Meet The Artists
Growing up in the Parkland region (Treaty 1) of Manitoba, Jerry Sereda learned how to hunt, fish, trap, and live off the land. This is where he also learned the importance of hard work, family, and music.
After spending time writing songs in Nashville with many successful writers, Jerry moved to Treaty 8 lands in Alberta (although he continues to return to Manitoba each summer) to continue writing and recording with award-winning songwriter and producer Troy Kokol. As a multi-award winning Metis/Cree Canadian country singer, Jerry pays homage to his Indigenous heritage with the release of his fourth studio album, Classic Country Couple, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, has now won “Best Country Album” and has released his new music video on August 2nd, 2021.
Touring Coordinator Rhonda Head has received 15 nominations in total and won nine international music awards since she began her music career in 2010. Rhonda has had the opportunity to perform in some of the most amazing venues – Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Centre, the Viper Room, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 5 Lands Walk Festival in NSW, Australia, and numerous other venues. Rhonda also recently released an autobiography called Mezzo-Soprano – Memoirs of a Rez Girl. It wasn’t always an easy road for Rhonda, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 22. Rhonda took a year off to recuperate from the 11.5 hour surgery. When she thought her life was back on track she received devastating news when she was 30 that the tumour grew back. Once again, she took time off and took care of her health. Despite the setbacks and challenges, Rhonda continued to follow her passion of music.
Sherri Shorting is an Anishinaabe singer and songwriter from the Little Saskatchewan First Nation. Her love and passion for music comes from the admiration for such artists as; Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. Their soulful, charismatic twist on country music has inspired her to be creative when it comes to her style of music which has a touch of folk, country, rock, and reggae.
Sherri’s songwriting talent comes from her own life experiences and looking through the eyes of others. She brings forth these stories with raw energy and emotion and has the gift for expression.
Her first single Confessions was released in May 2021 and is played worldwide. Stay tuned for future single releases coming soon.
Mitchell Makoons (He/Him) is a Roots/Rock musician from Brandon, Manitoba. Mitchell started playing guitar at the age of seven to accompany his grandfather and brother playing Metis fiddle tunes. Mitchell continues to be an active member of the Manitoba Metis community. The songs Mitchell writes incorporate traditional Ojibway music and culture with modern influences from Roots and Rock.
Kris Paul is an emerging singer-songwriter hailing from the small Métis community of San Clara, MB. After closet writing for many years and silently strumming guitar in the shadows; he brought forth his music in 2018. Kris broke the ice with an online venue through social media called 52 songs. Preforming a song a week for 2018 in dedication to his late Grandpa. He instantly gained a strong following which continues to grow today.
Kris was honoured to be selected by jury and invited to the participate in the 2018 Manitoba Showcase through Indigenous Music. He made many industry connections from across Canada and learned about the music industry.
2019 landed Kris a mini tour through the Manitoba Arts Network to perform for Concerts in Care across Manitoba. 2019 also brought his music to the talent stage circuit. He placed numerous times; most notable a semi finalist in Dauphin’s Countryfest Competition Series, a finalist in GX94 Star Search and 1st overall in the infamous Rawhides “Stars Come Out”.
Kris released his debut studio single “My Prayer” in 2020. The song features producer Dave Wasyliw (Doc Walker) and a lead feature from Murray Pulver (Doc Walker/Crash Test Dummies). The song is now playing across many Canadian radio stations and earned spots on dozens of online shows including a few global spots including #1 in the “Top 20” on Country Thunder Network in Australia right out of the gate. He’s been featured on “Coast to Coast”, “Manitoba Spotlight”, and earned the #2 spot on the “Canadian Indie Country Countdown”. He’s been selected through APTN and Exclaim for the music video competition alongside some great national talent.
As Kris gains traction he’s quickly becoming a name in the public eye. Even through the pandemic he was lucky enough to fit in street performances, opening slots, bars, festivals, and live stream shows such as “Festival of Fathers” playing alongside the likes of Don Amero through Manitoba Music and Indigenous Music.
Kris was also generously featured on CBC TV as the eye catcher in Manitoba for the nationwide talent search, Toyota CBC Searchlight.
In 2021 he teamed up with Dave Wasyliw in the studio again to bring forth his long anticipated follow up single “Make it through”. This follow up single is making massive moves and getting into standard rotation on radio. Most recently it’s achieved the #1 spot on the Indigenous Music Countdown providing national airplay including Sirius XM.
Kris is now working on his next studio release and a solo acoustic EP slated to drop in the summer of 2022.
Kris brings a wide variety of country with hints of blues, rock and pop. He’s an emerging artist to look out for with great things to come!
Ivy Venin is an indigenous singer-songwriter from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is a member of Lake St. Martin First Nation. Ivy started teaching herself to play guitar when she was 16. She started learning cover songs, and within a couple years, she was writing her own original music. But, due to anxiety and stage fright, Ivy spent almost 2 decades at home honing her skills, and evolving her own unique style of alternative folk pop rock.
In 2014, she started trying to perform her songs at open mics. It didn’t always go so well, so she only tried once or twice a year, until 2018, when everything changed. People were telling her how they loved her gritty vocals, her honest lyrics, and her angry songs. This helped her feel more confident, and she started performing more and more. At a jam night, she caught the attention of a local artist and producer, who suggested working together and recording at his studio. Ivy and producer Aaron Peters are currently in his studio recording 14 songs, which will be released as two 7 song EP’s. The first one will be released later this year.
Last year, Ivy was one of the women chosen to perform as part of Indigenous Music’s “Iskwewak Nikamowak” Virtual Concert for International Women’s Day. She was also selected to be a part of the 2021 RBC Emerging Artist Mentorship and Showcase program through Manitoba Arts Network. Ivy knows her list of accomplishments is short right now, but she says, she’s just getting started.