Kiki Harper wins $10,000
Indigenous Songwriter Award
Artist Kiki Harper has won the prestigious Indigenous Songwriter Award from SOCAN and TD Canada Trust and was presented with the $10,000 cash prize at a ceremony in Winnipeg, May 17.
“It means a lot to me to win this award, which will help me achieve my creative endeavours. I want the world to see the strength and beauty of the culture and craft that empowers all of us,” she said. She won out among 200 entries across the country.
Performing as Anachnid, she is multi-talented, inspired by art and sculpture as well as street fashion and music. A taste of her charm and magic on stage was showcased at International Women’s Day in Wakefield this spring. Her first singles, titled Windigo, La Lune and Now Wow We (with Annie Sama) have been released by Musique Nomade.
Her artist name, Anachnid, refers to a spider, given her by an elder as her totem sign. Like a spider weaving its web, she strings music, poetry and art in a mosaic. Reflecting her environment, her music is an array of contemporary styles – soul, electro-pop and indie rap.
Raised in Wakefield and now active in the Montreal music and art scene, the 23-year-old lives a modern lifestyle, paying homage to the variety of cultures around which she grew. She readily acknowledges the hybridization of urban influences while still being attached to her traditional Indigenous roots as an Oji-Cri of the Mi’kmaq First Nation.
As an emerging artist, her painting, My Husband the Dragon Spirit, was included in an exhibition at the Angelica Gallery in Rome, Italy in which her mother, Nathalie Coutou of the Khewa Native Art Boutique in Wakefield was part of an international watercolour exhibition of Indigenous Canadian watercolour artists.
“I am proud and happy for my daughter getting this award, which validates her roots and allows her to soar while being part of the circle of change that is happening in Canada on Aboriginal issues and young women,” Nathalie Coutou told the Bulletin.
And she pointed out how interesting it was that Kiki’s grandfather, the renowned Aboriginal leader and political figure Elijah Harper, died on May 17th, 2013, and that Kiki received her award on the same date of May 17th.