Celina Wapachee


Celina with her Art Performance award.

Growing up with music at home, it was pretty obvious Celina Wapachee would find a passion for music as well. Born in Matagami and raised in Nemaska, she found support from her parents, and began singing and writing at the age of 12, and started to sing for the public at 15.

Celina has been singing for most of her life now, and due to the many hours of practice, she has become a well-known singer in the Cree Nation, having released two albums since 2010. And she’s not slowing down, she is planning to record another album in the spring in Nashville.

It is in the studio Celina feels at home, learning from professional musicians, writing songs and growing in her music. Many who have pursued their musical dreams in the Cree Nation have inspired Celina, and now today she has become an inspiration for others. Through her singing, she hopes to express the message to not be afraid to chase your dreams, to not let your dreams go, because they will come to pass if you don’t give up. Celina Wapachee has become an example of her own message.

Art Performing Award

The Art Performing Award is presented to an individual who best demonstrates to the best of their abilities of their work in music and performance.





Daisy Moar

Born in Jack River near Eastmain, Daisy Moar was raised by her grandparents. At 12, she went to Residential school. Since 1978, Daisy has dedicated a lot of time ensuring our Cree culture and language is kept strong today. Although retired in 2007, Daisy still takes time to do Cree translations. She even provides Cree singing training. For Daisy, our Cree language is very important to pass on to young people, but sewing is just as important to Daisy.

Daisy first learned to sew when she got married in 1958 at the age of 16. Having only learned how to speak in Cree growing up, that same year, she also learned to read and write in Cree. After marrying, Daisy mostly lived on the land with her husband. It was there, under the guidance of Kitty Moar and others; Daisy began to learn to sew. After decades of practice, it is now Daisy who teachers others to sew. After a CNACA sewing course, Daisy’s students did not wish for the course to end, they wanted to keep learning from her. Daisy hopes what she passes on, with her sewing, will be passed on in generations to come, and it is because of this hope and her ongoing dedication, she is presented with this award tonight.

Art tradition Award

This award is presented to the individual female that through their work, they have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to preserve traditional art in Eeyou Istchee.

Daisy Moar accepting the Art Tradition (Female) award – at the CNACA Achievements Awards in Val D’or.

Mariame Hasni

For Mariame Hasni, a passion for music developed early on in childhood. She remembers listening to the radio with her father and they would sing together. Following that passion, she learned by listening to other musicians and the Latin artist Selena significantly inspired as a child. Mariame has been singing all her life but she didn’t start performing publicly until she was 13.

Born and raised in Montreal, her mother is Cree from Chisasibi and her father is Arabic from Algeria. She also has two young children of her own, a boy and a girl. She spends time up north in Chisasibi during the summer and winter.

Mariame sings whenever she can and feels it is a very natural part of her life. As for the future, she hopes to write and produce her own music and be successful in her pursuits. We are eager to see her future grow as well, as she is awarded here this evening.

Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award is given to a young individual who best demonstrates the greatness of their talents, who is beginning to rise up for others to take notice. It is presented to an individual who is showing promise, but also for the success that is sure to come.

Sanders Weistche

Born in Nooskan, at the mouth of Broadback river out on Rupert Bay, Sanders Weistche grew up to excel in the art of snowshoe making. At age 14, he began to try, to learn because he saw the challenge to create something unique, and the opportunity as there was a lot of demand. He saw many needed snowshoes to go hunting and trapping. With help and drawing inspiration from his elder brother Johnny, he excelled in this tradition long before he married.

Today, at 69 years of age, he has learned that to create a good pair of snowshoes, you need to use the right type of wood, and also a little help from someone in shaping the snowshoe. Sanders still practices this tradition during the evenings, and he dreams that someday there will be a center for youth so that elders like himself can teach young people how to make snowshoes, to ensure that this tradition is not lost, and to encourage people to use these tools, because Sanders believes it’s where we came from.

Art Tradition Award: Individual

This award is presented to the individual male that through their work, they have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to preserve traditional art in Eeyou Istchee.

Tim Whiskeychan

Tim Whiskeychan was born in Chibougamau, Quebec and adopted as an infant by Harry and Laura Whiskeychan, a traditional couple from isolated Cree village of Rupert’s House (Waskaganish) on the east coast of James Bay.

Tim’s talent for art was quickly recognized and encouraged by his teachers and by his father Harry, a well-know artist-craftsman whose tamarack branch sculptures are widely sought. After winning numerous awards throughout his school years, he went on to win an exhaustive list of commissions and prizes during his early adult years. He exhibits in many regional, provincial, national and international shows and travels widely in Canada, the United States and France as an ambassador of Cree artistic and cultural values.

Tim Whiskeychan works in a wide variety of mediums as he explores new ways to express his interpretations of Cree aesthetics using acrylics, watercolours, airbrush, stained glass, collage, etchings prints and cut steel panes. Although he himself continues to seek training from established artists, Tim’s passion for art also drives him to teach and encourage emerging Cree artists and to promote the arts within the Cree world. He holds the title of acting Curator of Creative Arts and Museology at the Waskaganish Cultural Institute and sits on the regional committee charged with the development of arts and crafts in the James Bay region of Quebec.

Art Visual Award

The Art Visual Award is bestowed upon an individual who has elevated their art, who have shared the depth of their talents for others to see, and who have inspired many.