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Saskatchewan Music Award Guidelines 2022

SaskMusic will honour excellence, and celebrate the achievements of our music industry members over the past year with the 2022 Saskatchewan Music Awards. The awards will be held in Regina with plans underway for an in-person show held in conjunction with the Very Prairie Music Summit (December 8-11/2022).

Please see below for rules and eligibility criteria for each category. Minor amendments may be made to these criteria throughout the submission period; always refer to the most recent version posted.


If you require assistance in completing your submission, please contact our office as early as possible at 306-347-0676 or

​Submissions for the Artistic and Industry categories of the SMAs are open until 11:59pm CST, October 3, 2022.


To download this information in PDF form click here.
Scroll down for links to the submission forms.

  • For artistic categories, the artist (or in the case of a band, at least 50% of its regular/core members) must meet Saskatchewan residency criteria as follows:

    • Potential nominee currently resides in Saskatchewan and has resided here since at least April 1, 2022. If you are temporarily out of the province for study, performance opportunities, or other professional work, but maintain a primary residence in Saskatchewan and still self-identify as being from Saskatchewan, you are eligible.

    • We reserve the right to request proof of residency through either 1) 2021 tax filing indicating you paid taxes as a Saskatchewan resident; and/or 2) two pieces of ID including any of the following: a valid Saskatchewan Health Services card, a valid Saskatchewan driver’s license, a student ID card indicating registration in a Saskatchewan educational facility, or a Status Indian card.

  • For incorporated bands or industry nominees, the company must file their taxes in the province of Saskatchewan.


  • Where eligibility due to residency or band formation is in dispute (e.g. is this nominee a solo artist who hires side players, or is this nominee a band), the final decision shall be made by the jury of the category.


  • Where songs are part of your submission, at least 2 of 3 songs must be original (written by the artist themselves, OR, not previously released by another artist and appropriately licensed by the artist submitting). Exceptions will be made for: Best Saskatchewan Albums; classical; traditional blues; traditional Indigenous; and traditional jazz genres.


  • Where 2 or 3 songs are required with artistic submissions, remixes/alternate versions do not count as separate songs. (e.g. An album version, radio edit, and acoustic version are the same song, and only the (one) version that you choose to submit for the jury would count towards your song requirements.)


  • Remixes of a song may only stand as one of the artists’ qualifying songs releases if the artist was not nominated using a version of that same song in a previous year.


  • In the case of a duet/collaboration where there is a ‘featured artist’ or one-time duo, credit will go to the main artist(s) (not the featured artist) listed on the track/album. In the event of a track with equal billing, both artists could use the track as one of their qualifying song submissions.


  • There must be a minimum of 3 nominees recommended by the jury in each Artist of the Year category for that award to be presented in the current year.


  • You may submit one artist/project into a maximum of two genre-specific categories (but please only submit to categories that you feel are appropriate).


  • All categories are open to non-English language submissions. Lyric translations into English would be appreciated for the benefit of the jury, where applicable.


  • There are no submission fees required.


  • All potential nominees must consent to SaskMusic’s Code of Conduct, posted here: Individuals/businesses found to be operating/behaving in a manner that contradicts the Code, in particular having engaged in any forms of harassment including sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and/or violence, is subject to removal from nomination consideration. Final decisions of this nature would be made by a Code of Conduct review committee.


Unless otherwise noted, a release date is defined as:

  • The first available date that the material can be purchased by the general public, and/or streamed legally in its entirety by a royalty-generating service. The primary source used to verify the release date shall be Apple Music; secondary verification methods will be accepted at the discretion of SaskMusic.

  • A single is considered released on the day the track is submitted to Canadian radio as a single OR the date the album or single is first made available for public consumption as noted above, whichever qualifies the single for the Single of the Year category. The primary source used to determine date of release to radio is DMDS, but other third-party forms of verification (ie radio tracker contract, media release, etc) will be considered.


Nominees may nominate themselves or be nominated by a manager/label/other party.


ARTISTIC: Guidelines


​ARTISTIC: Artist of the Year Categories

The following categories will be determined by a combination of artistic merit (musical submission) and career achievements (from information supplied by the artist, and subject to third-party verification where pertinent). Final nominees and the winner in each category will be determined by juries of industry and peers.

Please note these are broad style categories. If you don’t see your exact genre listed, apply in the most appropriate one. There are no sales qualifications for these categories.


Musical submissions are required for a category nomination. 3 tracks must be provided which have been commercially released during the period of April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022. Apple Music and other providers will be used if necessary to verify release date. The written submission of your achievements must cover the same time period and may include such items as tours/online concerts, festival history/highlights, streaming statistics, sync placements, socials, etc.


