2020 CMAOntario Festival & Awards Rescheduled for October 1 – 4, 2020 in London, Ontario
March 27, 2020
Patrice’s Pick: One Ugly Cowboy
March 31, 2020

In The News (March 2020)

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.

Kansas Stone and Friends Host Instagram Live Concert Friday April 3


Kansas Stone have assembled a strong contingent of Ontario Country artists and friends for an Instagram Live concert on Friday, April 3 at 7:00pm EST. Tune in for some great performances and conversation from the comfort of your own home.

(Source: Member Submission)





Unison Announces COVID-19 Relief Program

The world is facing one of its greatest challenges. People from all walks of life are facing health risks and financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Musicians are unable to tour, leaving numerous entertainment professionals suddenly out of work, venue owners have closed their doors, and laid off staff and the trickle-down effect is extraordinary.

Since the outbreak, Unison has received an overwhelming number of requests for assistance from the music community. Registrations have increased by 1,900% or nearly $200,000 per week.

Now more than ever, Unison¹s emergency relief assistance is a critical safety-net for members of our Canadian music industry deeply affected by the COVID-19 virus itself and the precautions and protocols surrounding it.  As a response, we are proud to launch the Unison COVID-19 Relief Program. “We would like to thank the Slaight Family Foundation for their partnership and generous donation of $250,000, which will be matched by the Unison office”, says Executive Director Amanda Power. “Funding will be allocated towards housing costs, medical expenses, and groceries.”

³The creative community adds so much inspiration to our daily lives through their talents and now more than ever they need our support during this crisis² says Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Communications. ³I hope that our donation to The Unison Fund will inspire others to do the same as our artists need our support².

This initial $500,000 for the Unison COVID-19 Relief Program will help our community for the short-term, however in order to meet the growing demand for support, we need partners to ensure a future for our Canadian music community. As the story continues to unfold, Unison will be there for the music community every step of the way and we hope you will too.

If you work in the Canadian music industry and require assistance, please REGISTER for Unison¹s services asap.  For counselling inquiries and support to help deal with the financial or emotional impact of COVID-19, please contact 1-855-986-4766. For emergency financial assistance inquiries, please review our application process HERE.

To learn more about partnership opportunities, donations or inquiries, please contact sponsorship@unisonfund.ca

(Source: Unison)

Slaight Music Tops Up NAC Program by $100K

In support of the Facebook-National Arts Centre’s Fund for Performing Artists, Slaight Music is adding $100K to the relief fund.

The program, #CanadaPerforms, was initially introduced when the Canadian self-isolation began, and features Canadian recording artists and musicians performing Facebook concerts with a fee covered by Facebook and the NAC with an initial $100K in funding.

The Slaight Music donation brings the total up to $200K.

“The Slaight Family have been supporting Canadian artists for over 50 years starting with Allan Slaight and continues today with Gary Slaight. Slaight Music’s mandate has always been to help emerging artists bring their music to music lovers. We are proud to be partnering with Facebook and the NAC on this creative relief initiative to help musicians share their talents during these challenging times,” said Derrick Ross, President, Slaight Music, in a statement.

(Full Story: FYI Music News)

eOne Signs Multi Award Winning Country Artist Jason Blaine

Entertainment One Ltd (eOne) is excited to announce the direct signing of multi-award-winning country singer Jason Blaine. Blaine has won Canadian Country Music Association award for Single of the Year (2012’s “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore”), has earned three SOCAN Awards and written hits for Madeline Merlo, Chris Jansen and others. His current single ‘Drink Too Much’ is out now and his new EP is slated for release in the coming months.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome Jason back to into the eOne Music family,” said Chris Moncada, Senior Vice President, eOne Music/ GM Last Gang Records. “He is a beloved artist in the country music world, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in getting Jason’s music out to his many fans.”

“I am so excited to be back home with the team at eOne Music Canada. I have been with eOne for the majority of my career and am so excited about the team they have built”, said Jason Blaine. “I really feel my music is in great hands with this energetic group of people and can’t wait to see what the future holds”.

