OFFSTAGE: Open the Show at Canada’s Capital Hoedown

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Taylor Swift only has one show on her tour calendar so far this year. It’s in Ottawa, Canada, at the Capital Hoedown. . And guess what? Concert organizers are looking for an act to open the show on Aug. 11 when Canadian country singers Dean Brody, Tara Oram and Chad Brownlee will also perform prior to Swift’s headlining appearance. Want to apply for the gig? The Hoedown has partnered with OurStage.com to discover an undiscovered country talent, all online. They’re calling it the Capital Hoedown Showdown . And all you have to do is submit your very best original country music before June 25. There will then be three rounds of judging, and then the big winner will be chosen from the Top 40 artists based on things like presentation, originality, melody, vocal ability, lyrics and entertainment value. If you win, you’ll get a 45-minute main stage performance slot on Aug. 11. And you get $2,000 for your travel expenses. And while they don’t list this as one of the prizes, you get to see a Taylor Swift concert. That has to be the grandest grand prize of all.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.