Lots of photos of Canadian Country Music stars in the Honey Candles office these days! On June 28th Honey Candles received an invitation from WOW Creations to take part in the Gift Lounge at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards Sept 8th and 9th. WOW Creations of Glendale California is involved in setting up Gift Lounges for events like the Oscars and Emmys as well. Their representative Mark Harris found Honey Candles in a store in Vancouver during a stopover on an Alaska cruise. He was impressed with the quality and asked us to bring our beeswax Honey Candles to gift the nominees and the presenters at the Canadian Country Music Awards in Saskatoon. We said yes!
We felt like we needed to brush up on our Canadian Country Music and become familiar with the big hits so we listened to lots of the nominees’ hits. The Fan’s Choice nominee Gord Bamford song, Is it Friday Yet got stuck in my head. We read bios on all the nominees. We tweeted, we used Facebook and Pinterest. We did what we could to let everyone know we were going to the Country Music Awards. We probably promoted the Canadian Country Music Awards more than we promoted ourselves.
Getting to the CCMA Awards was a story in itself. Roy and Leah asked Nicola their niece to come with them because she is a Country Music fan and knows the artists. She is also working here so she knows Honey Candles so she was an obvious guest. They went to Calgary and spent time visiting family and then drove to Saskatoon. As a former resident of Saskatchewan I’ve done this trip many times and I am always amazed at the tug at my heart as we head into the rolling prairies. I forget about the big sky and how far you can see until I’m there. I was happy to note that Roy and Leah had the same sense of awe. It was hard to pick just one photo to capture the experience but this is probably the one that I think ’says’ Saskatchewan in September.
Roy, Leah and Nicola pulled in to Saskatoon Friday September 6th and set up their table. That evening they went to the Cabaret. It was rocking. Much of Saturday was spent in the Gift Lounge being entertained as the performers rehearsed for Sunday’s Gala Event that broadcast on CBC. It was an opportunity for our Honey Candles trio to watch and see the stars in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Sunday the Gift Lounge really picked up. Rehearsing was over and the stars came and went all day.
We chose our gifts carefully. We wanted people to enjoy the beauty of natural beeswax. We made gift bags with a Natural 3 inch round beeswax Honey Candles Pillars and White Taper Pairs. Beeswax always smells of honey and most of the celebrities immediately had to smell their candles. I know the smoothness, depth and the weight of our pillars feels really nice when you pick them up. Fan’s Choice winner Johnny Reid was so impressed with his Honey Candles® Pillar he wants to be sure you see it! Johnny has been the Fan’s Choice four years running. Lots of charisma here!
Roy and Leah could not believe how friendly the artists, their managers, their bands and the presenters were. They were told it is characteristic of the industry. The stars were down to earth, interested in our candles and understood the importance of manufacturing in small town Canada. Most of them come from small towns themselves like Dean Brody originally from Jaffray BC in the West Kootenays. Leah and Dean chatted about Tie Lake near Jaffray. Dean waterskied there and Leah vacationed there as a child. Here’s Leah, Dean and Nicola. Dean went on to win two awards that night - Album of the Year and Male Singer of the Year. Pretty handsome guy don't you think ladies!
The presenters at the Gala Event weren’t all Country Music Stars. NHL stars were there too including Theo Fleury and Saskatoon born hockey brothers Luke and Brayden Schenn. They all met Roy, Leah and Nicola. The link between hockey and Country Music is very real. Chad Brownlee of Kelowna even gave up a potential career in hockey walking away to search out a career in country music. When you read through the bios of many of the Country Music stars hockey is an important part of their life. Hockey even comes up in their songs so it was nice that their hockey heroes came to present at their awards event. . Hmmm I wonder if Country Stars go to the NHL Awards?
I watched the awards on CBC and what was clear from the comments was the camaraderie. There was a sense that the stars were helping other stars to be born. They mentor and help each other out. Roy and Leah asked some of the people ‘on the inside’ about that. They were told it was unique to the Country Music industry and also it was very Canadian. When asked what made them proud to be Canadians some of the comments were:
“No matter where we travel in the world…Everyone loves Canadians. Canadians breed a good people. Proud to be Canadian.” The Stellas winners of the CMT Video of the Year for In This House
“Canada is a small country in terms of population but is huge in its achievements and positive impact on the world.” Jason Blaine winner of the Best Single of the Year for They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore
There is a common theme as you read through the program. Canada is a good place to live because of opportunity, good health care, our international reputation and probably our hockey.
The stars impressed Roy and Leah and and they went away with some important warm memories. Kira Isabella who won the Rising Star Award says she loves going to small towns and shopping for Canadian made products. Many of them wanted to know where they could buy our candles particularly in Nashville. The whole experience of the Canadian Country Music Awards was enjoyable. I want to leave you with a couple comments stars made about our beeswax candles:
When Amber Marshall (you probably know her as Amy on Heartland) received her Honey Candles gift pack of beeswax candles she gave us an autograph and said, "Leave it to the Bees".
George Canyon said, “ You can’t get better than natural.”
Codie Prevost accepted his gift bag and in return gave Roy and Leah some of his CDs. They brought one home for me that Codie autographed.
We could write so much more about all the stars and we have so many photos. We are hoping to have the Country Music Awards photos up on a gallery on our website soon. We will announce it on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest when we do!
Thanks to everyone who has wished us well and congratulated us on being at this amazing event. What a great party! What an opportunity for Honey Candles! Meeting the Canadian Country Music stars and finding out how genuine and friendly they are has made us even bigger fans!