November 2017 Member News



The CCMA invites any members in good standing to submit industry relevant information for consideration and inclusion in The Source. As such, any news or statements presented in this part of the newsletter are not necessarily representative of and/or endorsed by the CCMA. Please send your news items for inclusion to and note COAST TO COAST in the subject line. Please keep submissions to 150-200 words, feel free to include one high resolution photo, and a link to extended content.   


Abby and Beamer have released their first single “What If They’re Wrong” to country radio, and have been making many radio visits in the last few weeks in support of the single. If you haven’t heard it yet, check it out and grab a copy HERE.


The last half of 2017 has been quite something for Paul Brandt, kicking off with the exciting news that he would be inducted into both the Western Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Both inductions took place in September, the latter presented by Hockey Night in Canada sportscaster, legend Ron MacLean. Paul’s latest single “The Journey” released on August 25 and is currently Top 20 on the national chart and climbing. This summer also marked the launch of Paul’s #NotInMyCity campaign against Human Trafficking in Calgary. The campaign kick-off raised over $200,000.00 and increased awareness for this very important cause. November 24 marked the release of Where I Come From a hits package containing many of Paul’s top charting songs including “My Heart Has a History”- the most spun Canadian Country song in Nielsen BDS history, his U.S. #1 (R&R) single “I Do” and GOLD singles “Alberta Bound” and “I’m An Open Road”. Look for it in Paul’s store, HERE! In the first quarter of 2018 Paul will release his new full length studio album, also entitled The Journey, via Warner Music Canada, and will announce his tour plans for 2018. 


Dean Brody and fans celebrated the release of his latest single “8th Day” with #NationalCountryGirlsDay on November 8. Country music fans from across the country shared their stories about their favourite country girls, causing the hashtag to be one of the top trending conversations on Twitter that day. Brody will round out the month with two very special acoustic shows in Halifax on November 23 (SOLD OUT!) and November 24.


Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, Norm Brunet has long been a part of that elite group of artists – a gifted songwriter, an accomplished musician always on target with distinctive vocals – that have the credentials of a triple threat. His new single “It Don’t Get Better Than This” is currently available on all digital stores and the album of the same name released on November 10. The new album contains ten self-penned songs featuring traditional country, country rock and a sprinkling of Americana roots – something for everyone! “It Doesn’t Get Better Than This” tells a story inspired by a young mid-west family trying to make a go of it with none of the modern day trappings, find happiness in the simple things in life, children, family, friends. Check out the video HERE.


George’s new single “More You” is now at country radio, and it was met with a huge response from his radio family and fans alike. You can get your copy HERE. Stay tuned for information on a brand new album from George, coming in 2018!


The Country Music Association of Ontario is excited for the return to London, Ontario as the host city for the 2018 CMAOntario Awards show. Set to take place Sunday June 3, 2018, at Centennial Hall, Jason McCoy of The Road Hammers resumes his role as host. The Awards are preceded by a weekend of activities, launching with the CMAOntario’s Legacy Show on Thursday, May 31, 2018. Other events over the weekend include the CMAOntario Charity Softball Challenge, Songs & Stories: The Songwriters Sessions, R2I TuneUp Conference, New Faces Showcase & Concert and a Gospel Celebration. The festivities conclude with the presentation of the CMAOntario Awards on June 3 at Centennial Hall. A full line-up of performers and award nominees will be announced in early 2018. Tickets for the CMAOntario Awards are available to the public for purchase through the Centennial Hall box office - online at, by calling 1.888.999.8980, or in person at the venue (550 Wellington St.). Ticket prices range from $65.00 (plus taxes and service fees) for regular reserved seating to $225.00 (plus taxes and service fees) for fan VIP packages. Details for corporate and group rates are available on the venue’s website.


Dan released his EP Songs For Georgia on October 27 and it was a Top 10 iTunes country debut! Watch for Dan to hit the road with Brett Kissel on the We Were That Song tour starting in January. Click on Dan’s name above for details on all of the tour dates he’ll be a part of!


