The inaugural NWT Music Awards were held on September 10th at the Explorer Hotel. An Evening that helped showcase the best and brightest in northern talent.
Yellowknife Dene Drummers were the first to enter the NWT Music Hall of Fame. As Cody Drygeese accepted the honour on the behalf of the drummers, he shared the story of how the group has grown to over 400 members. Cody says he has been encouraged after seeing so many individuals get into drumming no matter their age, as he didn’t start drumming until he was 15 years old and has never looked back.
Ted Wesley was honoured with a spot in the hall of fame as well, with his Sister-in-law Heather Pritchard, accepting on his behalf, as Ted passed away in December 2021. She told the story of what was important to Ted, and it certainly wasn’t money or fame.
“He missed his chance for fame when he went to the Juno Awards, because they wanted to sign up this wonderful young talent, but he would have to move to Toronto. And who the hell wants to leave the North to move to Toronto?” she added.
The Final inductee to the Music NWT Hall Of Fame was Norm Glowach, a member of Pricilla’s Revenge.
Kilo November, who walked away with the Live Performance Award, is no stranger to the spotlight despite his young age. Now 14, Kilo has been a Folk On The Rocks celebrity since his debut to close one of the stages in 2019 when he was only 11 years old.
Miranda Currie had the entire room singing along to her song “Mashi Cho” as it played in the background as she was presented with the Indigenous Artist Award. Miranda Currie has enjoyed learning the Dene language of Tli’cho and being able to teach what she has learned to children through her music and songs.
The Fan Choice Award that was voted for by the fans on the Music NWT webpage in August was given to the talented Abe Drennan. Abe Drennan who has made Inuvik his home since 2013, is currently working on his 3rd Album “Unknown Road”.
Gnawhal who played this week at Yellowknife’s own Raven Pub on Thursday as part of NWT Music’s Showcase took home the award for Best New Single for Deep Spaced which dropped on July 15th.
NWT Music didn’t only recognize the artists but those who have helped develop and help our artists get their music out there.
The award for Best Venue went to the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik. The festival is the longest-running Arctic arts and music festival in North America as it began in 1989. The festival is a celebration that stretches 10 days and welcomes artists and performers from across the north and visitors from around the world.
The complete list of award winners:
Songwriting: Crook the Kid
Music Industry: Double D Studios
Venue: Great Northern Arts Festival
Live Performance: Kilo November
Music Video: Keith Robertson for Thin Ice, by Andrea Bettger
Fan Choice: Abe Drennan
Indigenous Artist: Miranda Currie
Debut Release: Brenden MacIntosh
New Single: Gnarwhal for Deep Spaced
New Album: Al Bee for One From The Other