The 2018 Country Music Association of Ontario ( CMAOntario ) Awards rallied in London, Ontario, this past weekend to celebrate a great year in Ontario country music. The festivities kicked off Friday night with a fun Charity Softball Game at Labatt Park, which saw many of the province’s finest, along with BC native Aaron Pritchett, take the field before moving on to London Music Hall’s Rosewood Room for an intimate songwriters round that included Jason Blaine, Dan Davidson, Ryan Langdon & Leah Daniels.
Saturday was a day full of useful information during the conference part of the weekend. The event has been a continual success and a fantastic networking opportunity for all involved, and it’s always great to hear stories of both success and failure from those hoping to give new artists a leg up in the industry. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, we weren’t able to take in the conference this year, but having attended in the past, we can say this is a MUST for those wanting to know more about the behind-the-scenes stuff. The day was followed up by the New Faces showcase held down at Market Square where fans flocked to see some of Ontario’s brightest new talent, as well as a free concert from The Reklaws and Meghan Patrick.
Sunday was another busy day, which included a very special event called The Legacy Revival, that took place at a recently renovated church. Unfortunately, with such a jam-packed interview schedule, we weren’t able to make it, but we were assured it was an amazing time, with The Good Brothers, Aaron Pritchett, Michelle Wright and Patricia Conroy all participating. As for the awards themselves, it was once again a great night of music and stories at Centennial Hall — hosted for the 400th time by one of Ontario’s founding fathers (OK, not really, but he is one cool-ass dude), Jason McCoy.
We want to congratulate all the winners on such an outstanding year of music in the great province of Ontario. Check out the winners below.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR- sponsored by Freedom Music & Creative
Game On – James Barker Band
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR- sponsored by Spring Tree Farm
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR- sponsored by Country 103
Cold Creek County
INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR- sponsored by Seeds & Co
Ron Kitchener, RKG Entertainment
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR- sponsored by ECAO / IBEW
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Country Music Made Me Do It – Meghan Patrick
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (LARGE MARKET)
CKBY, Country 101, Ottawa
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MEDIUM MARKET)- sponsored by Lucknow’s Music in the Fields
CFCO, Country, 92, Chatham
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SMALL MARKET)
CJDL, Country 107.3, Tilsonburg
RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR
RISING STAR AWARD- sponsored by Slaight Music
ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR- Sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Chills- James Barker Band
SONGWRITERS OF THE YEAR- sponsored by Socan
Kelly Archer, Adam Hambrick, Tebey Ottoh
FAN’S CHOICE- sponsored by OMDC
NIELSEN COMPASS AWARD
Tim Hicks and James Barker Band (Tie)
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In 2007, Rob MacArthur and founding patron Linda Wright together with a number of key industry professionals founded the Country Music Association of Ontario. The Association’s mandate is to foster the growth and development of Ontario’s country music and its industry, provincially, nationally and internationally. The CMAOntario has hosted five annual Awards Shows and four two-day Road to Independence educational conferences with the generous assistance of presenting sponsor Slaight Music and support of the OMDC. www.cmaontario.ca