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Global Country Success Stories

Aaron Goodvin – Aaron is now living in Nashville where he is a singer/songwriter signed with Warner – Chappel music. Aaron is becoming the songwriter to go to for emerging Canadian artists, having had his songs cut on several recent albums. His songs are now also being recorded by some prominent American country acts, such as Luke Byran, who included one of Aaron’s songs on his latest album, which has gone Platinum, and Scotty McCreery, who included one of Aaron's songs on his new album. He has also had cuts on the albums of US newcomers, Jon Pardi, and Cole Swindell. In Canada Aaron has 10 songs on the upcoming debut album by Tristan Hornecastle. Aaron also co-produced the album, which will be released on Royalty Records. Aaron also has a song in the Canadian Top 50, “Always Tonight”, which he wrote with the group, Wyatt, who released the song on their album. Aaron is also still recording and working on his own performance career and on November 6, 2015 it was announced that he has been signed by Warner Music Canada, and his first single, “Knock On Wood” was released to Canadian radio. It was also announced that he will be on a 37 date cross Canada tour opening for Johnny Reid in February and March 2016.

Alee – Formerly known as Alexandria Adamoski, Alee has cracked the top 20 on the Canadian country music charts with one of her original songs, “Don’t Say You Love Me”, an amazing feat for an independent country artist. Her video of the song was also shown on CMT. Alee’s 2 previous singles also received airplay and charted well on many of Canada’s major country radio stations. She was one of the artists chosen to perform at Small Town Saturday Night, sponsored by Big Valley Jamboree, and in a fan voted national competition was the one chosen to perform at the CCMA Fan Fest in 2013. She has now released her debut album and has signed a record deal with a major label. To top off her recent success, in January of 2014, Alee was awarded the Female Artist of the Year Award by the Association of Country Music in Alberta (ACMA), and on January 25, 2015 she won the Award for the 2nd time. In 2015 Alee released a new EP album, “Say Hello To Goodbye” which spawned the most popular single of her career so far, “Moonshine”.

Alex Hughes – As the spokesperson for Alberta Dodge Dealers, Alex has toured and performed at numerous Alberta fairs, rodeos and other events, and released an EP album of her original songs which was distributed throughout the province by the Dodge dealerships. She is now in Los Angeles where she is working with Grammy Award winning producer Walter Afanasieff (Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Kenny G and many others) and has had cameo appearances on the tv reality series “Nail Files”. She recently recorded a song for the soundtrack of the movie 108 Stitches. Alex has now returned to Calgary and is working on her country music career there.

Brett Kissel – Brett’s country musical career continues to spiral upwards. He is signed with Warner Music Canada, and co-managed by well known Canadian manager, Louis O’Reily. He has released his sixth album, “Started With A Song”. Brett had a hand in writing all the songs on the album. The first single from the album broke all Canadian country radio records when 93% of all stations in Canada added it to their play list the first week it was released, and it went to Number One within a few short weeks. His second single from the album, “Raise Your Glass”, also shot to the number one spot on Canadian radio. Brett's previous two self released albums sold over 75,000 copies. He has now moved to Nashville, where he has a publishing and co-management deal with Bob Doyle, long time manager of Garth Brooks and The Band Perry. At the 2014 ACMA Awards, Brett received 4 nominations and took home awards for Single Of The Year for “Ďt Started With A Song", and the Calgary Stampede Rising Star Award. In February, 2014, it was announced that Brett had 5 Edmonton Music Award nominations, winning Male Artist and Album of the Year Awards, and 2 JUNO nominations. At the JUNOs he became the first country artist in 17 years to win the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award. Also in February, 2014, Brett co-headlined the Young Guns Tour, with BC’s, One More Girl. The tour sold out across Canada from the west coast to the east coast. In September, 2014, Brett was the top nominated artist at the Canadian Country Music Awards, with 8 nominations. He won the CMT Video of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year Awards. In 2014 he also won a Canadian Radio Music Award as Best New Country Artist and toured across Canada as the opening act for Brad Paisley. Brett started off 2015 by winning Male Artist, Album of the Year, and Single of the Year Awards at the Alberta Country Music Awards. During the summer months he headlined several festivals and then made an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville while releasing his new album, “Pick Me Up” which already spawned a massive hit song “Airwaves”. In Halifax in September 2015 he was awarded the CCMA Award for Interactive Artist Of The Year and in the fall of 2015 he is headlining his “Airwaves” cross-Canada tour, which has sold out in many venues.

Candice Ryan – Candice has been pursuing her musical career with a passion. Since the Edmonton Oil Kings selected her as their anthem singer for their 2013 playoff run, Candice has been asked to sing the National Anthem at every major sporting venue in the Edmonton area, including for the Edmonton Eskimos, Edmonton Oilers, Castrol Raceway, and the Edmonton Prospects. She opened for the two time CCMA group of the year, Hey Romeo, and was selected for 3 Showcases during the 2013 CCMAs, where she won second place in the Aboriginal Showcase. This led to interviews, guest spots, and her single, “I Need You”, being added to rotation on CFWE 98.5. Indie Week 2013 in Toronto selected Candice for showcases at The Central and at the Cadillac Lounge, where she was declared second place overall. Candice received 2 ACMA nominations for 2013, and has performed for many charity events at top venues in the Edmonton area. She released a new single, “California Sunrise” in February of 2014 and has been busy writing and recording for her new album.

Danielle Lowe – Her first album “Off Limits” yielded 3 singles that charted on Canadian country radio across Canada. She has just released her second album, “Patience” which has already yielded 2 radio singles. Always willing to lend her singing talents to any cause, Danielle’s philanthropy has garnered her many accolades, including being honoured by Global Television as a “Woman of Vision”. Skilled in social media, Danielle has over 35,000 followers on YouTube, which earned her an invite to perform with other YouTube sensations from around the world in London, UK, and that appearance earned her an invite to perform in the Netherlands in September 2013.

