Indigenous Music West Showcase Shines Spotlight on Artists from Western Canada

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Celeigh Cardinal
DJ Krazykree
Mamarudegyal and Hope
The Bloodshots

Four Acts from Manitoba, British Columbia, and Alberta to Hit the King’s Head Stage on May 15

Artists from Western Canada will be in the spotlight at the Indigenous Music West showcase this month. Four acts will hit the stage at the King’s Head in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange District on May 15 to perform for and connect with industry in town for the Manito Ahbee Festival & Conference.

The genre-spanning lineup of emerging artists features Edmonton-based soul/folk songstress Celeigh Cardinal, Calgary-based electronic artist DJ krazykree, hip hop duo Mamarudegyal and Hope from BC, and Selkirk-based rock outfit The Bloodshots. Each will have the opportunity to network with a delegation of presenters, managers, labels, music writers, and industry professionals from across Canada.

“We’re excited to launch this event under the Indigenous Music West banner,” says program coordinator Jade Harper. "Building business relationships is a crucial part of developing a career in music. This is going to be an exciting and entertaining show, as well as an opportunity to present these artists to industry delegates and nurture connections between our creative communities across Western Canada. Events like this are key to strengthening industry networks and supporting artists take their music career to the next level."

The Indigenous Music West showcase is part of a new emphasis on Indigenous music export at Manitoba Music, building on an existing slate of development programs. The program's goal is to deliver compelling and relevant programs to music entrepreneurs who identify as Indigenous from across Western Canada to strengthen business capacity and generate opportunities for export.

Métis singer/songwriter Celeigh Cardinal has been earning accolades since the release of her full-length album, Everything and Nothing at All, in 2017. Harkening back to earlier days of blues and the golden era of jazz, her heartfelt, biographically inspired, songs blend soul and emotion into her performances. The album earned Cardinal a Western Canadian Music Award, two Edmonton Music Awards, a nod at the CBC Indigenous Music Awards, and a REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation. She is the first Indigenous radio personality on Alberta’s own CKUA and the first Indigenous member of Edmonton’s Arts Column, the In Crowd. Cardinal has performed across Canada, the United States, and internationally, and was participant in the (Re)Claim program at the Banff Centre.

DJ krayzkree, aka Dallas Arcand, earned his nickname for taking risks, making bold moves, and experimenting with music by blending cultural influences of his mixed Indigenous and European heritage. A three-time world champion Hoop Dancer, he has been active in the entertainment / cultural presentation / music and dance world for the past 25 years, touring many venues around the world. Now with a new focus of using the popularity of electronic music and Indigenous dance, DJ krayzkree is pioneering a new sound with Indigenous artists across the country promoting and glamourizing Indigenous language and teachings within the music. His debut album of Indigenous-style electronic dance music, Future Generations, was released via worldwide digital distribution in 2018.

Mamarudegyal and Hope are a powerhouse pair of emcees and the founding members of the four-piece Indigenous hip hop and multimedia group, Rudegang Entertainment. Since crossing paths at the 2014 Native Hip Hop Festival, Hope and MRG have been making waves in the BC underground hip hop scene through their use of lyricism, musicality, and content. The pair have become known locally for their advocacy for marginalized groups, and their loud and proud attitudes toward Indigeneity. They’ve kept themselves very busy with a number of activities, including funding youth-led community service projects through MRG’s employer, Rising Youth – TIG, won a combined three Fraser Valley Music Awards in 2017, and were featured in APTN’s Digital Drum in 2018. In 2019, Rudegang has landed two Telus Storyhive grants to create a music video for Hope's upcoming album as well as a documentary about Indigenous hip hop (The Foundation), which will both be directed and produced by the duo and available on Telus Optik TV in this summer.

Captivating and winning over audiences since 2014, The Bloodshot's anthemic grunge rock sound is rolling strong in 2019 with a new EP due for summer. They’ve built a reputation for their stage presence through countless shows, including spots with rock and roll heavyweights like Buckcherry, Finger Eleven, One Bad Son, Danko Jones, Econoline Crush, CKY, The Lazys, and Moist. They rocked the main stage at APTN’s Indigenous Day Live at The Forks in Winnipeg alongside Walk Of The Earth and landed an Indigenous Music Award nod in 2018 for Best Rock Album.

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