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A number of national and regional awards recognize the contribution of Aboriginal artists. The following descriptions are drawn from the awards websites.
East Coast Music Awards
The first Maritime Music Awards were held at the Flamingo Lounge in Halifax, Nova Scotia, organized by founder Rob Cohn in 1989. There were six East Coast artists with national distribution. While few Aboriginal artists have won these awards, winners include the traditional folk group, The Flummies, and the rock band, Forever.
[www.ecma.ca/] (accessed March 2, 2007)
Music Industry Association of Newfoundland and Labrador
Founded in 1992 and based in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, MUSICNL's purpose is to help address key issues affecting the Newfoundland and Labrador music industry and to effect positive change by presenting a strong voice to government, business and the East Coast community. Its mandate is to increase awareness -- locally, nationally and internationally -- of provincially produced music as an art form and as a viable industry with significant impact on the economy, and to create and encourage opportunities that will stimulate growth of the industry.
[www.musicnl.ca] (accessed June 1, 2007)
Western Canadian Music Awards
The music industry associations of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan staged independent music festivals and conferences known as All Indie Weekends from 1995 to 1999. These associations then decided to join forces to promote Prairie music to the world.
The Prairie Music Alliance Inc. (PMA), formed in May 1999, is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization. All members in good standing of the three provincial recording industry associations are automatically members of the PMA.
The Western Canada Music Alliance Inc. was formed in late 2002 when the PMA invited the music industry associations of British Columbia and the Yukon to join them. It includes the following organizations:
Alberta Recording Industries Association (ARIA)
Saskatchewan Recording Industry Association (SRIA)
The Pacific Music Industry Association
The Western Canadian Music Week and Awards is a comparatively new event. It has, however, a strong sense of history. It reflects the shared vision of developing Western Canada's regional music industry.
alliance/index.html] (accessed March 2, 2007)
The awards began in 1970, when organizers Stan Klees and Walt Grealis, who published a weekly trade publication called RPM, held the Gold Leaf Awards in the St. Lawrence Hall in Toronto. A year later, the event changed its name to the Juno Awards in honour of Pierre Juneau, then head of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). The Aboriginal Music category was established in 1994 to recognize the unique contribution of Aboriginal people in the field of music. Lawrence Martin (Wapistan) was the first recipient of the award.
[www.junoawards.ca/archive_about.php ] (accessed March 2, 2007)
Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards
These awards were founded in 1999 by Ron Robert and Catherine Cornelius. The awards honour the hard work and creativity of both traditional and contemporary Aboriginal artists. They recognize activism, promote and develop the diversity of Aboriginal music, celebrate excellence, and encourage a rich cultural voice.
musicawards.html] (accessed March 2, 2007)
Native American Music Awards
The Native American Music Awards were founded in 1998 by music industry veteran Ellen Bello. The awards sprang from the need to improve opportunities and recognition for traditional and contemporary Aboriginal musicians and have become the leading advocate for preserving and promoting the songs of Aboriginal artists from all regions of North America. Today, the NAMMYS honour song makers, foster pride, provide national exposure, and celebratethe gift of music with others around the world. While the awards are based in the United States, they include Aboriginal artists from Canada who have won various awards over the years including rock guitarist Derek Miller and music labels such as Sweet Grass or Arbor Records.
[www.nativeamericanmusicawards.com/index.cfm] (accessed March 2, 2007)