Yesterday, the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) announced the list of final nominees for this year’s annual awards, to be held June 16 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. With this marking the 7th year of the awards, there’s history happening here. Here’s a look at some of the major categories and some interesting facts:

-the Fans’ Choice award began in 2016 with James Barker Band, Tim Hicks, Meghan Patrick, The Reklaws and Tebey as the final nominees this year; James Barker Band and Meghan are the only nominees this year who have won in this category before; no one has won more than once (previous winners are Cold Creek County in 2016, James Barker Band in 2017 and Meghan Patrick last year – making Meghan the only solo artist to win); and Tim Hicks is the only nominee this year to have been nominated every year the award has been in existence;

-in the Male Artist category, this year’s nominees are Jason Blaine, Jim Cuddy, Eric Ethridge, Tim Hicks, Andrew Hyatt and Tebey; Jim and Eric are first-time nominees; Jason and Tim are previous winners; Tim holds the record for most wins with 3 and he’s the only artist to have won in back-to-back years (2014 and 2015); Jason Blaine, who’s won twice before (2016 and last year), is the only nominee who has been nominated every year since the awards began;

-in the Female Artist category, Leah Daniels, Kira Isabella, Jessica Mitchell, Meghan Patrick and Tianna Woods are nominated this year; every nominee this year has been nominated before; only Jessica and Tianna have never won before; Kira and Meghan have won two awards each, the most in this category, and both did it in consecutive years (Kira in 2013 and 2014, and Meghan in the last two years);

-this year’s Group or Duo nominees are James Barker Band, Cold Creek County, Johnson Crook, The Redhill Valleys and The Reklaws; this is the first year Johnson Crook and The Redhill Valleys have been nominated; Cold Creek County are the only nominees this year who have won in this category before – in fact, they hold the record for most wins (3), which they’ve won the last three years in-a-row (a record for most consecutive wins);

-Tim Hicks and Meghan Patrick lead the pack with the most nominations this year…six each;

-this year will be the first time Ottawa will serve as the host city; Markham hosted the first four shows (2013-2016) and London the next two years (2017-2018);

-Jason McCoy returns for the sixth consecutive year as host; Charlie Major hosted the first show in 2013.

Check out the full list of nominees on the CMAOntario website:

I’ll have more in a future post! Good luck to all the nominees!