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Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards Announce Nominees

Aysanabee leads with six nominations, Snotty Nose Rez Kids follow with five.

The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival has announced the nominees for the 2023 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards. Winners will be celebrated and honoured in Ottawa during the awards ceremony at National Arts Centre on Tuesday, June 6.

The SSIMAs span 16 categories, celebrating solo artists, duos and groups from across Canada and showcasing the diverse and growing music and culture of artistic expression and accomplishment within the Indigenous community. Nominees were selected from 250 Canada-wide submissions by an invited panel of jurors comprising Indigenous and music industry professionals. No public voting was involved in the selection process.

This year’s nominees include Aysanabee, who leads the competition with six nods, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, who follow with five, and a diverse slate of artists including Adrian Sutherland, Indian City, Digging Roots, Blue Moon Marquee, Jerry Sereda, Plex. Amanda Rheaume, Northern Cree, Kaeley Jade, Jessica McMann, Mr. Sauga and more.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids.

“Presenting and promoting Indigenous music is a cornerstone of our festival,” says Trina Mather Simard, CEO and producer of Ottawa’s Summer Solstice Festival, which runs June 21-25. “We’re celebrating Indigenous voices,” adds advisory committee chair Elaine Bomberry. “These awards, in Canada’s capital city, provide an excellent platform for artists to be recognized for their hard work.”

Hosted by Anishinaabe activist, broadcaster and content creator Sarain Fox, The SSIMAs presentation ceremony will feature six live performances. Tickets will be on sale Friday May 19 at 10 a.m., with a limited number of VIP tickets include a reception attended by artists, presenters and sponsors with an Indigenous-inspired menu by NAC Chef Chris Commandant. Tickets start at $20 (including tax plus fees) and will be available at the website, by phone and in-person at the NAC box office, starting Friday at 10 am.

This SSIMAs presentation kicks off Indigenous History Month and is a prelude to the annual Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival at Madahoki Farm in Ottawa. The free festival coincides with National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. Authentic, interactive programming showcases the culture, history, food, music, art, fashion, dance and entrepreneurship of Canada’s diverse Indigenous community fostering cultural understanding and creating opportunities for connection.

Get more information and tickets at the event website, and follow the SSIMAs on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Aysanabee. Photo by Matt Barnes.