The Edmonton Muse February 2019 - Page 40

January 26th and 27th brought the annual Association of Country Music in Alberta Awards Weekend to Red Deer. At just ten years old, the ACMA is one of the youngest and still growing organizations of its kind in the country. The weekend brings the best in Independent country music from across the province to gather and recognize those who have achieved above and beyond over the previous year. The weekend is broken into a jam packed two days, each with a specific focus. Saturday, along with trying to check into the hotel, is set up with a series of six round table discussions. If you are not familiar with round table, it is as it sounds. Tables are set up in a room and discussions are held, each focusing on a topic that may have been seen as an issue over the past year or it may be strictly informative. After a predetermined time, the speakers stay seated and the group at the table gets up and moves to the next, bringing a new group to each table where the presenters start again.

The topics of discussion this year were;

Social Media and Branding with one of the best for this topic, country group, Nice Horse.

Song Writing with Drew Gregory and Joni Delaurier.

ACMA Q&A with ACMA Board Members, Jenn Dahlen of Real Country 95.5 and Angie Morris from Sirroma Entertainment.

Booking Gigs 101 with agent Carla Hackman from the Sakamoto Agency.

The Road to Radio with on air personalities, Cory Noel 96.5 CKFM in Olds and Phil Kallsen from Country 105 in Calgary.

Streaming and Beyond with Greg Torrington, Stingray Music and Rob Smith from Royalty Records.

If you didn't get enough out if that, keynote speaker Rob Lanni of Coalition Music covered everything else. This was an extremely infomative event that was put together and co-presented by Alberta Music.

Just when you thought the day was full, the ACMA presented not one, bu two rounds of the ever popular Songwriters Circle. Session one had Bob Donaldson, Andrea Nixon, Kat Zel and Tim Isberg (see feature article) tell the stories behind their songs, followed by an acoustic version. The stories ranged from the romantic to the war torn. Hosted by SOCAN Award winning songwriter Troy Kokol, the second session had Hannah Gazso, Tracy Millar, Dustin Farr and Kevin Knopf take the day to early evening.

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

--Jazz Matthews--