Brenda Dirk is a young lady with a big voice, and even bigger plans. She released her debut single “Shades On” in September 2017 and is rapidly moving forward. Her second release “Too Broke For Christmas” hit the air earlier this month and hit second place on the Top 5 DMDS downloads on its second day out. She has garnered herself four Alberta Country Music Award nominations for 2017: Fans’ Choice, Female Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year. Her style evokes a rockier edge to her songwriting, where she uses a strong sense of conviction to tell a story in each one of her songs. For the past year, Brenda has worked tirelessly on her debut album with producer Bobby Cameron and is extremely excited about her musical future with the release of her anticipated first album. Her love and talent for performing is only equalled by her passion for songwriting. Brenda has a joy and zest for life that comes out in her musical and songwriting abilities. She draws her inspiration for life from around her and the family that she adores.


Shae Dupuy’s new single “LIAR” is out now to all streaming services and country radio. Shae previously released the acoustic version as a bonus track on her EP, Brave. After the amazing response, Shae knew she needed to release the song as a full track and is excited to have it out. Shae had an exciting month performing during Indie Week at the Dakota Tavern. Thanks everyone for their continuous support. 


Emerson Drive celebrated their twenty-first Top 10 single at country radio in Canada a few weeks ago with “Just Got Paid”! Check out the lyric video for the song HERE. New music is coming soon from the band.


It feels like Aaron Goodvin has exploded onto the country music scene with his hit of the summer, “Lonely Drum”, but he first made a name as a songwriter, placing tracks with Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell and a recent #1 Canadian hit with Aaron Pritchett. Aaron released his debut album with Warner in summer 2017 with two Top 10 singles, went GOLD with the single “Lonely Drum”, had an incredibly busy season playing festivals and shows, and was nominated for the SiriusXM Rising Star Award at the 2017 CCMA Awards. Next up for the celebrated songwriter is to join Gord Bamford’s cross-Canada Neon Smoke tour, opening all shows from January 24 to March 2, 2018, beginning in Ontario and continuing to Quebec and the Maritimes, then westward all the way to the Pacific coast. A summer full of shows is in the works and Aaron has also just released the latest single from his full length debut with Warner called "Miss Me Yet", which is currently climbing the charts! 


Award-winning country singer Adam Gregory has released the music video to his current single “Dirt Road Therapy”! Directed by Sam Bechtel and Cody Giles at Southbase Creative, the video was shot in the Alberta towns of Thorsby and Cochrane, and perfectly conveys the meaning of the song which is that a good, long drive never fails to do wonders for the soul. Putting your troubles behind you, seeing the expanse of the open road, and feeling the wind go through your hair almost magically seems to clear the head and put troubling things into perspective. While there are numerous methods to shake off the blues, as the song goes, “sometimes all we need is dirt road therapy”! “Dirt Road Therapy” is the first of many singles to be released; which, along with several performances throughout the year, is leading up to the launch of Gregory’s latest album, set for release in early 2018. Watch the music video HERE.


Ella Hartt, an emerging Canadian country artist, is capturing the hearts of listeners with her debut single, "Where Is That Guy?" Complete with a country-pop sound and a little rap, this song will get you out on the dance floor and singing along. She describes her song as a true reflection of her heart in finding her 'Prince Charming’. As she would say, "Who wouldn't want a guy to take you dancing on Saturday night?” Ella Hartt's "Where Is That Guy" is now available on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and other online music distributors. It was recorded at Sound Extractor in Edmonton, Alberta. Prior to this debut, Ella invested time in songwriting, teaching and humanitarian efforts. Her adventurous spirit and love for people and music have led her to pursue a career in country music. Everyone has a story that is worth being shared and Ella is excited to share her story with the world! 


Hunter Brothers set out for an extensive promotional tour through Manitoba and Ontario this month, visiting radio stations, appearing on morning television and performing surprise pop-up shows in Giant Tiger stores. Along the way, the band created some signature parodies that have garnered 100,000+ collective views on Facebook. Their latest single, “Born and Raised”, reached top 20 on the Canadian country radio chart this month and continues to climb.


Congratulations to David who took home the Manitoba Country Music Award for Single of the Year, for "What If I Don’t" on November 10! David’s new single "Sun Set On It" off his latest album Downtown Kids is out now, and the video is now online here.


The Manitoba Country Music Association held its annual MCMA Awards Show on November 10 at the Metropolitan Theatre in Winnipeg. Ryan Keown (pronounced Cowan) performed during the show and once again earned the nod for the coveted MCMA Fans’ Choice Award. This is the second consecutive year that Keown has come home with this particular award. "I can't thank everyone enough for their support. I appreciate everyone taking the time to log on and vote for me, and to come to my shows so I can chase this dream," said Keown.


