Edmonton country fans are polishing their boots and spurs in preparation for next week’s big events: the Canadian Country Music Association Awards and Country Music Week are riding into town, and Edmonton fans have many reasons to hoot and holler in celebration.
This year marks the second year that Edmonton has hosted the events, which CCMA President Don Green attributes to the hugely successful event back in 2010. “There are many reasons why we love [hosting the event in] Edmonton,” says Don Green, “including: incredible government, business and community support, spectacular venues, a dedicated and solid volunteer base, and many local enthusiastic and passionate music lovers.”
Not only should Edmontonians celebrate for their fantastic hosting skills, but homegrown Brett Kissel — recent winner of the 2014 JUNO Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year — leads the pack with 8 CCMA Award nominations, including Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year! “It’s an indescribable feeling to be leading the way,” says Kissel. “I remember watching my first CCMAs in Edmonton with my mom, Brenda, and telling her that, ‘One day I’ll be up on that stage!’”
Kissel’s happy to be visiting Edmonton, and admits that what he misses most about the city is attending an Edmonton Oilers game. “Whether I’m with friends, family, or business associates, it’s always a blast watching a game in Oil Country!” The city holds a special place in Kissel’s career, as it’s had a strong influence on his music and songwriting. “Growing up on a cattle ranch outside of Edmonton allows me to sing about country music freely and from a special point of view,” says the country star. “Having performed thousands of times in the Edmonton area, I’ve been able to develop my craft and morph into the entertainer I am today.”
Kissel’s also looking forward to being back in the same city as one of his top 5 favourite restaurants in all of Canada: Hardware Grill. “The servers Garry and Steve take excellent care of my wife and I when we come in, and I feel as though we’re family there. Not to mention it’s likely the best restaurant in the city for presentation and flavour.”
The CCMA Awards take place on Saturday, September 7, and Kissel will perform along with other greats such as Terri Clark, Jann Arden, Kira Isabella, and Dallas Smith. And Country Music Week starts Thursday, September 4 with artists taking the stage at various venues throughout the city including the Citadel Theatre, Shaw Conference Centre, and West Edmonton Mall. These events will feature performances from Tom Cochrane, MacKenzie Porter, Paul Brandt, and many more!
For full details on performers, event times, and purchasing tickets, visit the CCMA website here!
— By Matthew Stepanic