Heart of the Country: Four Manitoba Acts To Showcase at Country Music Week in Saskatoon

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Four Manitoba acts are packing up their guitars and their cowboy boots and heading to Saskatoon to showcase at this year’s PotashCorp Country Music Week. Presented by Manitoba Music, with the Manitoba Counry Music Association, at Amigos Cantina on September 7, the Manitoba Showcase will feature performances by some of the province’s best emerging country talent, including: JUNO Award-nominated singer/songwriter Del Barber; upbeat duo Keith & Renée; crooner Jerry Sereda; and country/pop newcomer Kyla Cederwall.      

Barber has been making waves with his latest recording, Headwaters, after signing with Toronto indie label Six Shooter Records and management/agency Paquin Entertainment. The hard-touring artist, who picked up two Western Canadian Music Awards in 2011, has snapped up considerable national buzz and critical acclaim, including a performance on CBC’s Q with Jian Ghomeshi. 

Keith & Renee’s newest album, Best Day, landed a 2012 Western Canadian Music Award nod for Country Recording of the Year. The busy duo has logged a lot of hours on the road, including a coveted opening spot on Jann Arden’s western Canadian tour in 2011.

Sereda’s sophomore effort, Turn the Country On, picked up a 2012 Western Canadian Music Award nomination for Aboriginal Recording of the Year. He won a North American Indigenous Image Award for Outstanding Music Video in 2011 for his song “Ain’t Learned Nothing Yet”.

Cederwall burst onto the country scene with performances at last year’s Aboriginal Music Week and a debut recording, Just Drive, with producer and co-writer Jason Gordon of Studio 11

Manitoba country stars Doc Walker will also be in Saskatoon for Country Music Week festivities, including a performance during the nationally-televised Canadian Country Music Awards on September 9. The band is up for four awards this year, including Group of the Year and Album of the Year. Other Manitobans up for hardware at the CCMAs including Ridley Bent, Casinos of Winnipeg’s Kelly Berehulka, Paquin Entertainment, and two nods for Dauphin’s Countryfest

Industry events like Country Music Week are vital to the market development and career advancement of Manitoba artists and music companies. The showcase offers these acts an opportunity to connect with industry tastemakers and continue to build on their success on the national stage.

Manitoba Music has presented successful showcases at South by Southwest, Reeperbahn, Musexpo, North by Northeast, International Folk Alliance, Canadian Music Week, and more. The showcases are an initiative of Manitoba Music’s Market Development Program, which is funded by the Government of Canada and Province of Manitoba through the Canada-Manitoba Economic Partnership Agreement, and by FACTOR with the support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada's Private Radio Broadcasters.

Manitoba artists and industry professionals were able to access financial support for their showcases at Country Music Week through the Market Access Program, a program jointly funded by Manitoba Music and Manitoba Film & Music.

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