CMAOntario Awards – Oct 4, 2020
by Wayne Baggs
Why would you drive to London’s Western Fairgrounds in the rain on a Sunday night? To watch live music with an actual stage, real lighting, real sound, and real people playing. A historical event. It’s the world’s first live drive-in-awards show!
The “Country Music Association of Ontario” or the “CMAO” awards show. The CMAOntario Awards bring emerging artists to the forefront and celebrate excellence and outstanding professional achievement by Ontario country music artists and songwriters.
This inimitable live event features appearances and performances by Ontario’s brightest talents. Presented by Slaight Music, with support from Ontario Creates, the CMAOntario Awards acknowledge the talent and achievements of Ontario’s country music industry across 17 categories.
Hosted by Jason McCoy, the 8th Annual CMAOntario Awards included a drive-in audience of 225 vehicles to see live performances by Tim Hicks, James Barker Band, The Reklaws, The Abrams, Eric Ethridge and Kalsey Kulyk, Genevieve Fisher, Kelsi Mayne, Les Rats d’Swompe, Nicole Rayy, Ryan Langdon, and The Western Swing Authority. For the grand finale, fellow CMAOntario performers joined McCoy onstage for a special rendition of his song “We Are One World.” The rain held off and people honked to the tune of Sweet Caroline.
It was a great time. Seemed like everyone was having a blast just being able to perform or watch live music.
THE WINNERS OF THE 8TH ANNUAL CMAONTARIO AWARDS ARE: SINGLE OF THE YEAR sponsored by PURE COUNTRY 106
“Keep it Simple” – James Barker Band
ALBUM OF THE YEAR sponsored by COUNTRY 106.7
“Wild As Me” – Meghan Patrick
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR sponsored by SOCAN
Meghan Patrick, Jordan Rager, Michael Whitworth – “Wild As Me”, Recorded by Meghan Patrick
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR sponsored by Spring Tree Farm
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR sponsored by ECAO/IBEW
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR sponsored by Country 103
ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines
FRANCOPHONE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR sponsored by Desjardins
Les Rats d’Swompe
RISING STAR sponsored by Slaight Music
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR sponsored by MNP
“Keep It Simple” – James Barker Band
FANS’ CHOICE sponsored by Ontario Creates
RECORD PRODUCER OF THE YEAR sponsored by Metalworks Studios
Jeff Dalziel – Aaron Allen, The Abrams, Dan Davidson, Chris Labelle, Ryan Langdon
INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR sponsored by Calcul8
Shannon Ella, Pure Country/Complete Country
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (LARGE MARKET)
CKBY Country 101.1, Ottawa
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MEDIUM MARKET) sponsored by Lucknow’s Music in the Fields
CHCQ-FM Cool 100.1 FM, Belleville
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SMALL MARKET)
CICX PURE COUNTRY 106, Orillia
NIELSEN COMPASS AWARD
These wins mark a historic run for CMAOntario artists:
- Meghan Patrick has won the CMAOntario Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year for three consecutive years. She has won Album of the Year for two consecutive years, and has won this category with each of her three studio albums – Wild As Me in 2020, Country Music Made Me Do It in 2019, and Grace and Grit in 2017. Patrick now has a total of 15 CMAOntario Award wins throughout her career.
- Tim Hicks has won CMAOntario Male Artist of the Year for two consecutive years, and the Nielsen Compass Award for three consecutive years (the first was a tie with James Barker Band in 2018). Hicks has won Male Artist of the Year five times, and now has a total of nine CMAOntario Award wins.
- James Barker Band have won CMAOntario Single of the Year for the second time, and scooped Music Video of the Year for the first time. James Barker Band now have a total of six CMAOntario
- The Reklaws have won CMAOntario Group or Duo of the Year for two consecutive years. The duo also won their first CMAOntario Fans’ Choice and now have a total of four CMAOntario