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2011 was a ground breaking and record making year for 17 year old Ali Fontaine of the Sagkeeng First Nation, Manitoba. The first single off her award-winning self-titled debut went to #1 on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown charts. She was nominated for the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards and the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, and won three awards, including Most Outstanding Aboriginal Manitoban.

Ali has toured with Manitoba Star Attractions Talent Showcase, and has opened for Leela Gilday, Errol Ranville and C-Weed Band. She also opened for Val Kilmer in New York, and performed in Central Park for the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute. She has been invited to perform in Australia in 2012 and Africa in 2013.

She is currently working on her second album.
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Susan Aglukark is one of Canada's most unique and honored artists. An Inuk from Arviat, Nunavut, Susan has been walking in a tension between two worlds, a defining note in her remarkable career.

Performimg timeless music in both English and Inuktitut, Susan was thrust into the limelight in the mid 1990's with the wide release of her Juno-award winning debut Arctic Rose and Susan was embraced both in Canada and internationally. Her biggest single, O Siem from the album This Child, reached No. 1 on the Canadian country and adult contemporary charts in 1995.

Though her songs reflect the experiences of her people, her message is universal."(My) songs are driven by the stories. It's all about the stories."

Trailblazers and Music Makers: Ali Fontaine and Susan Aglukark

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First Nations, Inuit and Métis musicians have been creating music for thousands of years, but it's still a challenge to break into mainstream music.

This program features emerging singer Ali Fontaine in performance with trailblazer Susan Aglukark.

In partnership with
Manitoba Aboriginal and Northern Affairs

Ali Fontaine also performs at Harbourfront Centre on Saturday, August 18 at 4:30pm.

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