Those who attended our second annual awards show can attest that it truly fulfilled what the night intended to do: celebrate the talent in country music Ontario offers and showcase and support the work of CMAO members.
The Wilkinsons reunited on stage. Credit: Grant W. Martin Photography
The sold-out event had the Flato Markham Theatre packed, with followers and fans on Twitter pleading for last-minute tickets or seat openings, and others who couldn’t attend asking for it to be televised.
In fact, the buzz on social media was electric leading up to, during, and after the show with those from throughout the province, and as far away as Alberta and British Columbia, chiming in on Twitter to share their compliments.
@canuck_kiwi tweeted: Loved @theCMAO awards, @thejasonmccoy awesome host, pumped to see @Tebey, @DericRuttan, @timhicksmusic, so much home grown talent!!
@_canadiangurl tweeted: Thanks to @theCMAO for tweeting pics and updates!!It was like I was there instead of here in rainy Vancity!!
From the unique showcasing of Dukes of Hazard’s General Lee and other vintage cars, to a surprise award reminiscent of a world-class award show, the night showed the country music world Ontario won’t soon get “the boot!” Here are five of the best moments of the evening:
Jordan McIntosh’s award fumble: Ottawa native and recent high school graduate Jordan McIntosh’s boot fell to the floor during his heartfelt acceptance speech after winning the Rising Star award. The singer of “That Girl” was quick to make a joke about it. Watch it here.
Jason McCoy’s impromptu remarks: The awards show host and CCMA winner did an impeccable job keeping the lively crowd laughing and interacting, particularly with his believable Scottish and southern accents.
The appearance of Olympic gold medalist Tessa Bonhomme: The Canadian hockey player from Sudbury helped announce the winner of the Roots Artist of the Year award, sporting her Olympic gold medal.
The reuniting of The Wilkinsons: Amanda and Tyler of the Small Town Pistols were joined on stage with their father, Steve Wilkinson, to perform their chart-topping hit 26 Cents.
Honouring Gordon Lightfoot: Legendary singer-songwriter and Orillia native Gordon Lightfoot was honoured with the CMAO’s Impact Award, which recognizes an Ontario artist, group, industry personality, company or organization who has left an enduring and positive footprint on the landscape of country music in the province.