Celeigh Cardinal and nêhiyawak are among Edmonton’s local nominees for the 2020 Juno Awards.
Both are nominated in the Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year category and heard the news via text from their manager, Alan Greyeyes.
Cardinal said she was shocked to learn she was nominated.
“I didn’t think it was going to happen,” she said Friday in an interview with CBC’s Radio Active.
The Métis singer-songwriter, who is originally from Grande Prairie, earned the nod for her 2019 album, Stories from a Downtown Apartment.
Edmonton-based Cree band nêhiyawak is recognized for their debut album, nipiy. “Nipiy” is a Cree word for water.
“It’s a good moment to acknowledge all of the work that has happened to get us to this point, by our friends, by our family and by our community,” said Marek Tyler, the band’s drummer.
Singer and guitarist Kris Harper and bassist Matthew Cardinal form the rest of the trio.
Cardinal said she hopes to use the nomination as a tool to help grow her career and make room for the young artists coming up behind her.
Neither musician would offer a guess as to who will take home the award in March.
“Any of us winning is a win for all of us,” Cardinal said.
Other nominees with Edmonton connections include Mac DeMarco, John Stetch, Tanika Charles, Nuela Charles and Striker.
Grande Prairie’s Tenille Townes and Spirit River’s Aaron Goodvin also earned nominations.
The Junos run March 15 in Saskatoon and will be broadcast live on CBC.