Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Ken Reynolds
December 6, 2023
Seryca Lynn
January 2, 2024

In The News (December 2023)

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 verle@cmaontario.ca. Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. The deadline for submissions is the 20th of each month.


Unison’s Annual Holiday Schmoozefest


The music industry’s very best seasonal schmooze is back and this year we’re returning to the Liberty Grand in Toronto!

Join us on Wednesday, December 13th to eat, drink, and be merry with your industry peers. Unison’s Annual Holiday Schmoozefest kicks off the festive season with a celebration that includes music, entertainment, and surprise festive appearances, it’s the party of the season you won’t want to miss!

Schmoozefest is a time for us to celebrate our vibrant music community and those who help support and raise awareness for Unison, empowering us to make an even larger impact every year. Join us in celebrating the community that unites us all and in raising funds that will resonate with the future of Canadian music.


Source: Unison website

Grant Joseph: Home Safe Holiday Giveaway 

Grant Joseph has teamed up with the CCMA, MADD Canada, YANGAROO and Front Porch Music with support from CMA Ontario and many other associations to bring you the Home Safe Holiday Giveaway. This campaign not only aims to educate and raise awareness of the risks of impaired driving but also to incentivize those who choose to make responsible choices this holiday season.
Everyone is encouraged to create a post, using #HomeSafeGiveaway, sharing their story of how impaired driving has affected their life, or how they chose to get themselves home or others home safely, or simply a post advocating for sober driving while promoting this campaign. By sharing this post, they will be eligible to enter to win 1 of 2 pairs of tickets to the 2024 CCMA Awards presented by TD or a pair of weekend passes to the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. These shared stories will create a powerful movement and surge across social platforms, inspiring others to follow suit and prioritize safety, helping one another get home safely.
Grant Joseph’s untraditional holiday song, “This Ain’t Christmas”, serves as the anthem for this campaign, offering an important reminder of the risks tied to impaired driving. More than just a melody, this song is a beacon for responsible choices through the holidays and beyond.

From sharing the campaign on your social media platforms to encouraging your fans and colleagues to do the same, every action counts. Your support will help amplify the message and create a ripple effect that extends far beyond our immediate community. By supporting the Home Safe Holiday Giveaway, we can make a meaningful difference in ensuring that every member of our country music family enjoys a joyous and safe celebration with their loved ones.

Jade Eagleson shares Joy to the World 


Multiple CMAOntario and CCMA award winner Jade Eagleson is doing his bit to make the season bright with his version of “Joy To The World,” available everywhere now. Fans will be in familiar Eagleson territory with his signature classic country take on this track. Jade’s 2023 included releasing his third studio album, Do It Anyway – featuring hot singles: Neon Dreamin’, Shakin In Them Boots and Rodeo Queen – and announcing that he and his wife Marina are expecting another baby boy next year.

Stream or download “Joy To The World” here.

Source: CCMA Member News (edited)




Julianne Hobby’s Country Christmas Classic in London, Ontario 

London artist Julianne Hobby announces a brand new Christmas Special with all the warmth and heart of country music, taking place at the Wolf Performance Hall, December 17th, 2023 at 2pm. 

Featuring holiday favourites, country classics, original music, dancing and guest performances, it is an event for all ages to come together and celebrate the joys of the season!

Tickets available at www.eventbrite.ca and Wolf box office 519-661-5120. More info also at www.juliannehobby.com

This show will feature Julianne Hobby’s new, original holiday single, “SNOWFALL”, released to streaming platforms November 10, 2023

Source: Member Submission 


The Reklaws 4-PEAT 

Award-winning, multi-PLATINUM duo The Reklaws have scored their fourth #1 at Canadian country radio with “Honky Tonkin’ About”, featuring Texas native Drake Milligan. The star-studded music video for “Honky Tonkin’ About” was filmed in Romania on the set of The Grey House (Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman). The video features appearances from Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore), Robert Knepper (Prison Break), and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds) and premiered exclusively on etalk and CMT/Paramount Times Square billboards.

Source: CCMA Member News (edited)





Griffen Palmer Releases New Single: Heart of Exes


Pickering’s Griffen Palmer is back, with his new release, “Heart Of Exes,” out now on the Big Loud label. The single is the follow up to Palmer’s April-released debut album, Unlearn. The album featured his version of the Songland-winning track “Second Guessing”, which he performed on ABC’s The Bachelor earlier this year. As a songwriter, Griffin has had some impressive cuts with Florida Georgia Line (“Second Guessing”), Keith Urban (“Polaroid”), The Band Camino, Chelsea Cutler, MacKenzie Porter, Jade Eagleson and more.

Stream or Download Single Here

Source: CCMA Member News (edited)




Robyn Ottolini Unveils Heartfelt Single I Kissed Your Boyfriend, from Upcoming EP Growing Up to Do

CCMA Award-winning, platinum-selling country sensation Robyn Ottolini is set to tug at heartstrings once again with the release of her latest single, “I Kissed Your Boyfriend.” This compelling preview offers a glimpse into Ottolini’s highly anticipated EP, Growing Up To Do, showcasing her daring departure into the delicate terrain of social etiquette. Known for standing in solidarity with women, Ottolini’s latest offering is a passionate confession that weaves a tale both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. Listen to “I Kissed Your Boyfriend” HERE and Stream HERE.

