Barrhaven Singer/Songwriter Wins Second Canadian Folk Music Award

By Barrhaven Independent Staff

Singer-songwriter Amanda Rheaume has made her home community of Barrhaven proud once again.

The Métis musician, who was part of the original graduating class at John McCrae Secondary School, won her second Canadian Folk Music Award as she was named Indigenous Songwriter of the Year during the CFMA Awards in Vancouver.

The award was given to Rheaume for her album, The Spaces in Between, released by her own Ishkōdé Records label. She co-wrote the title track on her album with Serena Ryder and Hill Kourkoutis.

“Big shout out to @hillkourkoutis who produced ‘The Spaces In Between’ and @tonybelcourt209 for sharing his wisdom and his voice on the album,” she posted on Instagram after the ceremony. “The messages and stories on this album are dear to my heart, and represent a big part of my journey as a queer Métis woman. Thank you for joining me on this road.

“Miigwetch to everyone that contributed to the making of this album, which is so special to me.”

Rheaume also won a Canadian Folk Music Award in 2014 as Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year, for her album Keep a Fire. That album was nominated for a Juno Award for Aboriginal Album of the Year.

During the COVID pandemic in 2021, Rheaume took advantage of the down time from travelling and performing and cofounded her Ishkōdé label with Anishinaabe musical artist Shoshona Kish, who is part of Digging Roots with her Anishinaabe husband, Raven Kanatakta. Digging Roots won a Juno Award for their album, Zhawenim.

Ishkōdé Records has also released Oji-Cree singer-songwriter Aysanabee’s debut album, Watin, which was also nominated for a Juno. Ishkōdé also released Mi’kmaaq fiddler and singer Morgan Toney’s First Flight.

In addition to her career as a singer-songwiter, Rheaume is also the Director of Operations of the International Indigenous Music Summit, which takes place at Massey Hall in Toronto May 31-June 4.

The International Indigenous Music Summit is the only global event that provides a unique space for Indigenous artists to discuss, exchange, and share and connect with one another, in a culturally sensitive and appropriate space directed at building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between artists and industry professionals.

Participants and collaborators include creators, event organizers, presenters, key knowledge holders from the arts sector, and cultural connectors from many parts of the world.  An elder advisory committee has foundational input on thematic material, organization, and execution.  IIMS embeds international buyers as delegates, selecting cultural connectors within regions that represent particular opportunity for Canadian based Indigenous artists.

Featured Image: Barrhaven’s Amanda Rheaume won a Canadian Folk Music Award as she was named Indigenous Songwriter of the Year during the CFMA Awards in Vancouver. (Twitter photo/Canadian Folk Music Awards)