Brett’s currently riding high on yet another Top 10 smash at country radio with “We Were That Song”! The tour of the same name went on sale last month, and continues to add dates as shows sell out. Currently, the tour is slated for over 50 stops across Canada starting in January, making this one of the most significant Canadian tours in years! Brett’s new album, also of the same title, started pre-sale on November 17, and will hit all retailers and streaming platforms on December 8 – just in time for Christmas. For all tour dates and details, head to To pre-order the album, CLICK HERE.


Ryan Laird is freshly off his first headlining tour which saw him perform in 12 cities across the country. The CCMA nominated recording artist, songwriter and philanthropist brings his fans exactly what the world needs a little more With nothing less than an exuberant, fun-loving beat, his latest single, "Gamble On Love”, promises an adrenalized chorus that's sure to brighten up any listener on even the dreariest of days! Check it out on iTunes and Spotify!


"Blame It On The Neon" was released in September, and Leaving Thomas has been working on more new music for their upcoming album, set to be released in the New Year. You can keep up with everything Leaving Thomas is up to by subscribing to their YouTube channel here and checking out their weekly videos, including their recent cover of Midland's "Drinking Problem" with David James from Halloween (complete with costumes).


Donny Lee has made the nomination round for the 2017 Alberta Country Music Awards in the category of Male Artist of the Year. Donny has recently brought his Honkytonk Show from Nashville to Alberta and is looking at broadening his Canadian audience to other provinces in 2018. The show is a boiled down version of his four-hour Nashville set of the most popular requested honkytonk hits. Along with the great country hits he plays, Donny Lee will also showcase three to four original songs during his show. If you're in the area and have the chance to watch Donny Lee perform, come out and see the honkytonk and introduce yourself after the show!


New music from The Lovelocks is here! "Staycation" is available online now, and can be streamed or downloaded here. The track was streamed over 40,000 times in the first week after it was released!


Kelsi Mayne, 2016 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist finalist and Trackside Homegrown Spotlight Artist, has released her debut single to radio, “Still Not Over You", a song co-written and recorded with two-time JUNO Award-winning producer/writer, Ryan Stewart. In the accompanying music video, Kelsi's unique sense of humour and surprising acting chops seem to have struck a chord with fans, generating 100,000 views on Facebook and 14,000 on YouTube in its first month. Early next year, Kelsi will be releasing her second single and music video, in which she pays tribute to her hometown of Windsor, ON, while also returning to Nashville to write and record. Watch her debut music video HERE.


David finished his fifth studio album in Nashville this past June. Called Reaching For The Sun, it’s scheduled for release June 2018. His latest single from Traveling Truthfully, “Fountain Of Love” is currently at #11 in the Top 40 in Europe, placing him at #22 on the Top 200 artists getting airplay there. He released his fourth studio album September 1, called out of love. The first single to be released “Love In Your Eyes”, will go out in early January.


Madeline Merlo helped represent Canadian country music on the CMA Awards red carpet this month. Attending as a special guest, Merlo graced the coveted best-dressed list on major entertainment outlets, including E!, CNN, US Magazine and Style Bistro.


“Christmas In The Country” is from Kelley’s first Christmas album, Caroling which is scheduled for release this month. Caroling is a collection of Christmas carols together with a few of Kelley’s new favourites. Kelley also penned two songs on this record which paint a picture of Christmas past and present in the Mooney home. Kelley has chosen the Food Bank in Charlottetown, PEI as her charity of choice for this Christmas campaign – she will be donating a portion of all Christmas album sales. Kelley Mooney is a singer/songwriter from Iona, PEI where the acoustics were great in the hollow, but they were best in the kitchen (where her Dad would pay a quarter a song whenever anyone stopped by).


Jess celebrated the release of her new album Past The Past with an album launch event at YouTube Space Toronto on November 3, which was live-streamed and can be watched here. Last week (November 23) Jess kicked off the 105th Grey Cup Festival Shaw Concert Series, presented by TD, in Ottawa, ON.


The ladies of Nice Horse are in high demand this year, recently landing in the top three finalists in Project WILD, a country artist development program run by Alberta Music and WILD 95.3. The finale show as part of the program was this past weekend (November 25) in Calgary, and the four bold, brilliant and badass women took home second prize of $75,000. Nice Horse is steadily lining up shows for the spring and summer, including Stars and Thunder in Timmins, ON with Paul Brandt and High Valley, with many more shows to be announced.


