Categories / Eligibility

2019 CMAO Awards
Rules & Regulations
There are currently eighteen (18) CMAOntario Awards. The description of each award can be found in this document.

The winners/recipients of the CMAO Awards are determined by the votes of current CMAO members in good standing as of January 31, 2019.

Exceptions:
The Fans’ Choice Award -
The five (5) contenders for the Fans’ Choice Award will be determined by cumulative airplay on Cana-dian radio within the eligibility period and verified by the CMAOntario Awards & Balloting Committee. Airplay data will be compiled by Nielsen BDS. For CMAOntario member voting, the five (5) contenders will appear as “Nominees” on the Third & Final Ballot. For public voting, there will be an online ballot coordinated with the Third & Final ballot. The public and member vote tallies will be combined for a total number of votes to determine the winner of the Fans’ Choice Award.

CMAOntario Impact Award -
This recipient is voted on and determined by the Country Music Association of Ontario Board of Directors.
The Compass Award -
This recipient shall be solely based upon Nielsen Audio On-Demand Streams, Album Sales, Digital Song downloads and Airplay Spins data metrics. The artist, duo or group with the largest outcome of said metrics during the applicable period will be deemed the winner by CMAOntario.

The winners of the remaining fifteen (15) Awards goes through a three stage balloting process. Only CMAO members in good standing can participate in the voting process.


The Awards & Balloting Process:
Submission Ballot:
Each eligible CMAOntario member (Individual or Corporate status) in good standing may propose ONE AND ONLY ONE Contender in each category. Submissions are reviewed by a committee of ju-rors with demonstrated expertise and knowledge of the overall industry and individual categories. The eight (8) Contenders receiving the most mentions in each category will appear on the Second Ballot, providing they meet the eligibility requirements as determined by the CMAOntario Awards & Balloting Committee. Volume of measurable activity associated with social media, airplay spins, journalistic media, recorded music sales and live performances will influence the verification process.

Second Ballot:
Second Ballot Contenders are not required to be members of the CMAOntario. From the list of Contenders supplied, each eligible CMAOntario member may vote for ONE AND ONLY ONE Contender in each category. The five (5) Contenders receiving the most votes in each category will appear on the Third (Final) Ballot as Nominees, providing they meet the eligibility requirements as determined by the CMAOntario Awards & Balloting Committee.

Third (Final) Ballot:
Third Ballot Contenders are required to be members of the CMAOntario. From the list of Nominees supplied, each eligible CMAOntario member may vote for ONE AND ONLY ONE Nominee in each category. The Nominee receiving the most votes will be announced as the winner at the annual Awards Presentation.


Additional Balloting Information:
There must be at least three (3) Contenders after the First Ballot in any particular category in order for that category to remain in that current year. Categories with only three (3) to five (5) Contenders after the First Ballot will move directly to the Third Ballot. If there are less than three (3) Contenders, the category will be placed on hiatus for the current year only. Only those Contenders within a category placed on hiatus may be eligible for the year immediately following the hiatus.

Each Contender must receive a minimum of three (3) votes in any category on the First Ballot in order to be eligible to appear on the Second Ballot.

The CMAOntario will open each stage of the balloting process with an announcement to members by email or mail containing a voting login user name and password. By sending this announcement to the last address provided to the Association by the member, the Association then considers the member deemed to have received their login information within the specified period of time after the mailing date.

Voting rules are subject to change at the discretion of the CMAOntario Board of Directors. It is the responsibility of the Contenders to notify the CMAOntario in writing of changes to ballot information prior to the closing of the Second Ballot: March 22, 2019. Information as it appears on the Third Bal-lot is final.

CMAOntario members have the right, should they so desire, to have their name eliminated from any particular category. Please contact the CMAOntario Awards & Balloting Committee Chair by email at awards@cmaontario.ca by the closing of the Second Ballot, March 22, 2019 to remove your name if desired.

CMAOntario Awards: Voting Terms and Conditions:

i. The privilege of voting is restricted to eligible CMAOntario Members in good standing as of the announced date of ballot accessibility.

ii. The privilege of voting is restricted to the CMAOntario Member to whom an access code has been issued and is not transferable to another party.

iii. All contender, nominee, and ballot contents are the exclusive and confidential property of CMAOntario and are not to be shared before, during or after the voting process.

iv. CMAOntario does not share or reveal the contact information of its members.

v. All ballots will be tallied, verified and certified by an independent third party.

vi. A submitted ballot shall be deemed to exclusively represent the selections of the authorized voting CMAOntario Member.

vii. Voters shall cast their votes based on their own conscience and preferences and shall avoid being influenced or directed by company loyalties, business interests, relationships or regional bias.

viii. Voters shall not cast a vote in exchange for a payment, special consideration or benefit.

ix. Voters shall not enter into any form of agreement constituting collusion with any other party regarding their voting selections, including, but not limited to:

a. Aligning with any group of voters, through business relationships or social groups, who mutually agree regarding the voting process.

b. Agreeing to mutual or reciprocal voting for the benefit of one or more parties, i.e.: trading or exchanging votes.

