Manitoba talent picked up five Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards (APCMA) this year. Hardware went to Don Amero, Ali Fontaine, Ray St. Germain, Jade Turner, and NCI FM's National Aboriginal Music Countdown. The winners were revealed at a nationally-televised gala at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg on August 18 and the invite-only Ohshkii Awards Night at the Winnipeg Art Gallery the night before.
Singer/songwriter Don Amero added to an already-impressive list of accolades with a win in the Best Folk/Acoustic CD category for his latest album, Heart On My Sleeve. Amero, who was up for five APCMA, landed his first JUNO Award nomination this year, and recently picked up two nods for the Indian Summer Music Awards.
Country songstress Ali Fontaine was named Aboriginal Female Entertainer of the Year. Also nominated for five APCMA this year, Fontaine won a Native American Music Award for Best Country Recording in May.
Music legend, author, and broadcaster Ray St. Germain, known to many as "Winnipeg's Elvis", was honoured at the gala with the Lifetime Achievement Award. St. Germain was inducted in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and received the province's highest honour, the Order of Manitoba, in July.
Other winners included country newcomer Jade Turner, who was honoured with the Minister Robinson - Most Outstanding Aboriginal Manitoban Award, or Ka-Nee-Nee Konee Pewonee Okimow, and NCI FM’s National Aboriginal Music Countdown for Best Aboriginal Music Radio Station/Program. Former Manitoba-based rapper Drezus won for Best Rap/Hip Hop CD.
The APCMA take place during the annual Manito Ahbee Festival, which moved from November to new summer dates, August 16-21. Now in its eighth year, Manito Ahbee features a variety of events including an Indigenous Marketplace and Trade Show, International Competition Pow Wow, and an education conference. Running concurrently, the annual Aboriginal Music Week boasts a dozen concerts in various Winnipeg venues.
For a complete list of 2013 APCMA winners, please visit aboriginalpeopleschoice.com.