NEWS 2011

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2011 - Nov - Canberra Country Music Awards Announced

The Canberra Country Music Awards presented on the Sunday of the Canberra Country Music Festival, saw Doug McIntyre take three awards, and Connie Kis Andersen and Chris E Thomas emerge with two each.

An up and coming local artist, Sami Cooke from Young, received the special Brindabella Award of two tickets to attend the Tamworth Festival in January 2012. This award was made possible by Brindabella Airlines to encourage local artists to develop.

The Canberra Country Music Awards has a unique national and regional component with all the artists judged together under the various category headings. Where the best in a category is won by someone outside the Canberra Region, they receive the National Award and the best artist from within the Canberra Region is given the Regional Award.

The 2011 winners were:

  • BEST COUNTRY ALBUM - National & Regional Award - Australian Son – Doug McIntyre

  • AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE SONG - National & Regional Award – Carrathool Races – Doug McIntyre

  • OPEN CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY SONG - National Award – A Man In Boots - Connie Kis Anderson

  • OPEN CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY SONG - Regional Award – Roger That – Steve Cheers

  • OPEN COUNTRY INSTRUMENTAL - National Award – Gidgee After Rain – Lindsay Butler & Peter Simpson

  • BEST PRODUCTION (ENGINEER/ARRANGEMENT) - National & Regional Award – Rusted On – Michael Bond & Steve Newton

  • ALTERNATE COUNTRY SONG - National Award – A Girl Gets By – Marta Pacek

  • ALTERNATE COUNTRY SONG - Regional Award – She Never Looked Back – Sami Cooke

  • BLUEGRASS/MOUNTAIN MUSIC SONG - National Award – Hillbilly Hippy – Bowen & Clare


  • BUSH BALLAD SONG - National Award – Gentleman Joe – Dianne Lindsay

  • BUSH BALLAD SONG - Regional Award – Brown Snake – Brewn’

  • CHILDRENS COUNTRY SONG - National Award – Tony’s Farm – Brothers 3

  • CHILDRENS COUNTRY SONG - Regional Award – The Fish Song – Jeff Aschmann

  • COUNTRY SWING SONG - National Award – Workin’ – Chris E Thomas

  • COUNTRY SWING SONG - Regional Award – None

  • COUNTRY GOSPEL SONG - National Award – Life’s Railway To Heaven – Connie Kis Andersen

  • COUNTRY GOSPEL SONG - Regional Award – None

  • COUNTRY ROCK SONG - National Award – My Baby Loves Me – Kel-Anne Brandt

  • COUNTRY ROCK SONG - Regional Award – Speed Of Love – Steve Cheers

  • FOLK/AUSTRALIANA SONG - National & Regional Award – Australian Son – Doug McIntyre

  • HONKY TONK SONG - National Award – Workin’ – Chris E Thomas

  • HONKY TONK SONG - Regional Award – None

  • ROCKABILLY SONG - National & Regional Award – Write Off - Brewn’

  • TRADITIONAL COUNTRY SONG - National Award – Old Fashioned – Paul Seils

    2011 - Nov - Canberra Country Music Festival People's Choice Awards Announced

    Each year, the Canberra Country Music Festival undertakes a survey of patrons over the three days of the event to seek out the most popular artists based on their performance at the Festival. These Awards were presented as the finale at the Sunday closure of the Canberra Country Music Festival.

    The 2011 People's Choice winners were:


  • BEST FEMALE PERFORMER - Catherine Britt (NSW)




    2011 - Nov - Canberra Country Music Festival Country's Got Talent Awards Announced

    Each year, the Canberra Country Music Festival host the "Country's Got Talent" competition and awards. These Awards were presented as the finale at the Sunday closure of the Canberra Country Music Festival.

    The 2011 Country's Got Talent winners were:

  • BEST MALE - Heath Harper (VIC)

  • BEST FEMALE - Lorena Quinlivan (ACT)

  • BEST JUNIOR MALE - Max Mustonen (NSW)


  • BEST SUB-JUNIOR MALE - Jack Maren Hermans (NSW)


  • OPEN DUO OR GROUP - Vicki Walsh + Lorena Quinlivan (ACT/NSW)


  • RISING STAR - Sami Cooke (NSW)

    There were no Veterans entrants and so no award in this category.

    2011 - Nov - Canberra Country Songwriting Awards Announced

    Steve Passfield was judged the best in the Canberra Country Songwriting Awards, taking out the Best Country Song Gold Award with Old Friends. The same song also won Steve the Outstanding Country Lyrics Award and the Outstanding Country Music Award.

    Chris Booker took the Best Country Song Silver Award with One Step Closer, while the Judges Commendation Award was given to Kathy Coleman for Why Did You Go.

