Canada’s Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival Announces 2021 Nominees and TD Bank Group as New Top Sponsor of The SSIMAs

by ahnationtalk on May 12, 2021371 Views

OTTAWA, ON, May 12, 2021 – The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) today announced TD Bank Group as presenting sponsor of its inaugural SSIMAs (Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards) and released the list of nominees.  The Awards span 18 categories, celebrating solo artists, duos and groups from across Canada by showcasing the diverse and growing music and culture of artistic expression and accomplishment within the Indigenous community.

“Presenting and promoting Indigenous music has been a cornerstone of our Festival for over 22 years, so we felt it was a natural connection to establish these international Awards to spark this celebration of Indigenous music in recognition of National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day,” said Trina Mather Simard, Artistic Producer and Executive Director of Ottawa’s Summer Solstice Festival which runs June 1st to June 21st.

“TD has a long-standing relationship with the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, and we are delighted to be part of this vital platform that supports Indigenous Peoples in the music industry.  Music reminds us that we are all connected through shared passions and ideas. Regardless of who you are, it invites all of us to a common ground where we can find confidence, acceptance and self-expression. We are truly proud to be creating opportunities for artists from the Indigenous community and connecting communities across Canada through music.”  – Doris Bear, VP of Indigenous Banking

Some of the 18 award categories hold special significance. Youth Leadership in Music and Social Voice categories recognize individuals and groups that have impacted artistic heritage and culture within the Indigenous community, mentorship of youth through music and/or raised awareness of social and environmental issues to inspire positive change. International Indigenous Artist/Group Recording of the Year recognizes artists within and beyond this country’s borders, who identify as Indigenous but not as First Nations, Métis or Inuit.

Nominees were selected from 250 Canada-wide submissions by an invited panel of jurors comprising  Indigenous and music industry professionals and peers. No public voting was involved in the selection process.

Category winners will be announced and honoured at a special ceremony streamed live from the National Arts Centre on Saturday, June 12th.


Radio Song Single of the Year

Battlefields, Twin Flames

Super Power, Joey Stylez 

Manidoo Dewe’igan, Cody Coyote 

Sah ‘Laana, Carsen Gray

Some Kind of Hell, Burnstick

Country Album of the Year

Shine, Leah Belle

Don’t Mind If I Do, Jerry Sereda

Break The Chain, Desiree Dorion

Big Dream, Esther Pennell

Last Ride, The C-weed Band

Pop/Alternative/Rock Album of the Year

Omen, Twin Flames, Omen

Quanah Style, Quanah Style

Theory of Ice, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Warrior Sun, Joey Stylez and Carsen Gray

Dreamweaver, Anachnid 

Live Musical Performance of the Year

Shawnee, Warrior Heart

Shauit, Nutshimam

Sandrine Masse-Savard, Yawenda and wendat chants

Joshua Arden Miller, Toronto Blues Society 35 Years of Blues

Joey Stylez and Carsen Gray, Victory Dance

Social Voice

Murray Porter 

Leela Gilday


G.R. Gritt


Roots Album of the Year

As The Stars Explode, The North Sound 

Made Of, Nick Sherman

STAND UP, Murray Porter

North Star Calling, Leela Gilday  

The Ridge, Julian Taylor 

Rap/Hip Hop/Electronica Album of the Year

Sah ‘Laana, The North Stars 

Electric Turtle Dreams. Sean Beaver 

Let the games begin, Rich n Beka 

20/20, Mattmac 

Dreamweaver, Anachnid

Metis Artist/Group of the Year

Sandra Sutter

G.R. Gritt

Electric Religious

Brandi Vezina

Blue Moon Marquee

Youth Leadership in Music

Warrior Women


Cody Coyote

International Indigenous Artist/Group Recording of the Year

Vildaluodda / Wildprint , VILDÁ

A Small Death, Samantha Crain  

Cihkkojuvvon / Hidden, Gájanas

Dockside Saints, Cary Morin

Sky Songs, Alena Murang

Music in the Arts

Twin Flames, Grace Too

Okara, Okara LIVE

Cris Derksen,  Indigenous Fashion Week

Recording Artist(s) of the Year

Twin Flames

Murray Porter

DJ Shub 



Rising Star

Mary Bryton

Logan Staats

Kaeley Jade

Joshua Arden Miller

Angel Baribeau

Inuit Artist/Group of the Year

Silver Wolf Band

Silla and Rise


Hand Drum/Fiddle/Instrumental Album of the Year

Four Sacred Colours, Tee Cloud

Manitou Mkwa Singers Volume 2

Singing is Healing, Joel Wood

Pow Wow Traditional/ Contemporary Album of the Year

Honouring Our Languages, Wabanaki Confederacy

Kepmite’lsultinej: Honour Our People, Stoney Bear Singers

Manitou Mkwa Singers Volume 2, Manitou Mkwa

Artistic Video

Like A Record (Troy Koko) Troy Kokol

Monsters (The North Stars) David Hodges

Mother Roots (Silla And Rise) Rise Ashen

Easier (Nadjiwan) Meriläinen Müsic Inc., Laura Meriläinen & Marc Meriläinen

Solidification( Leanne Betasamosake Simpson) Sammy Chien and the Chemerik Collective

The SSIMAs and SSIF are produced by Mather Simard’s Indigenous entertainment and tourism firm, on behalf of the National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee comprising six (6) organizations that represent Indigenous communities across Canada. An Artist Advisory Committee made up of Canadian Indigenous music leaders was created to collaborate with and provide direction on The SSIMAs.

“It’s time to celebrate Indigenous voices! These Awards provide an excellent platform for artists to be recognized for their hard work. Ottawa being the nation’s capital is a great portal to the world to share the surging wave of Indigenous expression,” noted Advisory Committee members Vince Fontaine and Elaine Bomberry.

About Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (June 1-21, 2021)

Established in Ottawa in 1996, the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) is a multi-disciplinary arts festival that brings together Indigenous artists, performers, educators, students, and community members to share knowledge and celebrate Canada’s diverse Indigenous cultures. Summer Solstice Festivals are produced by Indigenous Experiences on behalf of the National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee (NIPD) comprising the following six (6) organizations representing Indigenous communities across Canada: National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) the co-host this year, Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Council of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC). In 2020, the former 4-day live event transformed to a month-long virtual festival coinciding with National Indigenous History Month and culminating on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21st).

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with 13 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.4 trillion in assets on April 30, 2019. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol “TD” on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

For further information: Media: Kita Szpak, Knock on Wood Communications + Events Inc., #613-725-3063


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