In “I Kissed Your Boyfriend,” Ottolini narrates the internal struggle of discovering that the person she kissed is in a relationship. Ottolini shares, “It’s a tension-filled, ‘I am so sorry. This is all my fault. I had no idea. This isn’t my fault. I’m gonna take the blame anyway. I’m so sorry…’ where the only thing you really know for certain is that I’m going to tell her the truth. She should know. She deserves to know.”

Adding depth to her repertoire, “I Kissed Your Boyfriend” marks Ottolini’s first outside songwriting cut. The song, penned by Emily Reid and Jacob Durrett, left an indelible impression on Ottolini when she first heard it, giving her “chills down her spine.” Ottolini reflects on the song’s journey, stating, “Way before anybody knew my name, I used to stalk Emily Reid on her SoundCloud. This song was one of hers that stuck in my heart.”

Produced by Cameron Jaymes (Busbee), Ottolini took the song into the studio, where Jaymes brought out a “visceral performance” from both the band and Ottolini herself. The result is a track filled with emotion and desperation, escalating from start to finish. Ottolini expresses her love for the final product, stating, “I still listen back to it now and love how this one turned out.”

The EP is set for release on January 19, 2024, and fans can pre-save it HERE.

For more information about Robyn Ottolini, please visit her official website at www.robynottolini.com and follow her on social media @robynottolini.

Source: Press Release (edited)


The Western Swing Authority Releases New Video: Happy Chickens

Multiple CMAOntario nominees and winner, The Western Swing Authority, are terrorizing the barnyard with a new single and animated video, “Happy Chickens”. It’s the first single from the upcoming album 12 to 6 Central, recorded earlier this year with producer Colin Linden. They’re still teasing us with an album release date, but you can watch and stream “Happy Chickens” right now.

Source: CCMA “The Source” (edited)

(Source: Member Submission)




Paige Rutledge Releases New Single: The Worst Thing

Oakville-based country singer, Paige Rutledge, has released her new single, “The Worst Thing”. Co-written with Lydia Sutherland and Rich Cloke, “The Worst Thing” blends heartbreaking lyrics with a contemporary pop-country sound that will catch the attention of all types of listeners. This catchy pop-country tune tells the story of a relationship ending with no reason and the heartbreak that comes along with that, something we can all relate to.
Vibrant, energetic and dynamic are all words used to describe Paige Rutledge. Paige’s music has landed her spots on editorial playlists such as Breakthrough Country, Brand New Music, and North of Nashville on Amazon Music as well as Live Country, and RADAR on Spotify. Paige has performed across Ontario including a headlining performance in Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, & at Country on the Bay in Thunder Bay featuring headliners Walker Hayes, Brothers Osborne & Dean Brody. Paige has been announced as one of the performers at The Hollywood Country Jamboree in July 2024 featuring headliners Tyler Joe Miller and Jason McCoy.
Stream “The Worst Thing” as of November 17th on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more.”


Paige Rutledge

(Source: Member Submission)

Augusta Ray’s Latest Single Out Now

Augusta Ray’s newest single “DANGED IF I DO”, follows her history of tackling the hard topics. Co-written with country music song writing legend Gerald Smith (Hee Haw, Lorrie Morgan, Collin Raye), “DANGED IF I DO” has a traditional country music feel. “I ended up writing the song with an old-time country song writing legend. What came out of our writing session that day was genuine and raw, and that’s exactly what I wanted to portray in the overall production of the song.”

Source: CCMA “The Source” (edited)

(Source: Member Submission)




Kae Shelby’s Sophomore Album

Shelby’s sophomore album, Unbroken reflects what it is to “literally have the fog heavy skies, parted that I could love and trust myself enough and again, that love could come into my world through another heart. A heart steeped in only good intentions, that compassionate, caring heart existed. And so, this the second in the trilogy, speaks to the “Trusting’ again”. The lead single on, Unbroken called  “This Time” speaks to how when we find ourselves again, come to trust ourselves, hear ourselves, life will be better. The title track, “Unbroken” in its opening line, speaks to, how the “fog heavy skies, they parted and the dark of the night became the day”, that seeing clearly was mine again, and in that, a beautiful heart could be discerned for.


(Source: Member Submission)


Olivia Mae Graham: Mean Girls

Born and raised in Southern Ontario, Olivia Mae Graham uncovered her musical passion at 11, when she first picked up a guitar. By 18, Olivia Mae packed up and moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she began her music studies at the Harris Institute for the Arts. Graduating Valedictorian of her class, she earned a Music Business Professional Certification with Honours in 2019. She continued her performance training at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, attending their Music Performance Intensive program on Scholarship in the summer of 2019. Olivia Mae’s dedication to mastering her craft, led her to study at the University of the West of Scotland. “Mean Girls” conveys an essential truth: we can’t change others’ minds, but we can control how we react.

Source: Multiple sources




New Music from Jessica Towler: “I Don’t Like Your Boyfriend”

Ontario country artist JESSICA TOWLER released her newest single, “I Don’t Like Your Boyfriend” earlier this month. The single is currently out on all streaming platforms and the new Official Music Video for the single will be released on December 8th.

Upcoming Shows

Country in the City
Moon Shine Cafe Burlington – December 7th

Moon shine Cafe Burlington – January 17th


(Source: Member Submission)



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