When it was released earlier this year, Johnny Reid's latest, Fire It Up, was labelled his "crossover" album. However, if there were doubts about Reid's continued influence in Canadian country music, those questions were answered at the unveiling of the 2012 CCMA Award nominations. The Ontario-based songwriter and previous CCMA Award winner leads the pack with eight nominations for 2012, including single, album, producer, fans' choice and male artist of the year.
Other artists also showed well at the announcement, made Wednesday morning at a press conference in downtown Toronto. Dean Brody's big year keeps getting bigger, as the Smithers, B.C., native is up for seven awards, including single of the year ("Canadian Girls"), album of the year (Dirt) and male artist of the year.
The 15 nominations between Reid and Brody set up a rematch of sorts. The two artists each won a trio awards at last year's CCMAs.
Also heavily in the mix is Albertan Gord Bamford. The "Is It Friday Yet?" singer has also been nominated for six awards, and was added as a performer for the awards ceremony this September in Saskatoon.
"It's big," Bamford said of his six nominations. "Obviously the country music scene in Canada is strong, and this is the one time of year you get to see everybody. But there's still that competitive nature that wants to win."
Terri Clark, who won the the Juno Award winner for country this year for her album Roots and Wings, is up for a trio of awards, including album of the year for Roots and Wings.
Like Bamford, Clark was added to the list of artists performing at this year's ceremony. International country stars Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and the Pistol Annies, will join a growing list of this year's nominees including Reid and Brody, George Canyon, Paul Brandt, High Valley and Chad Brownlee.
"To be added to the award show is probably what we're most excited about," said High Valley's Brad Rempel, who are nominated for group of the year. "We love nominations and that's great, but our favourite thing to do is perform for our fans."
Chad Brownlee says he's also excited to gather with his friends and peers.
"Canadian country music is almost like a small town," Brownlee said. "No matter where you live in Canada, there are very few degrees of separation between the artists, the management and everybody that's associated with the music, which I think is very cool."
The complete list of nominees is below:
Fans' Choice Award
Single of the year
"Canadian Girls," Dean Brody
"Fire It Up," Johnny Reid
"Is It Friday Yet?" Gord Bamford
"Somebody Somewhere," Dallas Smith
"They Don't Make Em' Like That Anymore," Jason Blaine
Album of the year
16 & 1, Doc Walker
DIRT, Dean Brody
Fire It Up, Johnny Reid
Give It Away, Paul Brandt
Roots And Wings, Terri Clark
Songwriter(s) of the year
"Canadian Girls" (written by Dean Brody; performed by Dean Brody)
"Fire It Up" (written by Marty Dodson/Alan Frew/Johnny Reid; performed by
"Is It Friday Yet?" (written by Gord Bamford/Roger Brown/Byron Hill;
performed by Gord Bamford)
"Mainstreet, 1979" (written by Deric Ruttan; performed by Deric Ruttan)
"They Don’t Make 'em Like That Anymore" (written by Jason Blaine/Deric Ruttan; performed by Jason Blaine)
CMT video of the year
"Canadian Girls," Dean Brody
"Fire It Up," Johnny Reid
"Give It Away," Paul Brandt
"I’m Your Man," Ryan Laird
"In This House," the Stellas
Female artist of the year
Carolyn Dawn Johnson
Male artist of the year
Group or duo of the year
Roots artist or group of the year
2012 CCMA All-star Band Award nominees
Matthew Atkins (Jason Blaine)
Mark Branconnier (Gord Bamford/studio)
Steve Broadhurst (Doc Walker)
Chad Melchert (Gord Bamford)
Brad Tebble (Hey Romeo)
Nick Czarnogorski (Johnny Reid/the Stellas)
Lisa Dodd (Gord Bamford)
Curtis Ebner (Hey Romeo)
Dennis Marcenko (One More Girl/the Higgins)
Travis Switzer (Deric Ruttan/Jason Blaine/Pear)
Jason Barry (Jason Blaine/Dean Brody/Aaron Lines)
Ryan Davidson (Gord Bamford)
Darren Gusnowsky (Hey Romeo)
Matt McKay (Gord Bamford/Carolyn Dawn Johnson/session)
Murray Pulver (Doc Walker)
Keith Floen (the Travelling Mabels/Session)
Scott Galloway (Dean Brody)
Mike Little (Alee/George Canyon)
Bart McKay (Brad Johner/Aaron Lines)
Rob Shapiro (Hey Romeo)
Denis Dufresne (Pear/Deric Ruttan)
Lynae Dufresne (Pear)
Shane Guse (Jason Blaine/George Canyon/the Western Swing Authority)
Donny Parenteau (Donny Parenteau)
Ali Raney (Jason Blaine/Jason McCoy/Tara Oram)
Jeff Bradshaw (session)
John Ellis (Ridley Bent/session)
Smokey Fennell (Danny Hooper/Brett Kissel/Krysta Scoggins)
Doug Johnson (Jason Blaine/Tonya Kennedy/session)
Ed Ringwald (George Canyon)
Shane Chisholm, gastank bass (Shane Chisholm)
Denis Dufresne, mandolin (PEAR)
Shane Guse, mandolin (Jason Blaine/George Canyon)
Robin Pelletier, mandolin (Gord Bamford)
Curtis Rempel, mandolin (High Valley)
2012 CCMA Industry Award nominees
Management company of the year
Cache Entertainment Inc.