Emily Seal - Emily released her Debut EP Titled “If You Keep This Up" in January 2013. Her first single “Crash and Crumble” was released to radio across Canada and was debuted on the Smith Chevrolet Canadian Top 10 Countdown. In August of 2012 Emily was chosen as one of the TOP 30 from across Canada to be featured on CMT's "Big In A Small Town", where it was said “She has the most unique voice” and “She’s the one to watch”. In 2012, and 2013 she was among the nominees for the Alberta Country Music Association (ACMA) Female Artist and Fans Choice of the Year. She is very active in the community supporting many charitable events, and performing across Canada. Song writing, and playing is an everyday thing for Emily as she works towards being a successful recording artist. 

Kasha Anne – Kasha has been following her dream by becoming one half of the recording duo, “The Orchard”, with co-writer and performance partner, Mitchell Smith. They have been signed by Royalty Records; have shared stages with some of the top names in Canadian Country Music; have played major Canadian country festivals; have released their debut album of original tunes, “Southern Ground”, produced by CCMA Record Producer of the Year, Bart McKay; have received major radio airplay across Canada; and have had several award nominations. In the fall of 2014 they released their second album, "Georgia".  In 2015 they had five Alberta Country Music Award nominations.

Katie Mission – Katie is signed with Royalty Records. She has released several radio singles and will be releasing a new album shortly. She has played several Canadian festivals, including the Big Valley Jamboree. Katie was selected two years in a row from hundreds of submissions to perform at the highlight event of the CCMA Country Music Week, the Songwriters Café.

Livy JeanneLivy Jeanne has been busy working on her country music career. She has trained under world famous performance coach Tom Jackson (Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, and many more); has been signed by Invictus Entertainment; has opened for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, George Canyon, and others; has taken her “Invisible Tour”, an anti-bullying motivational musical show, to schools throughout Alberta and beyond; has received radio airplay across Canada; and has released her first 7 track album of original songs, “Under The Radar”, produced by award winning Canadian producer, Tom McKillip. She has now released a new single, “Wrong Side Of The Dirt”, to radio, and an accompanying video, which is receiving airplay on CMT. Livy was also one of the acts on the cross-Canada Young Guns Tour, and has received 2 Edmonton Music Award nominations.

Payton Klassen – Payton continues to work on her music career while finishing Grade 12 in high school. She has completed recording a 3 song EP, “Future Holds”, with CCMA Award Winning Producer Bart McKay, was a semi-finalist at last year’s ATB Road To Main Stage at Big Valley Jamboree, and was awarded the Fans Choice award in the same competition. She has been performing locally and in Saskatchewan at many venues, including Big Valley Jamboree, Festival Place, the Festival of Trees, Black Gold Rodeo, Café Haven, Taste of Edmonton, New Years Eve in downtown Edmonton, and various charity fundraisers. She is also one of the regular anthem singers at Castrol Raceway. Payton also spends a lot of time songwriting and honing her craft. Once she has finished High School she plans to take her music career to a new level.

Sean Sonego - Sean has evolved into one of Alberta's most dynamic and active young soul singer/songwriters. He is currently the youngest musician to ever work at Edmonton's Finest Dueling Piano Bar, the Red Piano, on a regular basis. Sean opened the 2nd Annual Edmonton Rock Music Festival last summer where he played alongside Trooper, April Wine and Blue Oyster Cult. He's had the honour of singing back up for Johnny Reid at Rexall Place, and he's had the opportunity to share the stage with world renowned musicians including William Joseph, Nathan East, Dean Parks, John JR Robinson, and Matt De La Pola, all the while being backed by David Foster’s orchestra. Sean has just completed his first full length album with LA Producer Bill Bell (Guitarist and Musical Director for Jason Mraz, producer for Justin Nozuka, Tom Cochrane), and this summer he'll be embarking on his Snapshot Western Canada Tour.

Trevor Panczak – Trevor is the only Canadian to ever make it into the finals of the prestigious Colgate Country Challenge in the US, where he ended up as the runner-up. He continues to write songs and record and perform with his band Roughstock, and has had several radio singles that received airplay across Canada. He recently opened for Don Williams on his western Canadian tour, and also for Tim McGraw in Edmonton and Zac Brown in Winnipeg, where out of nine acts he was one of only two to receive an encore.  Currently Trevor is getting heavy radio airplay across Canada with his current single, "For A Girl".  


Nashville & Pigeon Forge 2015

From March 8th to 18th, 2015, the 2014 Global Country Star Search winners, Julia Nicholson (Youth Division winner) Sydney Mae (Youth Division runner-up), and Jessy Mossop (Overall runner-up), traveled to Nashville and then to Pigeon Forge where they competed in the North American Country Music Associations International competitions. Nakita Kohan, who was the overall Star Search winner, was unfortunately not able to go.
 In Nashville the group toured many of the historical music sites, including the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash museum, and the Grand Ole Opry where they caught a show. They also had the opportunity to see a performance of the Time Jumpers with Vince Gill, and spent some time on Lower Broadway, home of the famous honky tonks. On the learning side they had a songwriting and mentoring session with Canadian artist Rylee Madison, from Nova Scotia, who lives in Nashville and runs Global Country's Nashville mentoring program with her husband, Clay Krasner (Terri Clark's bass player); had a meeting with Warner-Chappel songwriter, Aaron Goodvin, a former Global Country artist; and then had a studio tour and mentoring session with Nashville producer, Eddie Gore, who runs Insomnia Studio. While in Nashville they also met Canadians, Mike Bourque, Scotty Kipfer, Mandy McMillan, Naomi Bristow, Darlene Tuleta, Blake Emmmons and others.
 On the way to Pigeon Forge the girls gave an in impromptu performance at the Cracker Barrel in Harriman, where they had stopped for lunch, a tradition started when the first Global Country group stopped there in 2004. In Pigeon Forge, before competing in the NACMAI competition they caught a show at The Comedy Barn and met musical director, Ron Jeffery, a former Albertan, and took part in jam sessions with some of the other competitors.
The group also attended the NACMAI Hall of Fame show, where Edmonton radio station CFCW won the International Radio Station of the Year Award. The award was accepted by Maryanne Gibson, CEO of Global Country. Also at the Hall of Fame show, Jeff Funk of Dynasty Records, Alberta and Nashville, was given a special Appreciation Award, and two Canadians were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Songwriter Ralph Murphy went in the Songwriter category, and Michelle Wright was inducted in the Artist category. Nashville artist, Brenda Kaye Perry, and legendary sax player, Ace Cannon were also inducted, as well as Jett Williams, daughter of Hank Williams Sr, who was inducted into the Legends category.
At the competition, Jessy Mossop won the International New Country female vocalist and entertainer awards, as well as a songwriter award for her song, "Girl Inside Of Me", a co-songwriter award for a song she wrote with Stephen Lecky, "Monsters", plus a video award. Sydney Mae won the International New Country Youth female vocalist and entertainer awards, plus a songwriter youth award for "Mary Anne"and a youth co-songwriter award for "Out Of My Head", a song she co-wrote with Troy Kokol. Julia Nicholson won International Most Promising female vocalist and entertainer awards and a youth songwriter award for "Black Camero". Nakita Kohan had submitted a song she co-wrote with Steven Lecky, "Do You Really Think", and a video, and won International awards in both categories. 


