Our History

Canadian Country Music Association

History & Mandates


The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization committed to the promotion and recognition of Canadian country music. Built upon the foundation to educate, elevate and celebrate Canadian talent, the CCMA progressively heralds the spirit, community and creativity that country music fosters.


Since 1976, the CCMA has been committed to ensuring the growth and development of the Canadian country music industry. Through education, communication, information, promotion and recognition, the CCMA offers members these advantages in an increasingly competitive environment. Core to these efforts is Country Music Week. It is the focal point for the organization and its members, providing professional development opportunities, showcasing slots, and an opportunity to heighten awareness and increase exposure for Canada’s country music artists.

Originally founded as the Academy of Country Music Entertainment in September 1976 during an “RPM Magazine” function, the first Board of Directors under President Hank Smith set out to organize, promote and develop a Canadian country music industry, which included the founding of Country Music Week.

The very first awards presented in coordination with Country Music Week were the RPM Big Country Awards. It wasn’t until 1982 that the association inaugurated its very own Canadian Country Music Association Awards.

In 1987, the organization’s name was officially changed to the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). Growing in both reputation and experience, the CCMA was able to secure a broadcast partnership with CTV Television which allowed the 1987 Canadian Country Music Association Awards to be televised for the first time coast to coast to coast. The CCMA continued its partnership with CTV until 1998.

It was in 1999 that the CCMA entered into a new partnership, now with CBC Television, with encore broadcasts on CMT in Canada. The 2005 Canadian Country Music Association Awards were also broadcast for the first time on the U.S. Network GAC (Great American Country) and on CMC (Country Music Channel) in Australia.

It can be said that music is the very soul of this country, and reflects the true identity of Canada. As the country genre evolves to embrace new styles, it is reflecting new versions of our Canadian identity, as well as our heritage. Country Music Week and the Canadian Country Music Association Awards continue to be a celebration of the music and the artists that represent our unique culture.