JUNO Award nominated artists Desiree Dorion and Joey Stylez, along with industry presenters David McLeod (NCI FM), Matt Maw (Red Music Rising), Nigel Irwin (Nagamo Publishing), and artist Rhonda Head. Photographer Veronica Blackhawk and sound tech Cody Anderson of Primetime Empyre rounded out the residency team. 

Kiwetinook Kitoschikewin means “Northern Music'' in Swampy Cree, and was gifted by Elder Darlene Osborne of the Norway House Cree Nation.

The residency follows a two-day professional development intensive on live music mixing in Winnipeg for BIPOC women and gender-diverse creatives, coordinated through Indigenous Music and Manitoba Music’s MusicWorks program. Presented in partnership with Women In Music Canada and made possible with support from FACTOR in celebration of International Women’s Day, the program offered a small group practical hands-on training with professional live sound engineer Eusebio Lopez Aguilar at the West End Cultural Centre

“We’re so excited to share this important programming with talented and driven music makers as they take their careers to the next level. Creating more and safer spaces for Indigenous and all equity-deserving artists to develop their business skills and expand their community must be an ongoing priority for the music industry, ” says Indigenous Music Development Coordinator Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais.

The IMDP at Manitoba Music was launched in 2004 to support First Nation, Métis, and Inuit artists and music companies as they build sustainable careers in Manitoba’s music industry. The program delivers projects and services that respond to the needs of the industry as identified by a steering committee. Find out more about Indigenous Music at

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