The Forest City is set to go country.
Over the next 4 days, London will be taken over by performances and appearances by the top talent in Canadian Country Music. The whole week will lead up to the Canadian Country Music Awards on Sunday.
The show will be broadcast live on CBC and will be hosted by Jessi Cruickshank.
This is the first time the Canadian Country Music Awards have ever been held in London and Tourism London officials say Country Music Week will be the largest non-sporting event London has ever hosted.
The week will begin with a launch event at Talbot Street and Covent Garden Market Square.
Tourism London’s Chris Campbell told AM980 Country Music Week allows you to check out cool events that won’t break the bank.
“It’s a great opportunity for artists and music enthusiasts and fans. There are free events and family friendly events, fan fest which takes place on Saturday is a free event at the Western Fair at the Metroland Media Agriplex, that’s free from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.”
AM980 sister station Country 104 is broadcasting live Thursday morning from 5:30a.m. until 10a.m. at the corner of Dundas and Wellington with a live performance with Meghan Patrick at around 8:30 a.m.
Several Corus Radio London personalities will be taking part in the Knights vs. Country Artist Road Hockey Game at Budweiser Gardens at noon.
Thursday afternoon will feature the first session of the CCMA Songwriters’ Series, which celebrates the crafting of original songs and the stories behind the words, indulging listeners with both new and familiar faces in the process.
The set at Wolf Performance Hall beginning at 1p.m. will be hosted by Wes Mack and feature Mike Robins of Autumn Hill, The Lovelocks, and Alex Runion. Another set beginning at 2p.m. will feature Steve Wilkinson, Bobby Wills, Stacey Lee Guse, and Kelly Prescott.
“It’s just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really get an appreciation or a better understanding of that song-writing process so that’s a unique event,” said Campbell.
Tickets are $25 each.
The Canadian Country Music Association’s Discovery Showcase at London Music Hall will see the six 2016 CCMA Discovery Program finalists come together one last time, as each performs separately and vies for the attention of a secret panel of judges who are onsite to decide this year’s CCMA Discovery Award winner (presented at Saturday’s private industry event, the CCMA Gala Dinner & Awards).
The host for the event, which runs from 8p.m. until 11p.m., will be Beverley Mahood. Tickets are $25 each.
The Jack Daniel’s Country Music Week Kick-off Party is also kicking off at 8p.m. Thursday. The free, 19+ event will close Talbot Street between the crossroads of King Street and Dundas Street, and will launch the 40th anniversary celebration of Country Music Week.
Branded the Fanshawe College and Downtown London Stage at Budweiser Gardens, Thursday night’s line-up includes: Amy Nelson, James Barker Band, PETRIC, Meghan Patrick, JoJo Mason, Cold Creek County, Aaron Pritchett, and Tim Hicks.