The Canadian Country Music Awards are returning to Calgary for the 10th time.
The 40th annual CCMAs will also bring a week of country music to town with a number of live performances scheduled to take place before the awards ceremony on September 11.
The event is expected to inject $12 million into Calgary’s economy.
Tuesday’s announcement marked the first live performance at the National Music Center’s Country Music Hall of Fame in more than two years. Local pop-country artist Megan Dawson and 26-time CCMA winner Gord Bamford played a short set of songs.
“The city of Calgary, as you all know, has a very rich music history… a Canadian country music history,” said Andrew Mosker, founding president and CEO of NMC.
Tickets for the CCMAs, which will be held at the Saddledome, go on sale May 20. Prices starting at $50. Until then, fans can find special pre-purchase codes on CCMA social media channels to pre-purchase tickets.
Bringing back live music is important
The first round of CCMA membership voting began last week on May 11 Contestants in that round of voting will decide the top 10 finalists in each category A third round of voting will take place in July, and will decide the final top 5 nominees.
Last year Canadian country music superstar Brett Kissel took home the Fan Choice Award. Albertan Tennille Townes took home her third female artist award in a row. Dallas Smith, who was recognized as the most played Canadian country act of 2021, took home the Male Artist of the Year award.
Amy Jenninga, president of the CCMA, said bringing the awards ceremony back to Calgary this year is extremely important to the organization.
“It feels really fitting and right to be here at 40,” he said.
“This community is absolutely incredible; Great fans, such incredible talent from here, and it must be amazing to have the Country Music Hall of Fame here. It seemed like the perfect community to celebrate.”
He said it was also really important to be able to bring fans back to live performances at the CCMAs. Especially two years after the pandemic.
“Over the past few years I’ve been really inspired by how everyone has still managed to stick together and make each other better, but individually and together means the world to all of us.”
Ben Graham, host chair of the 2022 awards, said there had been demand from fans to return to private events.
“It will be a big deal. The amount of fans that will come into town to take part in it—we’ve seen the demand at other shows so far, whether it’s a Flames game or an Edmonton Oilers game,” he said.
“So I think it’s going to be a really great week, not just at the Saddledome, but across all the venues that are going to be packed.”
A major boost to the local economy
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said nothing beats performers reconnecting with Calgarians in person.
“I’ve spent time during the pandemic talking to a lot of artists, including musicians and performers, and of course, I’ve had those conversations on Zoom and the (Microsoft) teams, and it’s really hard. It’s hard to perform and not see it with people,” he said.
Mayor Gandek spoke about its impact on the city’s hospitality industry. Overall the CCMAs are expected to generate more than $12 million for the city’s GDP.
“Being able to get events back is fantastic for the economy and for those business owners. Never mind that we have a stampede coming,” he said.
“It’s important for our city to be a host city, especially for events like this, when you think about the arts and culture scene and what it does to provide a great quality of life for people.”
He said the benefits exceed $12 million to make Calgary an attractive place to live This allows employers to attract the talent needed to fill jobs in the economy.
“People who want to live in Calgary also want to have the opportunity to play here. It is this kind of event that can happen,” he said.