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Henry Armstrong Award

Submissions for the Henry Armstrong Award are now open!

The Henry Armstrong Award (HAA) is a newly launched bursary and mentorship program, created to develop, elevate, and support Indigenous artists within the Canadian music industry. Named for MDM Recordings Inc. president and founder Mike Denney’s grandfather Lloyd Henry and mother Gloria Denney (née Armstrong), both fellow Six Nations Lower Mohawk, The Henry Armstrong Award aims to provide unique opportunities for growth and development to the selected recipient.

The genesis for the HAA began in the spring of 2021, following the initial uncovering of the 215 Indigenous children in the Kamloops Residential School mass grave. Knowing he wanted to help, Denney called upon his fellow industry and quickly put together a committee united with the goal of promoting inclusivity, equity, and equality in the Canadian Indigenous Music space.

Newly launched in 2022, the HAA is open to all Indigenous music artists across Canada. Following the application window, a juried selection process will begin via a committee of Canadian music industry professionals, culminating with the chosen act receiving a $10,000 bursary, along with a tailored mentorship program of professional development services.

Eligibility

Subject to the conditions herein, the Contest is open to legal residents of Canada (excluding residents of Quebec) and who are the age of majority or older at time of entry. Both individuals and groups are eligible to participate in the Contest. Contestants are registered subject to proving eligibility, including verification of age and identity by providing a legible copy of a valid form of government-issued photo ID, upon request. Failure to provide the requested documentation may result in disqualification, at MDM’s sole discretion.

General Requirements

  • For the purposes of the Contest, MDM is seeking and will accept submissions that fall into any genre of music (including traditional or contemporary styles of music). 
  • Both bands/musical groups and solo/individual musical artists are eligible to apply. 
  • Contestants must provide the names of all band members at time of registration. 
  • All artists must be Canadian citizens and of Indigenous descent. MDM reserves the right to request proof of citizenship or status card and failure to provide proof by deadline may result in disqualification. The group is deemed by MDM, in its sole discretion, to be Canadian and Indigenous on the basis of:
    • the Canadian member(s) receiving the majority of royalties, touring profits and other proceeds earned by the group; and
    • the Canadian member(s) being the the principal songwriter(s) for the group.
  • Eligible artists must NOT have been previously nominated for a JUNO Award, Polaris Music Prize or a Canadian Country Music Association Award.
  • Eligible artists must be registered SOCAN members. To complete the application visit socan.ca. SOCAN membership for songwriters is free of charge.
  • Eligible artists must have, and actively use, social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
  • Eligible artists must have completed at least ten (10) Live Performances in the last three (3) years. “Live Performances” means live performance engagements where the artist or band was paid a guaranteed fee or percentage of revenue from ticket sales. (Due to pandemic restrictions in 2021 this requirement has been temporarily removed)

Prizes

One (1) Finalist will be chosen as the winner. The winner will be named The Henry Armstrong Award Recipient for the applicable year and will receive a cash prize of $10,000 CAD, which is to be used for the development of recorded musical content and for musical performances. 

The winner will also receive:

  • One hour consultations with music industry experts in the following areas: record label/management (Mike Denney, MDM Recordings), artist (Don Amero) radio promotion (Dale Peters), media (Red Umbrella PR), digital/social (Sara Franczyk), Indigenous Grants (Laurie Brown), brand partnerships (Tiffany Tse). These consultations are valued at roughly $2500 CAD. 
  • Quarterly check-ins and discussions with Mike Denney and Don Amero for the duration of the year. 

Mission Statement/Origins

The mission of the Henry Armstrong Award is simple – to further develop, elevate and support the diverse talents in the Canadian Indigenous music community.

Deadline for submissions: May 13, 2022. 

For more information on eligibility and rules visit their website here.