The spotlight was on Ontario’s thriving country music community last Monday night as the Country Music Association of Ontario handed out the 4th Annual CMAO Awards. A standing-room-only crowd joined host Jason McCoy at the Flato Markham Theatre in Markham for an evening of accolades and performances by some of Ontario’s best and brightest stars. Presented by Slaight Music, with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the award show recognized honorees in 14 categories spanning talent and industry.
Multiple winners included Jason Blaine and newcomers Cold Creek County who walked away with three awards apiece. Blaine shared his Songwriter of the Year win alongside Deric Ruttan for their penning of the single “Country Side” which also took the honours for Music Video of the Year. Among their wins, the Brighton, Ontario five-piece counted the inaugural and coveted Fans’ Choice award, made possible by the Ontario Media Development Corporation through the Ontario Music Fund. For a full listing of all category winners, see below.
The audience was treated to a stellar lineup of performances from 13 of Ontario’s hottest country stars including 2016 CMAO winners Tebey (Single of the Year), and Leah Daniels (Female Artist of the Year) as well as multi-nominees Runaway Angel and Autumn Hill. The Road Hammers closed out the evening with a roaring rendition of “One Horse Town” featuring special guest Tim Hicks.
Iconic Canadian country roots band Prairie Oyster were recognized for their enduring influence and positive footprint on the landscape of country music in Ontario with the 2016 CMAO Impact Award.
The 2016 CMAO Awards capped off the third edition of the CMAO R2I (Road to Independence) Spring Tune Up Conference – an intensive weekend of learning and networking with professionals in Ontario’s country music industry. Presented by Slaight Music and supported by Ontario Media Development Corporation, the 2-day confab brought together industry experts, artists and aspiring entrepreneurs to discuss the latest issues and trends in the business, and featured the New Faces Showcase that shone the light on six of Ontario’s emerging new artists.
The complete list of 2016 CMAO award winners are:
SINGLE OF THE YEAR (sponsored by KICX 106)
“When the Buzz Wears Off” – Tebey
ALBUM OF THE YEAR (sponsored by hmv Canada)
What Love Is All About – Johnny Reid
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by SOCAN)
Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – “Country Side” performed by Jason Blaine
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Spring Tree Farm)
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Havelock Country Jamboree)
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by The Remington Group)
Cold Creek County
ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines Ltd.)
The Good Family
RISING STAR AWARD (sponsored by Slaight Music)
Cold Creek County
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Kylemore Communities)
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine
FANS’ CHOICE (sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation)
Cold Creek County
RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by MetalWorks Studios)
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
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MAJOR MARKET) (sponsored by Canadian Country Spotlight)
CHKX-FM (KX 94.7), Hamilton
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SECONDARY MARKET) (sponsored by Lucknow’s Music in the Fields)
CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg
To view photos from the 2016 CMAO Award show, visit www.cmaontario.ca