Artist of the Month: Chris Labelle
November 30, 2019
In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Instant Rivalry
December 29, 2019

In The News (December 2019)

This section of the newsletter is comprised of news stories, press releases and links to Internet articles that are sent in by our members who believe they will be of general interest to the membership.  We include them as a courtesy to our members but do not verify or edit their content.  Their inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by the CMAOntario nor do their contents reflect the views or opinions of the CMAOntario. If you would like to have something included in the newsletter, please send us a short synopsis, a photo or graphic and the hotlink that can be included in the news listing. Submissions can be sent to Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. The deadline for submissions is the 20th of each month.

Cory Marks ‘Outlaws and Outsiders’ Is The 2019 Hit That Couldn’t Be Confined

In a year where rock music struggled to find its footing on Billboard’s album and song charts, a hard-rock and country crossover from newcomer Cory Marks has been a breakout success for the Canadian singer, songwriter and former Royal Military College hockey player.

Marks’ first single, “Outlaw and Outsiders,” which debuted at No. 1 on both the top rock and hard rock digital song sales chart, and at No. 7 on the country digital song sales chart, has given the aspiring fighter pilot-turned-musician the momentum he needed going into the new year. He’s preparing to tour with Gord Bamford and to release a 12-track album.

“Outlaws and Outsiders” has also gotten a major boost from collaboraters Ivan Moody from Five Finger Death Punch, country legend Travis Tritt and rock icon Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe. The hard-charging “Outlaws and Outsiders” hits with an arena anthem hook and a throwback sound mixing metal and southern rock with a countrified sound palate.

(Full article: Billboard)

Niagara Conservatory Of Music Teams Up With Country Singer Tim Hicks To Give Away Musical Instruments

Judging from the puzzled expression on his face, Tavis Brick was obviously surprised when he returned home from school.

A limo bus was parked in front of his family’s Lakeshore Road home Tuesday afternoon, and the front lawn was filled with people awaiting his arrival, including Niagara Conservatory of Music owner Greg Wierzcholski. And a few of the guests were holding large, colourful packages.

But Tavis’s mother Mandy MacKenzie and six-year-old sister Aaliyah Brick were beaming with excited smiles as they walked along the sidewalk. They knew something was up.

As the group of about 10 people crowded inside the family’s living room, Tavis wasted no time tearing into the Christmas wrapping.

The smiling eight-year-old boy soon unveiled a three-quarter-sized Jay Turser acoustic guitar featuring a glossy sunburst finish. And just as Tavis was thanking his guests for the gift, they handed Aaliyah a gift to unwrap, too.

Alayah eagerly unwrapped a Mahalo alien ukulele, featuring two sound holes that looked like the big black eyes of an extraterrestrial visitor.

But that’s when the excitement really began for the children.

Country music star and St. Catharines resident Tim Hicks pulled out his own guitar, and the children listened with delighted smiles as he teamed up with Niagara Conservatory of Music students to perform “What a Song Should Do” — a tune that has spent the past year at the top of the Canadian county music charts.

(Full article: St. Catharines Standard)

Meghan Patrick & Kelly Prescott Wrap Up Final Leg of CP Holiday Train

The Canadian Pacific (CP) Holiday Train set out once again to entertain hundreds of thousands of people, celebrating 21 years of collecting food and raising funds for food banks across North America.

The CP Holiday Train program launched in 1999 and has since raised more than C$15.8 million and gathered 4.5 million pounds of food for communities along CP’s routes in Canada and the United States. Every pound and dollar raised at each stop stays with the local food bank to help feed those in need in that community.

Ontario’s Meghan Patrick and Kelly Prescott along with Tanika Charles joined this year’s US train, picking up the tour in Chicago and finishing the train’s journey back to Canada with the final show in Gleichen, Alberta on December 18.

