36 Manitoba Artists Head to Canadian Aboriginal Festival

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Manitoba will have its strongest showing in the 11-year history of the Canadian Aboriginal Festival in 2004, sending an impressive 36 artists to the annual Toronto event. The Canadian Aboriginal Festival, which runs November 24 to 28, features the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (CAMA), for which an unprecedented 17 Manitobans in 11 different categories are nominated. In addition to the CAMA nominees, the Manitoba delegation also includes several showcasing acts that will take over Toronto’s famed El Mocambo for an evening of incredible music, including the legendary C-Weed, a.k.a. Errol Ranville.

The showcase and trip to Toronto are signature events in MARIA’s Aboriginal Music Program and coincide with the release of the first ever Manitoba Aboriginal music promotional CD, co-produced by MARIA and NCI radio. All 18 acts on the CD are participants in the Aboriginal Music Program, a series of promotional and professional development activities for Aboriginal artists organized by Ranville, MARIA’s Aboriginal Music Coordinator.

Ranville and his band will perform at the Skydome Twang, Groove & Bang Stage on November 27 with Glenna Harper, Kimberley Dawn, Edward Gamblin, Fred Mitchell, Peggy Fagnan, Barry Choken, Cal Richard, Chris Beach, Rayne Delaronde, J.C. Campbell, and Gerry McIvor. The same group of performers will also be featured at the El Mocambo as part of the Aboriginal Music Jam later that night.

“This is the largest delegation of Manitoba Aboriginal artists ever to hit Toronto,” says Ranville. “I know audiences and industry people will be amazed by all of the incredible talent coming out of this province.”

Ranville himself will be honoured at the CAMAs, receiving the special achievement award for Lifetime Contribution to Aboriginal Music. Sunshine Records’ Ness Michaels will also receive a special honour: the 2004 Music Industry Award.

The delegation will be travelling with the support of the Manitoba Music and Motion Picture (M3P) program, a $2.4 million grant under the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement to the indigenous music and motion picture industries in Manitoba that was announced last week. With the support of this program, Aboriginal artists will participate in workshops, showcases and business development programs targeted to develop their careers in music. Other partners in this program include Manitoba Industry Training Partnerships, the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism Arts Branch, FACTOR and Manitoba Film & Sound.

For more information and a complete list of nominees for the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, please visit www.cabab.com.

2004 Manitoba Nominees: Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards

Best Songwriter
• Eagle & Hawk

Best Rock Album
• Eagle & Hawk

Best Song Single
• Eagle & Hawk
• Heritage

Best Producer/ Engineer
• Danny Schur - Healing Jane
• Clint Dutiaume, Producer & Shane Ward, Engineer - Rayne Album

Best Group or Duo
• Eagle & Hawk
• Heritage

Best Instrumental Album
• Longhouse Vol. 1
• Spirit of the Nations

Best Folk Album
• Rayne Delaronde

Best Album Design
• Billy Joe Green

Best Fiddle Album
• Clint Dutiaume
• Jig Band
• Gary Lepine

Best Blues Album
• Billy Joe Green

Best Country Album
• Edward Gamblin

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