Any violation(s) of these Terms and Conditions, or the attempt to influence others to violate these guide-lines, or any attempt to interfere with the voting process in any way, will be reviewed by the Awards and Balloting Committee and may result in loss of voting privileges during the current period’s voting process. As a potential result of violation(s) of these Terms and Conditions, the Board of Directors, at its discretion, may revoke the membership of any individual or corporation, as described under Section 4:5 of the CMAOntario Bylaws.

The Awards Eligibility:
The eligibility period for the 2019 CMAOntario Awards will be valid from October 1, 2017 through to November 30, 2018. Recordings must have been commercially released and available for consumer purchase during the eligibility period. Commercially released recordings include distribu-tion through digital channels (ie: iTunes). Where a Contender/Nominee's eligibility is not based on the commercial release of a recording during the eligibility period, at least 6 in-person performances by the Contender/Nominee must take place during the eligibility period.

All Contenders/Nominees must meet one (1) of the following criteria of eligibility:

  • Canadian citizen born in the province of Ontario, OR;
  • Canadian citizen maintaining permanent residency in the province of Ontario for a period of two consecutive years, OR;
  • Have landed immigrant status maintaining permanent residency in the province of Ontario for a period of two consecutive years.
Exemption : On a collaboration of work at least 50% of the contributors must meet one (1) of the criteria of eligibil-ity as stated above. If the collaborative team consists of three (3) individuals, only one (1) person is required to meet one (1) of the criteria of eligibility as stated above.

Exemption : Within a Group or Duo at least 50% of the contributors must meet one (1) of the criteria of eligibility as stated above. If the Group consists of three (3) individuals, only one (1) person is required to meet one (1) of the criteria of eligibility as stated above.

All final Nominees are required to be members of the CMAOntario (Individual or Corporate status) in good standing. On a collaboration of work at least one of the contributors is required to be a mem-ber of the CMAOntario (Individual or Corporate status) in good standing. Within a Group or Duo at least 50% of the contributing members are required to be members of the CMAOntario (Individual or Corporate status) in good standing, notwithstanding the definitions outlined in the above exemptions.


