Summer Solstice




June 18th, 2021 National Arts Centre



from within the Indigenous community across Turtle Island

The Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards (SSIMA) will present awards representing a variety of music genres as well as awards for cultural contribution, significance, legacy and social voice. The award show itself will be two hours in length including the presentation of awards to the winners, as well as live performances from finalists throughout the evening.

Open for Submissions


Logan Staats, SSIF 2019 nomination


To ensure eligibility please review our nomination categories and submission criteria before submitting your nomination.

Logan Staats, SSIF 2019 nomination

Melody McIver, SSIF 2019


Help recognize and celebrate Indigenous artists that contribute to our diverse cultural canvas through music and cultural expression.

Melody McIver, SSIF 2019

Tarniriik – SSIF 2019

Submit Special Nominations

We invite the public to nominate a deserving artist/band to be recognized for the categories of Rising Star  or Youth Leadership in Music. No self nominations.

Tarniriik – SSIF 2019



to help define and drive the process

SSIMA wanted to ensure that the entire process captured what the Indigenous artists across Canada wanted to see in a new celebration of Indigenous music and arts. We have requested the support of two national leaders and longtime friends of SSIF to help define and drive the process and truly appreciate their expertise in making this new event a great success.

Vince Fontaine

musician, producer

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba and one of Canada’s most important Indigenous composers. Celebrated for his creative direction of multi-award winning band Eagle & Hawk and his talented collective Indian City, Fontaine’s career abounds with awards and recognition. Vince has deep roots from his Ojibway heritage and the community of Sagkeeng First Nation. Vince played a vital role in the preparation of launching the SSIMA. His creative and artistic vision ensured the SSIMA followed a successful trajectory by providing guidance into the nomination processes.

Elaine Bomberry

Performing Arts activist/promoter/manager/TV and radio producer

Elaine Bomberry is Anishinabe and Cayuga, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, in southern Ontario. For the last 14 years, she has made her home on the Capilano Reserve, Squamish Nation territory in North Vancouver, British Columbia. She has worked as a freelance Indigenous Performing Arts activist / promoter / manager / TV and radio producer full-time for 34 years, and is currently managing JUNO winner, Mohawk blues piano man Murray Porter. In 1994, Elaine along with Buffy St.Marie and Curtis ‘Shingoose’ Jonnie, helped create the `Best Music of Aboriginal Canada’ recording category for the JUNO Awards. Elaine manages the jury process and provides creative input into the live awards.


become a part of this important celebration of Canadian music and legacy

SSIMA is positioned to become an integral part of Canada’s history in the years to come. You can help ensure that Indigenous presence and participation from the music community is available to a wider audience by spreading the word!

SSIMA Event and Production Team

To be Announced soon..

Executive Producer:
Set Designer:
Assistant Production/Stage Manager:
Wranglers (10):

SSIMA Personnel
Summer Solstice Festival
Executive Producer – Trina Mather – Simard
Finance/Operations – Linda Sarazin
Marketing/PR -Knock On Wood Communications
Admin/Coordination – Leanne Vance
Artistic Voice Consultant – Vince Fontaine
Adjudication Consultant – Elaine Bomberry



a critical voice for the artistic community

The advisory committee serves as a critical voice for the artistic community to contribute to the development of a fair and inclusive nomination and adjudication process for the SSIMA. Their combined experience and expertise in the music industry helped to mold the inaugural SSIMA into a successful event. We want to acknowledge and give a special thank you to the members of the Artist Advisory Circle for their contributions.

David McLeod

CEO of Native Communications Incorporated (NCI)

David McLeod is a member of the Pine Creek First Nation and has over 25 years of experience working in media. He is the CEO of Native Communications Incorporated (NCI), which operates a provincial radio network via 57 transmitters. David has written and directed three series of children’s programs for NCI which appeared on CBC Manitoba North. He also hosted both radio and television talk format programs, and has worked as a television reporter covering stories throughout northern Manitoba for several years. In 2002, David received an Indigenous Music Award for his contributionsin promoting Indigenous music. He is a member of the Winnipeg Indigenous Writers Collective and also sits on the Board at Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association (MARIA). As part of the Advisory Circle, David provided feedback in regards to the nomination and adjudication processes.

