Edmonton hosted the Canadian Country Music Association awards this year for its sixth time in 31 years. Complete with the green carpet that made its debut at last years CCMAs in Saskatoon, the award show line-up included various talented Canadian and international country artists, while the broadcast award show four-day lead-up showcased popular events for fans and award show goers.
One event in particular, the ever-popular Jiffy Lube FanFest, took place the third day of Country Music Week, in which country music fans partook in a free music festival at the Shaw Conference Centre. Country music artists were available for photo opportunities and autographs amid country music merchandise stands and various food vendors.
The National Music Centre also had two mobile exhibits on display for the duration of the week. One exhibit with three cases displaying artifacts from Terri Clark, Wilf Carter and k.d. lang in the lobby of the Citadel Theatre, and one smaller exhibit paying tribute to Rita MacNeil at the Shaw Conference Centre.
As for award winners this year, big name nominee Gord Bamford had seven nominations including Album of the Year, CMT Video of the Year, and Single of the Year for “Leaning On a Lonesome Song”, all three of which he won, including two previous wins in the week for collaborative efforts as Songwriter(s) of the Year and Record Producer of the Year. The highly anticipated Female Artist of the Year award went to Kira Isabella, who interestingly won theCCMA Rising Star Award last year, while Male Artist of the Year went to Dean Brody.
Newcomer and independent country music artist Bobby Wills from Calgary, AB won this year’s CCMA Rising Star Award. Wills’ debut album Man with No Past produced a Billboard Country Top 40 single this year, “A Little More Time”.
Top Selling album this year went to celebrity country artist Taylor Swift for Red, while Johnny Reid won Top Selling Canadian Album of the Year for Fire It Up.
Calgary based businesses walked away with a bevy of awards including local radio station CKRY-FM for Radio Station of the Year for a major market radiobroadcast station in Canada. The Calgary Stampede won the award for Country Festival, Fair, or Exhibition of the Year, while Ranchman’s Country Cookhouse & Dancehall walked away with Country Club of the Year.
An emotional moment for those in attendance or watching, as Rita MacNeil was this year’s Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Artist inductee. MacNeil passed away in April in her home province of Nova Scotia.
For more information on this year’s CCMAs visit ccma.org or follow #CCMA on twitter.
– Leyland Bradley