Lifetime Achievement honouree Errol Ranville closes the show (CBC)
Another year of the Manito Ahbee festival and Aboriginal Music Week has come to an end. And there is always a sense of loneliness come Monday morning after six days and nights filled with music and friends from across the nation.
It seems that the audiences grow each year for Aboriginal Music Week. The Pyramid Cabaret saw two sold out nights, with crowds waiting to get inside to see acts like Derek Miller and A Tribe Called Red's Electric Pow Wow.
Meanwhile, more intimate music showcases took place at the Windsor which saw some very different music for the local blues bar. From hip hop to country, industry-types and music lovers could sit back and enjoy the live shows.
"Our ticket revenue doubled from last year. We're bringing in bigger acts and the audience is responding by paying a little more for nightclub shows," said Alan Greyeyes, chair of Aboriginal Music Week.
"Aboriginal Music Week is Canada's greatest showcase of talented, First Nations/Metis/Inuit People and it was an honor to be involved," said Nathan Cunningham, an emerging country music artist from Edmonton who played Friday night at the Windsor.
But the big show, the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, is the shining jewel in the week of Manito Ahbee and Aboriginal Music Week. It's when the stars of the Aboriginal community come out in all their finest, walk the red carpet at the MTS Centre - and really show what this community has to offer.
"It was an honour to be considered in the same category as Bruthers of Different Muthers and Will Belcourt. They are such hard working people/bands with great songs and sounds," said Veronica Johnny of The Johnnys. They were nominated for Best Rock CD.
"We really felt at home there and are seriously considering making it our new home," said Veronica. And really who in the music business wouldn't. Winnipeg is being hailed as the centre of the Aboriginal music world and getting nicknames like Red Hollywood and Indian Vegas.
This is the sixth year for the APCMAs in Winnipeg and the third year for Aboriginal Music Week. CBC's Terry MacLeod was on the red carpet before Friday night's award show. He had a chat with Winnipeg city councillor Dan Vandal who said that the Aboriginal music industry "and these awards have become a a major economic engine in the city with not only artists, but recording studios, managers, venues, car and hotel rentals and airfares."
And CBC Manitoba was proud to be a part of the celebrations. From coverage to sponsorship of both festivals, to bringing volunteers (CBC Do Crew) together from the non-Aboriginal community to lending their support at the pow wow, and having our staff blog about the different events, it has been a full week of fun.
I think Suzette Amaya, host of CBC Radio 3's Ab-Originals and winner of Best Aboriginal Music Program at the APCMAs for her show Think NDN summed it up best:
"I laughed, I cried and went home with the sounds of electric guitars pounding in my mind."
Kim Ziervogel,SCENE Producer