CMAOntario Awards and Festival take over National Arts Centre in Ottawa

The Country Music Association of Ontario brought the 7th annual CMAOntario Awards to the stages of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa this past weekend.

Beginning with a classic songwriter’s circle, Friday night’s Songs and Stories brought together a panel whose experiences spanned Ontario, Canada and even into the US. Hosted by the wildly funny, Wendell Ferguson, Detroit-raised and Blake Shelton hitmaker, JT Harding, joined Ottawa’s own, Kelly Prescott, Sudbury’s Andrew Hyatt, and Vancouver’s Chris Buck in performing and discussing the stories behind some of their most popular songs.

Saturday saw the start of the Road to Independence Conference, which saw meaningful discussions about topics such as writer’s block and even a segment featuring the Rock Doctor, Mike Schwartz, who walked the audience through exercises to help performers relax and battle anxiety when on the road and dealing with the business of music.

Ottawa’s Sparks Street Mall brought the party into the heart of downtown Ottawa.  Although it began on a rainy note, the New Faces Showcase and Concert attracted music fans and curious tourists alike to see powerful and lively performances by Owen Barney, Francophone Artist of the Year nominees, Les Rats D’Swampe, Rising Star nominees Brad James and Kris Barclay, Danielle Bourjeaurd, a special performance by former River Town Saints singer, Chris Labelle, and Roots Artist of the Year, the Abrams.

In the sunny Sunday afternoon hours leading up to the awards ceremony, the show continued on Sparks Street with Legacy Revival; which put the spotlight on legends of Ontario country.  Family was in full focus started the show, with Ottawa Valley favourites, Randall Prescott and Tracy Brown were joined by daughter, Kelly Prescott, in a fitting Father’s Day tribute.  Further performances included the most successful independent country singer-songwriter, Jamie Warren, Sudbury’s Gil Grand, and Alymer, QC’s Charlie Major, who recalled stories of busking in the very spot on Sparks Street the stage was built.

Following Legacy Revival, the official Tailgate Party began with performances by 2019 OCMAward nominees Tianna Woods, Kansas Stone, Leah Daniels, and Jade Eagleson.

The weekend culminated with the presentation of the 2019 CMAOntario Awards inside the NAC’s Southam Hall. Hosted by Road Hammers guitarist and radio DJ, Jason McCoy, Meghan Patrick was the biggest winner of the night, as she accepted awards for Album of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year (which she shared with Kelly Archer and Justin Weaver), Music Video of the Year and Fans’ Choice.  The ceremony saw the debut of the Francophone Artist or Group of the Year; which was given to Bourget, ON’s, Gabrielle Goulet.  The Holly & Steve Kassay Spirit Award was presented to Cadence Grace, while Jim Cuddy honoured the Good Brothers with the Impact Award for their almost 50 years of inspiring Canadian musicians of all stripes.

The 2020 CMAOntario Awards and Festival will head to London, Ontario for the third time.

2019 CMAOntario Awards Winners

Single of the Year – “Feels Like That” – The Reklaws

Album of the YearCountry Music Made Me Do It – Meghan Patrick

Songwriter(s) of the Year – “Walls Come Down” – Meghan Patrick, Kelly Archer, Justin Weaver (Meghan Patrick)

Female Artist of the Year – Meghan Patrick

Male Artist of the Year – Tim Hicks

Group of the Year – The Reklaws

Roots Artist or Group of the Year – The Abrams

Francophone Artist or Group of the Year – Gabrielle Goulet

Rising Star – Jade Eagleson

Music Video of the Year – “Walls Come Down” – Meghan Patrick

Fans’ Choice – Meghan Patrick

Record Producer of the Year – Jeff Dalziel (Ryan Langdon, “Leave Me Right”; The Washboard Union, “What We’re Made Of”)

Industry Person of the Year – Ron Kitchener, RGK Entertainment

Radio Station of the Year (Large Market) – CKBY Country 101.1, Ottawa

Radio Station of the Year (Medium Market) – CHCQ-FM Cool 100.1 FM, Belleville

Radio Station of the Year (Small Market) – CICX PURE COUNTRY 106, Orillia

Nielsen Compass Award – Tim Hicks

Impact Award – The Good Brothers

Holly & Steve Kassay Generous Spirit Award – Cadence Grace

For more photos from the event, head to our Facebook page!

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