Leela Gilday nominated for two Juno Awards

Leela Gilday
A submitted photo of Leela Gilday.

Yellowknife’s Leela Gilday has been nominated for two 2021 Juno Awards for her album North Star Calling.

The album, which was released in September 2019, is meant to be “a love song for Denendeh,” Gilday told Cabin Radio at the time.

Gilday is in the running for both the Indigenous artist or group of the year, and the contemporary roots album of the year.

“I am thrilled and surprised to nominated in two categories,” Gilday said. “This is the first time that’s happened for me at the Junos. To get a double nod is really exciting – my whole team is thrilled.”



In the Indigenous artist of the year category, Gilday is up against artists Burnstick, Crystal Shawanda, Julian Taylor, and Terry Uyarak. For the contemporary roots album award, she is facing artists William Prince, Julian Taylor, Rose Cousins, and Tami Neilson.

In 2007, Gilday won the Juno award for Aboriginal recording of the year, now known as the Indigenous artist or group of the year award. She was also nominated for the same award in 2003 and 2015.

That award’s name was changed in 2019, to “consider the broader work of Indigenous musicians,” according to the CBC.

This year marks the first year Gilday is being considered for an award outside of the Indigenous artist category.



Despite how devasting Covid-19 has been on many artist’s careers, Gilday said the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences – the not-for-profit that administers the Juno.Awards – received more nominations than ever this year.

Meanwhile, Yellowknife music teacher Stephen Richardson is in the running for the 2021 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award, which will also be announced at the Juno Awards gala and dinner.

The Juno Awards will celebrate their 50th anniversary in Toronto. The winners will be broadcast on May 16.