What’s happening in London this weekend?
Country Music Week, the Western Fair and O-Week at Western University will all be on this weekend, which is shaping up to be one of the busiest in London this year.
Friday is day two of Country Music Week in London with events planned throughout the entire weekend leading up to the Canadian Country Music Association Awards on Sunday.
The 140th edition of the Western Fair starts Friday and runs until September 18th.
Orientation Week at Western University started September 5th with the Opening Ceremonies on UC Hill and continues over the weekend. O-Week will culminate with a free concert
September 11th on UC Hill featuring The Arkells with special guest Darcys.
The concert starts at 6 p.m. and will be a dry event, meaning no alcohol allowed.
Country Music Week is the largest non-sporting event ever held in London. It provides a unique opportunity for local country music stars such as Genevieve Fisher and Jessica Mitchell.
Fisher told AM980 she’s proud of her hometown roots and has no plans to leave.
“Sometimes I get people asking me, ‘do you think you’ll make the move to Nashville’ and I always so no. I’ve gained such great success staying in my hometown so at this point in my career I don’t see a reason for me to leave because there is such a following of country music here in the city. ”
Country music has grown in recent years in London and across the country.
The creation of Country 104 is seen as an example of the growing influence of country music on the Canadian music scene.
Mitchell is up for an award on Sunday night, Mitchell has been nominated for the Roots Artist of the Year Award and told AM980 being nominated is an incredible experience.
“It was overwhelming, just very overwhelming. It’s your peers who are voting for you so it’s a nice feeling to be respected enough to get that.”
A list of all the nominees for the Canadian Country Music Association Awards can be found here.
The Country Music Week fun continues on Friday, with residents invited to a free event called “Music Rescues.” Visitors to the Delta Armories from 1:30p.m. until 3:30p.m. Friday afternoon will get to meet various country artists and see dogs and cats available for adoption from the London Humane Society.
AM980’s Andrew Lawton will be surrounded by Candian Country Music royalty when he broadcasts live at the Strut Social House at Lonestar from the AM980 rooftop studio Friday afternoon from 1pm-3pm.
Gord Bamford will be visiting the Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre on Friday to present a $10,000 cheque to Children’s Health Foundation in support of the hospital’s Music Therapy Program.
The second session of the CCMA Songwriters’ Series is scheduled from 5p.m. until 7:30p.m. Friday at the Wolf Performance Hall. The set at 5p.m. will feature Jamie Warren, Jason Benoit, Keith and Renée, and Darren Gusnowsky & Rob Shapiro of Hey Romeo.
The set at 6:15 p.m. will feature Eddie Eastman, Jaida Dreyer, Genevieve Fisher, Jeff Johnson. Tickets are $25 each.
The outdoor stage at Budweiser Gardens on Talbot Street and the Covent Garden Market Square will play host to the 3rd annual Bamford Bash on Friday night from 7:30p.m. until 8:30p.m.
The free, 19+ event will see three time and current nominee for CCMA Artist of the Year Gord Bamford perform some of his best known hits. He’ll also welcome other stars to the stage, including Kira Isabella, JoJo Mason, Jason Benoit, Jesse Mast, Chris Buck Band, and Lindsay Ell.
When the Bamford Bash wraps up at 8:30p.m. Friday, the outdoor stage at Budweiser Gardens will begin a Tribute to the Tragically Hip featuring the Lovelocks, Tim Moxam, David James, Endless Summer, Eric Etheridge, Casey May, The Dungarees, and Leah Daniels.
The timing for the Tragically Hip tribute is near perfect, on Friday it was announced Hip front man Gord Downie would be releasing a new solo album and graphic novel in October.
Meantime, Centennial Hall is hosting the CCMA Legends Show: A Tribute to Yesterday and Today from 8p.m. until 10p.m. Friday night.
The event will pay tribute to Canadian country hits of the past by pairing some of Canada’s most cherished country artists, including Hall of Fame inductees, with rising and current stars of the industry.
Performers for the show include The Abrams, Donna and LeRoy Anderson, Marie Bottrell, Johnny Burke, George Canyon, Doc Walker, Murray McLauchlan, Jessica Mitchell, Small Town Pistols, The Western Swing Authority, The Wilkinsons, Bobby Wills, and Michelle Wright. Tickets to the event are $40 each.
The Huron County FanFest begins Saturday at the Metroland Media Agriplex, Western Fair District.
The festivities wrap up on Sunday with the John Deere Green Carpet Event followed by the CCMA Awards Show.