Nashville & Pigeon Forge 2014

From March 10th to 19th, 2014, the 2013 Global Country Star Search winners, Jesse Mast (junior winner), Stephanie Lloyd (overall winner), Christianne Godart (runner-up), Dahlia Wakefield (over 30 winner) and Melody Lovejoy (over 30 runner-up), traveled to Nashville and then to Pigeon Forge where they competed in the North Amerrican Country Music Associations International competitions. Jesse Mast won the International New Country Male Vocalist award, and the International New Country Male Entertainer awards (age 17 - 20), and also an International Songwriter award for his song, "House Of Pine". Stephanie Lloyd was awarded the International New Country Female Vocalist and Entertainer awards (age 17 - 20). In the International New Country Female Vocalist category, Melody Lovejoy won overall, with Dahlia Wakefield winning Most Promising, and Christianne Godart receiving the Horizon Award, and in the International New Country Female Entertainer category, Christianne Godart garnered the overall, with Melody Lovejoy taking the Most Promising award, and Dahlia Wakefield getting the Horizon Award. In addition, Melody and Dahlia also both won songwriting awards.


Nashville & Pigeon Forge 2013

From March 10th to 19th, the 2012 Global Country Star Search winners and runners up traveled to Nashville to see the sights and sounds of Music City, and then on to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where they competed in the North American Country Music Associations International (NACMAI) competitions. Making the trip were Candice Ryan, the overall Star Search winner, and Lyndsay Butler, the runner-up, as well as Junior Division winner Olivia Wik and runner-up Cassidy Zahar. In Nashville they toured backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and the clubs on Lower Broadway, caught performances of both the Grammy Award winning Time Jumpers and the Opry, and had several impromptu performance opportunities and meetings.  

At the NACMAI competitions in Pigeon Forge, they wowed the judges and each one of them won International artist and entertainer awards in their specific age categories, plus won several songwriting awards as well. 

                            Cassidy Zahar, Candice Ryan, Lyndsay Butler, Olivia Wik

Grand Ole Opry Stage  

                                            Grand Ole Opry Green Room

                                                Ready for the Opry    

                                                   Ryman Auditorium

                                                      The Time Jumpers     

                                  Dawn Sears & Vince Gill with the Time Jumpers

                                    Candice Ryan singing with the Time Jumpers           

                                                            Hunter Hayes   

Olivia Wik & Hunter Hayes

           Olivia Wik meeting Albertan Mandy McMillan, now living in Nashville, & Vince Gill
At the Opry - Bill Anderson                                 Easton Corbin           

                                              Alberta's own Paul Brandt

                                             Ricky Skaggs & Paul Brandt                       

                                                          The Whites

Meeting with Warner/Chappell songwriter & former Global Country artist, Aaron Goodvin

                                           Olivia Wik singing at Tootsies

                              Lyndsay Butler sings at Legends on Broadway   

                                  Clowning with  Elvis on Lower Broadway 

                                  Performing for diners in a Cracker Barrel            

                                          On the way to Pigeon Forge

 NACMAI Hall of Fame Show

                        Dave Wilburn                                             Doug Stone            


                         Songwriter Kim Williams16 NumberOne hits, 28 top 10 hits

                                             NACMAI Award Winning Performances

                           Candice Ryan                                               Olivia Wik

                            Lyndsay Butler                                        Cassidy Zahar

                                International Awards won at the NACMAI competitions


Nashville & Pigeon Forge 2012

Star Search winners: Brendan Guy (Junior), Payton Klassen (Youth), Andrew Scott (18 - 34 winner), Stephanie Roinier (18 - 34 runner-up) and Tommy J Mueller (35 and over), travelled to Nashville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in March 2012 to compete in the North American Country Music Associations International competitions. Each artist won multiple awards at the competition.

Click here for photos and more


March 23, 2011  


                                               Livy Jeanne & Kasha 

From Mar 6th to 16th the 2010 Global Country Star Search winner, Kasha, traveled to Nashville and Pigeon Forge, TN, which was part of her prize package for winning the Star Search competition. Joining her on parts of the tour was the youth division winner, Livy Jeanne

The first day in Nashville included a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry theatre. Next she headed down to the heart of Nashville, Lower Broadway, home of the legendary honky tonks that have made Nashville famous. Of course the most famous of all is Tootsies Orchid Lounge. Kasha was invited up on that legendary stage and was given her first opportunity to perform in Nashville. She proved so popular that she was asked to do 2 encores. Further down the street at The Stage, she was also invited on stage to perform with the band, and later in the week she sang with the same band again when they played at The Second Fiddle. A few days later Livy Jeanne also got to sing on those famous stages.

