Deantha Edmunds

Deantha Edmunds


Classical soprano Deantha Edmunds, widely recognized as a groundbreaking Inuk soloist and recording artist, has performed on stages across the world. As a songwriter and lyricist, Edmunds highlights contemporary Indigenous issues while bridging musical traditions—including opera, throat singing and drum dancing .

A proud resident of St. John’s, NL, Edmunds was raised in Corner Brook, NL, to an Inuk father and Irish-Newfoundlander mother. Music was a major part of her upbringing, with her father—who hailed from Hopedale, Nunatsiavut—playing multiple instruments and sharing Inuttitut versions of Christmas carols, her siblings singing and taking piano lessons, and both parents encouraging her musical pursuits. She went on to study music at Acadia University and Concordia University, and developed a career teaching music.

Edmunds learned about the history of European music in coastal Labrador Inuit communities from the work of Dr. Tom Gordon, a professor emeritus of Musicology at Memorial University in St. John’s. This discovery prompted a new direction in her artistic career: recording, performing and composing music based on the legacy of classical music in Nunatsiavut.

“A lot of people think I studied classical music because of that unique music history from Labrador. But that’s not what happened,” Edmunds says. “I studied classical music because that was a passion of mine and something I love to do. It was only later in my life that I realized the wealth of music in my ancestry.” [1]

Since that time, Edmunds has built a body of work showcasing Nunatsiavut musical traditions and uplifting Indigenous stories through classical music and personal compositions. The album Pillorikput Inuit – Inuktitut Arias for All Seasons (2015), which resulted from conversations with Gordon, garnered Edmunds a nomination for the 2016’s East Coast Music Awards’ Indigenous Artist of the Year, followed by another in 2020 for her solo EP, My Beautiful Home. Her 2022 album, Connections, won her Music NL's 2022 Indigenous Artist of the Year and Classical Artist of the Year awards. In January 2023, she was nominated for a 2023 East Coast Music Award for Indigenous Artist of the Year.

In 2019, she performed in the world premieres of two Indigenous operas: Shanawdithit with Tapestry Opera/Opera on the Avalon, and the Cree and Sámi production Two Odysseys: Pimootewin and Gállábártnit produced by Soundstreams, Signal Theatre and the Sámi National Theatre Beaivváš, which won a Dora Award for Outstanding Ensemble Work. [2] She performed in the 2022 Juno-nominated video project, Messiah/Complex, produced by Against the Grain Theatre and accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. 

As a soloist, she has performed live with the Lady Cove Women’s Choir, Newman Sound Men’s Choir and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra in St. John’s, among others. She also performed at the Arctic Inspirations Prize 2020 award ceremony in Ottawa, ON; at the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Utqiagavik, Alaska, and at the opening ceremony of the Frankfurt Book Fair, attended by Mary Simon, the first Inuk Governor General of Canada. Edmunds is a laureate of the prestigious Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL Indigenous Art Awards.

In February 2023 Edmunds was longlisted for the 2023 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award.

Artist Work

About Deantha Edmunds


Music, Performing Arts

Artistic Community:

St. John's, NL



Edit History

January 31, 2023 Profile edited by Deantha Edmunds-Ramsay
March 4, 2020 Profile edited by Deantha Edmunds-Ramsay