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OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary

OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary 2024 Information Package

Thank you for your interest in OHSOTO'KINO Recording Bursary! We hope the following information will answer any questions you may have about the bursary program.

If you need any clarification or have questions, please reach out to us at

National Music Centre's OHSOTO’KINO initiatives at Studio Bell are made possible by support from TD.

What is OHSOTO’KINO?  

OHSOTO’KINO is a Blackfoot phrase which means ‘to recognize a voice of.’ This title acknowledges the Blackfoot people and the territory on which National Music Centre resides. NMC’s National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee leads the direction of the program designed to forge stronger bridges of understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. 

Launched in 2022, OHSOTO’KINO focuses on three elements: creation of new music in NMC’s recording studios via the Recording Bursary program, artist development through the Music Incubator program, and exhibitions via the annually updated Speak Up! gallery.  

Learn More About OHSOTO'KINO Initiatives

What is the OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary Program?

The OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary program will provide two opportunities per year for Indigenous artists to create a commercial recording (LP or EP) at Studio Bell. NMC will provide access to Studio Bell’s world-class recording studios and “living collection” of musical instruments, which spans 450 years of technical innovation. Indigenous artists will have the opportunity to ‘use history to make history.'

Two submissions — one for contemporary music, one for traditional music — will be selected by NMC’s National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee and awarded a one-week recording session at Studio Bell to produce a commercial release.

Past bursary recipients were Joel Wood (2022) and Blackstone Singers (2023) for the traditional genre, and Twin Flames (2022) and PIQSIQ (2023) for the contemporary genre. Joel Wood's Recording Bursary project, Mikwanak Kamôsakinat, resulted in a JUNO nomination for Traditional Indigenous Artist of the Year in 2022.

How do I apply?

To apply for the 2024 OHSOTO’KINO Recording Bursary program, fill out the application form. The current application period closes at midnight on Sunday, January 7, 2024 (MST). If you have questions regarding the application, please email

What do I get?

Artists are provided with:

  • One week (5 to 7 days at 8 hours per day) in NMC's recording studios at Studio Bell. This will also include:
    • An in-house recording engineer.
    • An opportunity to use, sample, and record unique instruments from NMC's Collection.
  • Accommodation at a hotel within walking distance for the duration of the bursary.
  • Travel stipends for transportation and meals.

Artist will maintain full rights & control of recording worked on or completed while in the program.

Explore NMC's Living Collection

Please note: The amount of accommodation and travel stipend provided will vary based on project number of artists participating in the bursary. Special considerations of increased travel assistance will be given for artists travelling from remote communities and/or large artist groups.

What are the artist’s responsibilities & commitments?

Recipients of the bursary must execute their project before December 31, 2024. Upon receiving the bursary award, an NMC Programming member will be in contact to coordinate recording session.

Artists are required to clarify all equipment and instrument needs before the start of the recording session. Where possible, NMC staff will make best efforts to provide access to instruments and equipment that are not specified in advance but are discovered while the artist is in the studio.

NMC's Studios, Equipment, and Instruments

Artists are also asked to bring any additional equipment, resources, devices and/or software not provided by NMC that may be essential to their recording session and specify these items before the start of the recording session.

During the recording session, artists will be asked to participate in video interview which will be published on NMC’s online platform, Amplify. Watch a few past interviews below:

Joel Wood

Blackstone Singers

Twin Flames

Watch More on Amplify

NMC is to receive appropriate credit on all recordings worked on or completed during their session. NMC will also work to amplify each artist’s session via media interviews, which will be handled on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the artist.

Who should apply?

Canadian artists within First Nations, Inuit, and Métis community of all genres, backgrounds, and skill levels are encouraged to apply. Two recording bursaries — one for contemporary music and one for traditional music — will be awarded.

Artist will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Those who are within First Nations, Inuit, and Métis community.
  • Those who have demonstrated excellence and a commitment to music.
  • Those projects with artistic merit that show promise and originality.
  • Potential impact of the project on the artist’s career.

Applicants must be available to execute their projects before December 31, 2024.

NMC’s National Indigenous Program Advisory Committee will convene to review applicant submissions and select successful participants.

National Indigenous Programming Advisory Committee

What do National Music Centre’s recording studios offer?

National Music Centre’s recording studios at Studio Bell have the following features:

  • 3 main control rooms (production environments).
  • 3 large studios (recording environments).
  • 3 isolation sound booths.
  • 3 recording consoles: Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, Olympic and Trident A-Range.
  • Acoustic sound lab (exploration into NMC’s vast acoustic musical instrument collections).
  • Electronic sound lab (exploration into NMC’s vast electronic musical instrument collections).
  • Ability to switch between analog and digital technologies to create an unprecedented, unique and flexible recording experience.
  • A professional recording engineer will be present throughout to assist and provide expertise with the recording process. Artists are welcome to invite an engineer or producer to support them during their session and include this aspect in the project proposal.

Learn More About NMC's Studios

Access to Recording Outside of the Program

Should an artist wish to continue recording after their allotted time, they may access the studios via our commercial channel. Full rates are available online at

Additional Project Funding Opportunities provides a list of funders that may be of assistance to supporting your project.

Several sources to assist Indigenous music projects include FACTOR, a private non-profit dedicated to helping toward the growth and development of the Canadian music industry. The Canada Council for the Arts provides support for the development of individuals, groups, small ensembles, orchestras, and other professionals working in the Canadian music community. The SOCAN Foundation is also dedicated to fostering musical creativity and promoting a better understanding of the role of music creators today. 

More details are available at

About National Music Centre and Studio Bell

The National Music Centre (NMC) has a mission to amplify the love, sharing, and understanding of music. It is preserving and celebrating Canada’s music story inside its home at Studio Bell in the heart of the East Village in Moh’kins’tsis (Calgary) on Treaty 7 territory. NMC is the home to four Canadian music halls of fame, including the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Quebec’s ADISQ Hall of Fame. Featuring musical instruments, artifacts, recording equipment, and memorabilia, the NMC Collection spans over 450 years of music history and innovation. A registered charity with programs that include exhibitions, artist development, performance, and education, NMC is inspiring a new generation of music lovers.

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, is situated at the confluence of Bow and Elbow Rivers in Moh’kins’tsis and the traditional Treaty 7 territory. This includes the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai First Nations, the Tsuut’ina First Nations, and the Stoney Nakoda. City of Calgary is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

OHSOTO'KINO is proudly supported by

Original OHSOTO'KINO branding and design by Leticia Spence.