 The first evening the girls hit the Station Inn where they met up with Joanne Janzen, a former Global Country Rising Star member who had won the opportunity to tour Nashville a few years back. Joanne was in Nashville writing material for her debut album. That night the girls enjoyed an evening of classic western swing presented by the Time Jumpers. It was a truly memorable evening and a great introduction to what Nashville music used to be like.

 The next 2 days in Nashville included tours of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famous Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Opry, as well as a trip down Music Row and a visit to Grand & Gee Music where Gil Grand gave them a tour of his recording studio, and answered questions about his recording and publishing business.

 Tuesday evening was spent at the Grand Ole Opry where Kasha was lucky to get front row centre for John Conlee, The Grascals, The Whites, Restless Heart, Bill Anderson, Darryl Worley, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Lorrie Morgan. Wednesday night she and Livy attended a songwriter’s session at the famous Bluebird Café, and then got together with Brett Kissel, who is also writing in Nashville. Brett was one of the first pack of Global artists who won the trip to Nashville.

 On Thursday, Kasha’s musical partner, guitar player Mitchell Smith, joined the party for the drive to Pigeon Forge where Kasha and Livy Jeanne would compete in the North American Country Music Associations International (NACMAI) competitions. Before leaving Nashville the artists did a live radio interview with Keith Bradford on the Nashville Radio Broadcasting Network (NRBN.FM). The station broadcasts on the internet and is also sent out over the airwaves in parts of the US and also Germany, South Africa, and many other countries overseas.

In Pigeon Forge the first thing the group did was catch the highly entertaining family show at the Comedy Barn. There they met with musical director Ron Jeffery, a former Albertan who used to tour throughout western Canada.

 The next 2 days were spent in sightseeing and NACMAIcompetitions at the Country Tonight Theatre, where both girls competed as vocalists and entertainers in their respective age categories. On Saturday night they attended the NACMAI Hall of Fame Show where Michael Twitty, the son of the late Conway Twitty, and Lorrie Morgan performed and were inducted into the NACMAI Hall of Fame. Sunday was spent waiting breathlessly while the awards were being announced. The wait was well worth it, for both girls kept up to the standards set by previous Global Country competitors and came out with a plethora of International awards. Kasha scored top marks in the International adult New Modern Country category, winning both the International Female Vocalist and International Female Entertainer awards, plus she and Mitchell Smith entered as a New Modern Country duo and also as New Modern Country co-songwriters, and won both these International titles. Livy Jeanne won the International Female Vocalist and Entertainer awards in the New Modern Country age 13 to 17 caterogy, plus an International video award in the same age category, and 2 International songwriting awards as a single writer and as a co-writer. These young ambassadors from Global Country certainly did our organization proud.

 Monday was spent traveling back to Nashville and then getting some more Lower Broadway performance opportunities and having supper in the famed Wild Horse Saloon.

 On Tuesday Kasha was taken on a day trip to Memphis to visit Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, and check out the sights and sounds of Beale Street, the home of the famous Memphis Blues.     

more photos

See Livy Jeanne's NACMAI performance                                                                       


April 20th, 2010
Alex Hughes with Ramona E. Simmons, President, and Preston Sullivan, Director of Global Eyes Entertainment, an international artist development company  based in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Arcane Entertainment and Global Eyes Entertainment, LLC have reached a formal partnership in the career development of Canadian dynamo Alex Hughes.

Alex is the 2009 Country Star Search winner and the 2009 and 2010 North American Music Association International "New Country genre" awards winner for Vocalist, Entertainer and Songwriter of the Year in the 17 to 20-years age group.

"My two passions are business and music. Watching over the continuing development of Alex Hughes as an artist is a joy. We are looking forward to the future and all that it holds for Alex," stated Steve Carter, CEO of Calgary-based management group Arcane Entertainment.

"We have worked with some of the top music artists in the world and we know a superstar when we see one. Considering all the accolades Alex has received to date, we feel certain that the door is open for her to carve out her own piece of music history," said Ramona E. Simmons, President of Global Eyes Entertainment.

Both will be working closely with Chester Aldridge, CEO of The Royal Factory, based out of Los Angeles. Mr. Aldridge has several years of publishing, licensing and distribution experience in the entertainment business and is a sought-after venture capitalist known for his ability to source and finance promising start-up companies. 

Alex's self-penned "Just Us Ladies Tonight" is the first single leading up to her September 2010 album release. Alex will continue to work with top songwriters in both Los Angeles and Nashville. The single is available now via Alex's MySpace page and will soon be released on iTunes.

Alex Hughes' other career highlights and awards include: 
2008 Country Vocal Spotlight Open Division Winner - Edmonton, Alberta
2007 Top 100 Gold ticket Winner Canadian Idol - Toronto, Ontario
2005 Don Weldon Memorial Most Promising Performer - Calgary Stampede/Calgary, Alberta
For more information:
Music, photos, bio and more:
Steve Carter:
Ramona E. Simmons:

About Global Eyes Entertainment
Founded 13-years ago by Ramona E. Simmons, Global Eyes Entertainment, LLC is an international artist development company  based in Nashville, Tennessee.  Director, Preston Sullivan, joined the company in 2008 and Director of Marketing and Social Media, Michelle Keegan, joined this year.

About The Royal Factory
The Royal Factory is an independent music label featuring Austin Brown, the son of successful recording artist Rebbie Brown and the nephew of music legends Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson as its inaugural artist. The Royal Factory was founded and incubated by the management team of US Trust Corp. For more information visit

April 8th, 2010
Alex Hughes, Sean Sonego with Maryanne Gibson

From Mar 7th to 16th, the 2009 Global Country Star Search winners, Alex Hughes, from the open division, and Sean Sonego, the youth division winner, traveled to Nashville and then on to Pigeon Forge to compete at the North American Country Music Associations International (NACMAI) competitions, which drew a total of over 600 competitors.  Once again the Global Country artists scored big, winning a total of 7 International awards. Alex scored top marks in the International New Country Youth 17 – 20 category, securing both the Female Vocalist and Female Entertainer awards, while Sean won in the same category as Male Vocalist and Entertainer. In a surprise tie, the six competition judges gave equal points in the Songwriter category to Alex for her original tune, I Cry, and Sean for his song entitled In The Heart. Sean also scored another award for his video entry, Snowflakes.

