Aboriginal Music Program

News

Tanya Tagaq's Animism Makes Polaris Short List

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After much anticipation, the prestigious Polaris Music Prize released this year's short list and Brandon-based Inuit throat singer and composer Tanya Tagaq's acclaimed album Animism is one of the top 10 Canadian albums of the year.

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Remembering Kevin Walters

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Our music community has suffered an incredible loss with the passing of Kevin Walters.

Kevin has been a legend in Manitoba’s music scene for decades. A concert promoter, manager, industry worker, mover and shaker, super connector, Kevin knew everyone and everyone knew him. He used that power to help people build their careers, to reach new heights, and to, in turn, connect with others.

Kevin has been everywhere. Once upon a time, he was a DJ, managed Night Moves, was a booking agent with the Hungry I Agency, formed his own artist management and production company Twin Productions, took a gig as merchandising manager for Barenaked Ladies, and had a long career at the manager of sound recording programs at Manitoba Film & Music.

Throughout his time with MFM, Kevin had a massive impact on the lives of all of us in Manitoba’s music community, helping to foster careers and mentor developing entrepreneurs, sharing his wealth of knowledge and expertise. For many, Kevin was the first industry person they met as they embarked on their careers. He helped countless artists make groundbreaking albums, play for audiences across the world, touch the lives of their audiences, and realize their dreams.

Kevin was the guy behind the scenes making things happen. He helmed the 2006 Grey Cup Festival, helped to bring the Canadian Country Music Awards to Winnipeg, was a primary founder of the Prairie Music Awards that became the Western Canadian Music Awards and BreakOut West, launched the Winnipeg BBQ & Blues Festival, organized Manitoba Homecoming 2010 and Culture Days, booked talent at the Red River Ex, and was an integral part in bringing The JUNO Awards to Winnipeg not once but twice. If there was a major live music event, Kevin was probably involved and you could usually catch a glimpse of him smiling and greeting the countless people he knew in any room.

We have been incredibly lucky to have Kevin as part of Manitoba Music’s board of directors for over a decade. He took on the role of president in 2012 and continued his tenure until his passing. During his time with us, he has helped Manitoba Music immeasurably; he’s been an instrumental part of our growth and development into an internationally-respected music organization.

He has supported us, challenged us, listened to us, led us, and mentored all of us. We are all better for knowing him. He had a smile for everyone, a calm centre in any storm, impeccable judgment, and a generosity that made it easy to work with him.  He has always been a ubiquitous presence in Manitoba’s community, loved and respected by all who worked with him, knew him, or even just heard of him. He made so many friends here at home, across the country, and beyond.

Words can’t express this loss to our community. His absence leaves a void. We have all been fortunate in the time we’ve shared with Kevin and celebrate his life, his accomplishments, and his incredible spirit. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends, and all who knew him. We will all miss him so much.

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Tanya Tagaq Lands Polaris Nod

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The Polaris Music Prize ended months of debate and speculation with the announcement of this year's long list of top Canadian albums and Brandon-based Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq's acclaimed album Animism is among the prestigious names. 

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Manitoba Artists Land 14 Nods for the 2014 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards

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Manitoba artists have netted 14 nominations for the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards (APCMA) this year. The nominees were announced at a press conference on June 19 at Portage Place. The winners will be revealed at the ninth annual gala awards show at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on September 12, 2014 and the invite-only Ohshkii Awards Night at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on September 11. Nominees include Indian City, Leonard Sumner, Desiree Dorion, and Winnipeg Boyz. 

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National Aboriginal Day celebrations in Manitoba

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APTN, Manitoba Music, the North End Community Helpers Network, Club Regent Casino, and many other organizations are presenting Aboriginal artists during their National Aboriginal Day celebrations in Manitoba. We've put together a list of events that commemorate the day along with a number of other performances by Aboriginal artists set for the week.

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Showcase Opportunity: Manitoba Music in Toronto

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Manitoba Music is presenting a showcase in Toronto on November 18, 2014. This showcase is an opportunity to perform for and network with key Toronto music industry professionals including labels, agents, publishers, supervisors, publicists and more. DEADLINE: June 12, 2014

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