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National Music Centre Announces OHSOTO’KINO, A New Indigenous Programming Initiative Sponsored By TD

National Music Centre Announces OHSOTO’KINO, A New Indigenous Programming Initiative Sponsored By TD

Call for applications open now for recording bursary, closes on February 23

Calgary, AB   The National Music Centre (NMC) is pleased to announce OHSOTO’KINO, a new Indigenous programming initiative that will launch at Studio Bell in 2022 and focus on three elements: creation of new music in NMC’s recording studios, artist development through a music incubator program, and exhibitions via the annually updated Speak Up! gallery. A call for applications is now open for the OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary and musicians from Indigenous communities across Canada are encouraged to apply.

The OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary program is open to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists. There are two bursaries available – one for traditional Indigenous music and one for contemporary genres. Interested applicants can apply at by February 23, 2022 at 11:59 pm MT.

With support from TD, and building on the groundwork already laid in previous years, NMC is creating more opportunities for Indigenous artists to produce new music and develop their skills, and continuing to amplify the stories of Indigenous musicians and their contributions to Canadian culture. OHSOTO’KINO is a Blackfoot phrase, which means ‘to recognize a voice of.’ This title acknowledges the Blackfoot people and the territory on which National Music Centre resides. NMC’s National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee will lead the direction of the initiative designed to forge stronger bridges of understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

“The OHSOTO-KINO initiative acknowledges and recognizes the immense contributions of Indigenous communities to our country through music,” said David McLeod (member of the Pine Creek First Nation in Treaty 1), Co-Chair of NMC’s National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee. “Through it, we hope to inspire and instigate dialogue, understanding, and progress in our society, and to expand horizons for Indigenous music in Canada.”

The three-part initiative will launch with the OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary. With support from TD, NMC will provide access to its world-class recording studios and “living collection” of musical instruments, which spans 450 years of technical innovation — Indigenous artists will have the opportunity to ‘use history to make history’. Two submissions (one for contemporary music, the other for traditional) will be selected by NMC’s Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee and awarded a one-week recording session at Studio Bell to produce a commercial release.

“TD shares NMC’s vision of amplifying Indigenous voices and sharing their stories to educate and encourage positive change,” said Robert Ghazal, TD senior vice president for branch banking in the Prairie Region. “We know that music has the power to inspire, connect and enlighten our communities. That’s why the OHSOTO-KINO initiative is important for developing Indigenous artists and creating music that can help unite communities and foster reconciliation among Canadians. It’s also a critical way to introduce Canadians to the next generation of talented musicians from Indigenous communities.”

“This new program stream is another example of how the National Music Centre is delivering on a national commitment to reconciliation through music,” said Andrew Mosker, NMC President and CEO. “As Canada’s home for music, NMC recognizes that the music of Indigenous artists is a critical verse in Canada’s song. With TD’s generous support, we hope to propel the careers of Indigenous artists by creating opportunities and offering a platform to share their musical traditions and diverse perspectives.”

In addition to the OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary, NMC will launch a call for applications for the OHSOTO’KINO Indigenous Music Incubator later this year. The week-long intensive for emerging Indigenous artists in Canada will offer career guidance and mentorship designed by Indigenous music leaders.

As part of the initiative, TD will continue to invest in the Speak Up! exhibition at Studio Bell, which highlights Indigenous artists making social and political impacts in Canada. Having already highlighted 15 groundbreaking musicians – Buffy Sainte-Marie, Willie Dunn, and Tanya Tagaq, to name a few – a new round of Indigenous trailblazers will be announced in the lead up to National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, 2022.

About National Music Centre | Centre National de Musique
The National Music Centre (NMC) has a mission to amplify the love, sharing, and understanding of music and is preserving and celebrating Canada’s music story inside its home at Studio Bell in the heart of the East Village in Mohkinstsis (Calgary) on Treaty 7 territory. A registered charity with programs that include exhibitions, artist development, performance, and education, NMC is inspiring a new generation of music lovers. For more information about NMC’s onsite activities, please visit To check out the NMC experience online, including video-on-demand performances, made-in-Canada stories, and highly entertaining educational content, visit

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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