Rita MacNeil and Ed Harris to join Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

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The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) announced today that Rita MacNeil and Ed Harrishave been selected as the 2013 inductees into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

“Both Ms. MacNeil and Mr. Harris have made huge imprints on country music in Canada and we are delighted to have them enter the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame,” said CCMA President, Don Green. “I would like to thank our Hall of Fame Electors Committee for recognizing these two outstanding industry leaders.”

Rita MacNeil, the 2013 Artist inductee, was lovingly beholden to Canadians as Cape Breton’s first lady of song. Ms. MacNeil inspired and entertained audiences worldwide for over three decades, until her recent passing in April of 2013. Canadians collectively mourned the loss of Ms. MacNeil, who crossed over into mainstream success in 1990 when she became the best selling country artist of the year. Her recognition grew when she hosted the Gemini Award-winning CBC Television variety series Rita and Friends from 1994 to 1997.

A Member of the Order of Canada, she released an astonishing 24 albums throughout her career, eight of which were certified platinum in Canada. Ms. MacNeil amassed three JUNO Awards (13 nominations) and four CCMA Awards (19 nominations) including being a two-time CCMA Fan’s Choice Award winner.

“Both my sister Laura and myself are incredibly touched that our mother, Rita MacNeil, has been bestowed this honour by the Canadian Country Music Association,” said Ms. MacNeil’s son, Wade Langham. “Indeed, she would have been most proud to be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. She truly lived to perform and share her music; that it touched so many people is a gift we can all cherish. A heartfelt thank you to the CCMA for recognizing that.”

Ed Harris, as the 2013 Builder inductee, will receive the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Stan Klees Builder Award this September in Edmonton. Mr. Harris, twice named the CCMA Record Industry Person of the Year, will be recognized for his ongoing 35-year career as an industry champion.

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Mr. Harris is the president of High Note Marketing; which he founded in 1999. He began his career with Universal Music Canada in 1986 as a country music marketing manager, where he oversaw marketing campaigns for some of Nashville’s biggest stars.

Mr. Harris has continuously been an integral supporter of Canadian country music performers throughout his career. Over his twelve-year tenure overseeing marketing initiatives at Royalty Records, he has worked with several prominent Canadian artists including Gord Bamford, Chris Cummings, Gil Grand, and Aaron Pritchett.

Additionally, Mr. Harris has served on the CCMA Board of Directors, as well as the Alberta Recording Industry Association, and is a key entertainment consultant for the Calgary Stampede.

“I’d like to thank the CCMA for selecting me to receive the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Stan Klees Builder Award. I am humbled and honoured to receive this prestigious recognition,” said Mr. Harris. “Over the course of my career I’ve worked in many facets of the country music business and in doing so, have met many talented people who have become friends and associates. I thank them all for their support and look forward to seeing everyone during Country Music Week.”

The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at a private industry event held during Country Music Week, which takes place September 5-8 in Edmonton, Alberta.