September 14, 2020

2020 CMAOntario Awards – 1st Ever Live Drive-In Country Awards Show Releases New Block of Tickets

THE 8TH ANNUAL CMAONTARIO AWARDS 1st Ever Live Drive-In Country Awards Show Releases New Block of Tickets PLUS Ryan Langdon Added to Line-Up    September 14, 2020 (TORONTO) The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) today announced the release of a limited block of tickets for the 8th Annual CMAOntario Awards. The first ever, live drive-in country awards show will be taking place Sunday, October 4, 2020 on The Raceway at the Western Fair District in London, Ontario. The CMAOntario Awards, presented by Slaight Music with support from Ontario Creates, has also added Ryan Langdon, hot off the release of his debut EP Lit in the Sticks, to the roster of live performers. Tickets for the show are on sale now and are available online here. […]
August 28, 2020

Tim Hicks, James Barker Band, The Reklaws, Jade Eagleson Among the Performers Announced for the 8th Annual CMAOntario Awards

Awards To Be Presented In A Drive-In Style Show At New Venue on the Raceway at Western Fair District August 28, 2020 (TORONTO) The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) today announces a new concept and location for the 8th Annual CMAOntario Awards, taking place Sunday, October 4, 2020 in London, Ontario. Presented by Slaight Music with support from Ontario Creates, the CMAOntario Awards will now be a drive-in style event on The Raceway at the Western Fair District featuring performances by Tim Hicks, James Barker Band, The Reklaws, Jade Eagleson, The Abrams, Eric Ethridge, Genevieve Fisher, Kelsi Mayne, Les Rats d’Swompe, Nicole Rayy, The Western Swing Authority, and special guest Kalsey Kulyk! “On behalf of the CMAOntario and its members, we’re thrilled that the […]
August 1, 2020

Artist of the Month: Josh David

Kitchener, ON’s Josh David is ready to make his mark on the country music scene, and he’s making his first move with his debut single, Safe Place to Break. With more than 50,000 streams on Safe Place to Break, Josh came back with a little something special and released an acoustic version of the song to go alongside it. Both versions feature the emerging artist’s strong vocal talent and make for a great introduction to Canadian country music fans. Earlier this year, when asked about his sound and who he would put his own music on a playlist with, Josh mentioned Chris Young, Keith Whitley, Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, and Hardy. And when we asked him who he would love to duet with, he said […]
August 1, 2020

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Steven Lee Olsen

Ontario’s Steven Lee Olsen’s latest single “Can’t Not” continues to climb at Canadian Country Radio. It’s the follow up to “Hello Country” which was the most added song at Canadian Country Radio when it was released. Since moving to Nashville in 2004, Steven has worked tirelessly, honing his craft as an artist and songwriter, and all the hard work has paid off impressively. He co-wrote Keith Urban’s double-platinum hit “Blue Ain’t Your Color” which in 2017 was named the NSAI Song of the Year and crowned Single of the Year at the CMA Awards, in addition to being nominated for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance at the 59th Grammy Awards, and Song of the Year at the ACM Awards. He also co-wrote […]
August 1, 2020

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: The Rhythm Sweethearts

(Circa 1953-1972) (by Larry Delaney) The early days of Canadian country music were predominantly the domain of male country singers and musicians… there were very few star female performers, and indeed, it was rare to find an all-girl act on the Canadian country scene. That male stranglehold on the genre was first challenged in the mid-50s by The Rhythm Sweethearts, a Toronto-based female foursome, who became a marquee name on the Ontario country scene, and beyond. The Rhythm Sweethearts were comprised of Myrtle Gifford, a Marmora, Ontario, born bass guitarist and vocalist; Bessie (Elizabeth) Brunette, a Pembroke, Ontario-bred lead guitar player, vocalist and yodeler; “Patti Jo” (Patricia Hennessey), from Digby, NS, was the group’s drummer; and Lorrie Gale (Lorraine Gallant), of Moncton, NB, played guitar […]
August 1, 2020

In The News (August 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 Please make sure the Subject Line reads “For inclusion in the CMAOntario Newsletter”. […]
June 30, 2020

Artist of the Month: Sarah Wickett

The small-town-girl turned big-city-singer-songwriter story sounds like a song itself, or maybe a lifetime movie, but for Sarah Wickett, it’s just real life. The Beaverton, ON, native made the move to Toronto in her teens as a college freshman and that’s when she took her music from hobby-at-home to country music releases. Sarah’s love for music started young, with inspiration from artists like Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood and Christina Aguilera helping to craft her own sound. And with her small-town roots at the heart of her songwriting, she’s got country music flowing through her art. Sarah Wickett’s 2020 has been a lot like everyone else’s in the music world – disrupted. But that hasn’t stopped her from releasing new music to the world. In February, […]
June 30, 2020

Ontario’s Country Music Pioneers: Larry Coad

(born: December 20, 1946 – Espanola, ON) (died: November 21, 2012 – Burlington, ON) (by Larry Delaney) Larry Garnet Coad was born December 20, 1946, in Espanola, Ontario. His love for the Ontario Northlands region and his Metis heritage was frequently found in his songs, such as, Espanola (recorded by Terry Roberts); Manitoulin (recorded by Marjorie Freeborn); and Sudbury (recorded by Colin Butler); the latter winning Song of the Year in the 2005 Sudbury’s Homecoming event. During the 1980s, Larry Coad was one of the hottest songwriters on the Canadian country music scene, scoring many national chart hits for top artists, most notably, Harold MacIntyre and the group South Mountain. The Larry Coad and Harold MacIntyre (and the Area Code 705 band) combination was particularly […]
June 30, 2020

In The Country with Dave Woods: One On One With Victoria Banks

Victoria Banks – artist & hit songwriter – visits with Dave to chat about her new album, Uncovered, featuring the lead single “Want”. She recently appeared on NBC’s Songland to ‘pitch’ a song of hers to Florida Georgia Line. Victoria has been nominated for 11 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards and was named CCMA Female Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year in 2010. She wrote Sara Evans’ Top 20 single, “Saints & Angels”, released in 2001. In 2009, Victoria – along with Johnny Reid and Tia Sellers – wrote Johnny’s hugely successful single, “Dance With Me”. In addition, she has had cuts by over 100 artists including Carly Pearce, Lauren Alaina, Terri Clark & Cassadee Pope. Victoria chats with Dave about […]


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