Laura Niquay recipient of TD Indigenous Songwriter Award
The SOCAN Foundation is thrilled to announce Laura Niquay as the recipient of the annual TD Indigenous Songwriter Award. The critically acclaimed Attikamek artist from Trois-Rivières, QC is being recognized for her songs “Moteskano” and “Nicto Kicko“, works that offer a glimpse into her energized folk-grunge universe.
Created in 2018, The SOCAN Foundation’s TD Indigenous Songwriter Award was created to recognize and celebrate the artistic merit demonstrated by Indigenous songwriters of any genre. Niquay will receive a cash prize of $10,000 in addition to opportunities and efforts toward her career development.
Special distinction awards of $1,000 are also being made to Anyma, Jayli Wolf-Saulteau, Kristi Sinclair, LJ Tyson, Shane Ghostkeeper, and to recognize their works.
“The Indigenous Songwriter Award recognizes artistic excellence in songwriting achieved by an indigenous music creator in Canada, and we’re proud to collaborate with TD to celebrate Laura Niquay,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, Executive Director of SOCAN Foundation. “The award is a significant part of our ongoing, mutual efforts with TD to foster, celebrate, and create opportunities for Indigenous music creators.”
Hundreds of applications from artists across Canada covering a wide variety of musical genres were submitted for consideration, and winners were selected by a jury and advisory council of prominent Indigenous artists and industry leaders including those of First Nations, Métis and Inuit heritage. This special Award is made possible with the support of TD Bank Group.
“Congratulations to Laura Niquay for being the recipient of the TD Indigenous Songwriter Award,” said Uma Venkataramaiah, Senior Manager, Philanthropy (Canada), Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. “We are so proud to continue collaborating with the SOCAN Foundation and honour the musical and cultural contributions of artists from the Indigenous community. Through the TD Ready Commitment, we seek to highlight emerging artists as they navigate their careers.”
Since childhood, Laura Niquay was nourished by her family’s classical guitar sounds in the small community of Wemotaci in Mauricie, QC. The time soon came when Laura, too, picked up a guitar to compose her own songs. She stands out by singing in her native language, Atikamekw, with an incomparable voice.
Critically acclaimed, her latest album was finely crafted over several years with sidekick Simon Walls, as well as production by the team at Musique Nomade.The result is a multi-layered, luminous and complex opus. With collaborations from Shauit, Anachnid (2019 TD Indigenous Songwriter Award Winner), RedTails Spirit Singers, Gotta Lago, Eadsé, Kanen and Soleil Launière, the diversity of Indigenous voices shine through.
“I draw my strength from my roots and the teachings of my mother and other elders. With my music I want to encourage the Atikamekw and other members of Indigenous communities to be proud of who they are, and to walk in the path of their ancestors. For me, the promotion of the Atikamekw language is very important for the transmission of language to the younger generations, but also for the awareness of the non-native public,” said Laura Niquay. “I am honoured to be recognized with this Award, thank you to SOCAN Foundation and TD, and congratulations to all the artists being recognized for their amazing works.”
Biographies on the special distinction recipients are available here. Press photos for the winner and special distinction recipients are available here.
For additional information on SOCAN Foundation and its programs, please visit socanfoundation.ca.