An artist who was a final nominee for the 2021 Saskatchewan Music Awards cannot submit the same song(s) for consideration in this cycle, even if they qualify based on release date.

  • Alternative Artist of the Year: including but not limited to progressive new music such as alt rock, alt pop, punk, and sub-genres/hybrids outside of the Metal/Loud 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 hip hop, rap, urban R&B, and neo soul.

  • Instrumental Artist of the Year: including but not limited to acoustic instrumental, classical, jazz, trip hop, chillout, original score, and others. (New for 2022.)

  • 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: including but not limited to soul, funk, and rhythm & blues.

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

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

  • Indigenous Artist of The Year: This category will recognize self-identifying Indigenous artists making music in any genre. Submissions may include any contemporary genres such as those categories above, as well as traditional music and fusions that incorporate traditional instrumentation/rhythm, and/or reflect the Indigenous experience through their lyrics.

    • For this category, 3 commercially released singles are not required. Submissions must include at least 2 songs for the jury to consider which have been made available to the public during the period of April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022 in any format, including: digitally (ie Apple Music, Bandcamp, Spotify, etc), music videos (ie YouTube), and/or ‘physical-only’ releases. These songs will provide the jury with material for musical evaluation. A written submission of achievements covering the same time period will also form part of the jury’s evaluation, ie tours/online performances/festivals, community involvement, streaming/sales statistics, socials, etc.

Artistic: Single of the Year

Single of the Year will recognize the top commercial Saskatchewan song of the year released during the period April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022 (see definition of release, above). If a single was released BEFORE the current eligibility period (ie: a pre-album release single that was sent to radio), that single will be considered ineligible, even if an album containing it was later released during the current eligibility period.

While the artist must meet residency requirements (see general criteria above), the song can be written by the artist, or written or co-written by a non-Saskatchewan songwriter. The award is presented to the artist.


The nominees and winners of this category shall be determined solely based upon a numerical calculation of industry data to determine the artist with the largest outcome of said metrics for a single during the reporting period beginning closest to April 15, 2021 and up to the time of category calculations post-deadline, including: Canadian airplay, digital song downloads, and streaming obtained through our data provider(s); as well as consideration of Spotify overall streaming and YouTube video views. It is the responsibility of the artist to ensure their data is available in places such as the MRC Data/Luminate/Nielsen Music system and, to ensure their single is not overlooked, to submit it for consideration in this category. Nominees in this category may be held back until the awards event.

​Artistic: Music Video of the Year

This category recognizes an exceptional music video made available to the public during the period of April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022 (for example: uploaded to YouTube or posted to a public artist profile/website).

  • The award will go to the nominated director, filmmaker, producer, or production company, as named in the nomination submission.

  • Multiple entries may be submitted for each potential nominee, however, only the top two videos per nominee (as determined by the category jury) would be eligible for inclusion on the final nomination list.

  • The nominee(s) must meet residency criteria (see above); in the case of multiple names submitted with a video, at least 50% of those listed must meet residency (or if a corporation, its legal head office must be in Saskatchewan). The artist performing the song does not need to meet Saskatchewan residency requirements.

  • All videos under consideration must be available for public viewing and be for the purpose of supporting a song. (Spoken word videos will not be accepted into this category.)

  • Any style of video may be submitted including but not limited to lyric videos, live concert videos, rehearsal space-style ‘raw’ videos, full storyboard videos, etc.

  • The song must be original (written by the artist themselves, OR, not previously released by another artist and appropriately licensed by the artist submitting). Exceptions will be made for: classical; traditional blues; traditional Indigenous; and traditional jazz genres.

  • The video must be a minimum of 2 minutes 30 seconds in length, and must have received >500 views on YouTube and/or its primary viewing location by the day of deadline.


Final nominees and the winner in this category will be determined by a jury of industry peers based on artistic merit, regardless of the amount of views/plays the video may have garnered.

​Artistic: Best Saskatchewan Album of the Year

The Best Saskatchewan Album of the Year project is in its eighth annual iteration. This category is based on an album, as a whole, released during the period of October 15, 2021-October 3, 2022. This is a submission-based category. Artists and/or labels are invited to submit releases in any genre for consideration.

To be considered in this category, an album:

  • Was released by an artist who meets residency criteria (as above) at the time of the album's release date regardless of where artist is living at the time of the submission deadline.

  • Is a) at least 30 minutes in length, or at least b) 5 tracks and >18 minutes in length.

  • Was first released to the public for sale or streaming between October 15, 2021-October 3, 2022. The primary verification we will use will be its date of release on Apple Music. If not on Apple Music, we'll accept other forms of verification of "release date" and "commercial release" at our discretion (including a manufacturer's shipping date). The album must still be available to the public for sale or streaming as of the intake deadline in order to qualify (fanclub-only limited releases would be ineligible).

