NWT Music Awards presented
The stars were out at the NWT Music Awards on Sept. 10, and dozens showed up for the gala.
The event was over 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 Co-operative and owner of Old Town Glassworks.
According to Grogono, who was present at the event, the awards ceremony was a dream come true for him and his RAANT partners.
Additionally, Grogono arrived with a special gift, a 2004 Aurora Arts Society honor that reflects “tremendous accomplishments in your first year of operations.”
As for the gala itself, the 2022 NWT Music Awards honored numerous honorees, including Miranda Currie, Kilo November and Gnarwhal.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Tanya Snow, born in Rankin Inlet and now resident of Yellowknife, author and throat singer.
The event featured live performances from SkyFire Taiko, Stephen Richardson, Brenden MacIntosh and Fort Good Hope rapper Crook the Kid.
MacIntosh, who also won Best First Release, was humbled about the win.
“It was pretty good to be nominated and I’m grateful to Music NWT for putting on such a great event.”
Additionally, Gnarwhal, who won Best Single after the release of their track Deep Spaced, also expressed his gratitude.
“We’re truly honored to be a winner in this category, especially along with all of the other amazing nominees. Deep Spaced is only our second release, so the recognition really validates the hard work we’ve put into writing and recording our songs last year. It really gives us the motivation to keep writing and releasing music.
During the event, Crook the Kid, who would perform after his Best Songwriting win, said: “I can’t believe anyone in this room thought it was OK to give me a prize”, which was said jokingly.
Miranda Currie, who would receive the Outstanding Indigenous Artist honor, was thrilled with her win, saying, “I was thrilled to receive the Outstanding Indigenous Artist award from the inaugural NWT Music Awards! To have my work recognized in this way is such an honor. Indigenous voices are being heard and Indigenous children are beginning to see themselves authentically represented in various forms of media. I believe this helps to positively change the Indigenous narrative in Canada. This is what I want to support through my work as an artist.
The other winners were:
Fan Choice – Abe Drennan
New album – Al Bee for each other
Excellence in the Music Industry – David Dowe of Double D Studios
Best place – Great Northern Arts Festival
Musical clip – Keith Robertson for Thin Ice (by Andrea Bettger)
Live show – Kilo November
On the way to the Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame inductees who received their own honors at the ceremony included Yellowknives Dene Drummers, Ted Wesley – founder of Folk on the Rocks who died in December 2021 – and Norm Glowach.