For the first time ever, the Canadian Country Music Awards will be telecast live throughout North America. TNN and CMT Canada will simulcast the two-hour event on Monday, Sept. 11, (9 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET) from Edmonton’s Skyreach Centre, where a live audience of 8,000 will be on hand. Terri Clark and Paul Brandt will host.
Announcement of the historic development was made Aug. 17 by Tom Tompkins, president, Canadian Country Music Association; Brian Hughes, vice president, Programming, TNN; and Vicki Dalziel, general manager, CMT Canada.
“We’re delighted that TNN and CMT Canada have joined together to bring this event live to audiences in both Canada and the United States,” said Tompkins, who had announced Aug. 2 that the 2000 Canadian Country Music Awards would not be televised this year.
This marks the 14th consecutive year that the Canadian Country Music Awards have been telecast. Since 1993, TNN has re-telecast the event on a tape-delay basis. Last year, CBC telecast the awards special live from Ottawa; previously CTV had telecast it live for 12 years (1987-1998). More than 1 million Canadian viewers have tuned in to the annual awards program each year in the past.
“Canada is a very important resource for country music around the world and this annual awards show is quality television, celebrating the best country music Canada offers,” said Hughes. “We want to make sure that viewers throughout North America have the opportunity to share in the excitement of this special night — via simulcast on both TNN and CMT Canada.” Hughes noted that in the past, approximately 1 million U.S. homes have watched TNN’s taped telecasts each year, in addition to TNN’s Canadian audience.
“The Canadian Country Music Awards celebrate everything that is great about country music in Canada,” said Dalziel. “We’re proud to team up with TNN to bring this celebration into the homes of Canadians so that they too can join the music industry in applauding the tremendous efforts and dedication of those who make Canadian country music something we can all be extremely proud of.”
Brandt is reigning Male Artist of the Year. He and Clark are nominated for the Chevy Fans’ Choice Award. Among the many other nominees are Julian Austin, Tara Lyn Hart, Shania Twain and The Wilkinsons. Twain and Hart lead the list with six nominations each. The final round of voting, with 1,700 members of the Canadian Country Music Association taking part, is underway now. The Chevy Fans’ Choice Award is voted by the public and the Top Selling Album award is based on sales figures in Canada.
JST Productions of Toronto will produce the telecast. Aidan Cosgrave of JST Productions is co-producer of the special with Michael Watt, who also will serve as the show’s director.