The 2023 Juno Awards are taking place on March 13 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB, and this year four talented Inuit musicians have been nominated for prizes: Tanya Tagaq, Susan Aglukark and throatsinging duo Iva & Angu.
Polaris Prize–winning singer-songwriter Tanya Tagaq, CM, had her sixth album Tongues (2022) nominated for Alternative Album of the Year, the second time she has been recognized in this category. Her third album, Animism, was nominated for Best Alternative Album in 2015 and ultimately won Aboriginal Recording of the Year. Tagaq’s most recent Juno win was in 2017 with the Large Ensemble Classical Album of the Year for her work on Going Home Star.
Susan Aglukark, OC, who was born in Arviat, NU, has been nominated again this year in the category Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year for her album The Crossing (2022). She won the 2022 Humanitarian Juno Award last year, and among her other Juno wins are the 1995 Juno Award for Best New Solo Artist and Best Music of Aboriginal Canada Recording for her album Arctic Rose (1995), and the 2004 Best Aboriginal Recording award for Big Feeling (2004).
Nunavut throat singers Ivaluarjuk (Kathleen Merritt) of Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU, and Angugaattiaq (Charlotte Qamaniq) of Iglulik, NU, who sing traditional katajjausiit under the stage names Iva & Angu, have been nominated for Traditional Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year for their independently produced record Katajjausiit (2022).
This is only the second year that the Junos has had two categories dedicated to Indigenous music. The award for Indigenous Music Album of the year has been given out under various names since 1994, but Traditional Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year was presented for the first time in 2022. Iva & Angu are the first-ever Inuit throat singers nominated in this new category.
This year’s Junos will be hosted by Simu Liu with performances by Aysanabee and Alexisonfire. Tune in on March 13 to root for the Inuit nominees!