    The Country Composition Youth Award, for a writer aged under 18 years, was given to Jennifer Renee Hannam.

    The judges commented on the high standard of the entries received, the awards for which, were presented on the Saturday of the Canberra Country Music Festival held last weekend.

    The full list of winners is:

    BEST COUNTRY SONG GOLD - Old Friends – Steve Passfield (NSW)

    BEST COUNTRY SONG SILVER - One Step Closer – Chris Brooker (NSW)

    OUTSTANDING COUNTRY LYRICS - Old Friends – Steve Passfield (NSW)

    OUTSTANDING COUNTRY MUSIC - Old Friends – Steve Passfield (NSW)

    JUDGES COMMENDATION AWARD - Why Did You Go – Kathy Coleman (NSW)

    COUNTRY COMPOSITION YOUTH AWARD (Under 18 Years) - No One’s Girl – Jennifer Renee Hannam (WA)

    AUSTRALIANA - Dunedoo Station – Kathy Coleman (NSW)

    BALLADEER - A Fair Dinkum Aussie Bushman –Patricia Thompson (Qld)

    BLUEGRASS - She Gets To Me – Steve Passfield

    CHILDREN - Tony’s Farm – Alita Fahey & Brothers 3 (NSW)

    CONTEMPORARY - No One’s Girl – Jennifer Renee Hannam (WA)

    COUNTRY BLUES - Slimy Bob – Alita Fahey (NSW)

    COUNTRY GOSPEL - Choir In Heaven – Loorena Quinlivan (NSW)

    COUNTRY ROCK - Get Up – Michael Bond & Anthony Barbara (ACT)

    FOLK/ALTERNATE COUNTRY - Old Friends – Steve Passfield

    ROCKABILLY - That Happy Feeling – Alita Fahey & Makirum Fahey-Leigh (NSW)

    TRADITIONAL - Western Plains Drover – Patricia Thompson (Qld)

    WESTERN SWING - The Only Thing – Juanita Cucinotta (ACT)

    2011 - Oct - Performers Excited, Major Sponsor, NZ Congrats, Music Row, Hotel Packages Updates

    a) McGraw, Britt, Carters + Marquez Excited For Evening Concerts

    As November draws nearer there is a sense of anticipation from many of the headline artists performing at this year’s Canberra Country Music Festival.

    “I’m jumping out of my skin” says Texan Bobby Marquez who visited Australia earlier last year and loves the place. Nashville country star Sean Patrick McGraw has been briefed on Australian Rules by Aussie surfer fans from California says “It’s my first time downunder and I’m really looking forward to Canberra and Aussie audiences”. Catherine Britt is presently touring with James Blundell and also excited about performing on Saturday night at the Festival. Carter & Carter are returning from Mud Bulls & Music especially to perform Friday and Saturday in Canberra.

    b) Major Sponor Update

    The Canberra Country Music Festival is proud to announce that The Tradies Club in association with the CFMEU and Quality Hotel are major sponsors of this year’s event. The Tradies operates club premises in both Dickson and Woden with excellent restaurants and facilities for members, with Quality Hotel located next to each club premises. The CFMEU is Australia’ main trade union in the construction, forestry and forest products, mining and energy sectors and a leader in OH&S.

    c) Congratulations New Zealand

    Aly Cook is a finalist in the NEXT Magazine’s Woman Of The Year in New Zealand. She was nominated as Female Country Music Artist of the Year in 2010 and represents New Zealand at the Canberra Country Music Festival and we wish her well!

    d) Music Row Update

    Music Row is abuzz with new attractions. Berketa Guitars and Trusound Studios will be sought by musicians, as will the Country Music Clubs and Regional Country Music Media booths. New stalls include Regional Rodeos, Brindabella Airlines and beneficiaries Special Olympics Australia, MS Australia and Snowy-Hydro Southcare. And there are regulars the Festival Shop, AIMA & Monaro Folk Society.

    e) Hotel Packages With Discount Tickets

    For visitors looking for reasonably priced hotel accommodation check out the packages available from Abode Apartment Hotel and Quality Hotel Dickson. The packages includes discounted Festival tickets with discounted room rates. The links are on the website of call them direct: Abode: 1300 122 633 Quality: 02-6247 4744

    f) Camping Sites Aplenty

    Exhibition Park are now taking bookings, so call Tracey on 02-6230 5793. Never fear as if you are arriving outside of normal business hours, just grab a camping spot and visit the office on the next business day and provide your details. It’s that easy!

    g) Tickets

    Both Weekend and Day Festival Tickets can be purchased online via Ticketek, or discount packages are available for music, dance, camping, bowls and motorhome clubs and Seniors Cardholders - see website @ www.canberracountry.com For tickets online please visit the Ticketek website.


