Indigenous Artist Development Program

The Manitoba Arts Network is pleased to announce the five selected artists participating in the inaugural Indigenous Artist Development Program, taking place at Manitoba Showcase 2018 in Portage la Prairie.

This program is in partnership with Manitoba Music’s Indigenous Music Development Program (IMDP), with support from the National Arts Centre’s Music Alive Program,

Introducing the program mentors:


Crystle Lightning is a Canadian-American actress and musician living in Studio City, California, known for her work as a film actress, an MC with the hip hop group LightningCloud, and DJ. A dedicated electro house DJ, Crystle recently moved from the booth to the center-stage mic with her performance partner, MC RedCloud. The pair wrote and recorded their recent collaborative work LightningCloud (2012) with RedCloud’s long-term musical collaborator, DJ Hydroe.



Indian City is a leading Canadian band performing to audiences across North America and beyond. With years of experience billed alongside undeniable talent including Headline artists such as No Doubt, Lenny Kravitz, Robert Plant, Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire with famed band Eagle & Hawk, Vince Fontaine brings his lifelong connection with music to his newest project, Indian City. Their​ ​dynamic​ ​fusion of lyrics, music and personality captures the spirit and pulse of a vibrant Indigenous culture.




Wayne Lavallee is an award-winning recording artist, singer-songwriter and producer of Métis heritage who lives in Vancouver, Canada. Lavallee has won the Canadian Folk Music Award for best Indigenous songwriter as well as several Canadian Indigenous Music Awards (formerly Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards), in addition to receiving two nominations for a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy). Lavallee’s last album brought his music to international audiences through the Dixiefrog record label in France, where Wayne toured, garnering glowing reviews along the way.

Introducing the program participants:

Brandi Vezina is a natural born performer who captivates audiences with her voice and stage presence. Her authentic country roots are intertwined with rock and the blues. Brandi is a force to be reckoned with – her rebel spirit is evident on stage and in her music.

She is very proud of her Indigenous roots and represents the Metis Nation with class and grace.

Brandi is a respected entertainer who thinks the Indigenous Artist Development Camp will help her achieve her goals of writing and recording a studio album within this near year. This program will help prepare and further Brandi as an entertainer and add to her confidence as a song writer.

In her own words, she writes, “I am an author and I plan on taking my entertaining, speaking and singing on the road across North America. I want to inspire audiences to think and change their consciousness through music and spoken word. I have every intention of leaving my career as an educator to pursue my music and speaking career. I feel this program can help me do just that.”

Dale McArthur (Dale Mac) is an Indigenous Artist – songwriter, guitarist, and audio producer- from the White Bear First Nation, Saskatchewan. His guitar versatility moves him across genres – mainly Rock, Roots, and Blues with an edge – to form his personal guitar style.

His early days of being a lead guitarist in a successful Cree Language hard rock band in the 2000s led to his rebrand and solo debut acoustic based contemporary EP titled “WhistleMan” (2015 SOCAN) under the alias “Kinder Scout”. His songs have been featured in radio and TV. Dale’s songwriting has since evolved to include true to life topics such as his identity, culture, and life experiences told through Canadiana. He has also studied vocals via Adriana Balic (Pink) and audio production via Jonathan Wyner, Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music with support from National Indian Brotherhood sponsorship.

By summer 2016, a single titled “The Road Ahead” reached #21 on the Indigenous Music Countdown and Sirius XM. That single later appeared on Dale’s sophomore EP “American Horse” released Nov 2017 (SOCAN) under his name Dale Mac. The EP is blues rock driven, influenced by his time watching and meeting blues guitarists in Nashville, and titled after Chief American Horse who, like Dale’s late father, advocated for healthy relations between nations, education, and family. This EP blended cultural references hidden in his lyrics with contemporary music to introduce people to his view of reconciliation and balance.

In February 2018, Dale was selected to attend Banff Arts Centre for Creativity for the Banff Musicians In Residence Program along with other successful artists. It was there he made a healing and artistic choice to share his Indigenous experiences and life stories more prominently as an Indigenous Artist and guitarist. His new writings gained him support from many artists and producers which inspired him to tell his experiences through his next album.
As a result, his third release titled ”Pejuta (Medicine) Road” is in pre-production while he promoted the American Horse EP.  
In June 2018, Dale was asked to return to Banff Arts Centre to host National Indigenous Peoples Day where he shared his stories through music and his new works.

Kris Paul is a singer and songwriter hailing from a small Metis community. After years of closet writing and silently strumming the guitar, Paul’s music is a bluesy outlaw country with hints of rock.

Besides campfires and garage jams, the other exposure Paul has is a local radio star search competition (2018). He moved through to the semi-finals, and got squeezed out to go into the final round. It was a great first step towards “getting out there.”

Paul’s most recent work is “52 Songs,” an online venue as an ice breaker into the industry. 52 Songs is hosted on Facebook, a song a week, originals and covers. It was designed to help him find a voice and transition into an artist.

His first solo acoustic album is set to release in late 2018, along with a small town bar acoustic tour to follow.   

Sonia Eidse is a singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Canada. Making reflective alt-pop, both her delicate voice and melancholic sound create a subtle mystique, stirring the heartstrings of its listeners.

Influenced by Roberta Flack, Ella Fitzgerald, and Kate Bush, Eidse began her vocal training when she was a child and continued throughout her teens. She’s kept a journal of musings and poetry throughout most of her life and after learning the guitar at 16, used them to create songs.

In 2010, she recorded her first demo of songs and earned herself a spot in Aboriginal music week and AMP Camp, a weeklong music retreat for indigenous musicians from across Canada. The experience opened up a world for the young Métis, playing a pivotal role in her pursuit in music.

In 2012, Eidse self-produced her first EP entitled Acoustic Vol 1 and 2, a set of solo performed songs, giving away copies at local shows. Pushing herself outside of her bubble, the songstress continued playing at venues and festivals throughout the city, while developing her craft.

After taking a short hiatus to become a new mother, Eidse returned to the music scene in November of 2016, releasing her self-titled 4-track EP, Dreamy. “With each note stretched as far as possible, Eidse’s vocal performance lands like a silk parachute, or a slow-rolling fog,”- Audiofemme, 2017.

She is now in the midst of producing her first album at PaintBox Recording, which she plans to release next year.

Winston Chubb, better known by the name Stun, is an Indigenous-Canadian hip hop artist from Oxford House, Manitoba. Raised in the city of Winnipeg, he has collected numerous amounts of experience. From the gangster lifestyle to the preppy school boy, he was not a lost soul with culture built into his well being. Growing up around love and racism, the young man had gained knowledge from all types of influential individuals. He found the passion for music through a troubled youth. It was considered the best outlet for a way to speak from the heart, and so he did. From that troubling experience, an Emcee was born.

With the peer pressures of criminals and acquaintances, the talent only seemed to blossom. He went on showcasing his talent around house parties and close friends with nothing but good reactions in return. He then started chasing the dream that had been implanted into his brain. Carrying a family on his back while displaying the modern Indigenous lifestyle, Stun is nothing but passionate towards his dream. Stun made it quite known that he was a talented man that did not waste any time. With no one but his family behind his backbone, he stands with life’s realism and how it affected and influenced him to become who he is.

Living with nothing but quality, Stun is a good example of an exotic music artist.