Alberta sweetheart Brett Kissel is taking on Ontario bro-country act James Barker Band as the two homegrown favourites lead this year’s Canadian Country Music Association Awards with five nominations each.
Kissel picked up nods in numerous categories that include male artist and entertainer of the year. James Barker Band is in the running for group or duo and single of the year.
Both entertainers will compete against each other in the songwriter category, as well as for interactive artist, which recognizes the country performer who best uses their online presence to interact with fans.
They also picked up nods for the fan choice award, alongside eight other contenders that include the Hunter Brothers, Tim Hicks and the Reklaws.
Watch below: How Canadian country duo The Reklaws came up with their name
In the best male artist category, the nominees are Kissel, Paul Brandt, Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, Dallas Smith.
Best female artist nominees are Lindsay Ell, Jess Moskaluke, Meghan Patrick, Guylaine Tanguay and Tenille Townes.
The CCMA organizers will also dust off their entertainer of the year award 30 years after it was retired. The prize, which they call their highest honour, goes to the solo artist, duo or group, who has shown “the greatest competence in all aspects of the field.” Paul Brandt, Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, Kissel and Dallas Smith are contending this year.
The CCMA Awards take place Sept. 8 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, and will air live on Global TV.
Watch below: The Reklaws announce the nominees for two CCMA Award categories