In Nashville the Global Country winners met Nova Scotia artist, RyLee Madison, who now resides in Nashville, and is releasing a new album, where does the time go, for a songwriting workshop, and then spent an evening at the Station Inn, where they met up with Global Country alumni members Aaron Goodvin and Leah Durelle, who were in Nashville doing songwriting, as well as Canadian singer/songwriter and producer, Steve Fox, for an evening of western swing entertainment by the Grammy nominated Time Jumpers. The next day they took the backstage tour at the Grand Ole Opry, visited the Opry Museum, and then the historic Ryman Auditorium, before catching the Riders In The Sky, Steep Canyon Rangers, Jeannie Seely, Love & Theft, John Conlee, Jimmy Dickens, and Canada’s own Terri Clark at the Tuesday evening Grand Ole Opry. On Wednesday they toured the Country Music Hall of Fame and the historic RCA Studio B, where they got to play the very piano used in many of Elvis Presley’s early recordings, before meeting up with Canadian Gil Grand and Nashville songwriter and producer, Anthony Smith, for a studio tour of Gil’s Grand & Gee Studio. The evening culminated at the Bluebird Café where they caught a songwriters evening, and also met up with another Global Country alumni member, Brett Kissel, who is also doing some writing in Nashville.

In Pigeon Forge, the Star Search winners caught an evening performance at the famous Comedy Barn, where former Albertan Ron Jefferies is the musical director. Ron spent many years touring and playing in western Canada. They also caught the NACMAI Hall of Fame show, where Lulu Roman, who was one of the stars on the comedy television series Hee Haw, and singer/songwriters Deborah Allen, and Ronnie McDowell, all performed, before being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Back in Nashville, Alex and Sean received some encouraging words when they met up with Canadian producer Mel Shaw, the founding president of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the JUNO people), who now runs Mel Shaw Productions in Nashville, and his wife Fran. They were invited by Jimmy Snyder to sing a couple of songs on stage at the famed Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Lower Broadway, and were interviewed by Carey Latham and performed their original songs on NBRN-FM internet radio.

more pictures
All Star Concert
March 2nd, 2010

The Global Country All Star Concert is back by popular demand! Monday, June 14th, 7:30 PM at the Winspear Centre. Tickets are $30. Get them early. They go on sale March 8th.

This marks our 12th annual concert and we have gone back to our original concept of presenting several Canadian recording artists for one low price. Many of our Global Country Alumni artists will also be performing. Come and see how their careers have developed. It promises to be one big reunion.

Have your say on who will be the winner of Country Star Search. You can help launch the career of a new artist! The 5 finalists will perform with the band, and the audience will vote to determine the winner.

Watch for further details on who will be appearing. . ....   
Heading to Nashville
January 26th, 2010

Alex Hughes, along with Sean Sonego, the Youth Division Star Search winner, will be heading to Nashville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in March to compete in the North American Country Music Associations International competitions. Olivia Rose Leaf, the Junior Division winner, is unable to compete this year but will be competing at NACMAI next year.

The 2010 Country Star Search preliminary competitions will be held on May 8th. Entries are now coming in. Anyone wishing to compete should go to the Country Star Search page and get their entries in. A limited number of entries will be accepted.

Alex Hughes
Country Star Search
Open Division Winner 2009
Sean Sonego
Country Star Search
Youth Division Winner 2009
Country Star Search Winner 2009
January 26, 2010

2009 Global Country Star Search winner, Alex Hughes, recorded two original demo songs at Powersound Studios in January, with Scott Greene doing the engineering. The recording session was part of her prize package for winning the Star Search competition. Besides having one of the newest recording studios in town, and offering a full service facility, Powersound Studios owner Phil Anderson also teaches a full time recording arts program at the studio.

Phil Anderson, Scott Green, and Alex Hughes (l to r)
  Rodeo Concert
  November 10th, 2009
  Global Country held a Rodeo Concert at the Winspear Centre on Nov 10th. Opening the show was the 2009 Global Country Star Search winner, Alex Hughes, followed by Eli Barsi, backed by her husband, John Cunningham on the upright bass, and Lizzy Hoyt on fiddle. Headlining the show was Gary Fjellgaard, supported by Peter Padden on percussion, Linda Kidder on bass, and Cam Wilson on classical violin. Although these artists have backed Gary in the studio on most of his albums, including his new one, All In The Journey, this was the first time Gary has performed with them live on stage in some 20 years.
  more pictures
Lamont Rodeo
July 25th, 2009

The Stars of Tomorrow performed at the Lamont Rodeo on Saturday, July 25th, with the Global Country Band.

Lauren Adamoski, Emily Seal, Alex Hughes
(l to r)
Olivia Rose
(front row)
photo by Bill Borgwardt
›› more photos
Country Star Search 2009    

1st Runner Up
Kara Wilson
Open Division
18 years old and over
Edmonton, AB

Country Star Search Winner 2009
Alex Hughes
Open Division
18 years old and over
Calgary, AB

Olivia Rose Leaf
Junior Division Winner
7 to 12 years old
Elk Point, AB

Sean Sonego
Youth Division Winner

13 to 17 years old
Edmonton, AB
April 24th, 2009

As the warm summer days of June approach, the excitement builds in country music fans, in anticipation of not only a fine evening of country music from both established stars and the stars of tomorrow, in one of Canada’s finest concert halls, but also the opportunity to vote and perhaps play a part in launching the career of Canada’s next country superstar.

Monday, June 15th is the date when Global Country and the beautiful Winspear Centre play host to a show that combines the excitement and energy that comes with emerging artists, and the focused, charged performances of award-winning and established stars.

Leading the way for this annual production, now in its’ eleventh year, is Nashville country hit maker, Adam Gregory, who returns to his roots in Edmonton with a hot new album titled Crazy Days, and his third charting American single. In his formative years as a young teenager, Gregory was often heard performing traditional country on Global Country stages.