(Source: CPR Website)


Invictus Signs Jade Eagleson

Invictus Entertainment Group is proud to announce the addition of 2019 CCMA Rising Star winner Jade Eagleson to its agency roster in Canada. Already proven to be a force in the Canadian country music landscape, Jade’s debut single, “Got Your Name On It“, has 5 times more views than any other Canadian country music video released in 2018/2019 (24M views and growing), and has been certified GOLD in Canada, along with his second single “Count The Ways.” Jade has amassed over 55 Million Global Streams, with only 3 songs released to streaming services and 2 singles released to radio. He completed a 30+ date Canadian tour with Gord Bamford, and performed on the 2019 CCMA Awards live broadcast, and is also the first ever Canadian-signed act in any genre to be chosen for the YouTube Trending “Artist on the Rise” homepage for “Got Your Name On It,” which received over 500,000 views in one day. He is set to hit the road with High Valley, Eli Young Band and Lindsay Ell on their west coast Canadian tour in May 2020.

For more information visit

(Source: The Source – CCMA)


Jessica Mitchell On Fire

Mitchell is on a roll, co-writing “The Chase” off Celine Dion’s new album, Courage, which debuted #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Mitchell co-wrote the track with fellow Canadians, Liz Rodrigues and Craig McConnell. The cut follows Jessica’s song placement success last summer, when Trisha Yearwood recorded Mitchell’s hit song “Workin’ On Whiskey”, released on her album “Every Girl” in August.

For more information visit

(Source: The Source – CCMA)

Kelsi Mayne Cleared for Takeoff

Twelve months ago, Toronto artist Kelsi Mayne made Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour history by being the first act to ever perform live on the show with backup dancers on national TV. Since then, Kelsi has been named a Sirius XM/CCMA “Top of the Country” top three finalist, a FACTOR Canada JSR recipient, performed main stages across Canada such as the Big Valley Jamboree, Burlington Sound of Music, Havelock Jamboree, and returned to play Boots & Hearts for the third time. A big year for any artist, but especially for one that is unsigned, self-booking, and self-managed. With almost 1M streams on Spotify alone, the former nationally ranked sprint-hurdler is now arguably the fastest-rising independent country artist in Canada. Expect to see Kelsi on another exciting summer festival circuit with new music from her upcoming debut album, starting with her next single “As I Go” set to release in January.

For More information visit

(Source: The Source – CCMA)

Third Single For Alexis Taylor

Alexis Taylor’s newest single “Just One Look” is the third release from the Huntsville Ontario / Nashville recording artist this year. The song made it to #4 on the Most Active Indies chart after its first week of being added to radio this month. Fans can catch her performing all over North America in 2020, and releasing new music early in the new year.

For more information visit

(Source: The Source – CCMA)


James Downham Doubles Down

The last several weeks have been exciting for Stratford, Ontario’s James Downham. On November 27th, Downham released his 4th single to Canadian country radio, “Double Down“, featuring Downham’s Durham County Band band-mate Pete Wheeler. December also saw Downham complete a mini-tour of the Yucatan Penisula, including shows in San Pedro, Belize (The Palapa Bar, Marbuck’s Coffee Bar, Rum Dog), Mahahual, Mexico (Pizza Papi’s), and Puerto Aventuras, Mexico (Nauti Burro), sharing the stage with Mexico-based American recording artist, Donnie Young. The tour included sailing on a 27 foot catamaran for 37 hours straight. Apparently, more than a few song ideas emerge when there are no distractions (other than ensuring you don’t steer the boat into a reef!)

For more information visit

(Source: The Source – CCMA)

Neil w Young Honours The Fallen

The Silver Cross Medal of Honour”, written by songwriter, recording artist and author, Neil w Young, was released in November.

Performed and recorded by Neil and Ray Lyell, the song is a special tribute honouring recipients awarded the Silver Cross each November in recognition of the loss and sacrifice on the part of spouses, partners and mothers of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, and others who served in the military and died for their country in the name of freedom.

Neil, twice nominated for a Hamilton Music Award, lives in Paris, Ontario. Singer, guitarist and Juno nominee Ray Lyell lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The song can be heard here on: You Tube 

(Source: The Source – CCMA)


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