Cardinal wins Juno Award

Celeigh Cardinal won a 2020 Juno Award for Indigenous Artist-of-the-Year for her latest album Stories From a Downtown Apartment.

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

While the awards ceremony may not be quite what she originally hoped with no red carpet to walk and no waiting cameras to smile for, Celeigh Cardinal has won a 2020 Juno Award for Indigenous Artist-of-the-Year.

She received the award for her latest album Stories From a Downtown Apartment.

The awards were presented during a virtual ceremony on June 29 after the physical awards that were set to take place in Saskatoon in March had to be reorganized and rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Actually, very happy I got to share this moment with most of my family and my great loves,” Cardinal says.

She defeated Northern Haze, Digawolf, Nehiyawak, and Riit for the honour, and calls all of those artists “an inspiration.”

Cardinal is originally from the Peace Country and last performed in the region at an underground music society event in Peace River in February.

She had been set to perform at this year’s North Country Fair, which streamed live performances from the Starlite Room in Edmonton, but had to cancel. She has also had to cancel an upcoming European tour due to the global pandemic.

The award is a welcome recognition after her many years of touring and providing a platform for other Indigenous artists as the first Indigenous radio personality on Alberta’s own CKUA and the first Indigenous member of Edmonton’s Arts Column, The In Crowd.

Her most popular song, The Devil is a Blue-Eyed Man, reached No. 1 on the Indigenous Music Countdown last August. Cardinal says it’s about the repeating patterns in relationships, like her own pattern of falling in love with men with blue eyes and then it not working out.

The Juno is only the latest of a string of awards for Cardinal. Her 2017 album Everything and Nothing at All earned Indigenous Artist-of-the-Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and eight nominations at the Edmonton Music Awards, where she won Female Artist-of-the-Year and Indigenous Recording-of-the-Year. The album was also nominated for Best Pop Album at the Indigenous Music Awards.

Besides winning a Juno, Cardinal has also been nominated for two Western Canadian Music Awards this year.

Cardinal has been taking some time to take a break and reevaluate with all of the changes in the live entertainment industry, but as she takes in the new award, she says she is starting to feel her creativity flowing again.

In a post to her official Facebook page, she says, “Lately my footing has felt very shaky and the rug seemed to be pulled out from under me everytime I felt like I had begun creating some solid foundation.

“I’ve been feeling grateful to have time to really slow down to feel/absorb/accept everything going on but now I’m feeling a shift. Maybe it’s momentum, maybe it’s just temporary energy but it’s a wave I want to navigate.”

Cardinal will also continue to promote other Indigenous artists and in her ongoing quest to broaden the perception of Indigenous and Métis culture.

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