The biggest weekend of the year for country music in Ontario takes place in London this weekend, culminating in the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) Awards gala at Centennial Hall on Sunday evening.
The celebrations begin today (June 1) with the annual Softball Challenge at Labatt Park, featuring such stars as Jason McCoy (also the returning Awards show host), Aaron Pritchett, members of Buck Twenty and Cold Creek Country, Dani Strong, Genevieve Fisher, Sarnia’s Eric Ethridge, and Jason Blaine. Proceeds go to the Unison Benevolent Fund, which provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community, Kidsport London and the CMAOntario.
Blaine, Dan Davison, Ryan Langdon and host Wendell Ferguson then perform a concert entitled Songs and Stories at Rum Runners that evening.
A free event on Saturday evening is the New Faces Showcase and Concert at Covent Garden Market Square, featuring several up-and-coming performers and headliner Meghan Patrick.
On Sunday afternoon, the CMAO honours some Canadian country stars at the Legacy Revival with performers including Michelle Wright, The Good Brothers, Patricia Conroy, and Pritchett, at the Aeolian Hall. Tix available online here at or by calling 519-672-7950.
For more background on the festivities, check out this feature by Joe Belanger in The London Free Press