The Orchard accumulated six second round nominations for this year’s Alberta Country Music Awards, being held in January 2018. They have also just released their newest heartfelt single “Your Story”, which is gaining traction on Canadian radio as well as playlists on Spotify, including “Folks and Friends”, among others.


Warner Music Canada recording artist, and 2017 CCMA Female Artist of the Year and Sirius XM Rising Star winner, Meghan Patrick released her new single, “Country Music Made Me Do It” on October 27, 2017. The single is the debut single from the forthcoming album of the same name, due out January 12, 2018. In addition to the release of the single, Meghan has also released the official video for “Country Music Made Me Do It”. The video was shot in Meghan’s adopted home of Nashville. Country Music Made Me Do It was recorded with producer Jeremy Stover and mixed by the legendary Chris Lord-Alge. Meghan Patrick will hitting the road in early 2018 as part the Game On Tour with the James Barker Band.


Award-winning Canadian country duo PETRIC have much to celebrate with the digital release of their sophomore EP 18 Ends, via SteelHead Music/Sony Music Canada, on November 17. PETRIC spent the better part of the year in the studio recording the six song EP, which features previously released singles “Play It Safe” and the title-track “18 Ends”, a nostalgic ode to days gone by and the carefree nature of young love. The release of 18 Ends comes hot on the heels of the 2017 Manitoba Country Music Awards which saw the sibling duo take home the award for Group or Duo of the Year, with additional nominations in the Album of the Year, Single of the Year and Fans’ Choice categories. After forming PETRIC in March of 2014, brothers Jason and Tom released their debut single “Here Goes Everything”, which introduced the duo to audiences nationwide. SteelHead Music – a partnership between award-winning, platinum-selling country star Dallas Smith, Alex Seif (Union Entertainment Group) and Scott Cooke (producer – Chase Rice, Cold Creek County, Aaron Pritchett, Shawn Austin) – took notice and in October 2015 released the debut EP from PETRIC, titled It Girl


Renegade Station releases “Christmas Without You”. This is the first release under their new branding and they couldn’t be more excited. “Christmas Without You” was written by Brad Saunders and Trinity Bradshaw, and recorded at MCC Recording Studio in Calgary with Johnny Gasparic at the helm. Renegade is defined as a person who deserts a party or cause for another. While the new band Renegade Station is not deserting their unique brand of country, they are moving on in a new direction.  With a sound forged during a successful career as “Domino”, Renegade Station moves forward with a new sound, an edge that can truly be synonymous with the term “renegade”. The group always wanted to record a Christmas single, but it had to be the right one. “Christmas Without You” is the right one and there is no better time to release their first-ever Christmas song, than with the re branding of the band. “Christmas Without You” is available for digital download HERE.


When creating a great scene, pairing the perfect song with the narrative will pull the audience in to truly feel the story. Royalty In Sync: Volume 1 features a sample of the Royalty Records songs most recently featured in film and television. The Royalty Records catalog holds an array of screen-ready gems like the unforgettable “Bird Dance”, which was featured in Sam Raimi’s cult movie classic Crime Wave, and more recently in Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Royalty’s publishing also extends to the unique and culturally authentic, with indigenous songs like those from Laura Vinson, which create a colourful spectacle with tales of Canadian Métis culture and history. From cult-classic films to Hallmark family-friendly television, Royalty In Sync is the soundtrack to make scenes shine on screens of all sizes. Whether as source or score, Royalty Records has a catalog of music ready to set the mood.


Multiple JUNO and CCMA Award-winning entertainer Dallas Smith’s 2017 Side Effects tour recently wrapped in front of a sold out crowd in Abbotsford, after consistently ushering in crowds in the thousands, while notching twenty-eight shows in 27 cities across the country in just under five weeks. Smith, a “widely praised entertainer,” (Our London) performed for close to 70,000 fans along with direct support from some of  the hottest rising country stars in the U.S. - Lauren Alaina, Michael Ray and The Cadillac Three. “My ears are still ringing,” said Smith.  “This tour has been unforgettable - the best I’ve ever experienced. To the fans and all the people who filled the venues, bought a ticket and sang along to every word – thank YOU.” Smith’s 2017 Side Effects tour thrived in big moments keeping fans on their feet until the very last note was played each and every night – a nightly goal to make sure the fans are having as much fun as he and his band are having on stage. “Hitting a career high note as a country artist” (Kelowna Capital News), his “energetic stage show” (Prince George Citizen), made sure the fans left with an experience they’ll never forget – many taking to their social media accounts to express their praise and enthusiasm.


