I can’t believe that we are days away from executing our second annual awards show on May 26th. We wouldn’t have come this far without the hard work and passion exhibited by the CMAO’s Board of Directors and our volunteers. Our sponsors have been generous and extremely supportive. Our member artists have also been very supportive. It takes a community to make this show happen and that community has rallied for a second year. I’m grateful for the dedication of the many individuals and organizations.
The Board of Directors has been hard at work ensuring that the CMAO continues to evolve into a sustainable organization that will have a deep and long-lasting impact on Ontario’s country music scene. I’m absolutely exhilarated to announce that the CMAO has now taken a major step forward: The CMAO has created the role of Executive Director to help stabilize our daily operations and guide the CMAO in the execution of its planned inaugural conference. Luckily, Heather Ostertag, who is one of the most experienced leaders in the Canadian music scene, and who has been with the CMAO in various roles from its inception, was available to accept this role on an interim basis. I am confident that Heather’s passion and vision for the CMAO will ensure our many initiatives will be well managed this year. With this role now established, I am looking forward to the CMAO securing a permanent Executive Director during the next term. We on the Board are proud (and somewhat relieved!) to have reached this milestone.
As mentioned, we are going to produce a conference this fall! The theme of the conference will be “The Road to Independence”. “Independence” is a word that has so many applications in this business. Our goal is to establish an annual event that will be very affordable, valuable and accessible for both creators and industry people. The tentative dates are November 15 and 16, so please note this in your calendars, and be on the lookout for more details to come.
If you haven’t heard, the line-up for the awards show is filled with Ontario’s and Canada’s top talent: Jason McCoy, Tim Hicks, Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan, Tebey, Autumn Hill, Marshall Dane, Beverley Mahood, Small Town Pistols, The Good Family Band, The Lovelocks and Jordan McIntosh. Wow! What a line up. I have had a chance to hear some of the performance ideas, and I can tell you that there will be a few unique surprises. This is truly going to be an event you don’t want to miss. Last year’s show sold out, so get your tickets early. Go to www.cmaontario.ca for ticket details.
As previously mentioned, there is plenty of work that goes into making the Awards Show happen, and all the Directors and volunteers play key roles, but I want to especially thank the Chair of the Awards Committee, Cathie Faint. Cathie and her team at Catherine Faint Entertainment Inc. have gone above and beyond in planning and executing the Award Show. We are blessed to have Cathie as part of the team.
I appreciate your continued support and I look forward to seeing you on May 26th!