Vince Fontaine is an award-winning Ojibway musician, composer and producer. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Vince is a musical leader, visionary and musical entrepreneur, who has become a staple in Winnipeg’s vibrant cultural community.
Vince entered his music career as a guitar player in the late 1980s, performing in Winnipeg’s professional music scene. He ultimately found his voice through the music group Eagle & Hawk, which he started in 1994 (www.eagleandhawk.com). In the late 1990s, Vince strengthened his writing abilities and developed the sound of Eagle & Hawk. He also cultivated working relationships with other artists in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities.
Through Eagle & Hawk, Vince has helped develop and define the genre of contemporary Indigenous music. To date, the band has received 75 nominations and 31 wins at awards ceremonies across North America, including a Juno Award, a Western Canadian Music Award, an Indigenous Image Award, 3 Native American Music Awards, 6 Indian Summer Music Awards, 10 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards and 9 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards including Best Album of the Year and Best Group in 2010.
Vince has toured Europe more than a dozen times with Eagle & Hawk and has played some of the biggest stages in North America including Capital Hill on Canada Day, 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Indian Summer Fest in Milwaukee and the 2011 New Orleans Jazz Festival to name a few, not mention numerous TV appearances.
In 2008, Vince worked with the renowned Toronto composer and music arranger Charles Cozens to create a 70-minute symphony arrangement for some of the band’s most recognizable music repertoire. In 2009, Eagle & Hawk performed their first ever symphony show with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and has since been invited back for numerous encore performances.
Vince also brings his creative skills to the live stage and has produced and organized various culturally significant events such as the North American Indigenous Festival. As Festival Manager, he presented 10 consecutive nights of concerts featuring the very best of North American Indigenous talent. Vince was also Music Festival Manager for the Manito Ahbee Festival from 2006 to 2008. In 2010, Vince was the Manager and Curator of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Indigenous Festival.
In 2008, Vince Fontaine was the recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council's prestigious “Making A Mark Award” presented at the Mayor's Arts Luncheon.
In 2011, Vince released his first solo album “Songs For Turtle Island”. On “Songs for Turtle Island”, Vince explores Indigenous stories and themes by combining traditional music elements with contemporary and classical instrumentation. The album already earned him a 2011 Native American Music Award for “Best Instrumental Album” and nominations at the Western Canadian Music Awards, the Canadian Folk Music Awards, the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards, the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and the Indian Summer Music Awards.
Vince is currently working on his newest musical vision and project titled “Indian City”. Using what he calls the “Santana Supernatural model”, the new music will feature a number of guest artists on vocals. More than a music album, “Indian City” will be a spectacular live touring show featuring live music, dance, multi-media as well as guest-starring some of the most talented Aboriginal artists in Canada.
In 2011 Vince has licensed songs to TSN, APTN, Showtime and Sony Music . He continues to remain true to his conviction of writing and sharing music with audiences around the world.