Watch above: After breaking records as event host in 2012, all eyes will be on Saskatoon as the Canadian Country Music Awards return in 2017. Aaron Streck finds out whether organizers feel any added pressure to make it bigger and better than before.
SASKATOON – Saskatoon will be rolling out the green carpet once again for the country’s best and brightest in country music. After hosting the Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA) in 2012, PotashCorp Country Music Week returns to the Bridge City in September 2017.
“It was an easy choice, it has everything that we need, the venues, the community support, the volunteers and we had such a great time here in 2012, it was an easy choice to come back here,” said CCMA president Don Green.
Three years ago Saskatoon shattered the awards attendance record with almost 11,000 people packing SaskTel Centre.
“I think the closest to that was 9,000,” said Green.
“This is one of those events that just fit with a city our size,” said Tourism Saskatoon president and CEO Todd Brandt.
About $5.8-million was generated in Saskatoon by hosting the CCMAs and, not phased by pressure to be bigger and better the next go-round, organizers believe that number should increase to between $6- and $8-million in 2017.
“We have the facility infrastructure to blow this one out of the water,” said Brandt.
“SaskTel Centre can handle about 15,000 patrons so we’re excited about trying to build on that momentum from 2012, a lot of the same host committees we had have agreed to return which is super from a volunteer perspective.”
Some Saskatchewan country artists were on hand for the announcement and are thrilled to have the event back in their own back yard.
“It means the world to me to come back to Saskatchewan to do this because it’s home, my family and friends can come and it’s just so great to be able to show off my home province to the rest of my peers in country music,” said 2014 CCMA Female Artist of the Year Jess Moskaluke.
September 7-10, 2017 may seem like awhile to wait but officials know it’s going to be a lot of hard work over the next two years leading up to a week of national attention and country music fun.
The CCMAs are in Halifax this September and London, Ontario in 2016.