Deantha Edmunds is Canada’s first Inuk classical singer. She is a two-time Dora Mavor Moore Award Nominated performer, and is much in demand as a singer, actor, and collaborator in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous projects. She is also a member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Circle of Artists.
In March 2022, Deantha created an original performance piece in response to Tania Willard’s Surrounded/Surrounding. The score is centred on Indigenous land politics and community-based gestures of giving back, and it asks, “How can a score be a call and tool for decolonization?” This performance was part of “Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts” that took place at The Rooms NL Provincial Art Gallery, in partnership with Sound Symposium.
In October 2021, Deantha sang at the opening ceremony of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest and oldest book fair, at which Canada was the guest of honour, and Her Excellency Mary May Simon, the Governor General of Canada was in attendance.
In 2020, Ms. Edmunds represented the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Against the Grain Theatre’s streamed video-performance Messiah/Complex, accompanied by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The project received international acclaim. The Messiah/Complex Digital Album is a 2022 Juno Nominee for “Classical Album of the Year (Large Ensemble).”
2019 performances included the world premieres of Indigenous operas Shanawdithit with Tapestry Opera/Opera on the Avalon, and the Cree and Sámi double-bill Two Odysseys: Pimootewin and Gállábártnit with Soundstreams/Signal Theatre/Sámi National Theatre Beaivváš. Deantha was one of the recipients of the Dora Award for outstanding Ensemble Work in Two Odysseys.
Edmunds was nominated for the East Coast Music Award ‘Indigenous Artist of the Year’ in 2020 for her solo EP My Beautiful Home, and in 2016 for the album Pillorikput Inuit: Inuktitut Arias for All Seasons.
An urban Inuk, creator and mentor, Edmunds aims to empower Indigenous people and share their stories. Her compositions include “Song of the River,” first performed by Ullugiagâtsuk, the Inuit youth choir from Nunatsiavut, at the Canadian Choral Conductors Association 2018 Podium Festival. Edmunds has mentored young Indigenous musicians in workshops for the Pan Labrador Inuit Youth Choir and elsewhere.
Edmunds explores and embraces her Indigeneity through poetry and song. Her original album Connections will be released in the spring of 2022. Edmunds recently completed her libretto for Irngutaq, the first opera to be sung in English and Inuktut. Upcoming performances and presentations include Podium 2022 Choral Conference and Festival, with Shallaway Youth Choir in Toronto in May. Deantha will also be co-presenting at the 2022 EXchange!, an integral component of the World Choral EXPO in Lisbon, Portugal, in September, 2022.