The stars attended the NWT Music Awards on September 10, where many people attended the gala event.
The event was more than a decade in the making.
In 2003, Music NWT was known as the Recording Artists Association of the Northwest Territories (RAANT). The organization was co-funded by Matthew Grogono, president of the Yellowknife Artists Cooperative and owner of Old Town Glassworks.
According to Grogono, who was present at the event, the award ceremony was a dream come true for him and his RAANT partners.
In addition, Grogno brought home a special gift, an Aurora Arts Society honor from 2004 that reflects “extraordinary achievements in your first year of operation.”
For the gala event, the 2022 NWT Music Awards recognized numerous winners including Miranda Currie, Kilo November and Narwhal.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Rankin Inlet-born, now Yellowknife resident, writer and vocalist Tanya Snow.
The event featured live performances by Skyfire Taiko, Stephen Richardson, Brendan McIntosh and Fort Good Hope rapper Crook the Kid.
Mackintosh, who also won for Best Debut Release, was humble about the win.
“It felt good just to be nominated and I’m grateful to Music NWT for hosting such a great event.”
Also, Gnarwhal, who won Best Single after releasing their tune Deep Spaced, also expressed gratitude.
“We are truly honored to be a winner in this category, especially with the other amazing nominees. Deep Spaced is our second release, so this recognition really validates the hard work we’ve put into songwriting and recording over the past year. It really inspires us to keep writing and releasing music.”
During the event, Crook the Kid, who will perform after his win for Best Songwriting, said, “I can’t believe anyone in this room thought it was okay to give me an award,” which was uttered in jest.
Miranda Currie, who will receive the Aboriginal Artist of Excellence honor, was thrilled with her win, saying, “I am delighted to receive the Indigenous Artist of Excellence award from the inaugural NWT Music Awards! It is an honor to have my work recognized in this way. Indigenous voices are being heard and Indigenous children are beginning to represent themselves authentically in a variety of media. I believe it helps to positively change the narrative of Aboriginal people in Canada. This is what I want to support through my work as an artist.”
Other award recipients were as follows:
Fan Choice – Abe Drennan
new album – Al bee for one from another
Excellence in Music – David Dow of Double D Studios
Best place- Great Northern Arts Festival
soundtrack – Keith Robertson for Thin Ice (by Andrea Bettgar)
Live performance – Kilo November
Heading to the Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame inductees who received their own honors at the ceremony included drummers from Yellowknives’ Den, Ted Wesley — the founder of Folk on the Rocks who died in December 2021 — and Norm Gloach.