Canada’s first and only Inuk professional classical singer and recording artist, Deantha Edmunds, has performed on stages across the world. A proud resident of Newfoundland and Labrador, Edmunds is a laureate of the prestigious Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL Indigenous Art Awards.
Edmunds’ solo EP, “My Beautiful Home” was nominated for the 2020 East Coast Music Award ‘Indigenous Artist of the Year.’ It features three beloved songs from Newfoundland and Labrador that marry her identity as an Inuk with her training and passion for classical music.
In February 2020, Edmunds performed at the Arctic Inspirations Prize 2020 award ceremony in Ottawa where she debuted an original song with string quartet. She was also a featured cultural performer at the Northern Lights 2020 conference and showcase.
2019 operatic performances included the world premiere of “Shanawdithit” with Tapestry and Opera on the Avalon in Toronto and St. John’s, and the Indigenous (Cree and Sami) double-bill “Two Odysseys” in Toronto with Soundstreams, Signal Theatre and The Sámi National Theatre Beaivváš. Both of these operas were nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards 2020, and the ensemble for “Two Odysseys” won the award.
August and September of 2019 included the Halifax premiere and Maritime tour of “Rings Through Water,” with Anishinaabe dancer/choreographer Sarain Fox and Xara Choral Theatre. Edmunds was the lead actor and soloist in Part 1 of “Rings Through Water,” and the show also featured some of Edmunds’ original compositions which were arranged for soloist with choir by composer Jenny Trites. “Rings Through Water” was nominated for the 2020 Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards in four categories. Edmunds was named in two of the nominations: Outstanding Original Composition and Outstanding Production by a New or Emerging Company.
Edmunds performed at the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in Utqiagvik, Alaska in July, 2018. Delegates from Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia gathered to share information and strengthen the bonds between all Inuit.
On Canada Day, 2018, Edmunds’ composition, “Song of the River”, arranged for string quartet and choir, was performed by Nunatsiavut’s Inuit youth choir “Ullugiagâtsuk” in St John’s, Newfoundland. The national event entitled “… float…” was an immersive choral experience that was part of the Canadian Choral Conductors Association 2018 Podium Festival.
In the spring of 2018, Edmunds was the soprano soloist in “Makkipok!”, a unique program of Labrador Inuit Music with renowned Lady Cove Women’s Choir, Newman Sound Men’s Choir and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra in St. John’s. The concert was live-streamed from the Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which held a full audience. Edmunds also presented a program of solo Inuktitut arias and her own compositions as part of the Cecilia Concert series in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In 2016 Edmunds was nominated for the ECMA ‘Indigenous Artist of the Year’ for “Pillorikput Inuit: Inuktitut Arias for All Seasons” her recording with the late Karrie Obed, a remarkable Inuk tradition-bearer from Nain, Nunatsiavut
April and May of 2020 would have brought Edmunds to Vancouver, in the role of ‘Sedna’ in Urban Ink’s production of ‘Sedna,’ a one-of-a-kind outdoor production to be performed at Stanley Park. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this production has been postponed.
Edmunds was thrilled to have been selected as a featured performer with Xara Choral Theatre at the World Symposium of Choral Music in New Zealand in July, 2020. This symposium was sadly cancelled due to COVID-19.
An urban Inuk, Edmunds aims to empower Indigenous people and share their stories. She explores and embraces her Indigeneity through poetry and song. Upcoming projects include performances at Stratford Summer Music Festival as well as recording her collection of original songs, “Connections”.