Participating in the second half of this Global Country Gala, that is hung on the banner of Classic Canadian Country, Adam will be serving up his rendition of Gordon Lightfoot’s Sundown and Hank Snow’s I’m Moving On, as well as a couple of other surprises and quite possibly his current hits.

Also headlining the Classic Canadian Country portion of the program is one of country’s top Telecaster guitar slingers, the legendary Redd Volkaert, who returns to Edmonton from Austin, Texas. The noted lead guitar player for Merle Haggard, Volkaert was presented with a 2009 Grammy Award for his instrumental work with Brad Paisley on a tune entitled Cluster Pluck.

Backed by some of Alberta’s top country, rhythm and blues players, including Stewart MacDougall on grand piano, Thom Moon on drums, Ron Rault on bass, Jeff Bradshaw on steel, Brent Parkin on guitar, and Myron Szott on fiddle, the Classic Canadian Country segment of the show will also feature Edmonton country legend Joyce Smith. Smith was one of the first Canadian country female artists to sell over 100,000 records in the US when she released Leavin’ On Your Mind in 1962. The feat earned her a 1962 CMA nomination for Most Promising New Female Vocalist, making her the first Canadian country female artist to receive a major award nomination in Nashville. Joyce continues to sell out houses around the province as one of the Alberta Legends of Country Music.

The show will open with the 2009 winners of the highly prestigious Global Country Star Search competition in the age 7-12 and 13-17 categories. It will also feature five finalists in the 18 and over category. When they cast their ballots for their favorite act, the audience members will have the opportunity to determine who will carry the Global Country banner to Nashville and the North American Country Music Associations International (NACMAI) competition next March.

Also appearing in the opening segment are the award winning artists and future hit makers under the Global Country Management umbrella, Emily Seal, 2004 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards Best Male Artist, Mike Gouchie, and Katie Mission. All three of these artists have brought back NACMAI International awards to Alberta.

Highlighting the opening segment will be the 2005 CCMA Independent Female Artist of the Year, Lisa Hewitt, who will be previewing her outstanding new album, Fearless, one week prior to its’ official launch date.

The annual Global Country Concert will take place at the Winspear Centre on June 15th at 7:30 PM. Tickets are now on sale at the Winspear Box Office, (780)428-1414.

For further information contact Maryanne Gibson at (780)424-3300 or Bill Borgwardt at (780)970-7441 or email -

  North American Country Music Associations International Competition 2009
  March 30th, 2009
Alex Hughes, Danielle Lowe, Lauren Adamoski, Alexandra Adamoski
(left to right)

From March 8th to 18th, the winners of Country Vocal Spotlight, Danielle Lowe, Alex Hughes, and Alexandra & Lauren Adamoski, traveled with Global Country to Nashville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to compete in the North American Country Music Associations International competitions. Each of the girls won International awards as Female Vocalists and Entertainers, as well as songwriters awards, in their respective age categories.

In Nashville the girls, as well as Global Country Booster Club members who joined the tour, visited the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the honky tonks on Lower Broadway, the Bluebird Cafe, Music Row, and much more. They visited the Station Inn to see the Grammy nominated Time Jumpers, were special guests of George Hamilton V backstage during the Grand Ole Opry, sang on the stage at the Famous Tootsies Orchid Lounge, and much more.

In Pigeon Forge, besides competing at the NACMAI competitions, they caught shows at the Tennessee Shindig, where former Albertan Tammy Gislason performs, and directs and produces the show, and the Comedy Barn, where another former Albertan, Ron Jefferies performs.

The over 18 winner of the 2009 Country Star Search competition will win a trip to Tennessee in 2010 to compete in the NACMAI competitions, and the winners of the other categories will be given the opportunity to travel to Tennessee with Global Country in March of 2010.   
  ›› Nashville Photos
  November 5th, 2008

Country Vocal Spotlight 2008
Congratulations to the Country Vocal Spotlight Winners.  We are happy to have them enrolled in our Talent Development Program in February 2009 and the opportunity to compete at NACMAI, in Pigeon Forge Tennessee in March 2009.  Stay tuned for more news on them.....

Alex Huges Danielle Lowe Lauren Adamoski
Alex Hughes
Open Division Winner

Danielle Lowe
Grand Winning Act
Youth Division Winner

Lauren Adamoski
Junior Division Winner
  October 28th, 2008

Country Vocal Spotlight
We are pleased to once again enter into a contract with Northlands to sponsor Country Vocal Spotlight.  The Junior, Youth, and Open Division winners will be given the opportunity to join the Global Country tour to Nashville and to compete in the North American Country Music Associations International (NACMAI) competitions in Pigeon Forge in March 2009.  The finals take place on November 2nd.  The names of any winners who confirm that they will be traveling with us to Tennessee, will be posted on our Website. In addition all winners will be offered entry into the Talent Development Workshop/Seminar scheduled for February 2009.

Country Star Search
Entry forms are now available by clicking on Country Star Search.  We welcome a new Sponsor - Power Sound Studios of Edmonton will produce the 2 song demo recording as part of the Prize Package.

Booster Club Members
Global Country Booster Club Members will have the opportunity to join the Global Country tour to Nashville & Pigeon Forge in March 2009. Anyone wishing to join this trip may do so by becoming a Booster Club Member.  Click on Booster Club for more information on how to become a member.

  July 21st, 2007
  Global Country is launching a campaign to ensure that we preserve some important
elements that are so important to our Country Music History.
  ›› Read Media Release
July 2nd, 2008
A New Exciting Theme for 2009 Global Country’s “Stars of Tomorrow”
›› photos 10th Festival of the Stars
›› Press Release

On Monday, June 16, 2008, Global Country marked the 10th Anniversary of the highly acclaimed Festival of the Stars at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton. Five finalists in the 2008 Country Star Search competition performed with a live band before a packed audience, who voted by secret ballot to determine the winner. It was a tough choice for the Winspear audience, as the performers all had enormous potential, but in the end, Stan Hitchcock from St. Albert, AB, blew the audience away with his rendition of the George Jones hit, “He Stopped Loving Her Today”. As soon as Stan started performing you could read it on the faces of the audience that he had them in the palm of his hand.

