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New Country Spirit and the Country Music Association of Ontario announce the Top 3 winners of the Emerging Country Music Artist Showcase.

Port Credit, Ontario, April 17, 2018– New Country Spirit, today announced the Top 3 winners of the Emerging Country Music Artist Showcase – a partnership initiative with the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario).

Thirty-nine contestants, including solo artists and bands of all ages from across Ontario submitted their video of either a cover or original song. The videos were featured on the New Country Spirit Facebook page and after just seven days of ‘votes by views’, the artists accumulated more than 145,000 total combined YouTube views, with a total reach of approximately 105,000. Artists submitted 15 creative cover songs and 24 original songs. Ten finalists were selected from the talented group of 39 and a panel of music industry professionals independently reviewed the artists’ video submissions. The Top 3 winners of the 2018 New Country Spirit & CMAOntario Emerging Country Music Artist Showcase are:

Grand Prize Winner: Big City Lights – Toronto, ON
Second Prize Winner: Mackenzie Leigh Meyer – Hamilton, ON
Third Prize Winner: Nicole Rayy – Oakville, ON

Big City Lights

“One of our goals for the Showcase was to expand country music artists’ fan base by helping them be seen and heard online and at a ‘live’ performance. For our first year doing this type of project, we couldn’t be happier with the combined total of 145,000 new YouTube views for the 39 artists that applied to the Showcase. Those 145,000 new views translate to almost a 30% overall increase in ‘viewership’ for the artists!” said Wendy Perry, Owner of New Country Spirit. Wendy went on to say, ‘Thank you to the artists that applied for the Showcase opportunity. We truly are lucky to have such a talented country music community in Ontario. We would also like to thank CMAOntario for partnering with us on this project, to our host venue, The Mississauga Waterfront Festival for providing a live performance opportunity for our winners, and to all our prize contributors. Most of all, thank you to all the fans, friends and followers for taking the time to support the Showcase participants – by liking, sharing and viewing you have contributed to the development of country music artists in Ontario…your engagement made a difference and who knows what future opportunities lie ahead for these artists”.

Mackenzie Leigh Meyer

The Grand Prize Winner has won a performance opportunity on the Tim Horton’s Main Stage at Mississauga Waterfront Festival on June 16, 2018, $300 in New Country Spirit merchandise, a $200 honorarium donated by CMAOntario, a professional photo shoot with Brandon Ferguson Photography valued at $500, a $100 Gift Card donated by Rock N Horse Saloon in Toronto and complimentary CMAOntario Conference & Awards show package for 2019 (priceless!).
“Congratulations to all of the artists that participated in the New Country Spirit & CMAOntario Emerging Country Music Artist Showcase,” said CMAOntario President, Catherine Faint. We would like to thank New Country Spirit for partnering with us on this initiative that showcases our members’ talents. We would also like to thank The Mississauga Waterfront Festival for providing a great performance opportunity for the Showcase winners to ‘take the stage’! As always, thank you to the country music fans in Ontario, Canada and around the world for supporting our members.

Nicole Rayy

New Country Spirit’s Emerging Country Music Artist Showcase, in partnership with CMAOntario, has given Ontario artists the opportunity to be seen and heard both on-line and ‘live’ on the Tim Horton’s Main Stage at the Mississauga Waterfront Festival. We are committed to building our ‘country’ community by supporting local artists and their never-ending passion for creating and sharing stories through music.

About New Country Spirit
New Country Spirit is all about country – the lifestyle, people, places, our beautiful countryside and the music! Our lifestyle products focus on the ‘spirit’ behind country and we are quickly becoming the go to place for high quality, artisan-crafted, Canadian-made pieces such as belt buckles, belts, jewellery, boot accessories, and more. New Country Spirit collaborates with artists who proudly handcraft high quality items with creativity and passion. You will find us on-line at and at festivals, fairs, farmers’ markets, and rodeos. Our line of boot accessories is now available at Coakley’s in London, Ontario.

We are just as committed to growing our country music community and are proud of our partnerships with country music artists and our brand Ambassadors. Go to and check out our Artist of the Month feature and our Brand Ambassadors. This year we launched our Event Services that provides individuals and organizations access to country and country-inspired entertainment and services such as music performers, choreographers, line dance instructors and dancers, DJs and photographers. We also provide grant writing services for individuals (e.g., musicians, artists, etc.) and organizations (e.g., festivals, BIAs, etc.).

Whenever we get the chance, we choose shows, festivals, events, etc. that in some way benefits the community. We have been honoured to be part of:
Fort McMurray Fire Fundraiser at Phoenix Theatre, Mississauga Waterfront Festival-Credit Goes Country, Queen Elizabeth School Fair December, Scarborough Hospital Sip, Shop & Celebrate Women, Line Dancin’ for Miracles hospice fundraiser in Collingwood, Mississauga-Dixie Rotary Line Dancing fundraiser, Warm Coats/Warm Hearts Benefit concert with Elyse Saunders, Ty Baynton, Julia Haggarty and Kris Barclay.

About the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario)
The Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAOntario) is an Ontario-based, province-wide, not-for-profit organization. The objective of the CMAOntario, through the leadership and experience of our Board of Directors, is to celebrate, foster and support the growth and development of Ontario’s country music community and all those associated with the Ontario country music infrastructure – provincially, nationally and internationally.

Media Contact
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Wendy Perry at 905-867-6152 or email


In 1995, Steamworks first took hold of their historic, Gastown brewpub location, only to discover the building had a rare steam heating system – a remnant from forward thinkers of a century past. Deep within the building’s core they found a network of underground steam pipes – the same pipes that run through Gastown’s historic steam clock. Intrigued by the concept of direct steam powered brewing, something the brewmaster had only read of but never seen, they ventured forth and to create a one-of-a-kind steam fired brewery; the first in Canada. To their delight, they found test brews to be distinctively fresh and flavourful.

For nearly 25 years, beer aficionados have traveled to Steamworks famous brewpub to savor these unconventional and award winning brews. In 2012, Steamworks proudly launched their packaged products, adorned with distinctly whimsical branding and filled with delicious steam brewed craft beer. Under the auspices of brewmaster Julia Hanlon and her brew team, Steamworks continue to produce the finest quality craft beers such as their Flagship IPA which was awarded ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Best IPA’ at the 2016 BC Brewing Awards.

Today the “little brewery that grew” sells bottles, tall cans, bombers and kegs throughout B.C., several Canadian provinces and U.S. states, central Europe and Hong Kong. All the while, still brewing with the power of steam.

Steamworks Brewery
3845 William Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
phone: 604.620.7250


ARKELLS – Hamilton, ON

Arkells are a Canadian rock band, formed in Hamilton, Ontario. In 2006, they signed with Dine Alone Records, and have since signed with Universal Records Canada and Last Gang Records. They are managed by Last Gang Management. They have released four albums, two EPs and a number of singles that have charted in Canada. The band has won multiple Juno Awards, including one for their album High Noon in 2015.

The band is named after Arkell Street in the Westdale neighbourhood of Hamilton, near McMaster University, where they lived and would practice their music. All five original band members attended McMaster. Kerman met guitarist Mike DeAngelis at a McMaster Welcome Week event where the two discovered they had an identical taste in music.

Arkells are a critically acclaimed rock n roll band, known for their classic songwriting, electric live show, and workman like touring ethic. Their new album, High Noon, was produced by Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks, M83) and these collection of songs are the band’s most unabashed effort yet – politically charged, heart on your sleeve lyrics combined with adventurously modern and throwback production stylings.

Hamilton, Ontario Canada

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