Non-profit music group SaskMusic is looking to help in further promoting Indigenous music and its artists of the province, where they hope to find a partner to organize a concert for next year especially with COVID restrictions easing up.
SaskMusic, in cooperation with the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings, held an online concert on June 24 as part of the National Indigenous History Month on Facebook and YouTube where they are going to premier the music videos of 16 local indigenous artists. The concert will be then be available to watch on SaskTel maxTV Local on Demand after June 25.
Allison Strong, Angus Vincent Berk Jodoin, Biz Nico, Donny Parenteau, Gypsy Moonbird, Jarrid Lee, Lyrico Keller, Nige B, Nowujalo, Patrick Moon Bird, Raven Reid, Riva Farrell Racette, Ran Peekeekoot, Terri Bear, and Yvonne St. Germaine are the independent artists to be featured. Some of the local artists also work with independent record labels.
SaskMusic communications officer Lorena Kelly said they use social media as a platform in promoting the province’s indigenous music artists.
“We do a lot of features via our website and social media, promote playlists, and showcase opportunities as well as putting on the annual Saskatchewan Music Awards.”
Kelly said that although their concerts look different every year, this is the second year that they are doing a virtual concert due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But we hope to maybe partner with other organizations to do an in-person plus streamed show next year. As well as having workshops or other networking events.”
She said that with the JUNO Awards and the Folk Alliance International as among their partners, they help bring awareness on Saskatchewan music and its artists. “[We] take artists through submission opportunities to different showcases around the world. One of the best things we do though, is offering one-on-one assistance to artists/musicians.”
“We have about 30 mentors available who can chat with artists/musicians/producers on a wide range of topics. There are a lot of questions an artist can run into, whatever stage of their careers they’re at, and we try to help answer them.”
Kelly added that they would also support the local artists if ever they plan to enter the mainstream music market. “If that’s something they desire, not everyone necessarily wants to go mainstream. We work with artists to market their music. For example, if they want to move towards making a living from music; reach national/international markets/tours, apply for grants or work on other skills for getting their music out there. We offer a lot of workshops each year and various kinds of opportunities.”