MDM Recordings Inc.
O’Reilly International Entertainment Management
RGK Entertainment Group Inc.
Booking agency of the year
The Agency Group
Big Air Entertainment
Cressman Sakamoto Agency
Ron Sakamoto talent buyer or promoter of the year
Kelly Berehulka (Casinos of Winnipeg)
Jim Cressman (Cressman Sakamoto Agency)
Lindsay Ell/Rod Tate (Calgary Stampede)
Rob Waloschuk (Dauphin's Countryfest/Performance Promotions)
Larry Werner (Big Valley Jamboree/Panhandle Productions)
Country club of the year
Cook County Saloon, Edmonton, Alta.
The Corral, Oshawa, Ont.
Duke’s Country Club, Grande Prairie, Alta.
Ralph’s Texas Bar & Steakhouse, Medicine Hat, Alta.
Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall, Calgary, Alta.
Album design of the year
Mitch Nevins/Mark Maryanovich/Jill Snell, Dirt (Dean Brody)
Patrick Duffy/Rob Waymen, Is It Friday Yet? (Gord Bamford)
Jason Blaine/Megan Chalmers, Life So Far (Jason Blaine)
Mediavandals/Brandon Heard/Sheila Hash, Love Me or Leave Me (Chad
Antoine Moonen/Ivan Otis, Roots and Wings (Terri Clark)
Interactive artist of the year
Video director of the year
Stephano Barberis ("Is It Friday Yet?" Gord Bamford; "Somebody Somewhere," Dallas
Antonio Hrynchuk ("Carried Away," Chad Brownlee; "Down Dusty Roads," Bryce
Margaret Malandruccolo ("I'm Your Man," Ryan Laird; "In This House," the
Stellas; "Maybe," One More Girl)
Troy Niemans ("I'm Gone," Victoria Banks; "Honky Tonk Groupie," Codie
Prevost; "I Will Wait," Six West)
Warren P. Sonoda ("Saddle Up," George Canyon)
Music publishing company of the year
EMI Music Publishing
Grand & Gee Music Group
Royalty Music Publishing Inc.
Universal Music Publishing Group
Record producer(s) of the year
Gord Bamford/Byron Hill (Is It Friday Yet?, Gord Bamford)
Jason Blaine/Jason Barry (Life so Far, Jason Blaine)
John Ellis (16 & 1, Doc Walker)
Bart McKay (Journey On, Todd Richard)
Johnny Reid (Fire It Up, Johnny Reid)
Recording studio of the year
Armoury Studios, Vancouver, B.C.
Barrytone Studios, St. Clements, Ont.
Bart McKay Productions, Saskatoon, Sask.
MCC Recording Studio, Calgary, Alta.
The Drive Shed Recording Studios, Toronto, Ont.
Record company of the year
On Ramp Records Inc.
Open Road Recordings
Royalty Records Inc.
Sony Music Entertainment (Canada) Inc.
Retailer of the year
HMV Canada Inc.
Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack
Walmart Canada Corp.
Country music program or special of the year
Coast to Coast (CJVR-FM)
Canadian Country Spotlight (syndicated)
Chevrolet Top 20 Countdown (CMT)
Employee of the Week (CMT)
Johnny Reid – Fire It Up Live (CMT)
Country festival, fair or exhibition of the year
Big Valley Jamboree, Camrose, Alta.
Calgary Stampede, Calgary, Alta.
Dauphin's Countryfest, Dauphin, Man.
Manitoulin Country Fest, Little Current, Ont.
Summer Send Off, Ponoka, Alta.
2012 CCMA Broadcast Award nominees
Music director of the year: major market
Larry Donohue, CFCW, Edmonton, Alta.
Chris Harding, CJBX-FM, London, Ont.
Mark Patric, CJJR-FM, Vancouver, B.C.
Scott Phillips, CKRY-FM/CISN-FM, Calgary, Alta./Edmonton, Alta.
Jay Richards, CJWW, Saskatoon, Sask.
Music director of the year: secondary market
Shilo Bellis, CJXL-FM, Moncton, N.B.
Tim Day, CKGY-FM, Red Deer, Alta.
Cal Gratton, CIXM-FM/CJVR-FM, Whitecourt, Alta./Melfort, Sask.
KT Timmermans, CFRM-FM, Little Current, Ont.
Peter Walker, CJKX-FM, Oshawa, Ont.
Johnny Reid, Up Close Podcast
Q&A: Dean Brody
Q&A: Jason Aldean on Canadian country, Kelly Clarkson and the CCMA Awards
Full coverage of the CCMA Awards
Johnny Reid, Paul Brandt, George Canyon, Eric Church added to 2012 CCMA Awards
CBC Live - CCMAs - Q&A: Tenille on Her CCMA Humanitarian Award
Miranda Lambert to Perform at the CCMA Awards