The Country Music Association of Ontario Announces Winners of the 7th Annual CMAOntario Awards
June 17, 2019
Patrice’s Pick: Gentlemen of the Woods
July 29, 2019

In The News (July 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.

Slaight Music Announces “It’s Your Shot 2019” – Canada’s Premiere Songwriting And Artist Development Competition

Slaight Music – champion and prime supporter of the Canadian music industry – announced late May the launch of “It’s Your Shot 2019”, Canada’s premiere songwriting and artist development competition. The contest, which is open to all musical genres, encourages artists to submit a song and/or video to for a chance to win a Grand Prize valued at $100,000 in total. The competition will run until August 2nd, and the winner will be announced on October 4th, 2019.

Slaight Music is proud to announce Black Box Music as its 2019 label partner to support this initiative via a multiplatform digital EP release. The winning artist will receive recording, distribution, radio promotion, publicity, and marketing support via Black Box Music, along with a professionally produced photo shoot, artist biography and music video. Additionally, the winner will receive business mentoring, personalized development of their own artist brand, including website and social media platforms, and opportunites to perform live in 2020.

“We are very excited to be working with Jason Murray, Ian Stanger and the Black Box Music team on this artist development initative,” says Derrick Ross, President of Slaight Music. “Black Box Music brings a great wealth of knowledge and experience in developing artists from the ground up. The success they have had with Classified, The Glorious Sons, SonReal and more is exceptional, and we can’t wait for our teams to work together to launch another undiscovered Canadian artist into the music landscape.”

Of the competition, Black Box Music president and co-founder Jason Murray adds, “The Slaight team’s commitment and unwavering support for Canadian artists is inspiring, and we look forward to partnering with them to help elevate an already fantastic program.”

“We’re thrilled for this year’s contest to start up again,” says Ali Slaight, Talent Development Coordinator, Slaight Music. “It’s inspiring to hear all of the amazing music that’s sent in every year and we’re looking forward to this year’s submissions!”

Past winners of the “It’s Your Shot” competition include: Liz Coyles (2011/Maple Music), Thought Beneath Film (2012/Maple Music), Jillea (2013/Universal Music Canada), Sam Drysdale (2014/Warner Music Canada), Kayla Diamond (2015/Cadence), Notifi (2016/Sony Music Canada), and Moscow Apartment (2018/Hidden Pony Records).

“It’s Your Shot 2019” is one of the many initiatives put forth by Slaight Music—a company focused on discovering, developing, inspiring and supporting Canadian recording artists.

For more information on It’s Your Shot, please visit:


(Source: Press Release)

Ontario’s Kelsi Mayne Among SiriusXM Top of the Country Finalists

(photo credit: Grant Martin Photography)

SiriusXM Canada has announced the three finalists for the second annual SiriusXM Top of the Country competition, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). These three artists will duke it out after a live onstage battle during Country Music Week 2019 in Calgary, from Sept. 5-8, The winner will receive the $25K grand prize, an international SOCAN songwriting camp, and more. The 2019 Top of the Country finalists are Matt Lang (Maniwaki, QC), Kelsi Mayne (Windsor, ON), and Tim & The Glory Boys (Winnipeg, MB). Ontario’s Andrew Hyatt won the inaugural contest last year.

(Source: FYI Music News)

CIMA’s Road Gold Certification

CIMA’s Road Gold certification is an acknowledgment of the dedication and drive artists must have to achieve success, broaden their fan base and express their artistry through strong public performances.

Who is eligible?

Canadian artists who have sold 25k or more tickets in Canada over any 12 month period on the road.Why

When can I apply?

Anytime. You can apply for Road Gold Certification for tickets sold within a 12-month period whenever you hit that milestone. Eligible ticket sales can date as far back as January 1st, 2014.

Where can I apply?

Click here to fill out the application form and submit your supporting documentation. A $50 submission fee is required.

Past Recipients: 

Big Sugar, Big Wreck, Colin James, Dean Brody, Dean Brody, Jesse Cook, Johnny Reid, Made Them Lions, Marianas Trench, Matt Andersen, Natalie McMaster & Donnell Leahy, Paul Brandt, Terra Lightfoot, The Dead South, The Sheepdogs, The Trews, Tim Hicks, USS

For any question please contact Sam Rayner

(Source: CIMA)

OLE Announces Name Change to Anthem Entertainment


Earlier in June, ole Media Management, one of the world’s leading independent music and entertainment content and services companies, announced the change of its name to Anthem Entertainment. Embracing some of the legacy of its past, the rebranding of ole reflects the evolution of the company and its vision for the future. Led by CEO Helen Murphy, Anthem Entertainment’s ownership, staff and offices will remain the same. As part of the rebrand, Anthem has released their new company logo and website at

(Source: Press Release)

U.S. Adds Social Media To ‘Heightened’ Visa Requirements For Touring Musicians

The US has added xenophobic requirements for international artists touring the country with the Trump administration now requiring visa seekers to provide personal details about their last years of social media activity. The changes went into effect on June 1st.