    2011 - Sep - Headline Performers, Music Videos, Outback Club Updates

    a) Headline / Breakthrough Performers Confirmed

    What a lineup of performers in 2011 - headline and breakthrough artists. We are proud to announce the participation of:

  •   Catherine Britt (NSW) - Australia’s most successful country music performer on international market, including Nashville! Full band appearing Saturday night.

  •   Sean Patrick McGraw (USA) - The “Springsteen of American Country” direct from Nashville and fresh off his tour with Toby Keith and chart hits “Dollar Ain’t Worth A Dime” and “My So Called Life, Exclusive to CCMF11 - not to be missed!  

  •   Lachlan Bryan (NSW) - As part of his Fly By Night tour, alternate country frontman of the Wildes launches his debut album on Core Records distributed by Sony.

  •   John Flanagan & The Begin Agains (VIC) - Southern bluegrass that’s both fun and musically class all the way from this 6 piece toe-tappin’ outfit turning heads.

  •   Rod Dowsett (NSW) - With his new album Rod is bringing his tour bus and unique performance in 2 Festival shows. More intimate, passionate & confronting country.

    b) Talent Quest Prizes

    There are still have places available in the “Country’s Got Talent” Quest with great prizes available including: Recording Session (for Best Performer Overall Winner @ Tru Sound Music) and a new guitar (donated by Better Music - Phillip for Best Instrumentalist), so check out the Festival website and fill in the entry form to show the world your talents.

    c) 150 Linedancers Needed For Music Video Shoot

    We need 150 linedancers for a new music video to be filmed at the Festival for US contemporary country sensation Sean Patrick McGraw! More details here

    d) Camping Information Update

    Exhibition Park are now taking bookings, so call Tracey on 02-6230 5793. Never fear as if you are arriving outside of normal business hours, just grab a camping spot and visit the office on the next business day and provide your details. Also check our website for a dedicated brochure on the camping facilities and information.

    e) Outback Club VIP Tickets Available For Headline Concerts

    Canberra Country Outback Club members get preferential front of house seating for the celebrity evening concerts on Friday and Saturday as well as VIP meet n greets with performers (bring your camera)! Members also get a certificate and it only costs $10 extra payable at the Ticket Office or Festival Shop.


    2011 - Aug - Rising Star Performers, John Denver Tribute + Forum Trends!

    a) Rising Star Performers

    Here’s some briefing on some the artists performing at this year’s festival (with more listed on the website). Many are releasing new albums:

  •   Bobby Marquez (Texas USA) - Exclusive to Canberra Country is the “Malboro Man” from Texas. His catchy melodies have soared up the Texas charts with top twenty hits and his first number one single, "That's Life." Main Stage Friday

  •   Doug McIntyre (NSW) - Rising Male Artist of the Year winner at Mildura with true blue Aussie hits from the heart. Doug sings about heritage, life and family in his new album Australian Son on the Southern Cross Main Stage Saturday

  •   Aly Cook (NZ) - Award winning kiwi country at its best from New Zealand’s highest airplay contemporary country artist with songs of love, heritage and life. She’s also a competitive rider raising horses for export and a Festival judge!

  •   Queen Juanita & The Zydeco Cowboys (ACT) - Stepping out of the 1950s are royalty of country swing and cajun dance with a touch of rockabilly. Tight rhythms and a danceable attitude make this one of the hottest retro country bands around.

  •   Peter Christie Mountain Folk (NSW) - Hailing from the beautiful Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Peter Christie is an artist who’s music draws inspiration from country, bluegrass and the gospel music tradition. Class musician with great harmonies.

  •   The Rain (QLD) - Surprise CCMF10 hit impressed with their contemporary country rock flavour reminiscent of The Eagles with a lot more local originality. This year the Sunshine Coast boys feature their new CD album “One More Shot”

    b) John Denver Tribute Concert

    This year CCMF tributes John Denver - who brought country music to young and old alike. Despite the many hits rarely does anyone perform but a few due to the high passionate vocals. Virtuoso Ian Wholohan brings us the closest to John’s pure vocal and guitar style = not to be missed!!!

    c) Festival Forum Trends - Blondes, Meat, ABC, Dusty + Little

    The CCMF Forum reveals Aussie and Asian food are the most popular with not a single vote for vegetarian so far! Blonde females dominate favourite artists, ABC local and community radio most popular radio, and Slim & Jimmy favourite country music legends - Join the forum @ www.canberracountry.forumotion.com


    2011 - Jul - Friday Night Lineup, TSA/Songwriting Awards + Festival Vendors

    a) Friday Night Lineup

    2011 is our 3rd year and certainly a huge lineup of local, national and foreign country music talent. Just take a look at Main Stage the evening of Friday 18 November:

  •   Carter + Carter (VIC) with eight national #1 country music hits, on both the Country Tracks Top 30 chart and Music Network charts as well as nine other Top 10 hits markets, winners of Golden Guitar, APRA Most Performed Country Work Award , CMAA Industry Achiever Award for Independent Entertainer of the Year for 3 consecutive years, 10 Australian Independent Country Music Awards, multiple TSA Songwriting and ACMLA People’s Choice awards - need we say more?

