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Country Music Alberta Awards: recap of St. Albert recipients

Rising star Hailey Benedict and established artist Aaron Goodvin were two big winners

St. Albert's Hailey Benedict scooped up a handful of awards over the weekend at the premier Alberta country music awards show. 

Many of the province’s biggest names in country music were part of the 13th annual Country Music Alberta Awards held Sunday, March 10 at the Edmonton Convention Centre. 

Benedict, one of the biggest draws, took home three awards that night including Horizon Female Artist of the Year, Interactive Artist of the Year and Horizon Single of the Year for Damn you July

After picking up her hardware for Horizon Single of the Year she gave a short, slightly breathless speech that included a note of gratitude to Canadian co-writers Rich Cloke and Elias James. 

“My gosh. My goodness. This is so special. I am a fan of all the music in this category and I’m constantly inspired by all the musicians in Alberta. Thank you for the opportunity to write this song and all the fans out there,” said Benedict.  

And later when receiving The Horizon Female Artist of the Year, she added, “My heart is so full. I want to give a shout out to all the women in this category. You are all trailblazers and an influence on me. Thank you to all.” 

Aaron Goodvin, who arrived the night before from playing a concert in Wichita, took home two of the top awards: Male Artist of the Year and Single of the Year for Country Dance

As he stepped up to the microphone to accept his trophy for Single of the Year, Goodvin said, “Holy man. I totally was not expecting this. This was a very hard song to put out. It was the first time I teased a song on social media and people started saying it was as good as Lonely Drum. We worked on it and it took us two weeks to put it out.” 

And later in the evening when Goodvin picked up Male Artist of the Year hardware, he said, “I’m so grateful for each and every vote for me. I didn’t think I’d win. All you guys in this category are feature artists. We have some of the best male artists in Canada and I’m so proud to be a part of this.” 

Elsewhere at the award ceremony, St. Albert singer-songwriter-producer Dan Davidson with co-presenter Rodney Philips presented the Roots Artist of the Year to Kyle McKearney. And champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand Jr. from Alexander First Nation gave a mesmerizing performance dancing, twirling and shaping about a dozen hoops into a ball. 

There were plenty of notable performances during the packed show including Benedict, Nice Horse, Julia Vos, Ashleigh Ghostkeeper, Brayden King, Tommy Charles and Kyle McKearney, recipient of both Roots Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. 

One of the most entertaining segments of the evening was St. Albert’s Jackie Rae Greening and Brett Kissel giving a humorous and touching tribute to George Fox as the 2024 Inductee into the Hall of Fame. 

Fox grew up on a cattle ranch near Cochrane and played country music alongside Canadian and American greats. Instead of moving to the United States for more lucrative gigs, he chose to remain in Canada. Fox loved Canada and fans repaid him with loyalty. 

“Being in the Hall of Fame feels pretty darn good. You can go back. You just can’t go all the way back. But listening to those songs makes it pretty darn close,” said Fox referring to the snippets of his songs Kissel played. 

A complete list of winners is online at     

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