Finally - it’s done. Friends, family and industry folks will gather together to celebrate Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame member, R. Harlan Smith’s book, “Hitch Your Wagon To a Star”. After several years in the making, the book will be officially be released at Edmonton’s Chateau Nova Yellowhead Hotel on December 14. The book tells the story of the life and times of singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and Canadian country music icon, R. Harlan Smith. Here are a few endorsement excerpts from several folks who have had a preview of the book: Larry Delaney, Country Music News, “This book stands on its own. Nothing short of mesmerizing, a marvelous piece of work.” Senator Tom Banks, “An intriguing read. What a book. Harlan is a gifted writer.” Jackie-Rae Greening, CFCW Radio, “It’s the music business. Harlan got that from the get go.” Hugh McLennan, Spirit of the West, “A spell binding journey through the world of country music. Harlan is a national treasure.” The event will be hosted by CFCW’s Jackie-Rae Greening. Autographed copies of the book will be available for purchase at the launch party, or after the launch party by contacting


It was announced earlier this month that Sons of Daughters (Crystal Leigh and Jimmy Thow) will appear on The Launch starting in January on CTV. The Launch is a six-part original music series that will feature hopeful musicians from across Canada, superstar mentors like Shania Twain and an authentic behind-the-scenes look at the industry. To follow Sons of Daughters on their journey through The Launch, click HERE.


They used to say that careers and fortunes could turn on a dime, but now they can change with a scroll. “Sykamore. That name grabbed my attention as I was scrolling through Twitter,” said Rhett Akins, who launched Home Team Publishing with artist/son Thomas Rhett, his manager Virginia Davis and Roc Nation/Warner Chappell. “I had to check it out. I loved her music and style immediately”. After a year of building strong relationships in the Nashville publishing community, the sudden attention from Akins was a wonderful surprise ending to an exciting year. "It feels really amazing - not only to get a nod of approval from one of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville, but to have the opportunity to sign with this team, as part of this venture, is so incredible. I can't wait to see what's next," said Sykamore. In Canada, Sykamore will be releasing her second full length project – a 6 song EP entitled Self + Medicine on January 5, 2018 via Road Angel/Warner Music Canada, along with her first music video for the song “Better Half” in December. Sykamore is booked by Todd Jordan at Paquin Artists Agency and is managed by Jill Snell and Ted Ellis, Creator Brand Management. 


After some recharging time out of the artist race (but songwriting all over the world, building a new house - literally and figuratively - and watching his co-write “Somebody Else Will” performed by Justin Moore hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Chart!) Tebey is coming back with a powerhouse single called "Denim on Denim". The song is co-written with fellow Canadian hit writer Kelly Archer, and Nathan Spicer, is produced by Danick Dupelle and Tebey, and is mixed by studio heavyweight Reid Shippen (Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley). A high energy road trip video was shot over three days in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in early November – logging a fun-filled journey that all country fans will seriously relate to! Watch for teasers soon! 


Twin Kennedy's new holiday album A Twin Kennedy Christmas is now available! Destined to be a Christmas-time staple in households across the country, A Twin Kennedy Christmas was recorded in Nashville with some of Music City’s best. Twin Kennedy rounded up an all-star team for the record, including the rhythm section of GRAMMY Award-winning group The Time Jumpers. The new album mixes both holiday classics and Twin Kennedy originals including the debut single “Cold Weather”, which is currently at Canadian country radio. Known for their uplifting and energetic live show, the duo is hitting the road once again for their A Twin Kennedy Christmas Tour. With performances throughout the US before heading to their home province of British Columbia, the 2017 tour is one that fans will not want to miss. Click on Twin Kennedy in the title above for show dates near you. Stream or download the album HERE.


