Juno Events to Highlight Aboriginal Music

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With less than two weeks left before Winnipeg is officially and completely overrun by Juno fever, even more Juno-related events are being announced. The Manitoba Aboriginal Music Host Committee, which was created in order to increase the presence of Aboriginal music and culture and the 2005 festivities, has announced its complete line-up of specials events being planned for Juno week. Aboriginal music and art will have a more significant presence at the 2005 JUNO Awards festivities, and prominence like never before.

The special events range from lead-up concerts to public art displays, a youth career fair, and music at the Winnipeg International Airport. The Host Committee is also planning some very public, high profile events that will showcase some of the best in today's Aboriginal music scene.

On April 1, the street in front of the Burton Cummings Theatre will be closed to traffic on Friday evening, with the rolling out of the red carpet for the arrival of Aboriginal celebrities and special guests. Across the street, the outdoor park will house a Teepee Village, with traditional singers and dancers adding to the excitement of the evening.

The red carpet event will be following by the 12th annual Aboriginal Honouring Ceremony and JunoFest showcase inside the Burton Cummings Theatre. The highlight of the week’s Aboriginal programming, this special evening will begin with the Honouring Ceremony, for nominees in the Aboriginal Recording of the Year category: Wayne Lavallee, Claude Mckenzie, Pappy Johns Band, Taima, and Florent Vollant.

The JunoFest Music Showcase evening will include performances by all five JUNO Award nominees, and other musical guests, including legendary songstress Buffy Sainte-Marie, who will be on hand to make a special presentation.

The evening will also host the launch of the province's first virtual Manitoba Aboriginal Music Hall of Fame. The virtual hall of fame will be housed on the website of Native Communications Inc. (NCI-FM 105.5 Radio) - which will broadcast the evening live - and will honour Manitoba's First Nations, Inuit and Métis music industry legends. There will also be a local display at NCI's head office in Winnipeg that will include photos and memorabilia from inducted artists.

The first round of inductees to the Manitoba Aboriginal Music Hall of Fame include:
· The late Len Fairchuk (White Buffalo) – A talented fiddle player and artist who hosted and produced The Western Hour television series from 1977 to 1996. He is also remembered for his sketchings, artwork and unique soapstone carvings.
· Ernest Monias – Born and raised in Cross Lake, toured across Canada and the United States for 36 years, opening for artists like George Jones and Credence Clearwater Revival.
· Errol Ranville – Founded the C-Weed Band in 1975 and received Juno award nominations in 1985 and 1986.
· Ray St. Germain – Started in show business at age 14 and sang, hosted and produced for a variety of television shows including the series Rhythms of the Métis shown on APTN.
· Lucille Starr – Born in St. Boniface and received international acclaim for her first solo album titled The French Song.

For a complete listing of Aboriginal events for Juno week, click here.

Tickets for the 12th Annual Aboriginal Honoring Ceremony & JunoFest Music Showcase are $10 at Ticketmaster. JunoFest wristband holders will also be able to attend this special showcase evening, with seats reserved for the first 250 wristband holders.

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