Indigenous Music Awards 2017: And the nominees are …

After a one-year hiatus, the Indigenous Music Awards are back. And from the looks of it, they’ll be better than ever.

“We took a year to re-vamp the award show, so we could make it even more beneficial for the artists,” says Jacquie Black, manager of the Indigenous Music Awards and Arts Program. “Good things take time and thought, and we’ve put in a lot of both of those things and are very excited to see the winners walk across the stage.”

In addition to awards in 18 categories, the new and improved awards show will feature a red carpet arrival party and performances by Crystal Shawanda, Northern Cree (who will also receive a lifetime achievement award), Christa Couture and Felipe ‘Bass Invader’ Gomez, among others. There will also be a free one-day Indigenous Music Conference, where artists can learn about management, marketing and more from a panel of experts with real-world experience.

Another new twist for this year’s edition is the voting system. Unlike past events, which used a public voting system, the winners will be selected by industry professionals.

“This gives nominated artists the chance to get their music in front of industry professionals that may not have heard their music otherwise,” Black says. “It also gives more credibility to the award, making winners even more proud of their amazing accomplishment.”

This year’s IMAs are presented by Casinos of Winnipeg and will take place on May 19 at the Club Regent Event Centre. For live coverage from the red carpet, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We will also be announcing the winners live from the venue on Twitter.

Here’s a complete list of the night’s nominees:


Best Blues Album:  

New Mexico's Levi Platero is nominated for Best Blues Album.

New Mexico’s Levi Platero is nominated for Best Blues Album.

Blue Dog – Red-White & Blues
Cary Morin – Cradle to the Grave
Grey Gritt – Live at the NACC
Levi Platero – Levi Platero
The Gary Sappier Blues Band – The Gary Sappier Blues Band, Vol. 2 

Best Country Album:

Cory Cardinal – North of Town Roads
Jade Turner – North Country
JC Campbell – Four Letter Lie
Kimberley Dawn – Til the Cowboys Come Home
Renée Lamoureux – Dare to Be You

Best Folk Album: 

Best Folk Album nominee Christa Couture is among this year's stellar lineup of performers.

Best Folk Album nominee Christa Couture is among this year’s stellar lineup of performers.

Christa Couture – Long Time Leaving
Logan Staats – Goodbye Goldia
Nadia & Jason Burnstick – Dream Big Little One
Nick Sherman – Knives and Wildrice
Twin Flames – Jaaji & Chelsey June

Best Inuit, Indigenous Language, or Francophone Album: 

*** Presented by APTN ***

Frazer Sundown – Love is a War Dance 
Nimuk – Nimuk & Friends
Rhonda Head – Kisakihitan
Silla + Rise – Debut
Skicinawatuwahtiq – Skicinawatuwahtiq

Best Instrumental Album:

DJ Shub is nominated for Best Instrumental Album and Best Music Video.

DJ Shub is nominated for Best Instrumental Album and Best Music Video.

Cris Derksen – Cris Derksen: Orchestral Powwow
DJ Shub – PowWowStep
R. Carlos Nakai Quartet – What Lies Beyond
Sean Beaver – NYD
Ziibiwan – Time Limits

Best Pop Album: 

Awaken Aries – The Extraordinaries Anthology Vol. 1
Carsen Gray – CARSEN GRAY
Jace Martin – Mighty
Mariame – Bloom
Native Roots – Most High
Tara Williamson – Songs to Keep Us Warm

Best Rap/Hip Hop Album: 

Haida Gwaii's Carsen Gray is up for three IMAs, including Best New Artist

Haida Gwaii’s Carsen Gray is up for three IMAs, including Best New Artist

B. of Dakota South Records – OHHH! B.
City Natives – Nomadic
Chase Manhattan – Warrior DNA
Joey Stylez – #GREYMAGIC
J-Rez – Tipi Creepin’
Rellik – The Dream

Best Rock Album:

Digawolf – Great Northern Man
Julian Taylor Band – Desert Star
Kristi Lane Sinclair – Dark Matter
The Bloodshots – The Bloodshots
The Deeds – Late O’Clock

Best New Artist: 

Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie – Round Dance and Beats
Carsen Gray – CARSEN GRAY
Lisa Muswagon – Buffalo and Rabbits
Mariame – Bloom
Ziibiwan – Time Limits

Mob Bounce's 'All My Relations' is up for Best Radio Single.

Mob Bounce’s ‘All My Relations’ is up for Best Radio Single.

Best Radio Single: 

Black & Grey – Pretty Little Nightmare
Carsen Gray – Supernatural
DJ Shub – Old School is for Lovers feat. Morningstar River
Mob Bounce – All My Relations
NADJIWAN – All Those Years
Wolf Saga – Auburn Nights 

Best Music Video: 

DJ Shub – Indomitable ft. Northern Cree Singers
District Avenue – Revival
Jade Turner – Worth
JC Campbell – Four Letter Lie
Logan Staats – Ash’s

Best Producer/Engineer: 

Crystal Shawanda, New Sun Records – Missy Knott/My Sister’s Heart
Derek Miller, Thru The Red Door – Logan Staats/Goodbye Goldia
Larry Mitchell, Indigenous Solutions, Inc. Studios – Indigie Femme/Justify
Murray Pulver, Murray Pulver – JC Campbell/Four Letter Lie
Tom Dutiaume, Hangar Studio – Kimberley Dawn/Til The Cowboys Come Home 

Writer. Singer. Producer. Crystal Shawanda can do it all.

Writer. Singer. Producer. Crystal Shawanda can do it all.

Best International Indigenous Release: 

Glenn Skuthorpe – See My World
LUMALTOK – Vukub Ja’Vil Ta Lumaltok / Siete Años entre La Neblina
Tasha T – Fire In Me
The Imbayakunas – Imbaya Full Flavour
Warren H Williams & Dani Young – Desert Water

Best Radio Station Program – Promoting Indigenous Music: 

Indigenous in Music with Larry K
Unreserved: Radio Indigenous, CBC Radio One
IndiPOW with Layla Black, Jukasa Radio
Native Waves Radio/NDNs on the Airwave, Native Waves Radio/2Ro Media Inc.
ThinkNDN, 100.5fm CFRO

Hot off an historic performance at the 2017 GRAMMYs, Northern Cree is up for a pair of IMAs.

Hot off an historic performance at the 2017 GRAMMYs, Northern Cree is up for a pair of IMAs and will receive a lifetime achievement award.

Best Hand Drum Album:

Big River Cree – Those Old Back Trails
Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie – Round Dance and Beats
Frog Lake Handgame Singers – Tribute to late Charlie Quinney
Northern Cree – It’s A Cree Thing
Shane Redstar – Loud and Proud

Best Peyote Album:

Edmond Poochey – Peyote Songs
Judy Curley/Pahsaknunk – Walking with the Spirit
Lance Crowe – Sacred Medicine
Utin Machiskinic – Comfort & Compassion
Wanita Bird & Joe PoorThunder – Water Is Life

Best Pow Wow – Contemporary Album:imas

Battle Hill – New Age
Blackstone – Celebration of Life
Northern Cree – True North Strong and Cree
Ottawa River Singers – Sing From The Heart

Best Pow Wow – Traditional Album:

New Agency – OLD STYLEZ VOL. 1
Whitefish Bay Singers – Aaw’pii 2016
Young Bear – Belongs to the People


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