Our Mission and Policies


The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) is an Ontario-based, province-wide, not-for-profit organization. The objective of the CMAOntario, through the leadership and experience of our Board of Directors, is to celebrate, foster and support the growth and development of Ontario’s country music community and all those associated with the Ontario country music infrastructure – provincially, nationally and internationally.


The CMAOntario represents the interests of recording artists and independent, owner-operated music businesses in Ontario. The Association was incorporated without share capital under the Corporations Act (Ontario) on March 25, 2010 and prior to being incorporated, the CMAOntario operated as an unincorporated not-for-profit entity formed in 2008.


The CMAOntario works continually with passion and dedication to develop opportunities and initiatives to expand the infrastructure necessary to help Ontario country music artists and small and medium-sized enterprise compete in today’s ever-changing competitive marketplace.

Through its programs, CMAOntario:
• educates and encourages creativity;
• celebrates the unique achievements and contributions of the Ontario industry;
• provides its members with a hub for information and resources;
• facilitates connections and communications among members and between them and industry leaders and stakeholders

Although initiatives are targeted toward the CMAOntario membership, they are also designed to advance the entire country music industry province-wide.

The ongoing successful careers of artists like The Reklaws, Tim Hicks, James Barker Band, River Town Saints, Jason Blaine, Jason McCoy, Cold Creek County, Genevieve Fisher, Jessica Mitchell and Meghan Patrick are just a few examples of how the CMAOntario’s dedicated undertakings have translated into positive results.

By investing in the potential of artists that continue performing today, the CMAOntario is laying a solid foundation to build sustainable careers for tomorrow. With a position of respecting tradition and recognizing past artistic successes, it is preserving, conserving and enriching the heritage and legacy that continues to shape Ontario’s country music identity and resiliency.

Through the leadership and experience of the Board of Directors, the Association aims to:
• Foster and support the growth and development of Ontario’s country music and industry
• Develop opportunities for Ontario artists, creators and all those associated with the Ontario country music industry
• Provide its constituency with the necessary tools to build their music careers and businesses and to promote Canadian music interests throughout the world
• Boost the economic activity of members by providing them with opportunities to showcase before new audiences and industry leaders
• Provide access to industry leaders, key buyers and timely information on developing trends and technologies in a domestic forum that benefits the greater industry’s interests
• Aid in making business-to-business introductions
• Produce timely comprehensive development sessions that feature industry leaders
• Promote Ontario artists/creators and musical content to other markets through partnering with and attendance at other industry events provincially and nationally
• Provide a platform for members to promote their latest projects and performances through the CMAOntario newsletter, website and social media channels
• Recognize and celebrate the achievements of Ontario artists and content creators through the annual CMAOntario Awards, thus strengthening their ability to maintain a sustainable career
• Encourage cultural diversity, gender equality and ensure inclusivity in all opportunities and initiatives


The CMAOntario is committed to creating a culturally sensitive environment for our stakeholders that is diverse, inclusive and promotes positivity. As an artist-driven association, our goal is to treat all members, contractors, consultants, and suppliers fairly and equally, regardless of their Age, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Ethnicity, Religion/Belief, Gender Reassignment, Marriage or Civil Partnership, and Pregnancy/Maternity. Advancing gender equity, diversity and inclusion benefits both the Association and its stakeholders and by reflecting the growing diversity in our community, we encourage stronger engagement from our stakeholders and the community we serve. We promote civility, integrity and respect among our stakeholders as we strive to provide access and relevant opportunities for all of our members wherever we possess the means to assist them.


CMAOntario is committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment where all Board members (whether elected or appointed), staff, volunteers, and members feel respected and valued regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or identity, disability, education, or any other social or cultural identification.

We are committed to being non-discriminatory and providing equal opportunities for employment, volunteering, and advancement in all areas of our work.

The Board of Directors of CMAOntario believes in the benefits that diversity offers and it recognizes that a range of perspectives makes prudent business sense. Having a Board composed of men and women with multitude of skills, experience, backgrounds and perspectives means:

• competitive advantage;
• robust understanding of opportunities, issues and risks;
• inclusion of different concepts, ideas, and relationships;
• enhanced decision-making and dialogue; and
• heightened capacity for oversight of the organization, its relevance and governance.

Our Board’s philosophy and goals to provide informed leadership for diversity, inclusion, and equity include:
• We strive to see diversity, inclusion, and equity in connection with our vision and mission for the benefit of those we serve.
• We aim to recognize and address inequities in our policies, programs, and services.
• We will update and document progress on our diversity, equity, and inclusion practices.
• We commit to investigating underlying assumptions that oppose or challenge our diversity policy.
• We commit to being transparent about diversity in all our interactions.
• We will dedicate our time and resources to expanding greater diversity within our Board and leadership positions.
• We commit to leading with respect and tolerance and we encourage all employees and volunteers to express this in their work within our organization.

All Board appointments will collectively reflect the diverse nature of the business environment in which the organization operates and be made on merit, in the context of the skills, experience, independence and knowledge which the Board deems to be effective.

The Board is committed to ensuring gender diversity and to diligently act to effect change. It aspires to maintain a Board in which each gender represents at least 40% of individuals.


Diversity of thought is enhanced through intentional effort. CMAOntario will be intentional in ensuring diversity.

Credibility is enhanced through the Board and its leadership diversity. CMAOntario will pursue a well-rounded, diverse, and credible approach to ensuring Board and leadership diversity.

Legitimacy is enhanced through respected, experienced, senior leaders. To ensure the diversity strategy of the organization is viewed as a legitimate process, all appointments will be driven by merit.

Visibility is enhanced through the promotion of broad and common goals. Visibility enhances reputation. Gender diversity and inclusion imperatives are prominent on today’s public stage and across industries. Going public with a Board diversity strategy is a helpful step in holding ourselves accountable, setting an example, and providing thoughtful leadership in the industry.

Accessibility is enhanced through a powerful collective voice. We will balance the intent of this policy with our need to be a powerful voice for diversity in all of its forms.


To achieve its diversity aspirations, the Board will:
• Ensure the board’s composition considers the balance of skills, experience, knowledge, perspectives, independence and characteristics in alignment with the strategic needs of CMAOntario and the environment in which it operates.
• Identify suitable candidates for appointment to the Board considering credentialed candidates against objective criteria, and with due regard for the benefits of diversity on the team.
• Maintain an ongoing list of potential candidates. The list will strive to include a balanced proportion of genders. Whenever the list is not gender balanced, for each cycle of Board recruitment, CMAOntario will not rely on the list but will search beyond it to achieve balance.

• The CMAOntario recognizes that the presence of any one culture or identification does not guarantee integrity any more than the absence of any one culture or identification undermines integrity.


Review: Annually by the Board



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