November 19, 2012

The Sadies Tour Across Canada

Country Music Association of Ontario members The Sadies, have begun a cross Canada tour with legends Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Their association with Young goes back to 2010 when they recorded a cut with him on a tribute album to The Band produced by Garth Hudson. They play the Air Canada Center on Nov. 19th with added guests Los Lobos. The Sadies consist of twins Dallas and Travis Good on guitars, Mike Beltsky on drums and Sean Dean on upright bass.
November 19, 2012

"Warm Christmas" single release & "Warm Coats Warm Hearts Country Concert"

It starts with an idea, and in this case a big heart too! “Warm Christmas” was created by Elyse Saunders, in her quest of raising awareness as well as warm coats, through the national single release of “Warm Christmas” and the benefit concert “Warm Coats Warm Hearts Country Concert” at The Orbit Room in Toronto on Dec 8th. As we go into the winter season, there are many children and adults who need a winter coat but cannot afford one. Please join Elyse & this wonderful campaign by coming to the concert and bringing your warm coats with you that are only keeping the closet warm! You can also find “Warm Christmas” on itunes with proceeds going to the One Warm Coat Foundation ( and their agents in […]
October 16, 2012

A Message From the President

Dear CMAO Members: I am proud and honoured to be serving as the new CMAO president. Following in the footsteps of all the work done by Heather Ostertag will be a tough task. I am pleased that she will be staying on in the role of Past President. She has so much valuable information that will assist the organization. I am truly humbled by the calibre of people that we currently have serving on the Board of the Directors. Volunteer Boards are always challenged with the number of hours in a day, their day jobs and their commitments to community service. I know that we are all prepared to step up to the plate and ensure that the CMAO continues to offer more support and […]
October 16, 2012

Charlie Major Continues Breaking New Ground

Charlie Major has been an artist on the Canadian and international scene for almost 20 years now and shows no signs of slowing down. The story of Major getting his big break is a bona-fide legend in the music business, and proves the old adage, “where there’s a will… there’s a way.” After countless attempts to get his songs heard by recording artists the conventional way Major pulled an ingenious end-run and went through the tour-bus driver. Which in turn led to Ricky Van Shelton cutting and having an enormous hit with Charlie’s song “Backroads”, winning a BMI Award for the most played song in America in 1993. His star started rising and continues today. Countless awards and nominations for Junos, CCMAs, and numerous hit singles […]
October 16, 2012

Country From The Hart by Bill Hart

Hello Fall! Seems a little strange to say this out loud, but I really believe I like this season better than Summer. I don’t know, maybe it’s the colours, maybe it’s the sports on TV, maybe it’s just knowing that the population will be sweating less in the cool crisp air! I also enjoy the fact that all concerts will now be held INDOORS! Not that I don’t enjoy a good old fashioned, beer drinking, stranger high-fiving, outdoor sing along… it’s just that you learn to appreciate assigned seating after watching somebody get hit in the head with a bottle – ah, good times! Ontario is once again proving to be a hotbed for live performances from heavyweights like Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood as […]
October 16, 2012

Behind the Board- Randy Stark

Randy Stark came from the label side of the business. He was with Warner Music Canada for many years and worked his way up to Vice President of Marketing and Promotion – a position he did very well, as he was the person chiefly responsible for discovering and establishing talents like Patricia Conroy, Paul Brandt and the Johner Brothers. While still with Warner, he sat on the CCMA board of directors and eventually was elected President of that organization, which he held for 3 years. He was later elected to the board of directors of the CMA in Nashville. (This man is definitely connected).   Leaving the majors in 2003, Randy started Stark Ravings (Radio), an independent radio tracking company. Using his experience in marketing/promoting […]
October 16, 2012

Legal Implications Of Being In A Band

Do you perform or record as a band?  Here are some legal considerations  to think about: 1.              In the absence of a written arrangement among you, the law deems you a partnership.  This means that each of you is responsible for all the debts and other liabilities that any of you incur on behalf of the band. 2.              It also means that any property or income you bring into the band belongs to the band and that it is shared equally among the members. 3.              Although many bands don’t do it, it is really important to have a Partnership Agreement among the band members, if only to override the “default” structures that the law imposes. 4.              At $60 for on-line registration, registering your band as a business under the Business Names Act in Ontario is […]
October 16, 2012

Demorama is Coming to Ottawa

 Next month, the CMAO presents the 3rd seminar in our ongoing 2012 series of seminars/Demo-Ramas, this time in the Ottawa area. This is a unique opportunity to meet and greet some heavy players in the country music field. Artists, managers, publicists, presenters, trackers, music directors, agents, publishers, songwriters and media have all taken part in our lively discussions. And there’s always a question period and a lunch break where you can connect, network and shmooze with these industry professionals. Plus, there’s an opportunity to get your latest recording in front of some of these pros to see how your material stacks up at our Demo-Rama. Just bring your CD and 3 copies of the lyric (typed) and we promise to get through as many entries […]
September 21, 2012

2012 in Review

The Year In Review Heather Ostertag, President of the CMAO offered up the following report to the membership at the recent September 13th Annual General Meeting. It is with great pleasure I report to you what has transpired at the Country Music Association of Ontario over the past year. Your Board of Directors has been working very hard to serve you the membership. Some highlights that I would like to share with you include: We have hosted three seminars/DemoRamas.  Specifically they have been held in Tillsonburg, Windsor and London and another one will take place this weekend in Toronto. The Board of Directors voluntarily set a day aside to participate in a visioning session.  This session proved to be invaluable in terms of setting a […]