CCMA Awards nominee Tenille Townes on ‘silver lining’ of a ‘strange’ year

CCMA Awards nominee Tenille Townes on ‘silver lining’ of a ‘strange’ year

TORONTO — Tenille Townes is making waves in Nashville, but the Alberta-raised musician says her heart will be back home this weekend for the biggest night in Canadian country music.

The 26-year-old singer-songwriter from Grande Prairie, Alta., is the leading six-time nominee at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards on Sunday where she’ll also perform.

And while it certainly marks a career milestone for Townes, she’ll be experiencing the thrill from south of the border, watching the pre-taped awards ceremony that was produced last month.

“It is a very strange way to celebrate those victorious moments… That collaborative spirit of everybody being in the same city, in the same room, is irreplaceable,” she says of this year’s COVID-19 edition of the CCMA Awards, which airs on Global TV.

But Townes doesn’t waste a second before shifting towards a more optimistic perspective.

She’s happy the CCMA Awards came together in a desperately tough year for the music industry, one which has seen concert tours scrapped and many performers left with few options but to wait out the virus.

“I think it’s challenging us to really push for the pieces of silver lining,” she said.

“I know for me, turning to music has been such an anchor of sanity and good feelings in a very uncertain time.”

In that sense, the CCMA Awards could be therapeutic for many country fans looking for a celebration that highlights the perseverance of the music genre.

Townes is nominated this year in categories that include female artist, songwriter, entertainer of the year, and the fans’ choice award.

Other leading contenders Dean Brody and Brett Kissel picked up five nods each. Both will vie for album, male artist, entertainer of the year, and the fans’ choice award.

James Barker Band, the Reklaws and Dallas Smith hold four nominations apiece.

The hostless CCMA Awards show taped over four days in late August as organizers responded to the realities of the pandemic.

A majority of the night was filmed at the outdoor Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte, Ont., near Barrie, home of the Boots & Hearts Music Festival, while other parts were recorded in Nashville.

There will be appearances by international artists Kane Brown, Sam Hunt and Tim McGraw, and performances by Canadians Don Amero, Jess Moskaluke and country singer Tebey who will duet with Quebecois pop star Marie Mai.

Most winners already know the outcome of their categories, but CCMA representatives say many of them will react on their social media platforms during the broadcast.

A number of awards that aren’t televised will be handed out in a separate live event on the CCMA Instagram account on Saturday evening.

Townes, who shot her portions of the CCMA Awards stateside, has a storied history with the organization that stretches back to when she was a budding teenage artist.

The singer pulled in her first nomination nearly a decade ago when she was 17, but it wasn’t until last year when she emerged the big winner, picking up four trophies, including female artist and single of the year for “Somebody’s Daughter.”

Since then her popularity has been on the rise, helped by the release of her first major-label album “The Lemonade Stand” under Columbia Nashville in June.

Critics praised the record as a heart-thumping pocketful of optimism, with songs like “Holding Out for the One” and “Come As You Are” considered the sorts of beer-bottle clanking anthems that would’ve rocked the bar in any other year. In the face of the pandemic, those songs found homes on streaming music playlists and country radio stations.

“Jersey On The Wall (I’m Just Asking),” which also appears on her album, is nominated twice at the CCMA Awards, for video of the year and songwriters of the year, a nod which Townes shares with co-writers Tina Parol and Gordie Sampson.

“It’s such a wonderful feeling to have the community that I grew up inspired by really wrapping their arms around this music,” Townes said of the recognition.

“The fact that the songs are being heard out there, it’s such a dream.”

Among the CCMA categories slated to be given out on the broadcast are entertainer of the year, where the Reklaws and Dallas Smith are nominated alongside Townes, Brody and Kissel.

Single of the year nominees are Jade Eagleson (“Count the Ways”), Smith (“Drop”), James Barker Band (“Keep It Simple”), High Valley (“Single Man”) and Brody (“Whiskey in a Teacup”).

Album of the year nominees include Brody’s “Black Sheep,” Kissel’s “Now or Never,” Tenille Arts for “Love, Heartbreak, & Everything Between,” James Barker Band’s “Singles Only” and Meghan Patrick with “Wild As Me.”

Follow @dfriend on Twitter.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published September 23, 2020.

David Friend, The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID cases climb in central zone, Red Deer

The total number of active COVID-19 cases in the province reached 3,138… Continue reading

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s municipal affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Energy industry support won’t injure municipalities

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Premier Jason Kenney participated in a livestream on Oct. 17, 2020. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
UCP members pass resolution at AGM calling for privately funded health care option

EDMONTON — Members of Alberta’s governing United Conservative Party have narrowly endorsed… Continue reading

“We weren’t sure what to expect with just doing the 50/50. We have been positively surprised with sales so far,” says Craig Fleming, co-chair of the Red Deer Kinsmen Club’s raffle. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Non-profits put their money on 50/50 draws

COVID impacts fundraising events

Student taking a math test. (Pixabay photo)
David Marsden: Students need more testing, not less

Testing has been central to Alberta’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s… Continue reading

This image taken with a slow shutter speed on Oct. 2, 2019, and provided by the U.S. Air Force shows an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile test launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Pentagon has raised to $95.8 billion the estimated cost of fielding a new fleet of land-based nuclear missiles to replace the Minuteman 3 (Staff Sgt. J.T. Armstrong/U.S. Air Force via AP)
Pentagon estimates cost of new nuclear missiles at $95.8B

Pentagon estimates cost of new nuclear missiles at $95.8B

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2020, file photo Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks towards the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington. New virus relief will have to wait until after the November election. The architect of the Senate measure, McConnell, isn’t claiming the vote will advance the ball. Once the measure fails, he plans to turn the chamber's full attention to cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court by confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Deadline looms, but COVID relief deal may be far off

Deadline looms, but COVID relief deal may be far off

Large earthquake off Alaska prompts tsunami fears, fleeing

Large earthquake off Alaska prompts tsunami fears, fleeing

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his granddaughter Finnegan Biden, leave mass at St. Joseph On the Brandywine Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del., Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. The Biden family walked to pay respects at his son Beau Biden's grave. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Trump goes after Fauci, tries to buck up his campaign team

Trump goes after Fauci, tries to buck up his campaign team

FILE - This Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, shows Zion National Park near Springdale, Utah. A California woman who was missing for about two weeks in Zion National Park in Utah has been found and left the park with her family who had feared the worst, authorities said. Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, of Los Angeles, was found Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, by search and rescue crews after park rangers received a tip that she had been seen in the park, Zion National Park officials said in a news release.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Woman missing for 2 weeks found safe in Zion National Park

Woman missing for 2 weeks found safe in Zion National Park

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference about training for judges Monday October 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Commons gives approval in principle to judges’ sexual assault training bill

Commons gives approval in principle to judges’ sexual assault training bill

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau appear at the WE Day celebrations in Ottawa, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. WE Charity covered nearly $24,000 in expenses for Sophie Grégoire Trudeau's attendance at eight events over eight years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Tories to force debate on anticorruption committee as Liberals warn of consequences

Tories to force debate on anticorruption committee as Liberals warn of consequences

Most Read