Stan Hitchcock has been singing since he was 12 years of age. Born in Westlock, AB, he was heavily influenced by the classic country stylings of George Jones, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, and Waylon Jennings. In 2001 he won the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame singing competition in Calgary. In 2002 he moved to the Toronto area where he formed a band and spent two and a half years performing around southern Ontario as Stan Hitchcock and Laredo. In 2006 he returned to his Alberta roots, locating in St. Albert. Once again he was back on the road performing around the northern Alberta and British Columbia bar circuit, this time as Stan Hitchcock and Freightrain. Besides being a dynamic performer in the classic country style, Stan is also becoming an accomplished songwriter, having penned and performed much of his own material.

The other talented finalists were:

Brian Haywood… The oldest of three boys, born and raised in Edmonton by a single mother, he has been a singer as long as he can remember. Brian loves to write songs in all different genres (from Country to Rock, Rage to Rap & Christian music). Self employed as a horse trainer and farrier, he dreams of a full-time career in the music industry.

Amber Heyday… Born in Peace River Alberta, Amber started singing at age five. Always encouraged to sing by family and friends, pursuing it professionally seemed inevitable. The family moved around quite a bit while she was young, but settled in Stony Plain, the place Amber still calls home. Now age twenty-one, Amber maintains, "My passion is singing… There is nothing more fulfilling to me than the power of song." This engaging new Alberta singer has her feet on the ground, her eyes on the stars, and her heart in her music.

Kasha… From a young age, Kasha has been experimenting with music. She began by singing with her sister and father at senior homes. Now, at age of 22, this up and coming artist possesses head turning qualities with her long red hair, dimples, and a contagious smile. Kasha’s personality shines as she mixes her life’s passions with her absolute love for music. She has come a long way and is very dedicated to growing as an artist. Kasha’s past performances include the Rainmaker Rodeo, Daines Rodeo, City Hall, and The Westin Gala dinner for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Tyson Goodvin… Music runs through Tyson's veins. Like most in his musical family, he learned how to play guitar at a very young age. At the age 14, Tyson decided to enter a local singing competition and was pleasantly surprised to place second. He has always had a passion for music. He believes that he has a chance now to do what he had dreamed of his whole life. He hopes in the future to become a songwriter as he enjoys writing (by himself and co-writing with others). This young man's musical journey has just begun!


of Regina, Saskatchewan, maintained an almost perfect score to garner the International Male Vocalist and International Male Entertainer awards at the 2008 North American Country Music Association’s International Awards held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee from March 10th to 15th.

Each year Global Country enters their Country Star Search winner into the NACMAI competitions, and also provides an extensive tour of Nashville. The result is a highly educational experience as well as the opportunity to compete internationally.

›› Photos of Country Star Search Winner in Nashville
›› Nashville Photos
›› Read Media Release
  December 18th, 2007
  Global Country Rising Star Trevor Panczak
26th Annual Colgate Country Showdown National Finalists Announced

Global Country is pleased to announce that one of the original members of their Rising Star Program, Trevor Panczak, of Magrath, AB, is the first Canadian ever to be one of the five finalists in the National Final of the Colgate Country Showdown.

The Colgate Country Showdown is America’s largest and longest running country music talent search, having been operating for 26 years now. Each year, more than 50,000 artists compete in 550+ local competitions throughout the U.S. From the local, state and regional competitions, five finalists are chosen to compete for the grand prize of $100,000 at the National Finals. This year the finals will take place on the stage of the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Jan 24th, with LeAnn Rimes hosting the event. The show will be taped and played throughout the US on local TV stations, as well as on the GAC Network.
Trevor Panczak

Trevor Panczak has been the Montana State Winner for the past 4 years and in 2007 went on to become the West Regional Winner. He won the title performing his own unique tongue in cheek composition, Songwriters Boogie. The competition boasts a "who's who" in the Country Music industry, with past local, state and regional winners including Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. In addition to competing in the Colgate Country Showdown, Trevor Panczak has just finished recording a new 4 song EP entitled Roll On, and should be releasing his first single, Give Me That Smile, to radio by late January. Trevor may be contacted by email at

Global Country congratulates Trevor on his win and wishes him every success in this prestigious country music competition.

Global Country is an Edmonton based non-profit organization (in existence since 1992) devoted to preserving the history of  Canadian Country Music and the promotion and development of Canadian talent.

The Rising Star Program was originally created by Global Country to support and encourage new Canadian country artists and their music. The main focus of the program is development, mentoring, and promotion. The program has been receiving tremendous recognition, and the progress of the artists involved in it has been outstanding.

The program offers educational and performance opportunities that help to build the careers of new artists and establish a path for them to follow. Artists participating in the program are given the opportunity to be seen and heard at various events that help them make their mark in the country music scene.
  ›› Read Press Release
  November 8th, 2007

The Global Country Rodeo Show on November 6th was a huge success.  1200 people were
well entertained at the Winspear with the familiar stylings of Gary Fjellgaard. He had a stellar performance.  Guest artists, Katie Mission, Brett Kissel and 2007 Country Star Search Winner Paul Chesters blew the audience away with their performances.  The show was closed with a Gary Fjellgaard hit "Somewhere On The Island"  where the vocal blends of Katie, Brett & Paul were higlighted.  Amazing Show!!!!! 