When Ashlynne Vince made her move to Nashville in September, she knew it would be a big adjustment from her small hometown of Welland, ON. And although she performs almost every day and is enjoying the music scene in Nashville, it didn't take long before she was feeling a little 'Canadian Homesick'. Brett Kissel must have had similar feelings when he moved to Nashville and so he, and Brett Wilson (fellow Canadian and part owner of the Nashville Predators) went out of their way and extended Canadian hospitality to all of the Canadian musicians now living in Nashville and threw a huge Canadian Thanksgiving party. It was a great time of fun, food and of course, music. Ashlynne's move to Nashville has been amazing, and knowing there are other Canadians in Music City, makes it that much sweeter.


For fans and tastemakers alike, The Washboard Union is one of the most talked about bands in Canadian country music today. Currently fifteen-time award winners, the band placed nine awards on the mantle in 2017, taking home their third Canadian Country Music Association Award (second for Roots Group of the Year), the Western Canadian Music Award for Country Artist of the Year, and a record seven British Columbia Country Music Association Awards. 2017 also saw the band reach GOLD status with the single “Shot of Glory” and the guys are currently enjoying charting with the single “Shine”, from their forthcoming album with Warner Music Canada. After a successful year, 2018 looks very bright for The Washboard Union, who have been selected by U.S. country band Old Dominion for an opening slot on their tour through Western Canada. 


Thank you to everyone who joined the fun for Bobby's album release party in Saskatoon on September 9! Bobby's new album In Comes The Night was released on September 8, and you can check out the video for "In Comes The Night" here.


Renowned Canadian Fiddle Champion Scott Woods and his band present Old Time Christmas! This uplifting two-hour Branson-style live show celebrates the Christmas season, with the sweet harmonies of twin fiddles, and lots of traditional Christmas music, traditional country, western swing, country gospel and old time fiddle tunes. Enjoy sensational step dancing, wholesome family humour and Scott’s famous trick fiddling – somersaults and walking on a barrel – all while playing his fiddle! Joining Scott onstage in Old Time Christmas is: his sister, Kendra (Woods) Norris – a multi-instrumentalist and certainly no stranger to old time fiddling, having won the Canadian Duet Fiddle Championship title three times with Scott, as well as several solo wins in various classes including the 2016 Canadian Open (19-55 division). Also onstage are Canadian Country Music Association Award winner and Guitar Player of the Year, Steve Piticco; bass player, Peter Sisk; step dancer, 12-year-old Leo Stock, and keeping the band in time is drummer/vocalist Bill Carruthers. Scott Woods is a two-time winner of the Canadian Open Fiddle Contest, two-time winner of the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship as well as Fiddle Entertainer of the Year. He is known affectionately as ‘The Flippin’ Fiddler’ and tours extensively across Canada and the USA every year raising funds for churches, charities and community service organizations.  


2017 continues to be a banner year for Ontario country music artist, Tianna Woods, following the release of her latest single “20 Bucks and a Tank of Gas” earlier this year. Tianna is turning heads and grabbing international attention in Country music circles. In September, Tianna attended the Josie Music Awards at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The Josie Awards are the largest independent artist awards recognized globally, and her single “20 Bucks and a Tank of Gas” still remains in the Top 10 on the Josie charts. Tianna was nominated in no less than five categories for Entertainer of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year (International), Song of the Year (20 Bucks and a Tank of Gas) and Album of the Year. Tianna was awarded the highly coveted award for Female Vocalist and was one of the most nominated of the evening. Tianna is currently putting the finishing touches on an exciting revamped version of her hugely successful theatre show called It’s About Country Music and Then Some. The show will be in theatres in 2018.



The CCMA is proud to acknowledge the altruistic acts of charity and kindness demonstrated by our members. If you or someone you know has done something that you feel deserves recognition, please send your recommendations for consideration to and note COUNTRY CARES in the subject line. Please keep submissions to 150-200 words, feel free to include one high resolution photo, and a link to extended content.


Tenille Arts was in New York City two weeks ago to participate in the 4th Annual Sugar Soiree benefitting Congenital Hyperinsulinism International (CHI). The event was hosted by comedian and television host Conan O’Brien, who was also an honorary co-chair with his wife Liza. Tenille performed “Sugar” by Maroon 5 with Blues guitarist and singer Hamilton Loomis.


On October 20, Edmonton's own The Dungarees hosted their second annual 24-Hour Gig-A-Thon, a fundraiser in benefit of the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The Dungarees performed for 24 hours straight, along with very special guests Mike Plume, Captain Tractor, Nice Horse, Ken Stead, Darren Gusnowski and Mark Times. The funds raised at the event are specifically designated for the Patient Financial Assistance Program, providing aid for medication, transportation and accommodations for those seeking cancer treatment. The 24-Hour Gig-A-Thon is a zero-expense fundraising event, and 100% of the proceeds are provided to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. To-date The Dungarees have raised over $28,000.00 for the charity.


