Nfld. & Labrador

Labrador group the Flummies win MusicNL's Lifetime Achievement Award

MusicNL said it was deserved after decades of sharing Labrador traditional songs and culture.

Band shared traditional Labrador songs and culture for decades, says MusicNL

From left: Simeon Asivak, Richard Dyson, Tunker Campbell and Leander Baikie of the Flummies, a group of Indigenous musicians based in Labrador. (Submitted by Leander Baikie)

MusicNL's Celebration of Music Week is kicking off on Monday. It's a week of music, workshops and awards — highlighted by the Lifetime Achievement Award being awarded to a Labrador band for the second year in a row.

The Flummies is a four-piece Indigenous band and have been performing since 1978. 

Their music is a mixture of accordion jigs and reels with some local favourites and other country sounding tracks. The group released Brothers on the River, their 10th studio album, in 2021.

The album is dedicated to Alton Best, who played with the group until he was 77 years old. 

The group's win follows the Nain Brass Band and the Nain Moravian Church Choir's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.

Rhonda Tulk-Lane, MusicNL's executive director, said the process to decide the winner is rigorous. 

"[The board] talked to people on the ground. They do their research," she said. "We just looked at the long history … to focus on the history, the culture and the traditional songs of Labrador. It just was so rich that this, we felt, was the year."

Leander Baikie says it's wonderful for the band to recognized for its music. (Submitted by the Flummies)

"That's a wonderful achievement, and [we are] so glad to be recognized for our music after all these years in our province," said Leander Baikie, lead singer of the Flummies. 

Baikie said the group members are grateful but don'e think about awards. Instead they record music, play, and go to many small communities.

While they travel throughout the North, he says, they are treated almost like rock stars. 

"Just amazing to see how many people are so excited to see a band from this province," Baikie said.

"Play the accordion music and get them all dancing. And you know, that's the best part of being a musician that gets to travel is just spreading the love and the cheer."

Week of celebration kicks off Monday

Music Celebration Week is set to run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5. The St. John's festival is meant for celebration, networking and workshops through a combination of in-person events and online learning opportunities.

"There's a lot happening online for anyone that can't join us," Tulk-Lane said. "But we do have travel support if anyone decides that they want to join us."

Workshops include a creative process walk through with music producer Justin Gray, a funding workshop and a negotiating panel to help musicians know their worth when booking gigs.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said The Flummies were the first group from Labrador to win MusicNL's Lifetime Achievement Award. The Nain Brass Band and The Nain Moravian Church Choir won the award in 2020.
    Nov 27, 2021 10:57 AM NT

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