Multiple CMAO winner Jason Blaine. Photo: Grant Martin Photography
Multiple CMAO winner Jason Blaine. Photo: Grant Martin Photography

Cold Creek County Earns Fans Choice Award At SRO CMAO Awards

The 4th annual presentation of the CMAO Awards took place last night at the Flato Markham Theatre in Markham, ON. Produced by The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) and presented by Slaight Music, the evening was a sold-out success that confirmed the depth of strong country music talent in the province.

Big winners on the night were Jason Blaine and newcomers Cold Creek County who took home three awards apiece. Blaine shared his Songwriter of the Year win with Deric Ruttan for their penning of the single "Country Side" which also took the honours for Music Video of the Year. Among their wins, Cold Creek County counted the inaugural and coveted Fans' Choice award, made possible by the Ontario Media Development Corporation through the Ontario Music Fund.

Performance is always a key component of the CMAO Awards. This year 13 of Ontario's hottest country stars were featured. The list included 2016 CMAO winners Tebey (Single of the Year), and Leah Daniels (Female Artist of the Year) as well as multi-nominees Runaway Angel and Autumn Hill, plus Jessica Mitchell. The Road Hammers closed out the evening with a rousing rendition of  "One Horse Town" featuring special guest Tim Hicks.

The Road Hammers frontman Jason McCoy returned as host of the show, and was in typical witty form, while The Western Swing Authority served as the house band.

One notable special award presented was the 2016 CMAO Impact Award, given to iconic Canadian country roots band Prairie Oyster “for their enduring influence and positive footprint on the landscape of country music in Ontario.”

Prior to the CMAO Awards, the third edition of the CMAO R2I (Road to Independence) Spring Tune Up Conference was held in Markham. This was a two-day program of learning, networking and showcasing that covered such topics as artist management and development, talent booking, funding and grant programs, digital distribution and streaming, revenue sources and financial management, social and on-line tools, music partnerships and cross-promotions, and songwriting demonstrations and techniques.

On Sunday night, an industry selection of Ontario’s emerging artists took the stage at the New Faces Showcase.

Here’s a full list of all the 2016 CMAO Award winners:

  • SINGLE OF THE YEAR (sponsored by KICX 106)
  • "When the Buzz Wears Off" - Tebey
  • ALBUM OF THE YEAR (sponsored by hmv Canada)
  • What Love Is All About - Johnny Reid
  • SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by SOCAN)
  • Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan - "Country Side" performed by Jason Blaine
  • FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Spring Tree Farm)
  • Leah Daniels
  • MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Havelock Country Jamboree)
  • Jason Blaine
  • GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by The Remington Group)
  • Cold Creek County
  • ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines Ltd.)
  • The Good Family
  • RISING STAR AWARD (sponsored by Slaight Music)
  • Cold Creek County
  • MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Kylemore Communities)
  • "Country Side" - Jason Blaine
  • FANS' CHOICE (sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation)
  • Cold Creek County
  • RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Metalworks Studios)
  • Jason Barry - Run Angel Run by Runaway Angel; Now Playing and Sweet Harriet by The Western Swing Authority; Boomerang by Genevieve Fisher; Toes by Scotty James
  • RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MAJOR MARKET) (sponsored by Canadian Country Spotlight)
  • CHKX-FM (KX 94.7), Hamilton
  • RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SECONDARY MARKET) (sponsored by Lucknow's Music in the Fields)
  • CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg
  • Prairie Oyster





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