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2021 Saskatchewan Music Awards

October 14/2021 - 

SaskMusic Opens 2021 Saskatchewan Music Award Nominations

SaskMusic is pleased to announce the opening of the nomination submission period for the 2021 Saskatchewan Music Awards. The fourth annual awards will honour excellence in the Saskatchewan music industry and celebrate the achievements of our music industry members over the past year. An awards event announcing the winners will be streamed online on January 20, 2022, in conjunction with the Very Prairie: Saskatchewan Music Summit.

SaskMusic notes, “We invite artists and industry members from all across the province to make submissions. There has been so much exciting music coming from Saskatchewan this year, with creativity continuing despite the challenges of the pandemic. We hope to see representation from a wide range of musical styles, cultural backgrounds, and artistic experiences of those working in our music scene. We look forward to a wonderful celebration honouring the hard work of our talented artists and industry members this past year.”

Submissions for the Artistic categories of the SMAs closed 11:59pm CST November 2, 2021.
Submissions for the Industry categories (Achievement categories, Venue, and Producer) closed 11:59pm CST November 7, 2021 (extended).

For full rules and eligibility criteria, click here (PDF).

ARTISTIC: Artist of the Year Categories

Please note these are very broad categories; although you may not see your specific genre listed, apply in the most appropriate one. If in doubt, please contact us!

Nominees and winners in these categories will be determined by a combination of artistic merit and career achievements. 3 tracks which have been commercially released during the period of April 15, 2020-October 30, 2021 must be provided in your submission, however there are no sales qualifications for these categories.

  • Alternative Artist of the Year: including but not limited to alt rock, alt pop, plus genres which may be outside of the Hard or Rock/Pop categories.

  • Country Artist of the Year: including but not limited to mainstream and traditional country.

  • Electronic Artist of the Year: including but not limited to dance and instrumental electronic.

  • Experimental or Contemporary Artist of the Year: This category recognizes an innovative, non-mainstream, instrumental, or eclectic album without genre limit, based on artistic vision and creative merit. It also aims to recognize artists working in a genre that produces a limited number of releases per year. Genres which may be suitable for this category include but are not limited to spoken word, noise, jazz, classical, children’s, witch house, comedy, and original soundtrack.

  • Hip Hop Artist of the Year: including but not limited to rap, urban R&B, and neo soul.

  • Metal/Loud Artist of the Year: including but not limited to hard rock, metal, punk, heavy alternative, and heavy instrumental.

  • R&B Artist of the Year: Genres including but not limited to soul, funk, and rhythm and blues. 2021 is a trial year for this new category to gauge engagement. A minimum of 3 nominees must be recommended by the jury for the category to move forward.

  • Rock/Pop Artist of the Year: including but not limited to those considered mainstream, such as rock, pop, blues, and adult contemporary.

  • Roots/Folk Artist of the Year: including but not limited to singer/songwriter, traditional blues, and Americana.

  • Indigenous Artist of The Year: This is a non-genre-specific category open to artists working in any style of music who self-identify as Indigenous. Submissions may come from any musical style including but not limited to commercial contemporary genres such as hip hop, country or rock; as well as traditional music and fusions that incorporate traditional instrumentation/rhythm, and/or reflect the Indigenous experience through their lyrics. For this category, 2 songs are required which have been made available to the public during the period of April 15, 2020-October 30, 2021.


Artistic: Single of the Year recognizes the top commercial Saskatchewan song of the year released during the period of April 15, 2020-October 30, 2021, determined solely by a numerical calculation of industry data.

Artistic: Music Video of the Year recognizes an exceptional music video made available to the public during the period of April 15, 2020-October 30, 2021.

Artistic: Best Saskatchewan Album of the Year is based on a full-length album, as a whole, released during the period of October 15, 2020-October 30, 2021. All genres of music are included in consideration. An industry jury determines a shortlist of finalists, with the final winner of Album of the Year then determined by public vote.

INDUSTRY Categories

For activities in the period from April 15, 2020-October 30, 2021:

  • Industry Achievement Award: Will recognize excellence in the provision of skills and/or services by those helping to build the music industry of Saskatchewan.

  • Venue of the Year: Will recognize live music venues or music festivals that strove to celebrate and present live music during the global pandemic, including both in-person shows and alternate programming initiatives such as virtual concerts, as well as excellence in programming and community engagement.

  • Producer of the Year: Will recognize excellence in music production by a producer residing in Saskatchewan, who was primarily responsible for the recording and/or mixing process for a submitted project(s) released within the eligibility period.

SPECIAL HONOURS: Indigenous Music Achievement Award

The Indigenous Music Achievement Award, new for the 2021 SMAs, will recognize excellence in an individual demonstrating musical impact, leadership, innovation and/or community-building which has created a positive and lasting impact on the Indigenous music community. A potential honoree may be, for example: an established music artist; a music manager or label owner; and/or a music teacher, as long as the activities they are nominated for are centred on music practices. This award is intended to honour a long-term commitment to integrity and involvement in music which has inspired and uplifted others, and will consider the individual’s work over their career.


Self-nominations as well as community-suggested nominations will be accepted. Nominations will be reviewed by the IMAA Review Committee, consisting of representatives from the SaskMusic Indigenous Advisory, peers, and music industry professionals, who will make the selection for this year’s recipient.

Anyone requiring assistance with their submission or questions on the process may contact SaskMusic, 1-800-347-0676 (toll-free in Saskatchewan) or

For updates, visit this page, and make sure you’re subscribed to the SaskMusic E-Release.

Download this page as a press release



Important dates

Nov 2, 2021, 11:59pm - SMA artistic nomination deadline

Nov 7, 2021, 11:59pm - SMA industry nomination deadline
Dec 2, 2021 - SMA Nominee Announcement; Public voting for Best Saskatchewan Albums begins online
Dec 16, 2021 - BSA voting closes

Dec 20-23, 2021 - BSA top ten rollout on SaskMusic socials
Jan 20, 2022 - 2021 Saskatchewan Music Awards

Jan 21-23, 2022 - Very Prairie Music Summit

Questions? Contact SaskMusic at 1-800-347-0676 (toll free within Sask) or 306-347-0676.

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