By Carey Langsner, Rock At Night Ontario
2021 CMA Ontario Awards
The ninth annual Ontario Country Music Awards show and festival was originally scheduled to to be held at the Ancaster Fair grounds from May 28th to May 30th. Due to Covid-19 infection levels and a government ban on large gatherings (no more than 25 persons in one location) the CMA Ontario association decided that they would postpone the festivities until September 3rd to September 5th hoping that Covid infections will have reduced and large gathering will once again be allowed.
Like last year’s award show, this year’s festival was formatted as a drive-in style festival where fans would watch from their vehicles and listen to the music by either rolling down their windows to hear the live sound or they could tune into a radio station and have the sound broadcast through their vehicle’s speakers.
Friday night’s feature was the New Faces Showcase and Concert giving fans a chance to take in some of Ontario’s hottest new music, and up-and-coming talent. Artists performing were; Aaron Allen, Charissa, Kansas Stone, Owen Barney, Ryan Langdon and the not so new The Road Hammers.
Saturday night’s performance was the Legacy Revival featuring some of Ontario’s most treasured pioneers in country music and some special guests helping to celebrate the music that paved the way for many of today’s country artists. Performances by Marie Bottrell (2 time female vocalist of the year), Michel Lalonde (numerous Francophone awards), Russell Declare (member of Blue Oyster Cult), Sylvia Tyson (Order of Canada Recipient, Canadian music Hall of Fame), and The Good Brothers (won the Juno for Country Group or Duo for eight consecutive years, 1977 to 1984).
A portion of the ticket revenue received from both the New Faces Showcase and the Legacy Revival show was donated to a couple of local charities.
Sunday’s CMA Ontario Award Show was hosted by two of Ontario’s biggest country talents, Beverly Mahood and Jason McCoy. The awards show was combined with numerous bands playing in between the awards being presented. The field full of vehicles / fans were entertained by; Elysse Saunders, David Boyd James, Sacha, The Red Hill Valleys, Kelly Prescott, Reney Ray, Aaron Allen, Buck Twenty, Robyn Ottolini, Owen Barney, The Western Swing Authority, Tim Hicks, and Susan Aglukark. To end the evening all of the evening’s bands came on stage to perform one last song together.
THE WINNERS OF THE 9TH ANNUAL CMAONTARIO AWARDS ARE:
SINGLE OF THE YEAR – “No Truck Song” – Tim Hicks
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – Highway Mile – Aaron Allen
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR – Owen Barney, Alyssa Reid, Dave Thomson, Mike Wise, Jamie Appleby – “Thank Her For That”, Recorded By Owen Barney
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Meghan Patrick
MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Aaron Allen
GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR – Buck Twenty
ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR – The Abrams
FRANCOPHONE ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR – Les Rats D’Swompe
RISING STAR sponsored – Robyn Ottolini
MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR – “Girls Like Me” – Meghan Patrick
FANS’ CHOICE – Meghan Patrick
RECORD PRODUCER OF THE YEAR – Jeff Dalziel – Aaron Allen, David Boyd Janes, River Town Saints
MUSIC INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE YEAR – Randy Owen, Radio Host/Personality
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (LARGE MARKET) – CKDK Country 104, Woodstock
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MEDIUM MARKET) – CHCQ-FM Cool 100.1 FM, Belleville
RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SMALL MARKET) – CICX Pure Country 106, Orillia
MRC DATA COMPASS AWARD – The Reklaws
THE HOLLY & STEVE KASSAY GENEROUS SPIRIT AWARD – Patrice Whiffen