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Benedict, Goodvin win at Country Music Alberta

Dan Davidson hosts Industry Awards and The Dungarees perform

St. Albert’s big winner at the 11th annual Country Music Alberta Awards was Hailey Benedict. She trucked home the Horizon Female Artist of the Year award as well as Horizon Single of the Year for her bouncy tune Wanted You To

The Horizon Awards are designated for younger, emerging talent. Previously, Benedict won the 2019 Horizon Youth Award. 

“These two awards are very meaningful to me. This is an association I’ve grown up with. Those awards are voted on by people in the industry and many have been my mentors who supported me throughout my journey. That means the world to me,” Bendict said. 

She had finished working through Project Wild, a competition that challenges emerging singer-songwriters’ skills and creativity. Although she did not win any of the top three prizes, Benedict was grateful for an experience that helped navigate her career and opened a few doors. 

“And everybody from Project Wild was at the awards and we had a chance to reconnect. We’re each other's biggest cheerleaders. It’s nice to have a family of people who support you.” 

Another former St. Albert resident with an impressive resume was Aaron Goodvin. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter scooped up one of the night’s top awards — Male Artist of the Year. Goodvin also performed at the ceremonies. 

Although local singer-songwriter Dan Davidson came home empty-handed, he received the honours of hosting the Industry Awards. In addition, he pumped out additional star power performing with Juno-nominated trio, The Road Hammers, this year’s Country Music Alberta Award show hosts. 

The Dungarees, which includes St. Albert’s Kieran Jhass, were nominated as Horizon Group of the Year. Although by-passed for the award, the band had the opportunity to strut their stuff during The Songwriters Showcase. 

Benedict summed up the experience nicely. “It was two years since I’d seen these people in person. It was extra special to reconnect and see that everyone had persevered and came out the other side.”   

The two-day event was held March 19 and 20 at Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre in Red Deer, the halfway point between Calgary and Edmonton. 

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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