May 12, 2021

Artist of the Month: Les Rats d’Swompe

Winners of the Country Music Association of Ontario’s 2020 Francophone Artist or Group of the Year award and nominees again in 2021, Les Rats d’Swompe continue to grow, both as a band and within the music community. From folk and traditionally inspired tracks to uptempo bangers that will make you want to dance in your kitchen (and have fantastic Great Big Sea type vibes) Les Rats are versatile in their sounds, and ready to capture your attention, even if you don’t consider yourself fluent in French. The sound is full, fun, and all the pieces fit together like they were meant to be there. There is no language barrier in that – the music is its own language. The Ottawa-based band has released albums (La […]
May 12, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: George Fox

// by Larry Delaney // (Born: March 23,1960 — Calgary, AB [Raised in Cochrane, AB]) Home: Ancaster, Ontario (#49 in the Ontario Pioneers Series) George Fox was a farm boy with a dream. Living on his parents’ farm in Cochrane, Alberta, George spent much of his younger life working the farm, baling hay and milking cows… all the while dreaming about becoming the next Elvis Presley or Buddy Holly – two of his early music idols. After spending time in Sweden on a “farm exchange” program, George’s musical interests turned to more traditional country artists, and he began writing songs himself. By the mid-1980s, and after playing the local community events scene in and around Cochrane, George began recording several demo sessions of his music, […]
May 12, 2021

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Owen Barney

 Dave chats with CMAOntario nominee Owen Barney (Song Of The Year “Thank Her For That”, Songwriter Of The Year along with his co-writers for “Thank Her For That”) about his music career & his new EP Tough Times featuring the lead single “You Make Me Wanna (Brown Eyed Girl)”.  
May 12, 2021

Patrice’s Pick: Paige Rutledge

 This month, our feature video from Patrice Whiffen at Country Music Junkies profiles Canadian country music artist, Paige Rutledge! Paige talks about her unique country sound, the story behind her single, “Take Me Back To Tiki,” and MORE! For more information about Country Music Junkies, visit  
May 12, 2021

In The News (May 2021)

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”. […]
April 19, 2021

2021 CMAOntario Festival & Awards Rescheduled for September 3-5, 2021

2021 CMAONTARIO FESTIVAL & AWARDS Rescheduled for September 3-5, 2021 in Hamilton, Ontario Celebrating Ontario’s Country Music Industry   April 19, 2021 (TORONTO) The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) has rescheduled the 2021 CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend in Hamilton to September 3 – 5, 2021, following the recommendations from officials regarding COVID-19. Previously scheduled for May 28 – 30, the CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend, presented by Slaight Music, will now host three drive in concerts in September at Ancaster Fairgrounds including the Legacy Revival, the New Faces Showcase & Concert, and the 9th Annual CMAOntario Awards. CMAOntario took the steps to reschedule the festivities to ensure that the health and well-being of artists and audiences is protected. CMAOntario is committed to presenting and promoting the work of Ontario’s country […]
April 16, 2021

Artist of the Month: David Boyd Janes

2021 Country Music Association of Ontario Male Artist of the Year nominee, David Boyd Janes, has been on a helluva ride over the last couple of years. And if you asked him about it, he’d probably start by telling you that Thoughts Become Things. The Toronto country artist caught our attention in the summer of 2019 by putting himself in the spotlight – winning the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase that August. Since then, we’ve seen him release a string of singles (that we hope are leading to an album) and watched him work through social media, building his base as an emerging artist. In 2021, while he hasn’t been able to get on stage the way he or any other artist wishes they […]
April 16, 2021

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Gordon Lightfoot

// by Larry Delaney // (THE “COUNTRY” SIDE OF GORDON LIGHTFOOT) Born: November 17, 1938 – Orillia, Ontario (#48 in the Ontario Pioneers Series)   Gordon Lightfoot, one of Canada’s most renowned singer/songwriters, has seen his compositions recorded by artists from around the globe… and from all musical genres. Lightfoot’s own recordings of many of his songs have become permanently etched in our musical memories. While Gordon Lightfoot is most often regarded as a “Folk” artist, his “Country” roots run just as deep. His songs have been recorded by the Who’s Who of country music, many of them becoming major chart hits for those artists. During the 1970s and mid 80s, Lightfoot placed eight of his recordings of original songs on the Billboard Country Charts, […]
April 16, 2021

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Brian John Harwood

 Dave chats with Barrie’s Brian John Harwood – solo artist and 1/2 of popular country-rock duo Kansas Stone along with Matt Davey – about his busy year in music. Over the last year, Brian has released solo songs and Kansas Stone songs – and has released a bunch of music videos. On this YouTube special, Dave chats with Brian about his career and gets the stories behind the songs & music videos “Hotter Than Summer”, “All That I Was Missing” and “Dad” and shows the videos.


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