The public voting for the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards is officially underway. It’s the time of year when your Facebook news feed fills with artists asking for your support, and fans showing support with their “I just voted for” choices – and others asking you to stop posting about voting.
This year the APCMAs changed the voting process, with the first round of voting decided by industry members (including myself) and the final vote decided by you, the public. This way, you only have to vote for your favourites once.
Categories include best music video, single of the year, group or duo of the year, best album cover design, fiddle, flute, pow wow and hand drum and rock and blues, along with the biggies for Aboriginal entertainer of the year, both male and female.
In the past, artists submitting for the awards were frustrated with the high number of awards for Manitoba artists. This year, only 27 of the 113 nominations went to Manitobans, including seven for the supergroup Indian City, the brainchild of Eagle and Hawk co-founder Vince Fontaine.
Eagle and Hawk is still rocking, and the band has received its fair share of awards. With no new album this year, though, it looks like Fontaine’s newest band is set to follow in E and H’s footsteps. Indian City’s nominations include single of the year, songwriter of the year and best new artist.
“It's a real honour to be nominated and I'm especially excited for the folks in Indian City,” said Fontaine. “It's a great opportunity to showcase their talent and acknowledge the effort that was put into the CD recording.” And Indian City hasn’t even had its official CD launch, which happens Aug. 23 in Winnipeg.
Indian City also includes Don Amero, who has a successful solo career and will face off against the group for single of the year and best pop CD. Amero now has 20 nominations at the APCMAs since 2007, and has yet to receive a single award. Perhaps Indian City will change his luck this time out.
These seventh annual music awards also honour artists south of the border. Master guitarist Gabriel Ayala is nominated in the best instrumental category.
“I can't tell you how much this means to me being that this CD was fully recorded, produced, etc. all by me,” said Ayala. “It is an affirmation for me that I'm doing something right in this industry.”
Ayala has been nominated eight times, including this year’s nod, and, like Amero, has yet to take a statue home.
The best thing about the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards is you don’t have to be Aboriginal to vote, you just have to appreciate good music in a variety of musical genres. Female entertainer of the year nominee Shy-Anne Hovorka has organized voting parties in past years. She said she performs at a venue and her friends will bring their laptops and get audience members to vote right there.
“I didn't think I would make the top five. The other four are so good,” Hovorka said of her entertainer of the year nomination. “I'm excited to be associated with them. It is an honour.” She's up against Phyllis Sinclair, Tagaq, Terri Clarke and Tracy Bone.
Voting closes Sept. 3 at midnight. The votes will then be tallied and the hardware handed out at a show that rivals the Junos and the Canadian Country Music Awards in Winnipeg on Nov. 2.
Single of the Year playlist.
1. "Supernation," Indian City
2. "Rez Blues," Murray Porter
3. "Wandering," IsKwé
4. "Turn These Grey Skies Blue," Don Amero
5. "The Glue," Shy-Anne Hovorka
Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards changes voting rules
on Aug 14, 2012