Manitobans to Receive Special Honours at Aboriginal Awards

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Two prominent figures in the Manitoba music industry will receive special honours at this year's Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards on November 26. In a press release from its office in Toronto, the CAMAs announced that Errol Ranville - also known as C-Weed - will be given the Lifetime Contribution Award. Local label and studio owner Ness Michaels will be given the Music Industry Award.

Errol Ranville - a popular musician, producer, promoter, and mentor - has been an active member of the Aboriginal music scene for more than three decades. Throughout his career, the Juno-nominated Ranville has recorded 14 albums - both solo and with the C-Weed Band - and has topped the Canadian country music radio charts. Ranville, who opened nightclubs in the 1990s showcasing Aboriginal music, has also produced 11 albums on his own label. He has been working as the Aboriginal Music Coordinator at the Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association (MARIA) since April 2004, the first position of its kind in Canada.

Industry veteran Ness Michaels founded Sunshine Records in 1975, a Manitoba-based label dedicated to Aboriginal and country music. Sunshine, which is home to eight nominees for this year's CAMAs, has done a tremendous amount for developing the Aboriginal music committee and helping new artists get their music heard. Michaels has produced numerous recordings in a variety of genres, including pow wow, country, rock, and hip-hop. Michaels' also owns Platinum/Gold Studios, which is housed in the same building as Sunshine.

Nominations for special awards are made by people from across the country, selected by an advisory panel representing the Canadian Aboriginal music industry. The Lifetime Contribution Award is for an individual who has dedicated a large part of his or her life and career to promoting and developing Aboriginal music. The Music Industry Award is for an individual, Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal, who is making or has made a significant positive impact on Canadian Aboriginal music.

The sixth annual Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards gala ceremony will take place at the John Bassett Theatre in Toronto on November 26, 2004. In the strongest showing in the history of the CAMAs, Manitoba artists are nominated for 17 awards at this year's gala, including Juno-nominated rock act Eagle & Hawk and Sunshine recording artist Rayne Delaronde.

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