On April 9 in Toronto, many of the movers and the shakers in the Canadian country music scene convened on the waterfront of Lake Ontario at the Corus Entertainment building (home of CMT and other media companies) for a CMAO press conference. In the 8th floor atrium, the press and industry met, conversed, nibbled, conducted interviews, gathered sound bites and mingled in a fun, relaxed manner.
At 10:30, they were directed into the beautiful 102 seat private theatre for some exciting announcements. CMAO President Sam Arraj welcomed the attendees and told them how excited the CMAO was that Ontario would at last have its own Country Music Awards show. He pointed out that other provinces have had their own provincial organizations in place for years, but Ontario had never seemed able to sustain a similar initiative. Now, at last, this has changed.
President Arraj then welcomed Slaight Music’s Derrick Ross to the podium, whereupon Ross stated that Slaight Music was proud and excited to be involved as the presenting sponsor of the inaugural awards. Ross nick-named CMAO President Sam “The Garage” Arraj, and brought him back up to reveal that the recipient of the “CMAO Impact Award” would be the CCMA – The Canadian Country Music Association – for its tireless efforts to promote and encourage the country music genre in Ontario and all across the nation.
Between live performances from nominees Lindsay Broughton and Marshall Dane, the podium saw a trio of personalities: CMT’s Paul McGuire, KX-94 Hamilton’s Bill Toffan and KX-96 Oshawa’s Jerry Archer, who took turns announcing the final list of nominees in the 10 categories. Good luck to everyone!
Thanks to all at Corus Entertainment for allowing the CMAO to hold the press conference in their lovely facilities.