Jason McCoy returns as host for The Country Music Association of Ontario Awards

The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO), presented by Slaight Music, is thrilled to announce Jason McCoy of the Road Hammers is returning as host of the CMAO awards. Confirmed performers for the award show include Jason Blaine, Leah Daniels, Tim Hicks, the Russell DeCarle Trio and Deric Ruttan. The Western Swing Authority also return to the awards as the event’s house band. The award show will be held Monday, May 25, 2015 at the Flato Markham Theatre. Tickets are on sale for $59.95. For more ticket information visit www.ticketbreak.com.

“It’s an honour to be back hosting the celebration of Ontario’s homegrown talent, simply thebrightest and best of the Canadian Country scene!” McCoy says.

As a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry, and two time CCMA Male Vocalist of the Year, McCoy is the king of reinvention. Growing up in the small town of Minesing, Ontario, McCoy admired the well-rounded artistry of classic entertainers from Roger Miller and Johnny Cash to Merle Haggard and Glen Campbell. Armed with a guitar and a dream, McCoy set out at the age of 19 to follow his own path to stardom. As a solo artist, he’s racked up multiple CCMA and CMA awards along with a Gold album.

As creator and front man of the highest selling band in Canadian Country Music history, The Road Hammers, McCoy took on the Country Rock genre and guided the band to unprecedented success throughout Canada and the United States, picking up a Platinum album, CCMA Group of the Year award, and a JUNO Award along the way.

The CMAO was formed in 2007 by Rob MacArthur, founding patron Linda Wright and a number of interested and enthusiastic individuals who thought it was time to have a voice for country music in Ontario. The Association brings together the talent and the industry professionals. Its mandate is to foster and support the growth and development of Ontario’s country music and its industry, provincially, nationally and internationally. The CMAO has now hosted two annual Awards Shows with the assistance of presenting sponsor Slaight Music. These sold-out events featured performances from Ontario’s top talent including  Jason McCoy, Deric Ruttan, Jason Blaine, Tim Hicks, Tebey, Autumn Hill, Small Town Pistols, Michelle Wright, Marshall Dane and many more. The CMAO is also proud to have presented last month its first educational conference, the highly successful two-day Road to Independence, with the financial contribution of the OMDC and presenting sponsor CMT.

 Pembroke native Jason Blaine has been at the top of the Canadian country music charts on both radio and CMT Canada with more than a dozen TOP 10 singles including the 2012 CCMA Single of the Year “They Don’t Make Em Like That Anymore”. Currently in the studio recording his sixth full length album, Blaine’s current single “Country Side is the #1 Canadian song at Country Radio nationally. www.jasonblaine.ca

Leah Daniels is a girl with purpose. This past year, she released two singles, received her second CCMA Award Nomination and broke over a million views on YouTube. Daniels’ debut album is scheduled for release in mid 2015. “Go Back”, the debut single, recently achieved “Top-Twenty Hit Status” at country radio and at CMT video across Canada … a sign Daniels is on her way.

Two time JUNO Award nominee and 2014 CCMA Award winner for Rising Star, Tim Hicks has cemented his status as one of the biggest breakout Canadian country music acts seen this decade. Hicks boasts five Top 10 singles, nearly 3 million YouTube hits, two JUNO Award nominations, and a third gold-certified single fueled by the party anthem “Stronger Beer”. In 2013, Hicks became the highest selling digital Canadian Country Artist of the Year for his debut album Throw Down, as well as the Most Played Debut Artist overall at Country radio. Hicks sophomore album 5:01 debuted at #1 on the SoundScan Country Album sales chart last August (2014), making this his first #1 country album and paving the way for an undeniably huge year in 2015 www.timhicksmusic.com

It’s fair to say the Nashville-based, Bracebridge, Ontario born singer/songwriter, Deric Ruttan has a fair bit to celebrate these days. Ruttan’s songs have been recorded by Tim McGraw, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Gary Allan and dozens of others, and he’s been recognized repeatedly by the Canadian music industry with a variety of SOCAN (10)  and CCMA Awards (2), and a JUNO nomination for Best Country Record for 2010’s Sunshine.  He is the reigning CCMA Songwriter Of The Year.

Then there’s the success of Ruttan’s latest album Take The Week Off and his current single “Don’t It Feel Good,” which generated both Grammy and ACM nominations in the Songwriter of the Year categories, and won him and his co-writers a CCMA and a CMAO in 2014 for Songwriter(s) Of The Year. The lead single, the album’s title track, previously won a 2014 CMAO for Single Of The Year and one of the album’s tracks, co-write “Mine Would Be You,” became a runaway #1 hit for Country superstar Blake Shelton. www.dericruttan.net

The Western Swing Authority is a unique collaboration of some of Canada’s top studio and touring musicians who share a common love for authentic Western Swing. They are a group of seasoned professionals whose individual bios include multiple Canadian Country Music Awards, Juno nominations, with resumes that span from Gordon Lightfoot, to Michelle Wright to George Canyon, to Kellylee Evans. Their self-titled, debut album arrived to critical acclaim and brought their music to people all around the world. www.thewesternswingauthority.com