Happy belated Canada Day, everyone! We are so lucky to live in the most beautiful country in the world and that luck is doubled when we consider the province we reside in.
As we reflect on the success of the past six years, with seminars, performance opportunities, Demorama panels, conferences and three sold-out award shows, it is quite apparent that we now have the confidence and credibility – from fans, the music industry and indeed, our members – we’ve worked so hard to achieve. I am so proud of the effort put forward by the Board of Directors, present and past, and the ongoing support of our members and sponsors.
As I’m sure you are aware, it is our mandate to move this organization and its artist members forward, helping them to realize their potential as new and established Ontario performers. Sometimes the Board is put in a rare position that is not in keeping with our own rules and regulations, and such was the case recently, when we chose an artist candidate for the Canadian Country Music Association’s Spotlight Performance in Halifax this September. Normally, for a performance opportunity, we would ask our members to submit an application. In the past, we have received as many as thirty or more. Those applicants would be narrowed down to six and then those six would be juried by industry professionals (all of whom would be randomly solicited non-Directors) to select a finalist.
This year, because of time constraints, we were forced to make a choice: either decline having an Ontario representative, or expediently choose an artist from our recently-vetted conference showcase performers. It was clear that there would not be enough time to conduct our standard application and jury procedure. The Board debated, and made the difficult decision to choose an artist from those who had already gone through a standard selection process for our May conference showcase. Therefore, our conference showcase line-up became a de facto ballot; it was voted on fairly and democratically by the CMAO Board of Directors and James Barker captured the majority of votes. Nine provinces have submitted acts and only one will be chosen to perform at the CCMA event, via a public voting process.
I felt compelled to make this clear for the sake of transparency and so that we do not appear to “play favourites”. The CMAO Board places a high value on maintaining our members’ confidence. Next year, we will ask the CCMA to allow more lead time so that we may implement our usual selection process.
On another “musical” note, festival season is upon us and we hope that our members enjoy the summer with live country music. It will be hard to keep the dust off your boots, with great Ontario events like the Havelock Jamboree (Havelock), Boots & Hearts Festival (Bowmanville), Music In The Fields (Lucknow), Boothill Country Jamboree (Bothwell), Manitoulin Country Fest (Little Current) and the Twin Music Festivals (Palmer Rapids), just to name a few. So please, get out and support these and other events while you enjoy some of the best country artists the world and this province has to offer.
About Bruce Good…
In 1970 Bruce Good was a member of the trio James and the Good Brothers whose first tour was on the outrageous Festival Express.This train crossed Canada with acts of the day such as The Grateful Dead, Janice Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, Ten Years After and many more. Later, when James left the group, Bruce and his brother Brian recruited younger Brother Larry and The Good Brothers were born.
After receiving gold records and garnering 8 Juno awards and Big Country awards (predecessor of the CCMA) for best country group, Bruce became manager/agent for the Good Brothers and did so for 23 years. He received a Canadian Country Music Association award for instrumentalist of the year for special instrument, (autoharp) and in 2004 The Good Brothers were inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. This spring will mark their 37th tour of Europe.
Bruce has been on the balloting committee for the CCMA for the past three years and is presently 2nd Vice President of the Country Music Association of Ontario. Bruce feels his strongest asset is the artist’s perception that he brings to the board.