The Awards Description:
Below is additional detail on each of the eighteen (18) CMAO Awards:
CATEGORY NO. 1 SINGLE OF THE YEAR
This Award is for individual tracks and album tracks which have been released as singles during the eligibility period to radio and/or through DSP’s (download or streaming platforms such as iTunes, Ap-ple Music, Spotify and cdbaby) and through physical retail outlets. Volume of measurable activity as-sociated with social media, airplay spins, journalistic media, recorded music sales and live perfor-mances will influence the verification process. Final Nominees from the previous year are not eligible in the current year. One Award is presented to the Act (Solo, Duo or Group). The Act must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 2 ALBUM OF THE YEAR
This Award is for an album as a whole unit. An Album is defined as a project containing no less than six (6) tracks and can be a special project or commemorative package. The Album must have been released during the eligibility period and had a commercially released recording during the eligibility through DSP’s (download or streaming platforms such as iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and cdbaby) and through physical retail outlets. Volume of measurable activity associated with social media, air-play spins, journalistic media, recorded music sales and live performances will influence the verifica-tion process. Final Nominees from the previous year are not eligible in the current year for the same Album. The Album should be judged on all aspects including, but not limited to, artistic performance, musical background, engineering, packaging, design, art, layout and liner notes. One Award is pre-sented to the Act (Solo, Duo or Group). Greatest Hits albums do not qualify. The Act must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 3 SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
This Award is not based on the songwriters’ body of work, but rather an individual song released to radio or streaming service and commercially available during the eligibility period. A song from a Greatest Hits album is eligible if not previously nominated. Final Nominees from the previous year are not eligible in the current year for the same body of work. A songwriter(s) may receive multiple nomina-tions determined by the release of their songs within the eligibility period. Consideration should be given to lyrics, music, and public acceptance of the song. One Award is presented to the songwrit-er/songwriting team. The songwriter(s) must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 4 FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
This Award is based upon individual performance, either on record or in person within the eligibility period. Volume of measurable activity associated with social media, airplay spins, journalistic media, recorded music sales and live performances will influence the verification process. One Award is pre-sented to the Artist. The Artist must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 5 MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
This Award is based upon individual performance, either on record or in person within the eligibility period. Volume of measurable activity associated with social media, airplay spins, journalistic media, recorded music sales and live performances will influence the verification process. One Award is pre-sented to the Artist. The Artist must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 6 GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
A Group or Duo is defined as an Act, composed of two or more people, who normally perform togeth-er. The Act may include an individual who has performed, or currently does perform, as a solo artist under a name different than that of the group or duo. A group or duo whose name capitalizes on the name of a solo artist is not permitted to stand for nomination in this category. This Award is based on the performance of the Group or Duo as a unit, either on record or in person within the eligibility peri-od. Volume of measurable activity associated with social media, airplay spins, journalistic media, rec-orded music sales and live performances will influence the verification process. One Award is pre-sented to the Group/Duo. At least 50% of the Group or Duo must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 7 ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
This Award is given to a Roots Act (Solo, Duo or Group) whose main body of music is based on tradi-tional country styles, but through innovations and originality, is different from what is considered mainstream country. The Roots category embraces a multitude of musical styles, including, but not limited to: Alternative Country, Bluegrass, Celtic, Country-Blues, Folk, Gospel, Hillbilly, Honky Tonk, Rockabilly and Western Swing. This Award is based on the performance of the Act, either on record or in person within the eligibility period. Volume of measurable activity associated with social media, airplay spins, journalistic media, recorded music sales and live performances will influence the verifica-tion process. One Award is presented to the Act (Solo/Group/Duo). The Act must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 8 RISING STAR AWARD
This category is open only to those artists who have never before won the Rising Star Award and who have never before been nominated for the Female Artist of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year, or Roots Artist or Group of the Year. Nominees in this category are eligible in other categories in the current year. No Act (Solo, Duo or Group) shall be nominated for the Rising Star Award more than twice. This Award is based on the performance of the Act, either on record or in person within the eligibility period. One Award is presented to the Act. The Act must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 9 MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
This Award is for an original audio-visual program not more than ten minutes in length featuring the performance of not more than one song or medley. The video should be judged on all audio and video elements, artistic performance, video concept and production. Lyric videos are not eligible. The video must have been first released for viewing by the general public, either on television or online, during the eligibility period. Final Nominees from the previous year are not eligible in the cur-rent year. One Award is presented to the Act (Solo, Duo or Group). The Act must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 10 FRANCOPHONE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR
This Award is given to a Francophone Act (Solo, Duo or Group) whose main body of music is performed in the French language. Repertoire must have at least 70% French-language content. This Award is based on the performance of the Act, either on record or in person within the eligibility period. Volume of measurable activity associated with social media, airplay spins, journalistic media, recorded music sales and live performances will influence the verification process. One Award is presented to a Solo Artist or the Group/Duo. Within a Group or Duo at least 50% of the contributors must meet one (1) of the criteria of eligibility as stated above. If the Group consists of three (3) individuals, only one (1) person is required to meet one (1) of the criteria of eligibility as stated above.
CATEGORY NO. 11 FANS' CHOICE
This Award will be given to the Act (Solo, Duo or Group) who has made the greatest achievements in all aspects of the entertainment field within the eligibility period. Voters should give consideration not only to recorded performance, but also to live performance, videos, social media presence, staging, public acceptance, attitude, leadership and overall contributions to country music. Voting for this Award will be open to both CMAOntario members and the general public. For member voting, this Award will only appear on the Third & Final Ballot. One Award is presented to the Act. The Act must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 12 COMPASS AWARD
This Award is based on total content consumption of an Act (Group, Duo or Solo Artist) within the eligibility period. The recipient of this award shall be solely based upon Nielsen Audio On-Demand Streams, Album Sales, Digital Song downloads and Airplay Spins data metrics. CMAOntario shall be solely responsible for determining and assigning scores for each metric. The artist, duo or group with the largest outcome of said metrics during the applicable period will be deemed the winner by CMAOntario. One Award is presented to the Act. The Act must meet all eligibility criteria.
The Industry Awards Description :
These Awards are presented to honour individuals and organizations from the province of Ontario that have made a significant contribution to country music.
CATEGORY NO. 13 RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR
This Award recognizes excellence in record production. An eligible producer(s) will be recognized for a project(s) released within the eligibility period. In the event of co-production, the co-producer team would stand collectively for the co-production. Productions from the previous year are not eligible in the current year. One Award is presented to the Producer(s). The Producer(s) must meet all eligibility criteria.
CATEGORY NO. 14 INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR
This award is presented to an individual, non-performing CMAOntario member in recognition of the time and talent devoted to the advancement of country music in Ontario during the eligibility period. One award is presented.
CATEGORY NO. 15 IMPACT AWARD
This Award recognizes an Act (Solo, Duo or Group), music industry person, company or organization that has left an indelibly positive footprint on the landscape of country music in Ontario over the whole of their career. The recipient of this award is determined at the sole discretion of the CMAOn-tario Board of Directors. The award may or may not be presented annually.
The Broadcast Awards Description :
CATEGORY NO. 16 RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR, LARGE MARKET (pop. 200,000+)
CATEGORY NO. 17 RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR, MEDIUM MARKET (pop. 50,000-199,000)
CATEGORY NO. 18 RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR, SMALL MARKET (pop. 1-49,999)
These awards recognize the Ontario country radio stations that exemplify the development of Cana-dian country talent through the presentation of music on their stations through (but not limited to) community involvement, promotions, leadership and recognition. One Award is presented to the Ra-dio Station in each market. The Radio Station in each market must meet all eligibility criteria.