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2002 Music Award Overview

This evening, the fourth annual Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards honoured the premiere musical artists of the Canadian Aboriginal communities at a spectacular gala evening that took place at Skydome, in Toronto. The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards is the opening night launch of The Canadian Aboriginal Festival, taking place at Skydome November 28th - December 1st.

The fourth annual Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards celebrate the deep cultural heritage of the North American Aboriginal people and uncover exciting new talent and musical styles that will define native culture in the future.

Leading the winners, Pappy Johns Band took home four awards for their CD Blame it on Monday. Pappy Johns Band was named Best Group or Duo; Faron Johns was given the award for Best Male Artist; Blame it on Monday was named Best Song/ Single; and Alec Fraser & Pappy Johns Band were awarded the Best Producer/ Engineer honour. Pappy Johns Band was the House Band on APTN's Buffalo Tracks, the first Aboriginal variety and talk show on television. Pappy Johns Band is Faron Johns- vocals; Don Powless- bass guitar; and Oren Doxtator-, drums and background vocals.

Leela Gilday, named Best Female Artist, and Best Songwriter for Spirit World, Solid Wood on Spirit World, Solid Wood at this year's Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, was recognized with a total of three awards. Leela Gilday's CD- Spirit World, Solid Wood was celebrated as Best Folk Album. Leela Gilday's long and varied career as a singer/songwriter began at the age of eight in Yellowknife, NWT. The 27-year-old First Nations singer is from the Dene Nation and brings an "Urban Indian" sensibility to her songwriting.

Rap group War Party took home two awards. Exclusive Rez won Best Rap or Hip Hop Album, and the Best Music Video award went to War Party for 'The Reign.' Formed in 1995 in Hobbema, Alberta, War Party includes Executive Producer Rex Smallboy, Leading Lady Cynthia Smallboy, Head Lyricist Karmen Omeosoo and Co-Producer Tom Crier.

Bear Creek "Live" took the honours for both Best Pow Wow Album Contemporary, and Best Pow Wow Album Traditional. This outstanding 17-man Ojibwe group is based out of Sault St. Marie, Ontario.

Art Moosomin won Best Drum Songs Album for "One More Time." The late Art Moosomin had been singing since he was eight years old. He shared, and continues to share, his talents with all who are interested in the traditional values and songs.

The Best Album Cover Design distinction was awarded to Pamela Whitecalf for Spirit Whistle's "Spirit Whistle."

The Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards are coordinated by Ron Robert, Executive Producer; Catherine Cornelius, Executive Director; and Sadie Buck, Artistic Director, along with an advisory committee of nine distinguished members of the Aboriginal music community across Canada. The mission is to acknowledge and honour the keepers, teachers, promoters, creators and performers of Aboriginal music; to continue to develop and promote the diversity of all Aboriginal music; to showcase and celebrate the excellence of Aboriginal music; and to recognize the unique vision of Aboriginal musicians and encourage this rich cultural voice.


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