The Maritimes went country over the last few days as the best of the best of Canadian country music invaded Halifax. The party started early in the week with numerous showcase events put on by various labels and agencies to help showcase their stars and rising stars and it all was capped off with the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, the final of which was held last night at the Scotiabank Centre and aired on CBC Television.
The CCMA awards are annually split into 3 individual events. The first is the CCMA Gala Dinner & Awards which was held on Saturday evening, the bulk of the awards are handed out at this event. The second event, the CCMA All-Star Band Awards, is held following the dinner and the final is the Canadian Country Music Association Awards Show which was held last night at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.
Award presentations were made for the 2015 CCMA Awards of Achievement recipients. MusiCounts, which
received the Slaight Music Humanitarian Award and Robert Ott, who received the Leonard T. Rambeau
International Award, were both paid touching tributes. Dianne Leigh was inducted into the Canadian Country
Music Hall of Fame in the artist category, while Elizabeth “Ma” Henning was posthumously honoured with
the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Stan Klees Builder Award. Both women, known as leaders and
trailblazers in the industry, will join a prestigious list of cherished artists and professionals who comprise the
Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.
Among the many award winners this evening was Brett Kissel took home the award for Interactive Artist or
Group of the Year, which he also won last year. Likewise, Lindi Ortega was named Roots Artist of the Year, a
title she was also bestowed with in 2014. Gord Bamford, Buddy Owens and Phil O’Donnell took home the
hardware for Songwriter(s) of the Year, with the hit “Where A Farm Used To Be”. Top Selling Canadian Album
of the Year went to Yoan for his self-titled work, Yoan, while Top Selling Album of the Year went to Luke
Bryan for Crash My Party.
Raquel Cole, from Vernon, BC, took home this year’s CCMA Discovery Award. The award is bestowed upon
one of six finalists in the CCMA Discovery Program based upon compiled scores from several major
milestones of the program: a panel interview, a written essay, and a showcase performance from Thursday
night as part of Country Music Week. The CCMA Discovery Program was developed to educate and support
Canadian country music artists in their pursuit of a career in the music industry.
The CCMA All-Star Band Awards closed out the night at Casino Nova Scotia. Seven CCMA Awards were
presented to an array of talented and deserving musicians from the Canadian country music industry.
2015 CCMA Award winners announced Saturday (organized by award categories, in alphabetical order):
2015 CANADIAN COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
STAN KLEES BUILDER AWARD – BUILDER INDUCTEE
Elizabeth “Ma” Henning
CCMA AWARDS OF ACHIEVEMENT
2015 SLAIGHT MUSIC HUMANITARIAN AWARD
LEONARD T. RAMBEAU INTERNATIONAL AWARD
CCMA DISCOVERY AWARD
INTERACTIVE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
ROOTS ARTIST OF THE YEAR
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Where A Farm Used To Be
(Written By: Gord Bamford, Buddy Owens, Phil O’Donnell, Performed By: Gord Bamford)
All Star Band – BASS
All Star Band – DRUMS
All Star Band – FIDDLE
All Star Band – GUITAR
All Star Band – KEYBOARDS
Tie: Mike Little/Bart McKay
All Star Band – SPECIAL INSTRUMENT
Robin Pelletier (Mandolin)
All Star Band – STEEL GUITAR
Ed (Peewee Charles) Ringwald
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – LARGE MARKET
KX 94.7, New Country FM – Hamilton, ON
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR – MEDIUM OR SMALL MARKET
CKGY 95.5, KG Country – Red Deer, AB
MUSIC PUBLISHING COMPANY OF THE YEAR
RECORD COMPANY OF THE YEAR
MDM Recordings Inc.
RECORD COMPANY PERSON OF THE YEAR
Mike Denney – MDM Recordings Inc.
RON SAKAMOTO TALENT BUYER OR PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Jim Cressman/ Rob Cyrynowski – Invictus Entertainment Group
TOP SELLING ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Crash My Party – Luke Bryan
TOP SELLING CANADIAN ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Yoan – Yoan
The coveted CCMA Fan’s Choice Award was presented to Johnny Reid off the top of the show. This is Reid’s sixth time winning this specific award. Gord Bamford took home CCMA Awards for both Male Artist of the Year and Single of the Year for his song, “Where A Farm Used To Be”. Bamford took home the hardware in these two categories last year as well. Also on a repeat was Jess Moskaluke, who was crowned Female Artist of the Year for the second consecutive year.
High Valley was named Group or Duo of the Year while Madeline Merlo was bestowed with the Rising Star award. Local fan-favourite, Dean Brody, took home the CCMA Award for Video of the Year while Dallas Smith took home the prestigious CCMA Award for Album of the Year.
The 2015 CCMA Awards Show delivered a collection of high energy and high impact performances by an array of Canadian country music’s brightest stars, including Autumn Hill, Gord Bamford, Paul Brandt with Jess Moskaluke, Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, High Valley, Kira Isabella and MacKenzie Porter, Brett Kissel, Wes Mack, Steven Lee Olsen, Johnny Reid and Dallas Smith.
International guests Florida Georgia Line performed their fan-favourite, “Anything Goes”, while Thomas Rhett sang his latest hit #1 single, “Crash and Burn”.
The 2016 CCMA Awards Show will take place in London, Ontario. Tickets will go on sale later this year.
Full list of 2015 CCMA Award winners announced on the CCMA Awards Show:
FANS’ CHOICE AWARD
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Lifted – Dallas Smith
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Where A Farm Used To Be – Gord Bamford
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Upside Down – Dean Brody
Watch for Sound Check Entertainment at the 2016 CCMA Awards in London, Ontario. Corey & Hendrik will be at the event with live coverage throughout the weekend and Canadian Country Music Week! For more information on the Canadian Country Music Association and the 2016 Awards visit www.ccma.org.