Nominees announced for the first NWT Music Awards

Music NWT has announced the nominees for 10 awards that will be presented for the first time at a ceremony on September 10.

The awards are part of an effort to strengthen the territory’s music industry by increasing recognition of the sector’s achievements. The September ceremony is seen as a declaration of this intention with ticket retail at $145 each.

“This is the first time that Music NWT has honored its musicians and we look forward to recognizing the incredible talent of the NWT,” said Trevor Sinclair, the band’s executive director, in a Wednesday press release announcing the finalist lists.

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Sinclair said the nominations came from Yellowknife, Fort Good Hope, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River and Inuvik.

The first three inductees into the Northwest Territories Music Hall of Fame have yet to be announced.

The awards weekend includes a Thursday night performance at The Raven by Amy Lusk and Easy Hundo, The Ditch Hearts and Gnarwhal, followed by a Friday show at Wildcat Café by Marie MacDonald, Narlz B, Abe Drennan and Andrew Shedden . A children’s show at the same venue runs from 2 p.m. on Saturday September 10 with Miranda Currie, before the awards night at the Explorer Hotel.

The nominees are:

Indigenous Artists Achievement Award
Miranda Currie, Johnny Landry, Marcy Migwi, Branden Sonnet

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Best New Album or EP
Al Bee (One from the Other), Andrea Bettger (Bush Chords), Carmen Braden (Seed Songs), Amy Lusk and the Easy Hundo (Coyote)

Best first release
Al Bee (Shine as the Stars), Gnarwhal (The Outlier), Brenden MacIntosh (Coffee Break), Marcy Migwi (Worth)

Best New Single
Agony of the Leaves (Where’s the Sleep), Andrea Bettger (Pave the Lonely Highway), Gnarwhal (Deep Spaced), The Housemen (Fine)

Best Live Performance
Andrea Bettger, Five Thirds Mad, Gnarwhal, Kilo November

Music Video Excellence Award
Carmen Braden (Menu), Abe Drennan and David Stewart (Way Up North by Abe Drennan), Braille Merchant (Tin Boat by The Housemen), Keith Robertson (Thin Ice by Andrea Bettger)

Excellence in Songwriting Award
Carmen Braden, Crook the Kid, Brenden MacIntosh, Priscilla’s Revenge

Fans’ Choice Award (vote available online)
Andrea Bettger, Abe Drennan, Sechile Sedare, daughter of the welder

Site Excellence Award
Dirty O’Fergie’s (Fort Smith), Great Northern Arts Festival (Inuvik), Northern Arts and Cultural Center (Yellowknife), Old Town Ramble and Ride (Yellowknife)

Music Industry Achievement Award
Cabin Radio, Double D Studios, Haywired Audio Productions, YK Rocks


Correction: August 24, 2022 – 2:31 PM MT. Based on a Music NWT press release, this article originally listed a category named Best in Debut Album. Music NWT later corrected the category title to Best Debut Release.

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