Music NWT announced the nominees for the 10 awards for the first time at a ceremony on September 10.
The awards are part of efforts to strengthen the region’s music industry by increasing recognition of the sector’s achievements The September event is considered a statement of intent with tickets retailing for $145 each.
“This is the first time Music NWT has honored its musicians and we look forward to highlighting the amazing talent at NWT,” said Trevor Sinclair, the group’s executive director, announcing the award shortlist in a news release Wednesday.
Sinclair said nominations came from Yellowknife, Fort Good Hope, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River and Inuvik.
The three inductees of the NWT Music Hall of Fame are yet to be announced.
Awards show weekend includes Thursday night performances by Amy Lusk and Izzy Hundo, The Ditch Hearts and Gnarhal, then a Friday show by Marie MacDonald, Narlge B, Abbey Drennan and Andrew Sheddon at the Wildcat Cafe. A children’s show at the same venue runs from 2pm on Saturday, September 10 with Miranda Curry, before the evening awards ceremony at the Explorer Hotel.
The nominees are as follows:
Aboriginal Artist Excellence Award
Miranda Currie, Jonny Landry, Marcy Migwi, Branden Sonnett
Best New Album or EP
Al B (Another One), Andrea Bettger (Bush Chords), Carmen Braden (Seed Song), Amy Lusk and Izzy Hundo (Coyote)
Best Debut Release
Al B (Shine as the Star), Narwhal (The Outlier), Brendan McIntosh (Coffee Break), Marcy Migwi (Worth)
Best New Single
Agony of the Leaves (Where is the Sleep), Andrea Bettger (Pave the Lonely Highway), Gnarval (Deep Spaced), The Houseman (Fine)
Best Live Performance
Andrea Bettger, Five Thirds Mad, Narhull, Kilo November
Music Video Award of Excellence
Carmen Braden (Menu), Abbey Drennan and David Stewart (Way Up North Abbey Drennan), Braille Marchant (The Houseman’s Tin Boat), Keith Robertson (Andrea Bettgar’s Thin Ice)
Songwriting Excellence Award
Carmen Braden, Crook the Kid, Brendan Mackintosh, Priscilla’s Revenge
Fan Choice Award (Voting can be done online)
Andrea Bettger, Abe Drennan, Cecile Cedar, Welder’s Daughter
Venue Award of Excellence
Dirty O’Fargies (Fort Smith), Great Northern Arts Festival (Inuvik), Northern Arts and Cultural Center (Yellowknife), Old Town Ramble and Ride (Yellowknife)
Music Industry Award of Excellence
Cabin Radio, Double D Studios, Haywire Audio Productions, YK Rocks
Correction: August 24, 2022 – 14:31 MT. Based on a Music NWT news release, this article initially listed a category called Best in Debut Albums. Music NWT subsequently revised the category title for Best Debut Release.