Northerners honoured at the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards

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Leela Gilday, left, and Claire Ness, second from right, with her band, the Swing Sets, received awards at the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards.  (Submitted by Leela Gilday/Dave Brosha and Claire Ness/Christian Kuntz - image credit)
Leela Gilday, left, and Claire Ness, second from right, with her band, the Swing Sets, received awards at the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards. (Submitted by Leela Gilday/Dave Brosha and Claire Ness/Christian Kuntz - image credit)

The musical talents of the North clinched two awards at this year's Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Leela Gilday, a Dene musician from the Northwest Territories, was named Indigenous Songwriter of the Year for her album North Star Calling while Broccoli Farm, by Yukoner Claire Ness and her band, the Swing Sets, was awarded Children's Album of the Year.

"Mahsi Cho CFMA's for this incredible honour!!!!," Gilday wrote on Facebook Monday.

The album, released in September 2019, is also up for a Juno in the category of Contemporary Roots Album of the year.

Gilday previously spoke to CBC News about its titular track, which she wrote with her husband, about not being alone.

"If you're struggling with depression or suicide ideation or anything, that you can't talk about it, just reach out and know that there are people there and that in the universe," she said.

Gilday is nominated for a 2021 Juno in the category of Indigenous Artist of the Year too.

When Ness found out about her album's award, she tweeted "Holy smokes!" and wrote on Facebook that she was "totally overwhelmed."

All but one track on the album, she previously told CBC, were written after the birth of her son and inspired by him.

"He's so creative and has so many good ideas," she said.

The awards were handed out this past weekend.