The long awaited 2023 Saskatchewan Indigenous Music Awards took place at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts in Prince Albert on Sunday night.

Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate Indigenous artists from across the province, with ten awards being presented throughout the ceremony.

The night kicked off with a performance by Indigenous singer/songwriter Teagan Littlechief.

Littlechief also presented the first award of the night which was the Emerging Artist Award, an award for artists 18 years old or younger.

The award was presented to 16-year-old Brindan who was nearly lost for words on stage. With the award Brindan also received $500 from SIMA to help further his career, as well as a music marketing starter package worth $500 from Roland Corrigal.

“I started making music the beginning of this year and I never thought I would get this, but I want to say thank you to SIMA and thank you to everyone who participated, whoever’s listening, whoever’s here,” said Brindan.

Gospel singer Yvonne St. Germaine presented the next award, which was for Gospel Recording of the Year. Sundance and Sunshine Brass from Pasqua First Nation were the winners of that award.

Mayor of Prince Albert Greg Dionne took to the stage to present the third award of the night which was the Song of the Year Award. Metis country artist Shawn Adams took that one home.

“I’ve been doing this music my whole life and to get recognized for it is just, it’s awesome,” said Adams.

The next award was for Country/Roots Person of the Year, which was handed to Jarrid Lee.

Lac La Ronge Indian Band member Nige B didn’t receive just one award but went home with two awards in his hands. He was awarded Instrumentalist of The Year, as well as Rock/Heavy Metal/Rap Person of the Year.

One of the most honorable awards of the night was the Willard Ahenakew Award. Former Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph took to the stage with his family to receive the award.

“I know Willard, went to school with him when I was at the Residential School and I know he’s a very talented person, a very committed artist in the area, drawings and all that,” Joseph said.

Next up was the Female Artist of the Year Award which was received by Falynn Baptiste of Red Pheasant Cree Nation.

The Male Artist of the Year award went to JJ Lavallee who is originally from Manitoba but thanked Saskatchewan for making him feel at home.

The final award of the night was the Fan Choice Entertainer of the Year Award which was handed to Donny Corrigal. Corrigal said that people can expect new music from him soon.

Performances throughout the evening included Donny Parenteau, Julianna Parenteau, The Journalist, Yvonne St. Germaine, Roland Corrigal, the Strong Sisters, and Teagan Littlechief.

The evening was emceed by MBC’s Morning Show Host Ken Landers.

“Get ready for next year and tell everybody make sure to come because we are doing this again, we are not stopping,” said Donny Parenteau.

(Photo by Jenna Smith.)