Seasoned and up-and-coming singers and musicians from across the province will be in Red Deer for the 11th Annual County Music Alberta Awards on March 19 and 20.
The gala dinner and awards ceremony will take place at the Cambridge Hotel on Sunday, March 20 after a kick-off party and open mic performances on Saturday, March 19.
Since last year’s awards ceremony had to be held virtually, due to the pandemic, Dan Clapson, a Country Music Alberta board member, said everybody’s looking forward to getting together in person this year.
“People are excited to be doing these kinds of things again,” said Clapson, who described awards night as a culmination of all of the country music talent in Alberta.
He believes pandemic rules in this province were looser than in many other places across the country, so many Alberta performers were still able to play to audiences for most of the past two years — albeit to smaller crowds.
“Now shows are getting bigger again… and there will be a lot of live performance gigs.”
The Country Music Alberta weekend event will feature performances by Nice Horse, Alex Hughes, Newlaw, and Robert Adam during a Kick-off Party and Open Mic evening at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 19.
On Sunday, March 20, fans can hear the stories behind the songs at Songwriter’s Showcases, featuring The Dungarees, Devin Cooper, Brettyn Rose, Annika, Emet, and Shaela Miller. (There will be two sessions, from noon and 1:30 p.m.).
The gala dinner and awards ceremony will follow. And this year, after-dinner tickets will be sold to “fan zone” seating during the award presentations at 6:30 p.m. on March 20.
Nice Horse and Renegade Station will be in the running for Horizon Group of the Year, along with The Dungarees, Dirt Road Angels, The Prairie States and As High As We Go. (Horizon awards are for up-and coming musicians, who are honoured in separate categories from more seasoned veterans, said Clapson.)
Nominated in the group category are Road Hammers and High Valley.
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford is up for a Male Artist of the Year Award, against Brett Kissel, Jade Eagleson and Aaron Goodvin. Female Artist of the Year contenders include Tenille Townes, MacKenzie Porter and Lindsay Ell.
As well, up to six Horizon female and male artists were nominated.
Other awards will be distributed: Album and Single of the Year, Musician and Songwriter of the Year, Youth and Roots artists of the Year, Fan’s Choice and Community Spirit Awards. As there is recognition for best video, interactive artist, radio station, and venues.
For more information or tickets to the various events, please visit countrymusicalberta.com/11th-annual-cmab-awards/