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2016 CMAO Awards logo

TORONTO, ON – The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) is pleased to announce the nominees for the fourth annual CMAO Awards. Presented by Slaight Music, with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the awards celebrate the talent and achievements of Ontario’s country music industry over the past year. The ever-engaging and entertaining Jason McCoy of The Road Hammers returns as host of the CMAO Awards Show, which takes place Monday, May 30, 2016, at the Flato Markham Theatre in Markham, Ontario. The Western Swing Authority also returns to the awards show as the house band.Leading this year’s award nominations are Jason Blaine, Leah Daniels and Tebey, with five nominations apiece. Deric Ruttan and Runaway Angel follow closely behind with four nods each, while Autumn Hill, Cold Creek County, Johnny Reid and Tianna Woods each garner three nominations. See the full nominees listing for the 2016 CMAO Awards below. Eligible CMAO members will have the opportunity to vote on the final ballot as of today up until Tuesday, April 26th at 11:59PM EST. Votes cast by CMAO members will determine the final winners.

The CMAO Impact Award, sponsored by the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), will be presented to the iconic Canadian country roots band Prairie Oyster. 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. Previous recipients include Paula Chopik and Ed Leslie (producers of Havelock Country Jamboree) and the legendary Gordon Lightfoot.

Introduced as a new category this year is the Fans’ Choice award, made possible by the Ontario Media Development Corporation through the Ontario Music Fund. Music fans, along with the CMAO membership, will have the opportunity to vote for nominees in this category starting today through the public online voting portal on the CMAO website at Voting for this category will also close Tuesday, April 26th at 11:59PM EST.

The CMAO Awards are preceded by the third edition of the CMAO R2I Spring Tune Up Conference, featuring a two-day program of learning, networking and showcasing on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29, 2016, at the Edward Village Hotel in Markham. Register here;

The 2016 CMAO award nominees are:

SINGLE OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Republic Live – Boots & Hearts Festival)
“Blame” – Autumn Hill
“Bring Your Own Sunshine” – Tianna Woods
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine
“Go Back” – Leah Daniels
“My Someday” – Runaway Angel
“Our Town” – Cold Creek County
“When the Buzz Wears Off” – TebeyALBUM OF THE YEAR (sponsored by HMV Canada)
5:01+ – Tim Hicks
Anchor – Autumn Hill
Pistology – Small Town Pistols
Tianna Woods – Tianna Woods
What It Feels Like – Leah Daniels
What Love Is All About – Johnny ReidSONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by SOCAN)
Deric Ruttan, Jonathan Singleton – “Don’t It Feel Good” performed by Deric Ruttan
Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – “Country Side” performed by Jason Blaine
Leah Daniels, Beverley Mahood, Patricia Conroy – “Dream Without You” performed by Leah Daniels
Shane Guse, Larry Wayne Clark – “Sweet Harriet” performed by The Western Swing Authority
Stacey Zegers, Cadence Grace, Ann Chaplin, Dave Thompson – “My Someday” performed by Runaway Angel
Tebey – “When The Buzz Wears Off” performed by TebeyFEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Spring Tree Farm)
Genevieve Fisher
Jessica Mitchell
Kira Isabella
Leah Daniels
Lindsay Broughton
Tianna Woods

Deric Ruttan
Jason Blaine
Johnny Reid
Marshall Dane
Tim Hicks

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by The Remington Group)
Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
Runaway Angel
Small Town Pistols
The Western Swing Authority

ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines Ltd.)
Heather Ballentine
Lindi Ortega
The Good Family
The Lovelocks
The Western Swing Authority
Whitney Rose

RISING STAR AWARD (sponsored by Slaight Music)
Ben Hudson
Brooklyn Roebuck
Cold Creek County
Cory Marquardt
Heather Ballentine
Jessica Mitchell

FANS’ CHOICE (sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation)
Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
Jason Blaine
Steven Lee Olsen
Tim Hicks

“A Picture of You” – Johnny Reid
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine
“My Someday” – Runaway Angel
“Old Piano” – Leah Daniels
“One Horse Town” – The Road Hammers Feat. Tim Hicks
“When The Buzz Wears Off” – Tebey

RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by MetalWorks Studios)
Dave “Dwave” Thomson – Old Piano by Leah Daniels
Jason Barry – Run Angel Run by Runaway Angel; Now Playing and Sweet Harriet by The Western Swing Authority; Boomerang by Genevieve Fisher; Toes by Scotty James
Jason Blaine & Deric Ruttan – Country Side by Jason Blaine
Rick Hutt – Bring Your Own Sunshine by Tianna Woods
Scott Cooke – Our Town by Cold Creek County
Tebey & Danick Dupelle – When The Buzz Wears Off/Jealous Of The Sun by Tebey

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MAJOR MARKET) (sponsored by Canadian Country Spotlight)
CHCQ-FM (Cool 100.1 FM), Belleville
CHKX-FM (KX 94.7), Hamilton
CICX-FM (KICX 106), Orillia
CJKX-FM 95.9 (KX 96), Oshawa
CKBY-FM (Country 101.1), Ottawa
CKDK-FM 103.9 (Country 104), Woodstock
CKKL-FM (New Country 94), Ottawa

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SECONDARY MARKET) (sponsored by Lucknow’s Music in the Fields)
CFCO-FM 92.9 (Country 929), Chatham
CFRM-FM (Country 103), Little Current
CHVR-FM 96.7 (Star 96FM), Pembroke
CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg
CJQM-FM 104 (Country 104.3), Sault Ste Marie
CKYC-FM 93.7 (Country 93), Owen Sound

Tickets for the 2016 CMAO Awards are $59.98 plus taxes and applicable service charges and are available for purchase now online at

The CMAO thanks all of our sponsors: Slaight Music, Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA), Canadian Country Spotlight, CW Partners, Durham Radio (KX Country), Fielding Wine, Havelock Jamboree, HMV Canada, Lucknow’s Music in the Fields, MetalWorks Studios, Nielsen Music, The Remington Group, Republic Live – Boots & Hearts Festival, Skelton Truck Lines Ltd., SOCAN, and Spring Tree Farm.

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 three annual Awards Shows with the assistance of presenting sponsor Slaight Music. These sold-out events featured performances from Ontario’s top talent, including:  Jason McCoy, Deric Ruttan, Jason Blaine, Tim Hicks, Tebey, Autumn Hill, Small Town Pistols, Michelle Wright, Marshall Dane and many more. The CMAO is also proud to have presented two highly successful two-day Road to Independence   educational conferences, with the financial contribution of the OMDC and presenting sponsor Slaight Music.

About Slaight Music:
Slaight Music was started in 2011 with a mandate to support the Canadian music community through a variety of initiatives, and to develop Canadian talent via strategic partnerships with industry peers. We work with artists from across the country and across the musical spectrum, helping to further careers and get great music heard. We’re also invested in the technology sphere, helping Canadian music entrepreneurs develop the next generation of digital platforms and services. And, we support a variety of music-related events, causes and charities.

About OMDC:
Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is the central catalyst for the province’s cultural media cluster including book publishing, film and television, interactive digital media, magazine publishing and music industries.

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