People dance in the beer garden at Folk on the Rocks 2022. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Music NWT will host its first awards gala in September in a bid to strengthen the music scene in the Northwest Territories.
The event, a formal sit-down gala with a plated dinner and live music, will be held at Yellowknife’s Explorer Hotel on September 10 at 6pm. Ten awards are on offer.
Three musicians – their names have yet to be publicized – will become inaugural inductees into the Music NWT Hall of Fame.
“We’ll have six showcasing artists, then we’re going to have an open stage for an open jam,” said Trevor Sinclair, executive director of Music NWT.
“We want to have it filled with music. We’ll have a musician playing in the lobby and one in the reception room, then during dinner somebody will be playing.
“It’s an opportunity for those that are not well-tied to the music industry here to meet amazing musicians and see quite a few different musicians play.”
Sinclair argues change within the northern music industry must begin with “recognizing its own talent.”
“We are the lowest-funded music industry association in the country,” Sinclair told Cabin Radio, comparing Music NWT to Music Yukon, which receives $55,000 more than Music NWT annually.
“We hope that the music awards will help increase the profile of music and our musicians,” he said.
“We want people to realize and recognize that yes, indeed, you can have a full-time career as a musician and there are ways to do it.
“We can only do that if we support our musicians and build the musical infrastructure that needs to be in place to do it.”
Tickets for the NWT Music Awards – priced at $145, though a discount is available to members of Music NWT – can be purchased online or at this weekend’s Old Town Ramble and Ride, at the stage near Old Town Glassworks.