Some of the ACMA awards night winners from 2016. Photo via Facebook

Two awards nights in Red Deer in January

With two awards nights slated in January, Red Deer entertainment fans sure have an excuse to get dressed up and add some new names to their playlists.

The first awards show in 2018 is the second annual Red Deer Entertainment Awards Jan. 13 followed by the Association of Country Music in Alberta Awards Jan. 28.

Red Deer Entertainment Awards sheds light on more than just the local music industry.

The awards recognize comedy artists and venues in the city and the surrounding area.

Red Deer Entertainment Awards nominations for the year are: Promoter, Venue Recognition, Open Stage, Artist/Group, New Group, Cover Band, Singer/Songwriter, Comedy Achievement, Comedy Recognition, and Special Contribution.

The awards night will showcase videos by local artists released in 2017: For Now Feel Better by The Pits, One More Dose by Kayla Williams, and Good Enough by Ms Teaze.

Jesse Roads, founder of the Red Deer Entertainment awards said, this year, the number of categories open to public votes has gone up.

Last year, there were more recognition-type awards rather than open for vote categories.

Roads said he would love to see more categories added in the future.

“Because entertainment is so much more than music I would love to see the theatre industry recognized,” he said.

The ACMA awards night has added four new categories to its list this year: Entertainer, Youth Artist, Radio Station, and Country Venue.

Jenn Dalen, one of the 10 board of directors at ACMA, said the Entertainer of the Year celebrates a big name in the Alberta Country music industry.

“It would be artists like Gord Bamford or High Valley,” she said.

The youth category will celebrate achievements of someone who is just starting out.

“We have some really great young, up and coming, talent in our province, and this (award) is to celebrate them,” she said.

ACMA awards nominees have be association members. The 300-plus members in the province vote for their favourites. Top 10 contenders for each category are announced followed by a top five, which takes country music fans into the awards night.

Male Artist, Female Artist, Group or Duo, Fan’s Choice, Talent Buyer, Industry Person, Song, Album, Video, Musician are some of the other categories.

Fan’s Choice of the Year is not only voted by members but also the general public.

The association has also announced Ian Tyson as the 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee, which is chosen by the board of directors.

ACMA Awards has grown into a two-day event after a significant growth in attendance and members. Two seminars, round table discussions and the 2017 songwriter series will be part of the weekend Jan. 27-28.

For a full list of categories visit http://www.abcountrymusic.ca/awardRules.aspx

For tickets for ACMA awards visit abcountrymusic.ca.

For tickets for Red Deer Entertainment Awards visit brownpapertickets.com.

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