Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch is an Anishnaabe-Algonquin multi-disciplinary scholar, composer, librettist/playwright, producer who works in opera and theatre. He wrote and co-composed the Dora Mavor Moore-nominated opera Giiwedin. Other notable credits as writer and composer include: Contraries: a chamber requiem (2018, premiered at the Royal Conservatory of Music), and Sojourn (2017; commissioned by Signal Theatre for the dance opera Bearing, premiered at Luminato Festival).
Dr. Dénommé-Welch’s music composition, art practice, and research focuses on Indigenous topics in the arts, education, and the impacts of decolonizing through music and performance. In his arts practice, Dr. Dénommé-Welch uses composition as a mode of exploring and articulating Indigenous storytelling, language, and cultural expression. His creative research work examines issues such as representations of gender and sexuality in music, as well as investigates land-based approaches to Indigenous music, visual culture, and decolonization.
Dr. Dénommé-Welch’s academic research focuses on Indigenous topics in education, arts, and decolonizing through music and performance. He has published a number of scholarly and creative peer-reviewed works as both a single-author and a co-author/collaborator, and contributed chapters and essays in books.
In 2019 he was awarded the inaugural New Frontiers in Research Award for his project Sonic Coordinates: Decolonizing through Land-based Music Composition, which is a creative research project that involves exploring new methods of land-based music composition. He was also the recipient of the SSHRC-Insight Development Grant (2016-2019) for his project, Beyond the Rainbow: Investigating representations of gender and sexuality in Indianist music and production.
Dr. Dénommé-Welch has raised over ($300,000) for his innovative research projects. He has also received several arts funding grants through Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts, and research grants through Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Dr. Dénommé-Welch’s work has been featured in The Music Scene and The Wholenote. He has made appearances on radio shows such as Alexa’s Oasis on Classical 96.3 FM, CBC’s Here and Now, Aboriginal Voices Radio, and Radio-Canada.
Dr. Dénommé-Welch is Artistic Director of Unsettled Scores, an Associate Composer with the Canadian Music Centre, a member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University. He is a member of the Timiskaming First Nation.