The winners of the first-ever Black Canadian Music Awards were announced today, and five Black homegrown artists came up big.
The new prize was first announced in September by the SOCAN Foundation, an organization whose mission is to promote Canadian music creation. The event aims to “recognize and celebrate the artistic merit demonstrated by Black music creators (songwriters, composers, producers, etc.) in all genres.” The SOCAN Foundation partnered with SiriusXM Canada to launch the awards.
The five winners are TOBi, Hunnah, Naya Ali, RAAHiim, and Dylan Sinclair.
The winners were selected by a jury and advisory council consisting of prominent Black artists and industry leaders led by DJ Agile as the inaugural chair of the jury. Each winner receives a $5,000 prize, made possible by SiriusXM Canada.
“Congratulations to all the winners for their extraordinary talent in music creation,” said Charlie Wall-Andrews, executive director of the SOCAN Foundation, in a statement. “The musical pieces submitted are indicative of the extent of the contributions made by the Canadian Black music community that is enriching Canadian culture while contributing in a significant way to social and economic inclusion,” he said.
DJ Agile added that history often does not celebrate the contributions of Black Canadian music creators, which makes it important to “honour our diverse Black music creators with the Black Canadian Music Awards, now,” he said.
A virtual celebration will be held for the winners with a series of short videos on SOCAN’s Instagram page this week.