Nominees announced for first NWT Music Awards

Kilo November performing at Folk on the Rocks 2021. Sarah Pruys/ Cabin Radio.
Kilo November performing at Folk on the Rocks 2021. Sarah Pruys/ Cabin Radio.

Music NWT has announced the nominees for 10 awards to be given out for the first time at a ceremony on September 10.

The awards are part of an effort to strengthen the territory’s music industry by increasing recognition of the sector’s achievements. September’s ceremony is considered a statement of that intent with tickets retailing at $145 each.

“This is the first time Music NWT has honoured its musicians and we look forward to highlighting the amazing talent in the NWT,” said Trevor Sinclair, the group’s executive director, in a Wednesday news release announcing the award shortlists.

Sinclair said nominations had come from Yellowknife, Fort Good Hope, Fort Providence, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River and Inuvik.



Three inaugural inductees into an NWT music hall of fame remain to be announced.

The award show weekend includes a Thursday night performance at The Raven by Amy Lusk and the Easy Hundo, The Ditch Hearts and Gnarwhal, then a Friday show at the Wildcat Café by Marie MacDonald, Narlz B, Abe Drennan and Andrew Shedden. A kids’ show at the same venue runs from 2pm on Saturday, September 10 with Miranda Currie, ahead of the evening awards show at the Explorer Hotel.

Nominees are as follows:

Indigenous Artist Award of Excellence
Miranda Currie, Johnny Landry, Marcy Migwi, Branden Sonnet



Best New Album or EP
Al Bee (One from the Other), Andrea Bettger (Bush Chords), Carmen Braden (Seed Songs), Amy Lusk and the Easy Hundo (Coyote)

Best Debut Release
Al Bee (Shine as the Stars), Gnarwhal (The Outlier), Brenden MacIntosh (Coffee Break), Marcy Migwi (Worth)

Best New Single
Agony of the Leaves (Where is the Sleep), Andrea Bettger (Pave the Lonely Highway), Gnarwhal (Deep Spaced), The Housemen (Fine)

Best Live Performance
Andrea Bettger, Five Thirds Mad, Gnarwhal, Kilo November

Music Video Award of Excellence
Carmen Braden (Menu), Abe Drennan and David Stewart (Way Up North by Abe Drennan), Braille Merchant (Tin Boat by The Housemen), Keith Robertson (Thin Ice by Andrea Bettger)

Songwriting Award of Excellence
Carmen Braden, Crook the Kid, Brenden MacIntosh, Priscilla’s Revenge

Fan Choice Award (voting available online)
Andrea Bettger, Abe Drennan, Sechile Sedare, Welder’s Daughter

Venue Award of Excellence
Dirty O’Fergie’s (Fort Smith), Great Northern Arts Festival (Inuvik), Northern Arts and Cultural Centre (Yellowknife), Old Town Ramble and Ride (Yellowknife)

Music Industry Award of Excellence
Cabin Radio, Double D Studios, Haywired Audio Productions, YK Rocks

Correction: August 24, 2022 – 14:31 MT. Based on a Music NWT news release, this article initially listed a category named Best in Debut Album. Music NWT subsequently corrected the category title to Best Debut Release.