SiriusXM and the CCMA open voting for Top of the Country semi-finalists vying to be Canada’s next country star

SiriusXM Canada, the country’s leading audio entertainment company, today invites the nation to vote for Canada’s next big country star in the first SiriusXM Top of the Country in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). Nine semi-finalists from coast-to-coast now face off as Canada picks the top three to move on to the finals for their chance at $25,000 and more.

The 2018 SiriusXM Top of the Country semi-finalists are:

Western Canada

  • Shawn Austin (Hometown—West Vancouver, BC)
  • Kristin Carter (Hometown—White Rock, BC)
  • Leaving Thomas (Hometown—Calgary, AB)

Central Canada

  • Andrew Hyatt (Hometown—Sudbury, ON)
  • Cory James Mitchell (Hometown—Port Lambton, ON)
  • The Redhill Valleys (Hometown—Hamilton/Burlington, ON)

Eastern Canada

  • Jason Benoit (Hometown—Fox Island River, NL)
  • Ian Janes (Hometown—Hantsport, NS)
  • Chris Ryan (Hometown—St. John’s, NL)

Earlier this spring, SiriusXM hosted studio sessions with each semi-finalist to record an original song. Beginning at 10 a.m. ET today through to June 6, country fans can watch all studio sessions and vote at for their favourite in each market, once per day.

According to Jeff Leake, Director of Music Programming for SiriusXM, selecting the nine finalists was no easy task. “From the moment registration opened, we were overwhelmed by the level of talent and passion from the artists that Top of the Country attracted. There’s no question that Canada is a hotbed for country music, and we are proud to provide a showcase of the very best new artists.”

At the end of the voting period, the artist with the most votes in each region will move on as a finalist and get a chance to perform at Big Valley Jamboree (Camrose, AB), Cavendish Beach Music Festival (Cavendish, PEI) or a SiriusXM-sponsored major festival in Ontario. Finalists will also receive a SOCAN songwriting camp in Nashville, TN and an exclusive mentoring session with artists and industry professionals in Toronto.

The grand prize winner of Top of the Country will be chosen during Country Music Week in Hamilton, ON this September. Finalists will compete live on stage before a headlining artist at the SiriusXM CCMA Top of the Country Finale, airing live on SiriusXM, with music industry professionals and audience votes deciding the winner of $25,000, plus a SOCAN songwriting camp in Pender Island, BC.

SiriusXM’s Top of the Country in partnership with CCMA is part of SiriusXM’s ongoing tradition of promoting and elevating the best Canadian music. SiriusXM continues to offer a leading platform for Canadian artists through its significant financial contributions and North American-wide reach of over 55 million listeners.


About SiriusXM Canada

Sirius XM Canada Holdings Inc., operating as SiriusXM Canada, is the country’s leading entertainment company. SiriusXM creates and offers commercial-free music; premier sports talk and live events; comedy; news; and exclusive talk and entertainment. SiriusXM is available in vehicles from every major car company and on smartphones and other connected devices as well as online at

Join SiriusXM Canada on Facebook at, on Twitter at @siriusxmcanada, on Instagram at @siriusxmcanada and on YouTube at

SiriusXM radios and accessories are available from retailers nationwide and online at SiriusXM. In addition, SiriusXM Music for Business provides commercial-free music to a variety of businesses. SiriusXM is also a leading provider of connected vehicles services, giving customers access to a suite of safety, security, and convenience services including automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery assistance, enhanced roadside assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

SiriusXM Canada has been designated one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies nine years in a row and is currently a Platinum Club Member.

About the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA)

Established in 1976, the 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 through year-round initiatives, culminating every fall with Country Music Week and the Canadian Country Music Association Awards. Sponsors of Country Music Week and the 2018 CCMA Awards Show include FACTOR, Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage’s “Canada Music Fund”, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Radio Starmaker Fund, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, City of Hamilton, Tourism Hamilton and the Hamilton, Halton and Brant Regional Tourism Organization.


Media Contacts:

Chris McDowall, Holmes PR

Andrea McLoughlin, Holmes PR

CCMA Contact:
Tiffany Astle, penelopePR

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