Kinuso musician Cory Cardinal came home from the Indigenous Music Awards in Winnipeg with a life-changing experience even though he didn’t win.
A member of the Swan River First Nation, he was one of five nominees for best country album for his CD North of Town Roads at the ceremony May 19.
“My experience at the Indigenous Music Awards was incredible,” says Cardinal, 40, a constable with Lakeshore Regional Police Service since 2009 based in Driftpile.
“Although I was not the award winner for my category, the real award was the connections and new friends in this business who all want the same in success and are willing to help each other advance into mainstream as Indigenous artists and musicians.”
Sounds of Cardinal also echoed at the event.
“The biggest treat is being recognized as an artist and hearing your music being played in random places,” Cardinal says.
“My initial response to the nomination was excitement, but I knew that it meant two things; the recognition of my music on a grand scale and my opportunity to open doors not available to me otherwise.”
He was able to connect with other artists and music industry pros, radio reps and music producers including multi-award-winning artist and producer of the year nominee, Manitoba native and now Nashville producer Crystal Shawanda and her husband Dewayne Strobel.”
“This whole experience has given me better insight into what I understand is a lot more complex and frustrating than I imagined but it is achievable,” Cardinal says.
“Therefore, I am continuing on to my second album release and looking into increasing live shows and perhaps devote a significant part of my approaching years to music and travel.
“Perhaps next year will have me as a performer or an award winner.”
He was accompanied on the trip by band mates, Ian Rossiter and Tristan Galinski and his executive producer John Mcree, who have played a huge role in the success the album is achieving.
The event celebrated and honoured achievements from Indigenous artists and industry professionals around the globe.
“North of Town Roads” features many songs he wrote and composed from a career that started two decades ago.
“I’ve been an active musician for 20 years so I decided to put music out there that was from something I created, not to be rich or famous from it,” Cardinal says.
His music has no real focus or message from the music.
“It is basically music I composed, and threw in some lyrics,” says Cardinal.
Jade Turner of Misipawistik Cree Nation, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Winnipeg, was the winner of the category.
Formerly known as the Aboriginal Peoples’ Choice Music Awards, the event was staged at Winnipeg’s Club Regent Event Centre.
More than 200 nominations from across North America were submitted in 18 different categories.