The Beatrice Deer Band was among the finalists of talent show Les Talents Bleus on Wednesday evening, competing for a $100,000 prize against four other contestants: Noémy Coeurjoly, Dominic Lacasse and Karen Goudreault, as well as Scott-Pien Picard, who ultimately took home the top prize.
Singer-songwriter Beatrice Deer and her eponymous band reached the finale after two months of competition, beating out twelve other professional performing artists to reach the final four. Despite not taking home the ultimate prize, the competition was an exciting adventure for Deer. “I want to thank everyone for their support,” she said after the finale.
Each competitor represented a region of Quebec; Deer competed for Nord-du-Québec; trick rider Noémy Coeurjoly competed for Laurentides-Lanaudière; circus performers Dominic Lacasse and Karen Goudreault competed for Chaudière-Appalaches; and Innu singer-songwriter Scott-Pien Picard competed for Côte-Nord.
Originally from Quaqtaq, Nunavik, QC, but now based in Montreal, QC, Deer combines traditional Inuit throatsinging with indie pop in her music. In addition to her artistic practise, Deer uses her public platform to increase discourse on social issues, notably suicide awareness and prevention in Indigenous communities. In 2016, she was the spokeswoman for the Esuma and Aumaaggiivik song competition, which encouraged Nunavik songwriters to compose pieces about perseverance.
Although this is the first time Deer herself has competed in a talent show, she is no stranger to winning awards. Her fifth and most recent album, My All To You (2018) won Best Folk Album at the 2019 Indigenous Music Awards, while her debut album, Just Bea (2005) took home Best Inuit Cultural Album at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.
Deer has been performing virtually for the past several months, but had hoped to spend much of the pandemic focusing on new material. She will be releasing a new album in Spring 2021.
Les Talents Bleus is aired in Quebec on Noovo.tv as part of La Semaine des 4 Julie, hosted by Julie Snyder. Watch all the final performances here.