Donny Lee brings his popular Nashville-themed show 'The Honkytonk' to Canada. Starting this month in Alberta theaters, Donny will branch out his show to play other provinces in 2018. One of the show gimmicks is the ‘tip jug’, as the musicians in Nashville work mainly from the tip jug. In the Canadian Donny Lee Honkytonk shows, the tip jug will be used as a donation jug for different charities of choice. In Camrose, funds were raised for the Camrose Food Bank; in Medicine Hat, for the Medicine Hat and District Food Bank; and for the Spruce Grove show, all donations went to the Parkland Food Bank Society. Over $2,500 was raised at the three aforementioned shows. Donny Lee is happy to use his music shows to create awareness and raise money for charities. So as Donny Lee says, “If you enjoy the show, show some love in the jug” and support your local food bank. 


The No Time For That Anti-Bullying Society is proud to share that founder, Elsie Morden, has been recognized by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) as one of 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health. She attended and performed her song "Outsiders" at the Atlantic Canada celebration on November 8. The Difference Makers Award initiative was started by Sandi and Jim Treliving; both of whom were also in attendance at the Halifax event. Read Elsie's story on the CAMH website HERE.


On September 8, 2017, the Canadian country music community lost a beautiful soul and an unforgettable voice – singer/songwriter Mandy Ringdal. Over the course of Mandy’s seven year battle with ovarian cancer, she found music and used it to propel herself forward one day at a time, always able to find and cherish the good. During that time, she released four albums, five singles to radio, and gained the respect of many songwriting collaborators including Adam Wheeler, David Leask, Joni Delaurier and RyLee Madison. She worked with the Saskatchewan Ovarian Cancer Survivors to raise awareness about the disease. Mandy’s messages of fierce determination and eternal optimism resonated deeply with her listeners, inspiring them to find purpose in every battle and every gift. Co-writer David Leask commented, “She always seemed fearless in the mission to mine the heart in every song we wrote. She was as courageous in the middle of a song as she was brave in her battle with cancer”. Thanks to the Canadian music industry - led by radio tracker, Lauren Tutty - for enthusiastically supporting the October re-release of Mandy’s latest single, “Find the Good”. Download this beautiful song at iTunes or watch the video on YouTube.  


On October 21, Danny Sylvestre, an Ottawa based singer/songwriter, organized his second fundraising concert, entitled Sing Out for CHEO!, on behalf of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). The event brought together four country bands from the Ottawa area: Danny Sylvestre’s own band, River Town Saints, John Allaire and Sandi Skye. The event brought out memorable stories from all of the artists, but none any more touching than Danny’s. When his daughter was three, she was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy by the doctors at CHEO. Over the next 15 years, through multiple operations, emergency visits and regular check-ups, they cared for both her, and her parents. While there is no cure, or treatment, for her disease, his daughter continues to flourish, even though she is no longer eligible for CHEO assistance. Now that she is eighteen, the specialists have set her up with a team of doctors and health care professionals that will help and guide her through the rest of her life. At the Sing Out for CHEO event, Marychelle joined her father on stage to express their love of music together where they sang Train’s “Hey Soul Sister”. Danny has committed that all funds from his new single “I Quit!” until December 31, will be donated to CHEO. Watch the video for the song HERE.


Top Country, Jack Daniels Whiskey and KX hosted an incredible ‘Women, Whiskey and Music’ event on Wednesday, October 25 to raise money for the Music City Cares Fund. Approximately 250 music fans, industry and media filled the Love Child Social House, a stunning new co-working and events space in Toronto, to watch powerful performances from Jenna Walker (of The Reklaws), The Lovelocks, Jessica Mitchell and Madeline Merlo. The ladies came together as a finale to perform a breathtaking version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. The event raised money for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and simultaneously showcased the strength and power of our talented Canadian females. 




The CCMA was saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Eric Irwin this past weekend. Not only was Irwin the Mayor of Dauphin, he was a driving force behind Dauphin’s Countryfest and a huge supporter of our country music community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues. Read the CBC News article about Irwin’s passing and influence on Dauphin HERE.