Sandra Sutter


Sandra Sutter is Cree Métis, tracing her lineage back to the 1800s. Sandra is a well-known singer-songwriter who sings, writes and plays in a variety of styles including folk, country, jazz and rock. Sandra is inspired by her Indigenous heritage and has been active in the arts, particularly music, for many years. Sandra is the Aboriginal Partnerships Manager for Tarpon Energy and CGT Industrial and the Executive Director for the Circle for Aboriginal Relations Society. Additionally, she sits on several Indigenous serving boards and committees across Canada. She lives and breathes the concepts that she thinks, speaks and sings about every day. As part of the Advisory Circle, Sandra provides feedback in regards to the nomination and adjudication processes.

Errol Ranville

2005 Aboriginal Hall of Fame inductee

Errol Ranville, an award winning respected music icon for over 40 years, was born in Ste. Rose du Lac, Manitoba. Errol formed the C-Weed Band who released songs that rose to #1 on the Canadian Country Radio charts, #1 on the Country Music charts and received nominations for JUNO Awards in 1985, 1986, and in 2000 for Run as One. Errol served as Executive Producer for Manito Ahbee, and the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards in 2006 and 2007. Errol received the lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2004) and the lifetime achievement award from Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards (2011).  It has always been Errol’s mission to bring Aboriginal music to the mainstream, and believes that today that future looks brighter than ever. 

Desiree Dorion


Desiree Dorion, from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, is one of Manitoba’s most celebrated women in country music. She released her first album in 1998 when she was only 13 years old. After high school, she took a hiatus from music to attend university. After university, she decided to dust off her guitar and get back to music and has been working fairly steadily in music since 2010. She has had multiple singles reach the #1 spot on the Indigenous Music Countdown and has had several songs reach the Canadian country music charts. In 2017, Desiree took home the award for Songwriter of the Year at the Manitoba Country Music Awards for co-writing “Whiskey Knows” with Chris Burke-Gaffney. As part of the Advisory Circle, Desiree provides feedback in regards to the nomination and adjudication processes.

Nikki Komaksiutiksak

an experienced throat singer, teacher of Inuit history and culture, and a heartfelt musical performer.

Nikki Komaksiutiksak is an Inuit woman from Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut. She is now a mother of five and is currently working as the acting executive director for Tunngasugit Inc. in Winnipeg. Nikki is an experienced throat singer, teacher of Inuit history and culture, and a heartfelt musical performer. Nikki has participated in a number of international events, representing Manitoba and Inuit at such prestigious venues as the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Summer Games and more recently the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards in Winnipeg. Nikki is often asked to attend Universities and schools throughout Manitoba to teach and showcase Inuit culture to both students and staff. As part of the Advisory Circle, Nikki provides feedback in regards to the nomination and adjudication processes.

Atik Mason

2005 Winner for Aboriginal Recording of the Year

Atik Mason is Oji-Cree from St. Theresa Point First Nation, MB, Turtle Island. Out of high school, Atik was involved in the heavy metal band JERKWATER and alternative band RUDIS, out of Brandon, MB. It was when he moved to Winnipeg in 2001 that he joined the band, Burnt Project 1 and began experiments with fusing First Nation traditional music with contemporary sounds. Burnt earned two JUNO nominations (2004) and 1 win in 2005 for Aboriginal Recording of the Year, among a win at the Western Canadian Music awards and other various recognitions. Later in the 2000’s, and into the present decade, Atik has brought his talent to various projects, including SEGWEH (Native American Music Awards Rock Album of the Year, 2010), INDIAN CITY, and EAGLE & HAWK.


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