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Toronto, ON – The Flato Markham Theatre was the scene of an electrifying night of country music on Monday evening for the 3rd Annual Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Awards, presented by Slaight Music. The Awards Show was hosted by the Road Hammers’ Jason McCoy for the 2nd year in a row and he skillfully entertained the sold-out room, packed to the rafters with the best country music talent in Ontario! 

The Small Town Pistols were the big winners last night, snagging 3 Awards including Single of the Year for ‘I Only Smoke When I Drink’. 2015 CMAO Awards Show house band The Western Swing Authority received 2 Awards – Group or Duo of the Year and Roots Artist or Group of the Year. Tim Hicks was thrilled to accept his Album of the Year and Male Artist of the Year Award and legendary performer Michelle Wright was named Female Artist of the Year! For a full listing of all category winners, see below.

The 2015 CMAO Awards included incredible performances from 12 of the 2015 CMAO Awards nominees, including Beverley Mahood and Lace, Deric Ruttan, Jason Blaine, Lindsay Broughton, Tebey and 2015 Rising Star Award winner Leah Daniels. 


The 2015 Awards Show wrapped up an action-packed two days for the CMAO which also included the Road To Independence (R2I) Spring Tune-Up Conference, presented by Slaight Music and supported by Ontario Media Development Corporation, on Sunday, May 24th and Monday, May 25th. The 2-day Conference featured knowledgeable industry panelists and keynote speakers, including the incredible ‘New Faces, Going Places’ Industry Showcase on Sunday night, hosted by 2015 Female Artist of the Year, Michelle Wright and Ted Roop (Larche Communications). The Conference also featured a Keynote Interview with industry heavyweight, Derrick Ross of Slaight Music.

The 2015 CMAO Impact Award was presented to Paula Chopik and Ed Leslie, producers of Havelock Country Jamboree, Canada’s largest live country music and camping festival. The CMAO Impact Award recognizes an artist, group, industry personality or company/organization that has left an enduring and indelibly positive footprint on the landscape of country music in Ontario. Last years’ Impact Award recipient was the legendary Gordon Lightfoot.

SINGLE OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by: Boots and Hearts Music Festival)

Small Town Pistols – I Only Smoke When I Drink

ALBUM OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by: hmv)

Tim Hicks – 5:01


Alyssa BonaguraI Only Smoke When I Drink – Small Town Pistols

Patricia Conroy

Amanda Wilkinson

Tyler Wilkinson

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by: Spring Tree Farm Garden Centre)

Michelle Wright

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by: TicketBreak)

Tim Hicks

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by: The Remington Group)

The Western Swing Authority

ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by: Skelton Truck Lines Ltd.)

The Western Swing Authority

RISING STAR AWARD (Sponsored by: Slaight Music)

Leah Daniels


Small Town Pistols – I Only Smoke When I Drink

RECORD PRODUCER OF THE YEAR (Sponsored by: Metal Works Studio)

Jason Barry Single – Night In Night Out by Genevieve Fisher

Single – One Of Us Is Lying by The Western Swing Authority

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MAJOR MARKET) (Sponsored by: Canadian Country Spotlight)


RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SECONDARY MARKET) (Sponsored by: Lucknow’s Music in the Fields)



Paula Chopik & Ed Leslie – Havelock Country Jamboree


About The CMAO:

The CMAO was formed in 2007 by Rob MacArthur, founding patron Linda Wright and a number of interested and enthusiastic individuals who thought it was time to have a voice for country music in Ontario. The Association brings together the talent and the industry professionals. Its mandate is to foster and support the growth and development of Ontario’s country music and its industry, provincially, nationally and internationally. The CMAO has now hosted two annual Awards Shows with the assistance of presenting sponsor Slaight Music.

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