The boots, hats, and belt buckles will be on full display in London over the next four days as Country Music Week has descended on the city.
Artist workshops, performances, and plenty of concerts are on tap for the downtown core in the lead-up to the Canadian Country Music Association Awards Show
Thursday night’s Jack Daniel’s Country Music Week Kick-off Party will make sure that fans are rocking with a lineup headlined by Tim Hicks.
The show is 19+ but is free to the public, and runs from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m.
The Fanshawe College & Downtown London Stage has Talbot St. closed between King and Dundas Streets for performances all weekend.
Meanwhile, Songwriters’ Series workshops will also take place each day of the four-day festival.
London native Genevieve Fisher told AM980 it’s great to be able to work with some of the greats that she has looked up to.
“They’re all so humble and kind, just being around them they kind of take you in and they truly make you feel so welcome,” she said.
A full list of fan events for this year’s Country Music Week can be found on the CCMA website.
Thursday afternoon’s street hockey game between about a dozen CCMA All-Stars and a handful of London Knights was the beginning of the schedule of events.
— Tom Fraser (@thomfraser) September 8, 2016
The game, which was played in jest, likely missed a few calls and had a number of goals by the Knights squad waved off in an effort to get the game to a shootout.
In the end, the CCMA All-Stars took the win, with the score being a minor footnote.
CCMA President Don Green was on hand to welcome everybody and said the feeling hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“It’s kind of surreal all the little details, even today, that goes into it. It’s so amazing to be here. I was just talking to the mayor about how easy it is to work with London. Everybody’s very cohesive, from all the planning departments and venues,” he said. “Everybody’s heard about London. London is a country music town, all acts go through here now. It’s hard to compare, but we’re so glad to be here.”
Country Music Week 2016 marks the third time in 17 years that it is being hosted by a city in Ontario (Hamilton 2011, Ottawa 1999).
The four-day event wraps up with the CCMA Awards on Sunday night starting at 6:45 p.m. The John Deere Green Carpet will be rolled out along Talbot St. for special guests between 4:30 and 6 p.m.