  • A maximum of two albums per artist name will be accepted into this category. Collaborations/featured appearances by an artist do not count towards their maximum; e.g. an artist could submit 2 albums that were released under their own name, and 1 album released by a band that they are also part of.

  • Official reissues/remixes/compilations of previously released material, released as a new package with a new UPC number, will be considered only if 3 or more previously unreleased songs are included in the package.

  • Albums that made the Top Ten in the Best Saskatchewan Albums in a previous year will not be in consideration this year, even if reissued.



  1. The awards intake will collect eligible releases for consideration.

  2. A jury of industry professionals and peers will listen to the qualifying albums to determine a Long List.

  3. The Long List will open for online voting by the general public. Public votes alone will determine the Top 10. One vote per email address over the entirety of the voting period will be recorded.

  4. The Top 10 list will be announced online. Ties would result in more than 10 albums appearing on the shortlist.

  5. The top placing album overall will receive the Saskatchewan Music Award for Album of the Year, and will be announced separately from the Saskatchewan Music Awards event on December 11/2022.

INDUSTRY: Guidelines


Industry Achievement Award: This award will recognize excellence in the provision of skills and/or services and by those helping to build the community and music industry of Saskatchewan during the period April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022. Individuals, groups, or businesses can be nominated for this award, including but not limited to: promoters, live and/or studio audio engineers, publicists, booking agents, managers, members of the media, etc. The nominee must reside in and pay taxes in Saskatchewan, however, the scope of their work can be national and/or international. Final nominees will be determined by an industry jury, with the winner to be determined by a combination of industry jury and public vote.


Music Company of the Year: (New for 2022.) This award will recognize a music business/organization that has demonstrated excellence in services, sales, or craftsmanship in their offerings to the public and/or music industry during the period April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022. Potential nominees in this category might include but are not limited to luthiers, production companies, music schools, and music equipment stores. The physical address of the company nominated must be in Saskatchewan, or the company must pay taxes in Saskatchewan, although their clientele can be national and/or international in scope. Final nominees will be determined by an industry jury, with the winner to be determined by a combination of industry jury and public vote.


Music Professional of the Year: (New for 2022.) This award will recognize an individual who provided excellent sales, service, skills, craftsmanship, or volunteerism during the period April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022. Potential nominees in this category might include but are not limited to individual sound or lighting technicians (including studio engineers and live techs), music teachers, promoters, publicists, event coordinators, managers, and more. Final nominees and winner will be determined by a jury of industry peers.


Venue or Festival of the Year: This category will recognize live music venues and music festivals that strove to celebrate and present live music during the period of April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022. The venue or festival must be physically located, by postal code, in the province of Saskatchewan. The category will consider both in-person shows/events and alternate programming initiatives, as well as excellence in programming and community engagement. Qualifying nominees have presented at least 10 artists during the eligibility period, with submissions to include a list of their highlights over the period. Final nominees will be determined by an industry jury, with the winner to be determined by a combination of industry jury and public vote.

Producer of the Year: This award 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 April 15, 2021-October 3, 2022. Nominees can be submitted under one producer name alone, as a cast of producers, or a combination of producer and studio name together. In the case of co-productions, co-producers would stand collectively for the co-production; all team members in this case must meet residency requirements. Nominations must include 3 songs produced by the nominee(s) during the eligibility period, and which suitably demonstrate the producer’s skill. Submitted songs may be performed by one artist, or various artists. A producer’s biography, including achievements during the period, is required with the nomination submission. Final nominees and winner will be determined by a jury of industry peers.

SPECIAL HONOURS: Indigenous Music Achievement Award

The Indigenous Music Achievement Award, added in 2021, 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. As this is a lifetime award, recipients can only receive the award once.

About the juries

Nominations will be checked for completeness and eligibility by SaskMusic staff. For juried categories, submissions will then be presented to a panel of industry jurors who will ultimately decide, at their discretion, on the number of nominees presented in each category. Jurors may sit on more than one category. All jurors will be required to agree to a Conflict of Interest declaration stating they will not jury submissions for which there may be real or perceived conflicts of interest or bias. Chosen jurists will sit on carefully constructed panels of knowledgeable industry professionals, and will review submissions following the guidelines set out for each category. Jurors will be sought both from within and outside of Saskatchewan as needed to ensure impartiality and appropriate experience.

As per the SaskMusic Policy Guide, SaskMusic staff and board members are eligible to stand as nominees as long as they had no involvement or influence in the jury selection or tabulations for that category.


For questions and comments on this process please contact Lorena Kelly, Interim Executive Director, SaskMusic, 1-800-347-0676 or email

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

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

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