The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) and the 2009 Awards

Cover September 18, 2009

By Sandy Graham

The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) is a federally chartered, non-profit professional trade organization whose purpose is to: protect the heritage of; advocate the development of; and enact laws favourable to the Canadian country music industry domestically and internationally.

Since 1976, the CCMA has been committed to ensuring the growth of the Canadian country music industry. Through education, communication, information, promotion and recognition, the CCMA offers members these advantages in an increasingly competitive environment. Core to our efforts is Country Music Week. It is the focal point for our organization and members, and provides professional development, showcasing opportunities, and an opportunity to heighten awareness and increase exposure for Canada's country artists.

Originally founded as the Academy of Country Music Entertainment in September 1976 during an "RPM Magazine" function, the first Board of Directors under President Hank Smith set out to organize, promote and develop a Canadian country music industry, which included the founding of Country Music Week and the Hall of Honour.

The Association's first inductions into the Hall of Honour took place in 1984 and in 1991 the Hall of Honour merged with the Hall of Fame created by singer/producer Gary Buck. The amalgamation created the current Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and continues to induct artists, songwriters, broadcasters and "industry builders" for their contributions to country music.

The very first Awards presented in coordination with Country Music Week were the RPM Big Country Awards. It wasn't until 1982 the Association inaugurated its very own Canadian Country Music Awards.

During 1986-87, the Association's name was officially changed to the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). Growing in both reputation and experience, the CCMA was able to secure a broadcast partnership with CTV Television in which the 1987 Canadian Country Music Awards were televised for the first time coast to coast to coast. The CCMA partnered with CTV until 1996.

It was in 1997 to 2005, the CCMA entered into a new partnership with CBC Television, with encore broadcasts on CMT Canada. The 2005 Canadian Country Music Awards were also broadcast for the first time on the U.S. Network GAC (Great American Country) and on CMC (Country Music Channel) in Australia.
It can be said music is the very soul of this country, and reflects the true identity of Canada. As the country genre evolves to embrace new styles, it is reflecting new versions of our Canadian identity, as well as our heritage. Country Music Week and the Canadian Country Music Awards to be a celebration of the music and the artists that represent our unique culture.

On September 13, 2009 The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) celebrated another fantastic year in country music.  Hosted in Vancouver, British Columbia by actor and director Jason Priestley, this year's Canadian Country Music Awards took place in Vancouver, BC at GM Place, where country music fans were treated to amazing performances by such artists as Aaron Pritchett, Paul Brandt with High Valley, Reba McEntire, and Martina McBride, to name a few.

The big winner of the night was Johnny Reid, who took home five CCMA Awards. 

(See www.openroadrecordings.com for more on Reid)

Also of note were newcomers Dean Brody and Tara Oram, who were each presented with their first award.

MAJOR AWARDS CCMA 2009

Fans' Choice Award: Johnny Reid
Male Artist of the Year:Johnny Reid
Female Artist of the Year:Crystal Shawanda
Group or Duo of the Year:Doc Walker
Songwriter(s) of the Year:
"A Woman Like You" - Johnny Reid, Brent Maher (Johnny Reid)
Single of the Year:"Brothers" - Dean Brody
Album of the Year:Dance with Me - Johnny Reid
Top Selling Album:Fearless - Taylor Swift
Top Selling Canadian Album:Dance with Me - Johnny Reid
CMT Video of the Year:"A Woman Like You" - Johnny Reid
Rising Star:Tara Oram
Roots Artist or Group of the Year:Corb Lund

Congratulations to all our wonderful Canadian Artists from Cashbox Canada.

For more information and highlights from the 2009 CCMA Awards and Country Music Week, please visit www.ccma.org or www.countrymusicvancouver.com