Manitoba Artists Take Nine Aboriginal Music Awards

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Nine trophies are returning from the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (CAMA) with Manitoba artists this year. Four local music acts received top honours at the November 26 gala at Toronto's Skydome, including JUNO winners Eagle & Hawk, fiddler Clint Dutiaume, producer Danny Schur and hip-hop outfit Team Rezofficial. Manitobans Errol Ranville, Ness Michaels, and Burnt also received three special recognition awards at the ceremony.

Ranville, known as C-Weed to the musical community, was honoured with the Lifetime Contribution to Aboriginal Music award. Ranville, who is MARIA's Aboriginal Music Coordinator, was largely responsible for the incredible 36-person Manitoba delegation showcasing at Canadian Aboriginal Festival, which the CAMAs are a part of. Sunshine Records' Michaels was presented with this year's Music Industry Award and Winnipeg band Burnt received the Rising Stars Award as a newcomer in Aboriginal music.

Manitoba artists were nominated for 17 awards in 11 different categories at this year's awards. Eagle & Hawk took home three trophies for their latest album Mother Earth for Best Rock Album, as well as Best Songwriter and Best Song Single for "Sundancer." Dutiaume's Fiddle Extravaganza won for Best Fiddle Album. A veteran of the industry, Schur for Best Producer/Engineer on Jane Chartrand and Kimberly Dawn's Healing Jane. Team Rezofficial for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Album for its critically-acclaimed released The Foundation.

"Our province is proud and fortunate to be home to so many exceptionally talented members of the Aboriginal music industry," said Culture Minister Eric Robinson, who was present for the ceremony, in a press release. "These artists have brought national and international fame to Manitoba through their outstanding talent which is obviously recognized by both the public and their peers in the music industry."

The showcase and trip to Toronto were signature events in MARIA’s Aboriginal Music Program and coincided 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.

Ranville and his band performed with solo artists Glenna Harper, Kimberley Dawn, Edward Gamblin, Fred Mitchell, Peggy Fagnan, Barry Choken, Cal Richard, Chris Beach, Rayne Delaronde, J.C. Campbell, and Gerry McIvor for at the Skydome's Twang, Groove & Bang stage and at the Manitoba Aboriginal Music Jam, along with rockers Killah Green and bluesman Billy Joe Green. Bands Heritage, Burnt, and Eagle & Hawk each performed on the Skydome's main stage as part of the festivities.

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

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