From Farm Roots To The Red Carpet
Family values, hard work, dedication, determination, being kind to your neighbors, and dreaming big are some of the things that were instilled in me growing up. Having the opportunity of being raised on a farm is truly a blessing and has molded me into the person I am today.
Every fall, when I was a kid our family, would gather around a 20” color TV in the living room to watch the Canadian Country Music Awards. This became a family tradition we looked forward to every year. This broadcast featured Canada’s biggest country music stars and recognized them for their musical contributions over the previous year in country music. I remember thinking how cool it would be to possibly one day attend the awards show and be a part of that community of artists that included Shania Twain, Paul Brandt, and Terri Clark.
When I graduated from high school I started performing my first concerts for $100 per night in local bars. Before I knew it I was performing every single weekend from town to town. It was hard work but I was dedicated and focused on my goals. As time progressed the shows got bigger, more songs I recorded went to radio, more music videos were made, and I still held onto that dream of one day attending the Canadian Country Music Awards and becoming a part of that family of artists.
The year was 2012 and the Canadian Country Music Awards just so happened to be in my home province of Saskatchewan. When the nominees are announced the CCMA holds press events across the country and sends out press releases announcing who the nominees are for the upcoming awards. I still remember searching the list for my name and seeing it there under the “Rising Star” Award nominees. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was nominated for a Canadian Country Music Award.
After the nominations were announced I was invited to walk the red carpet prior to the awards show broadcast, which that year would be “The Green Carpet” as John Deere was a major sponsor. What a thrill to get the chance to walk the same celebrity runway as Taylor Swift & Eric Church that year. I was told that each artist would be getting dropped off at the green carpet in a fancy classic car. My team and I thought since I hold my farming roots very near and dear to my heart, how cool would it be to arrive driving a tractor or combine. When we initially approached John Deere they liked our tractor idea and sent us a photo of the tractor they thought I could drive. Well, it was basically a small riding lawn mower lol. Now being a farm kid I was looking for the biggest tractor possible to make the grand entrance. John Deere representatives had thought that it was someone who had never driven a tractor before but when they found out about my farming background they offered the biggest John Deere tractor they had.
I remember as we arrived at the arena and seeing this huge 4-wheel drive John Deere tractor parked in the parking lot waiting for my wife Ashley and I to drive to “The Green Carpet”. I was so proud to represent not only my home province that day but also my farming roots driving that tractor. As an independent artist, it really set me apart from all the other artists at the awards. It was an incredible moment I’ll never forget.
The Newspaper even covered the event and you can check out the article below!
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