Country Music Association of Ontario – Nominees Announced

In a press conference on April 9, the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) is proud to announce the final nominees for its inaugural awards taking place on May 27th at the Markham Theatre in Markham, Ontario.
Speakers representing Slaitht Music, CMAO, and local country radio stations presented the list of nominiees and a brief history of how the CMAO came into existance, with performances by Rising Star nominee Lindsay Broughton and Male Artist nominee Marshal Dane.

Lindsay Broughton
Lindsay Broughton – CMAO Rising Star Nominee

The Board of Directors announces the final top ten nominees in each category for the upcoming CMAO Awards. “The Board of Directors of the CMAO did not see the voting results for each nominee but relied on the compelling recommendation of the balloting committee that the final ballot contain 10 nominees.”

The rationale behind this recommendation was:

  1. the nominations were covering a three year release window, resulting in a very large number of eligible nominations
  2. the voting was very close for the top ten nominees during the first round of voting
  3. the Board of Directors is desirous of having an open, transparent and fair process

It was decided that any artist/group who had a standing nomination for Female, Male or Group or Duo Category are not eligible to have a nomination for the Rising Star Award. This policy was created to optimize opportunities for CMAO members to have their musical contribution to the Ontario music scene acknowledged.
In this the first and most important year the CMAO has also established a special award. the CMAO Impact Award recognizes an artist, group, industry personality or company/organization who has left an eduring and indelibly positive footprint on the landscape of country music in Ontario. This year’s impact award will go to the Canadian Country Music Association, which has celebrated and helped develop the careers of numerous Canadian country artist, including those from Ontario. By creating an annual awards show, the CCMA has placed our domestic artists squarely on the national stage, creating Canadian stars as they go, with its television show ratings often outranking some of its most popular competition. The CCMA continually raises the bar for our country music industry by hosting Country Music Week. That event is designed for every caliber of country artist – from our legends to our beginners – and has become an essential place of networking and education for almost everyone in this community. Operated by a modest staff and based in Toronto, the CCMA has been led by talented and diligent leaders, currently Don Green, who have worked with their volunteer board of directors to achieve amazing goals that continue to carve out and identify for this musical genre.

Marshal Dane
Marshal Dane – CMAO Male Artist Nominee

The CMAO Awards show will be hosted by MDM recording artist and multi-award winner Charlie Major and consummate musicians Western Swing Authority will accompany all artists performing onstage. Newly confirmed performers are:
Kira Isabella, winner of the 2012 CCMA Award for Rising Star, The Hearbroken, the CCMA “Best Group” nominees, Greg Keelor from Blue Rodeo, and Travis Good from The Sadies.

The CMAO would like to thank its Presenting Sponsor of this years show:
Slaight Music which was started by Gary Slaght and Derrick Ross in 2011 with a mandate to support the Canadian music community through a variety of initiatives. The work with artists from across the country and across the musical spectrum, helping to further careers and get great music heard. They are invested in the echnology sphere helping Canadian music entrepeneurs develop the next generation of digital platforms and services. They also support a variety of music-related events, causes and charities such as the Juno Awards, imagineNATIVE, luminato, CCMAs, Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Polaris Prize, to name a few.

The CMAO also wishes to thank its other sponsors: The CCMA, Canadian Country Music Spotlight, SOCAN and Spring Tree Farm Corp.

Female Artist

  • Crystal Shawanda
  • Genevieve Fisher
  • Kira Isabella
  • Libby McGrath
  • Lindi Ortega
  • Michelle Wright
  • Sarah Cripps
  • Tara Oram
  • Tonya Kennedy
  • Victoria Banks

Male Artist

  • Billy J. White
  • Charlie Major
  • Deric Ruttan
  • Jason Blaine
  • Jason McCoy
  • Johnny Reid
  • Marshall Dane
  • Russell de Carle
  • Ryan Laird
  • Tebey

Group Or Duo

  • Abrams Brothers
  • Kerosene Creek
  • Rob Kirkham/Neon Rain
  • Small Town Pistols
  • The Heartbroken
  • The River Junction Band
  • The Stellas
  • Western Avenue
  • Western Swing Authority
  • Wildwood Flowers

Rising Star

  • Amy Rose
  • Autumn Hill
  • Cadence Grace
  • Donna Ferra
  • Kate Todd
  • Larry Berrio
  • Lindsay Broughton
  • Megan Morrison
  • Naomi Bristow
  • Steve Rivers


  • Crystal Shawanda – Just Like You
  • Deric Ruttan – Up All Night
  • Jason Blaine – Life So Far
  • Johnny Reid – Fire It Up
  • Kira Isabella – Love Me Like That
  • Lindi Ortega – Cigarettes & Truckstops
  • Marshall Dane – Running Stop Signs
  • The Heartbroken – Tonight Tonight
  • The Stellas – The Stellas
  • Victoria Banks – Never Be The Same

Single of the Year

  • Deric Ruttan – Main Street 1979
  • Jason Blaine – Cool
  • Jason Blaine – They Don’t Make “Em Like That Anymore
  • Johnny Reid – Dedicated To You
  • Kira Isabella – A Little More Work
  • Small Town Pistols – Colour Blind
  • Small Town Pistols – Living on the Outside
  • Tebey – Somewhere In The Country
  • The Stellas – In This House

Songwriter of the Year

  • Amanda Wilkinson, Tyler Wilkinson, Joey Moi, Jeff Johnston – Colour Blind
  • Brad Stella, MaryLynne Stella – In This House
  • Deric Ruttan – Main Street
  • Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – Cool
  • Jason Blaine, Derick Ruttan – They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore
  • Johnny Reid, Mike Reid, Thom Hardwell – Dedicated To You
  • Michelle Wright, Patricia Conroy, Danick Dupelle – Another Good Day
  • Shane Guse, Jason Blaine – All Dolled Up
  • Tebey, Sam Ellis – Somewhere In The Country
  • Tyler Wilkinson, Amanda Wilkinson, Steve Wilkinson- Living On The Outside

Radio Station of the Year – Major Market

  • CHKX – KX 94.7 Hamilton
  • CICS-FM – KICXX 91.7 Sudbury
  • CIKZ- KIX 106 Kitchener
  • CJBX – BX 93 London
  • CJKX – KX 96 Oshawa
  • CJWF – Country 95.9 Windsor
  • CKBY – Y101 Ottawa

Radio Station of the Year – Secondary Market

  • CFCO – Country 92.9 Chatham
  • CFRM – The Island – Little Current
  • CHCQ – Cool 100.1 Belleville
  • CICX-FM – KICX 106 FM Orillia
  • CJBQ – 800 AM Belleville
  • CJDL – Country 107.3 Tillsonburg
  • CKQM – 104 Peterborough
  • CKXC – KIX 93.5 Kingston
  • CKXS – 99.1 FM Wallaceburg
  • CKYC – Country 93 Owen Sound

Tickets for the CMAO Awards are available at or by telephone at 1 866 943 8849.

Photos by Ted Van Boort

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