A love of Winnipeg and its people has propelled an accomplished local artist to yet another nomination on the national level.
Award-winning guitarist, composer and producer Vince Fontaine has been nominated with his band, Indian City, for the Canadian Folk Music Awards’ Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year award for the group’s Supernation album.
Fontaine, a Grant Park resident, is perhaps best known for being lead guitarist for First Nations rock group Eagle & Hawk. Indian City, made up of seven members, all local performers, was formed in 2012.
"I’m a Winnipegger through and through," said Fontaine. "Proud of what we do in our town, and of course proud of what we do musically in our town, so I like to bring that up and share that from the studio point of view and from the stage."
This isn’t the first time that Fontaine has been nominated for the Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year award — he won it in 2011 for Songs for Turtle Island, his first solo album.
"Any time you get noticed or even called a songwriter I think it’s great," said Fontaine.
Even after so many nominations and wins with Eagle & Hawk, Fontaine still doesn’t feel like being nominated or going to awards shows is old hat.
"I actually think I’m getting my stride in order again," said Fontaine. "I look at artists, and my peers are much older than me. Canadian artists that are well into the business and they’re still moving on, I look at Paul McCartney and think ‘Whoa, this guy is still cruising at 70’ and I look at Blue Rodeo. That’s that cool thing about music and artistry, you don’t have to think you have a retirement time."
Fontaine won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
"You have to be open to being inspired," said Fontaine. "Once you stop being inspired you might as well retire — no, I don’t know. I’m far from that so I’ll see how it goes."
Fontaine said the theme for Supernation is about patting the community on the back.
"It could be referred to as individual, or collective group of people, indigenous people, it could be referred to Canadians, Winnipeggers, it’s just a pat on the back," said Fontaine. "Specifically the lyrics are about indigenous people here, but the bigger picture, what I’m referring to, is the greater nation of Canada or the world, actually."
Indian City has also been nominated 13 other times at the Western Canadian Music Awards, the Indian Summer Music Awards, and the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. Fontaine and the group will travel to Calgary for the Canadian Folk Awards Nov. 10.
For more information on the group, visit www.indiancity.ca