The inaugural Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards were presented in a virtual event on Saturday evening. Heading the list of SSIMA winners in 18 categories was Twin Flames, with three, followed by Silla and Rise, with two. Both acts performed on the show, alongside Burnstick, Joey Stylez & Carsen Grey, Desiree Dorion, and Leela Gilday. The evening began with an opening prayer by Elder Annie Smith St. Georges. Shortly thereafter, co-host Sarain Fox referenced "difficult days for our communities following the discovery of the 215 children…" and asked for a moment of silence before commencing the night's proceedings.
Curtis Shingoose and Willie Dunn, recipients of the Legacy Award, were honoured by memorial videos, showcasing a lasting influence on the artistic and cultural heritage of the Indigenous community through their music and career contributions. Hosted by Fox and Jah'kota, the show streamed live on Facebook and YouTube with all nominees tuning in live from a Zoom chat room. See the full list of winners here.
The SSIMAs are included in The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival, an Ottawa-based multi-disciplinary arts festival which runs June 1-21. Both events are produced by Mather Simard's Indigenous entertainment and tourism firm, Indigenous-Experiences.ca on behalf of the National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee comprising six organizations that represent Indigenous communities across Canada. An Artist Advisory Committee made up of Canadian Indigenous music leaders was created to collaborate with and provide direction on The SSIMAs.