  •   Kel-Anne Brandt (NSW) country music “Little Dynamo” with the huge voice and a decade of hits and awards in Australia and overseas as well television series and variety appearances. CCMF11 is privileged to have Kel-Anne perform from her new album as well as her past hits for the fans.  

  •   Steve Passfield (NSW) Golden Guitar & TIARA Barry Thornton awards winner leading songwriter with his latest album and some classics from the legendary Handpicked Band he founded. Truly the country player’s choice he’s endorsed by Fender, Gretsch and Guild guitars! And yes, he’s also conducting a guitar workshop.

  •   Brewn (ACT) the Canberra country rock band that recently launched the first 3D Country Music Video as a follow-up to their award winning hit "Lazy" and outstanding Tamworth performances.  Performing their new album "Rusted On”

  •   Top Secret Guest Artist - details to be revealed later …….

    b) TSA, Song Central @ Canberra Country Songwriting Awards

    The Festival is proud to announce TSA and Song Central participation in the Canberra Country Music Festival with displays and TSA Showcase building up for Tamworth.

    This augers well for the Canberra Country Songwriting Awards to be presented on the Saturday afternoon with celebrity presenters Entry forms @ website.

    c) Food Vendors

    This year’s Festival will see even greater variety in food availability ranging from Indian to Mexican to Thai meals from our favourite vendors of past years to newcomers like Nando’s and New Madras Indian Cuisine. You can keep tabs on the prospective Festival menus by checking the website over the next few months.


    2011 - Jun - RW Williams’ @ Canberra Country This November!

    The famous Longhorn Express is coming to the Festival in November. At 20 metres in length the legendary bush outfitters will have their full range on board for visitors and performers alike.


    2011 - May - Canberra Country Stages Confirmed

    Canberra Country Music Festival stages have been confirmed with most favourites retained from last year's sucessful event.

  • Southern Cross Main Stage - within the Budawang Building

  • True Blue Stage - for balladeers and competitions

  • Federation Stage - grey nomads haven, workshops and forums

  • Sessions Stage - unplugged singer/songwriters

  • Bundy Bar Stage - our blackboard walk-up stage


    2011 - Apr - Tickets Available @ Ticketek Now!

    Tickets are now onsale from Ticketek agencies and online from the Ticketek website.

    And yes we have held the Earlybird Festival Weekend Pass @ $55 - so get in quick before prices increase to their normal price!


    2011 - Mar - Festival Promotional Activities

    The Canberra Country Music Festival You’ll find Canberra Country promotional personnel many places including:

    12-13 February - Multicultural Festival - Canberra ACT

    2 March - Queanbeyan Rodeo - Queanbeyan NSW

    2 April - Braidwood Rodeo - Braidwood NSW

    14-16 April - Illabo Country Stampede - Illabo NSW

    21-25 April - National Folk Festival - Canberra ACT

    14-15 May - IronFest - Lithgow NSW


    2011 - Feb - CCMF11 Festival Tickets Available End Of March

    Tickets to this year’s Canberra Country Music Festival will be available from the end of March online from Ticketek. This organisation handles numerous country music acts, including Lee Kernaghan’s “Planet Country” tour last year and of course, CCMF 10 for which we are grateful. How to get tickets? Just click on the word “Tickets” on the website’s top right menu bar. Then click on Ticketek which will pop up a new window that you can securely book directly on with your credit card. Or visit a Ticketek outlet including Songland.


    2011 - Jan - Festival Preview CCMF11

    The date is set for 8— 20 November, the venue is the same venue as last year — Exhibition Park In Canberra (EPIC) Canberra. The early bird tickets at an amazing low price of only $55 for the whole weekend are already on sale and you can fill in the booking form for your tickets or camping from our website and beat the rush.

    We have a great line up of artists — some from 2010 by poular demand and some new faces to the Festival appearing. Our dedicated Balladeers “True Blue” stage will be available again this year and look forward to many great artists on this stage.

    We are also looking at having a bigger and better area for our Ute Car and Truck Muster.

    Keep checking our website for regular updates giving details of artists, competitions etc. Tell your friends and family to keep the 18 - 20 November available and get your early bird tickets early before you miss out.