The Country Music Association of Ontario Announces Performers for CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend

The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) is proud to announce the first wave of performers for the CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend taking place May 31-June 2, 2024 in Mississauga. In addition to the 13th Annual CMAOntario Awards Show, CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend will include Songs & Stories: Songwriters in the Round, R2i TuneUp Conference, Street Fair, Bonfire, Tailgate Party, and Sauga Sunday.

On Saturday, June 1 the CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend will present Tailgate, and Bonfire – two free concerts at Celebration Square. Fans can celebrate the anticipation of the CMAOntario Awards with the afternoon Tailgate party featuring entertainment from nominees and fan favourites such as Andrew Hyatt, Jessie T, New Moon Junction, and Emily Clair. The CMAOntario Bonfire will give fans a chance to take in Ontario’s hottest new music and rising stars with evening concert performances by Jason Blaine, Les Bilinguish Boys, Karli June, Mackenzie Leigh Meyer, Lemon Cash, and Abby Stewart.

On Sunday, June 2 at Celebration Square, the City of Mississauga’s music office will present Sauga Sunday. This free, family-friendly afternoon concert will show why Mississauga was named Canadian “Music City of the Year” with an all-women lineup of the city’s top country talent featuring Elyse Saunders, Nicole Rayy, Bree Taylor, Alessia Cohle, Kendra Gabrielle and Jade Hilton.

The 13th Annual CMAOntario Awards Show, hosted by Jason McCoy and Teigen Gayse, will include exciting performances by: Karli June, who is nominated for four CMAOntario Awards this year; Owen Riegling, Jason Blaine, and Nicole Rayy, who are each nominated for three CMAOntario Awards; Griffen Palmer, up for two CMAOntario Awards; Elyse Saunders, nominated for Female Artist of the Year; River Town Saints, nominated for Group or Duo of the Year; Sugar Crush, first time nominees for Francophone Artist or Group of the Year; Callie McCullough, nominated for Roots Artist or Group of the Year; and Ryan Langdon, who is celebrating 200,000 streams and counting on his latest single “Soul & My Sanity”. The CMAOntario Awards, presented by Slaight Music, will take place on Sunday, June 2 in Hammerson Hall at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. Tickets for the CMAOntario Awards Show are on sale now.

The CMAOntario Awards Show will also include the Impact Award, which recognizes an artist, group, industry personality or organization that has left an enduring and indelibly positive footprint on the landscape of country music in Ontario. The 2024 Impact Award will be presented to Charlie Major.

Rising to the forefront of the Canadian Music scene in the early to mid-nineties, Charlie had a heyday at radio when he became the first Canadian artist in history to score six BDS #1 hits off of his debut album. Nine more chart topping hits would follow, and Charlie would crisscross the world headlining tours and connecting with his fans at fairs and festivals.

But as the old saying goes “fame comes with a cost” and it wasn’t long before a major US label signed Charlie, moved him and his family to Nashville. The head of the label told Charlie his sound needed to change and become “more country.” The marketing department thought his records might sell better in the US if he appeared on the album cover in a Stetson, and added more fiddles and steel guitars to his edgy songs. What the label did not know was that even though Major might sell out concerts, he was not the type of guy who ‘sells out’ his career. Charlie’s integrity to remain true to his fans, himself and his music was immovable and so he relinquished the dream of the big US record deal and returned to his homeland where he continues to be embraced.

Over a decade later Charlie is as successful as ever, he headlines his own tours and pairs up with the likes of ZZ Top to rock arenas full of fans from coast to coast. He has sold nearly half a million records in Canada alone and won three Juno Awards and seven CCMA’s, but you wouldn’t know it to meet him, and he would not tell you. He wears the cloak of humility, just like the hardworking folks that he represents in his music. Truly a Canadian legend and one of the accomplished ‘nice guys’ in the game, Charlie would not have it any other way.

CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend programming for Songs & Stories: Songwriters in the Round, R2i TuneUp Conference, and the Street Fair to be revealed soon!

CMAOntario Festival & Awards Weekend
Event Schedule

Tailgate Concert
Saturday, June 1 from 1-3pm
Celebration Square
300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga

Bonfire Concert
Saturday, June 1 from 7-10:30pm
Celebration Square
300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga

Sauga Sunday
Sunday, June 2 from 11am – 3pm
Celebration Square
300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga

CMAOntario Awards Show
Sunday, June 2 from 7pm
Hammerson Hall, Living Arts Centre
4141 Living Arts Centre Drive, Mississauga, ON

Regular Reserved Seating starts at $35 plus fees
Awards & Conference Combo package is $140 plus fees
VIP Tickets are $260 plus fees