Originally from Pembroke, Ontario, Blaine moved to Nashville in the fall of 2006. Since then, he burst onto the scene in 2007 with his first #1 single, “Rock In My Boot,” the first of 11 further Top 10 smashes, paving the way for tours with Tebey, Chad Brownlee, Deric Ruttan, and appearances at major festivals across North America. To date, Blaine’s music has racked up over 10 million combined digital streams and 50,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

Blaine’s success has also allowed him to give back to his community in Pembroke through the annual Jason Blaine Celebrity Charity Golf Classic, which over the years has attracted fellow artists such as Dallas Smith, Tim Hicks, Chad Brownlee, Aaron Pritchett and Gord Bamford, as well as hockey legends Doug Gilmour and Bryan Murray. It’s helped raise over $500,000 for various charities in the Ottawa Valley, and the 7th edition is set for June 17, 2020 at the Pembroke Golf Club. More information is available here.


Mackenzie Vandenberg
Public Relations And Promotions Coordinator
Strut Entertainment
Phone: 647 405-1715

Samantha Pickard
Strut Entertainment

(Sources: Press Release)

Local Songwriters in International Songwriting Competition Finals

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual song contest whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena.

The song ‘Shame on Me’ written by Bothwell Ontario Singer/Songwriter Jay Allan and the Windsor Ontario duo Buck Twenty (Mike Ure and Aidan Johnson-Bujold) has already advanced through 2 rounds of judging and eliminations and is one of the final 16 songs in the country category.

With over 18,000 songs entered in the ISC, less than 2% of all entrants have been selected as finalists.

“Ya it’s super exciting,” Allan said. “When we made the semi finals there were 100 songs left and just to be listed with artists such as Keith Urban, I was like ok, we did great! Then to get the news we are in the final 16 was awesome!”

The ISC has the most prestigious panel of judges of all the songwriting and music contests in the world, offering exposure and the opportunity to have your songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry.

“It¹s recognition like this that inspires us to keep creating.” Allan said. “The Buck Twenty Guys did an amazing job recording this song, and we are thrilled to have made it this far!”

In addition to the winners being selected by the ISC’s judges, all finalists are also included in a separate online voting contest ‘the People’s Voice’ that allows the public to listen to the finalist¹s songs and vote for their favorite song once per day.

Voting is open now and will end at 11:59 PM (CST) on Wednesday, April 3, 2020.
Go to https://songwritingcompetition.com/peoplesvoice

For further information or media enquiries please contact;
Jay Allan at musicbyjayallan@hotmail.com
Buck Twenty at bucktwentyband@gmail.com

(Source: Press Release)

Delaney Grant Releases Debut Album April 24

Delaney Grant will be releasing her debut album After The Fire on April 24th.

Over the past year, Delaney has graduated on the provost list from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, played at Kempenfest 2019 with CMAOntario’s emerging artists, played and sang with Shae Dupuy opening up for Washboard Union, been writing with hit songwriters in Nashville, recorded with CCMA winning producer, Jeff Dalziel and completed her debut album.

About: delaneygrant.com/about

(Source: Member Submission)

Crystal Shawanda Releases New Album Church House Blues on April 17

Now Nashville-based, Ontario roots artist Crystal Shawanda releases a new album, Church House Blues, on True North Records, on April 17. This is her second release for the label, and her fourth blues album, after making a mark in the country field. Recorded at several Nashville area studios, it features session stars Dave Roe  (Johnny Cash, Cee-lo Green), the McCrary Sisters, Dana Robbins (Delbert McClinton), and Peter Keys (Lynyrd Skynyrd), and is produced by her husband, collaborator and co-writer Dewayne Strobel.

(Source: FYI Music News)

COVID-19 Information & Resources for Canada’s Music Industry

CIMA has put together a comprehensive list of resources and information regarding COVID-19 pertinent to the music industry in Canada. Please find current updates and links on their website as they pertain to you.

(Source: CIMA)


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