SMA Nominations

The nomination submission process for the 2018 Saskatchewan Music Awards is now closed.


Submissions are free.
Nominees must reside in (and pay taxes in) Saskatchewan.

Please carefully review the guidelines and eligibility criteria below (also available in this downloadable PDF), and prepare your materials in advance before submitting via:

Submissions will close at 5pm CST on October 23, 2018 (updated).

As this is the inaugural year for the SMAs, we anticipate minor amendments may be made to these criteria throughout the process.

General Eligibility and Criteria

Unless otherwise noted, a release date is defined as:


Award Categories

Nominees may nominate themselves or be nominated by a manager/label/other.

ARTISTIC: General Guidelines

Artistic: Artist of the Year Categories

The following categories will be determined by a combination of artistic merit (musical submission) and career achievements (from information supplied by the artist, and subject to third party verification where pertinent). Final nominees and the winner in each category will be determined by juries of industry and peers.

Musical submissions are required for a category nomination. A minimum of 3 to maximum of 5 tracks must be provided which have been commercially released during the period of April 19, 2017-October 19, 2018. (FAQ: You don't need to have released tracks individually "to radio" - these can be tracks that were part of an album that you released.) iTunes date will be used if necessary to verify release date. The written submission of your achievements must cover the same time period and may include such items as tour and festival history/highlights, streaming statistics, sync placements, socials, etc.

Nominees in these categories will be announced November 12, 2018 with award winners announced on November 25, 2018. There are no sales qualifications for these categories. Please note these are broad categories; if you don’t see your exact genre listed, simply apply in the most appropriate one.

Artistic: Single of the Year, powered by Nielsen Music

Single of the Year will recognize the top commercial Saskatchewan song of the year released* during the period April 19, 2017-October 18, 2018 (see definition of release, above). However, if a single from an album that was released within the current eligibility period was released BEFORE the current eligibility period (ie: a pre-album-release single), that single will be considered released prior to the eligibility period, and will be ineligible.

While the artist must meet residency requirements, the song can be written by the artist, or written or co-written by a non-Saskatchewan songwriter. The award is presented to the artist.

The nominees and winners of this category shall be determined solely based upon a numerical calculation of industry data to determine the artist with the largest outcome of said metrics for a single during the reporting period beginning April 21, 2017 up to the time of category calculation, including: Canadian airplay, digital song downloads, and streaming as reported through Nielsen Music Connect; as well as consideration of Spotify overall streaming and YouTube video views. It is the responsibility of the artist to ensure their data is available in the Nielsen Music system and, to ensure their data is considered, to submit their name and single for consideration in this category. Nominees may be withheld until the winner in this category is announced on November 25, 2018.

Artistic: Best Saskatchewan Albums of the Year

The Best Saskatchewan Album of the Year project is in its fourth annual iteration. It will become an associated category of the Saskatchewan Music Awards in 2018. This category is based on an album, as a whole, released during the time period of November 1, 2017-November 1, 2018. SaskMusic researches and collects eligible album releases for this time period to the best of our ability, however, artists/labels are encouraged to submit to ensure that no eligible releases are overlooked. Information on this category can also be found at

All genres of music are included in consideration. Official reissues/compilations of previous material, where released as a new package, will be considered.

Album Criteria. To be considered in this category, the album


1) A list of eligible releases will be compiled. To help ensure we don’t miss an eligible album, submissions are encouraged through the SMA nomination process.

2) A jury of industry professionals and peers will listen to the qualifying albums to help us determine the longlist of approximately 40 albums. The longlist will be announced at the Saskatchewan Music Awards, November 25.

3) The longlist will be open for general public voting, exclusively online, from November 26-December 10. These votes alone will determine the Top 10. Only one vote per IP address will be recorded.

4) The Top 10, aka shortlist, will be announced online between the dates of December 12-21 (TBD). Please note, ties would result in more than 10 albums appearing on the shortlist.

