Canadian Country music stars excited for in-person 2021 CCMA Awards and performing live again – London

With vaccine rates at all-time highs and things starting to get back to normal, many of Canada’s country music stars are looking forward to celebrating the 2021 CCMAs in person.

This week, London, Ont., is playing host to the Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA) after last year’s awards, like many other events, were forced to go virtual because of the pandemic.

The award show from the Canadian Country Music Association will be one of the first major entertainment events to be hosted in the city since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. London last hosted the awards in 2016.

With 89.26 per cent of Canadians 12 and older partly vaccinated and 86 per cent fully vaccinated, many performers are excited to see each other off the computer screen and performing in person again.

“It is wonderful. There are so many people we met virtually that we get to meet for the first time,” said Tim Neufeld of Tim & The Glory Boys.

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“We signed with Sony Music a few months into the pandemic so it was nice to last night meet a bunch of the team for the first time.”

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The band is nominated for CCMA Group or Duo of the Year and the CCMA Rising Star award.

Tim & The Glory Boys have been touring around parts of the West Coast in the United States this last year, but Neufeld said he is happy to be back in Canada and getting ready to start touring with Tenille Townes for her The Girl Who Didn’t Care Tour.

“This is where we tour 90 per cent of the time, and we are absolutely giddy like school girls to get onto that stage in front of Tenille Townes, starting here in London for a few days and going across the country for the first time in a long time,” Neufeld said.

People enjoying live music at the SiriusXM Top of the Country Finale Concert on Nov. 26, 2021.

Supplied by @ccmaofficial

Canadian-American country music singer Aaron Goodvin told Global News being nominated for two CCMAs is great but “it comes second to just getting to see everyone.”

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“I thrive on being around people and being able to hug people,” Goodvin said.

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Goodvin is nominated for CCMA Interactive Artist or Group of the Year and Songwriter(s) of the Year for his song Every Time you Take Your Time, which he performed and wrote alongside Ed Hill and Jimmy Ritchey.

Others, like Ontario country music singer Ty Baynton, said after going from around 150 shows a year to almost none, he is happy to be back at the CCMAs and is looking forward to getting back on the road to perform in front of a crowd again.

“It’s like a family reunion, and normally we would do this once a year, but to be back and have some form of normal is nice for a change.”

The official awards gala will get underway Monday, Nov. 29, at Budweiser Gardens at 8 p.m., and will be livestreamed on the Global TV app and Prime Video, as well as being simulcast live on Country 104 in London, Country 105 in Calgary and CISN in Edmonton.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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