A guitar signed by the artists was won by Guy & Sharon Rousseau from St Vincent,

  September 2007
Paul Chesters, Katie Mission, Brett Kissel, and Gary Fjellgaard
CCMA's Regina, SK - September 2007

Paul Chesters, Katie Mission, Brett Kissel, and Gary Fjellgaard
  August 22nd, 2007
  Katie Mission will be showcasing during the CCMA's in Regina, SK at the Pump Roadhouse on Saturday, September 8th at 9:00 pm.
  August 1st, 2007
  Global Country congratulates Country Star Search Alumni, Brett Kissel,  on his 2007 CCMA Chevy Rising Star nomination.
  July 21st, 2007
  Global Country is launching a campaign to ensure that we preserve some important
elements that are so important to our Country Music History.
  ›› Read Media Release
  June 19th, 2007
Country Star Search Winner
Paul Chesters and Maryanne Gibson, CEO Global Country
Winner of Country Star Search 2007 - Paul Chesters

After more than a month of weekly competitions, and a night of semi-finals, the grand finale was held at the Winspear Centre, on Monday, June 18, where audience members cast their votes for their favorite finalist. The competition was stiff, but Global Country was proud to announce that the 2007 Rising Star is Paul Chesters.

Paul Chesters was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where he started singing at the age of five. He sang with the award winning U of R Chamber Singers. Paul received a scholarship to attend the Iowa School for Music Vocations (jazz and classical). He was the 2004 winner of Regina's 620 CKRM Talent Search. He has performed with or opened for Duane Steele, Steve Fox, The Poverty Plainsmen, Jason McCoy, and Julian Austin.

The 2007 Global Country Rising Star (Country Star Search Winner) is enrolled into the Rising Star Program, offering a trip to Nashville and Pigeon Forge Tennessee. Paul will compete in the North American Country Music Associations International Competitions in March 2008.  Paul’s official launch will take place on Tuesday, November 6th at the Rodeo Concert at the Winspear Centre.  We look forward to working with Paul and help kick start his career.  Country Star Search is “Canada’s version of Nashville Star “.  It is an exciting new program launched by Global Country in 2007.  The 2008 competitions will start in March 2008 and the Finalists will once again be determined by audience vote.  This process proved to be very successful. - Read Latest Press Release

Country Star Search 2008 Preliminaries will start on Thursday, May 1st, 2008 and will run every Thursday to May 29th, 2008. Entry forms will be accepted after February 1st, 2008.

  March 16th, 2007
Global Country Canada has launched a new program to find artists to take into it's Rising Star Program. Country Star Search will be open to amateur Canadian country artists over the age of 18. The preliminaries will take place at Cook County Saloon on Thursday evenings throughout the month of May, with five finalists performing on stage during the
All Star Concert at the Winspear Centre on June 18th. The winner will be determined by an audience vote. Besides acceptance into the prestigious Rising Star program, which offers special mentoring and performance opportunities, the prize package will include a trip to Nashville and entry into the North American Country Music Associations International competitions in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, registration to the CCMA's Country Music Week and Western Canadian Music Awards Show & Conference, a demo recording package, and more. - Bill Borgwardt, Country Music News
  March 12th, 2007
Global Country Rising Stars
Capture Top International Awards in Tennessee

For the fifth year in a row, Global Country Rising Stars captured several International awards at the prestigious North American Country Music Associations International (NACMAI) competitions in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Ten year old Kayla Patrick from Edmonton, was awarded the International Traditional Country Female Vocalist, as well as the International Traditional Country Female Entertainer Award, in the 7 to 12 age category, plus shared the International New Country co-writer award with her dad, Darren, for “My Heart’s Beating Country”, a song they wrote together. Candace Czuroski, originally from Glendon, but now making her home in Whitecourt, scored top points to secure the International Traditional Country Female Vocalist and International Traditional Country Female Entertainer awards in the Adult category, plus took home the adult International New Country Songwriter’s Award for her original tune, “Someday I’ll Get There”.

Chosen to entertain at the awards show was fifteen year old Leah Durelle of St. Albert, an alumni of the Rising Star program and the first Rising Star to compete and win at the NACMAI competitions. Leah is one of very few Canadians currently charting on US radio charts, with her current single, “I’m Not Sorry”.
The NACMAI wins once again illustrate the calibre of talent that the young artists entering the Global Country Rising Star program possess. “I have been extremely pleased with the success of all the artists who have come through our program, and am so happy that we have been able to nurture them and help them on their way to a successful country music career”, says Global Country CEO. Maryanne Gibson.

For further information on the Global Country Heritage Foundation and its’ initiatives, contact Maryanne Gibson at (780)424-3300.

Bill Borgwardt for Global Country


November 17th, 2006

Congratulations to Country Star Search Alumni Mike Gouchie for winning this year's Aboriginal Award for Best Country Album, 'Bad Boys & Angels'.

Congratulations to the Vissia Sisters who won Second Runner Up in the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE) National Competitions held in Edmonton.


November 7th, 2006

Competitors from all over Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan came to Edmonton to compete in the 2005 Country Vocal Spotlight Competition held in conjunction with the Canadian Rodeo Finals. The winners of this competition receive a spectacular prize package including entry into Global Country's Rising Star Program.

Congratulations goes out to both Candace Czuroski - formerly Glendon, Alberta (2006 Senior Rising Star) and Kayla Patrick (2006 Junior Rising Star), Global Country's newest Rising Stars!

The 9th Annual Global Country All Star Concert is scheduled for Monday, June 18th, 2007 at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton.
  The event was a hit! Souvenir programs from the event are available by calling the Global Country Office at 780-951-4564.
  March 12th, 2006

On March 12th, the newest Global Country Rising Stars won top awards at the North American Country Music Associations International (NACMAI) competitions in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Twelve year old Emily Seal from St. Albert brought home the 2006 International Traditional Country Female Vocalist as well as the International Traditional Country Female Entertainer Award in the 7 to 12 age category, and Joanne Janzen won the International Traditional Country Female Vocalist and International Traditional Country Female Entertainer award in the Adult category.

In order to be in the Global Country Rising Star program and compete in the international competition, which saw some 550 competitors in various country and gospel categories, Emily and Joanne had to win their respective divisions in the Northlands Park Country Vocal Spotlight competitions, held during Canadian Finals Rodeo Week in Edmonton in November. Global Country's prize package allows entry to the North American Country Music Association Competitions in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. The NACMAI wins once again illustrate the caliber of talent that Country Vocal Spotlight brings out and Global Country nurtures and further develops.

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