The new rules are part of the U.S. government’s expanded “heightened vetting” process for all immigrants and visitors.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. State Department has updated its immigrant and non-immigrant visa forms to require five years worth of social media user names, telephone numbers, international travel activities, and deportation history.

“National security is our top priority when adjudicating visa applications, and every prospective traveler and immigrant to the United States undergoes extensive security screening. We are constantly working to find mechanisms to improve our screening processes to protect U.S. citizens, while supporting legitimate travel to the United States,” a statement from the U.S. State Department said.

In addition, visitors seeking visas will also be asked to provide past email addresses and phone numbers as well as details about their interaction with non-American internet services such as China’s Tencent, QQ, and Sina Weibo.

The State Department said in a statement the new requirements are aimed at improving the vetting process to protect national security.

(Source: Hypebot)

Artist Opportunities with YYZ Live/City Hall Live

With the YYZ Live/City Hall Live program, The City of Toronto supports local artists through paid performance opportunities. Free concert series take place all summer long at Nathan Phillips SquareUnion Summer Opens in new window, and Pearson International Airport Opens in new window . All three events feature free performances by Toronto talent.

Interested Toronto-based artists apply here

(Source: FYI Music News / City of Toronto Website)

International Songwriting Competition 2019 Judges Announced

The prestigious US-based International Songwriting Competition (ISC) has announced its judges for the 2019 competition, including:

Recording Artists include:
Coldplay; Dua Lipa; Tom Waits; Fleet Foxes; The Script; Nancy Wilson (Heart); Tanya Tucker; Kristian Bush (Sugarland); Sara Evans; Keane; Sidewalk Prophets; James McNally (Afro Celt Sound System); Rakim (Eric B. & Rakim); Robert Randolph (Robert Randolph & The Family Band); Easton Corbin; and more to be announced.

Industry Executives include:
Avery Lipman (Founder/President, Republic Records); Sylvia Rhone (Chairman/CEO, Epic Records); Daniel Glass (President, Glassnote Records); Jo Charrington (Co-President, Capitol Music Group UK); Nick Burgess (Co-President, Parlophone Records); Mark Mitchell (Co-President, Parlophone Records); Mike Easterlin (Co-President, Elektra Music Group); John Burk (President, Concord Label Group); Ed Vetri (President, Wind-Up Records); Bruce Iglauer (Founder/President, Alligator Records); Kate Craig (VP of A&R, Warner Records); Nate Albert (EVP of A&R, Capitol Records); Carletta Higginson (Global Head of Music Publishing, YouTube)and more to be announced.

ISC, established in 2002, is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters of all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting. It is open to both professional and amateur songwriters and artists in 23 genre categories. The competition gives away more than $150,000 in cash and merchandise split among 71 winners, with the Grand Prize comprised of $25,000 in cash plus additional prizes. Past winners have included Vance Joy, Illenium, R.LUM.R., Gotye, Bastille, The Band Perry, Kehlani, Kimbra, and Lindsey Stirling, among others.

ISC is sponsored by Celebrity Access, Eventric, Lurssen Mastering, Merch Cat, Musicians Institute, PreSonus, SongU, Sweetwater, and TuneCore.

For more information about ISC:

(Source: Press Release)

Nielsen’s Canada Mid-Year Music Report

Streaming is up, CDs and vinyl continue to slide, and Country is the #5 genre by volume.

Are the patient’s vital signs alarming?

Read more here:

(Source: FYI News)

Brett Kissel​, James Barker Band Lead CCMA Nominees

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) has announced its nominees for the 2019 CCMA Awards presented by TD. Leading the pack with five nominations each are 2018 Single of the Year Award-winning group James Barker Band and reigning Interactive Artist of the Year Brett Kissel .

James Barker Band will compete to take home wins in the  Apple Music Fans’ Choice Award, Interactive Artist or Group of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year, Single of the Year, and Anthem Entertainment Songwriter(s) of the Year categories.

Among the artists following closely behind with four nominations apiece are Ontario’s Tim Hicks (Entertainer of the Year, Album of the Year, Apple Music Fans’ Choice Award, MNP Male Artist of the Year) and The Reklaws ( Album of the Year, Apple Music Fans’ Choice Award, Group or Duo of the Year,Video of the Year).

Voting for the Apple Music Fans’ Choice Award is now open. Canadian country music fans can vote by streaming on or by visiting . All rules and regulations for the voting process can also be found online.

(Source: FYI News)

Canadian Music Industry Says Goodbye to Ralph Murphy

“It’s good to be seen.”: On Thursday, July 11, industry friends and pals raised a glass to honour the memory of Ralph Murphy, the veteran songwriter, producer and mentor who passed away in May. Murphy had bestowed indispensable creative and practical advice to many in attendance.

Louis Cifer on Toronto’s Danforth was decked out with several framed photos of Ralph and his pals, and video screens displayed memories of an accomplished career and those who cherished him. There was a musical tribute hosted by the ageless Beverly Mahood that included songs and anecdotes by Jim Witter, Patricia Conroy, Jamie Warren, and The Wilkinsons, and donations at the door were welcomed by the Unison Benevolent Fund, one of Murphy’s favourite charities.

(Source: FYI News)


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