Artistic: The "Breaking Borders Award" Presented by the Derek Bachman Foundation

The Derek Bachman Foundation will select award recipient(s) in this category exclusively at their discretion and using a methodology determined by the Foundation. There is not a nomination process for this category. Nominees will not be announced in advance; only the recipient(s) will be recognized on November 25, 2018.


Nominees in these categories will be announced November 13, 2018 with award winners announced on November 25, 2018.

Industry Achievement Award: This award will recognize excellence in the provision of skills and/or services by those helping to build the music industry in Saskatchewan, during the period April 19, 2017-October 19, 2018. Industry members who can be nominated for this award include, but are not limited to, promoters, live and/or studio audio engineers, publicists, booking agents, managers, members of the media, etc. The nominee must be reside in and pay taxes in Saskatchewan, however, the scope of their work can be national and/or international. Final nominees and winner will be determined a jury assembled of industry and peers, based on a written submission. At the jury’s discretion, more than one Industry Achievement Award recipient may be recognized in any given year.
You will be required to upload a submission statement (maximum 3 pages) outlining items and achievements that you wish the jury to consider. Activities noted must cover the eligibility time period and could include such items as artists/ organizations/ businesses worked with and their successes; sales/streaming achievements; community engagement; participation in educational initiatives, etc.

Venue of the Year: This category will recognize live music venues that are assisting in keeping the music scene alive in Saskatchewan. The venue must be physically located, by postal code, in the province of Saskatchewan. Final nominees and winner will be determined a jury assembled of industry and peers, based on a written submission demonstrating excellence in programming and community engagement during the period of April 19, 2017-October 19, 2018. The venue must have bought/promoted at least 10 different artists/bands during the eligibility period.
You will be required to upload a submission statement (maximum 3 pages) outlining items and achievements that you wish the jury to consider. Activities noted must cover the eligibility time period and should demonstrate excellence in programming and community engagement. Please include a highlight list of at least 10 different artists/bands who performed at the venue within the eligibility period.

Producer of the Year: This award will recognize excellence in music production by a producer residing in Saskatchewan, who was primarily responsible for the recording and/or mixing process for a submitted project(s) released within the eligibility period April 19, 2017-October 19, 2018. Nominees can be submitted under one producer name alone, as a cast of producers, or a combination of producer and studio name together. Nominations must upload a minimum of 3 and maximum of 5 songs produced by the nominee during the eligibility period, and which suitably demonstrate the producer’s skill. Submitted songs may be performed by one artist, or various artists. Please upload MP3s with a maximum size of 10MB each. A producer’s biography will also form part of the nomination submission.
Final nominees and winner will be determined by a jury of industry peers. In the case of co-productions, co-producers would stand collectively for the co-production; all team members in this case must meet residency requirements. 

Key Dates

September 21, 2018           Nominations open
October 23, 2018 5pm        Nominations close
November 13, 2018            Nominees announced, where applicable (updated)
November 25, 2018            2018 Saskatchewan Music Awards event
November 26, 2018            Public voting on Best Saskatchewan Albums of 2018 begins

About the juries

Nominations will be checked for completeness and eligibility by SaskMusic staff. For juried categories, submissions will then be presented to a panel of industry jurists who will ultimately decide on 3-5 nominees (at their discretion) in each category. Jurists may sit on more than one category. All jurists will be required to sign a Conflict of Interest declaration stating they will not jury submissions for which there may be a real or perceived conflicts of interest or bias. Chosen jurists will sit on carefully constructed panels of knowledgeable industry professionals, and will review submissions following the guidelines set out for each category. Jurists will be sought both within and outside of Saskatchewan as needed to ensure impartiality.

As per the SaskMusic Policy Guide, SaskMusic staff and board members are eligible to stand as nominees only if they have had no involvement or influence in jury selection for that category.

For questions and comment on this process please contact Michael Dawson, Executive Director, SaskMusic, 1-800-347-0676 or email