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Country music hall of fame show restored

A dozen inductees from across B.C. will be recognized in Mission on Oct. 5

After close to a decade hiatus, B.C.'s country music industry is once again spotlighting some of its long-time contributors.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, the BC Country Music Association's Hall of Fame show returns, with a dozen inductees set to be recognized, announced president Cassandra Smith.

Smith and past-president Linda Corscadden, one of the inductees who served as president for 16 years, have been working together to bring back what they call the "long-await" show.

"Being that we have not had a Hall of Fame show since 2016, this year’s show has an incredible amount of history and legacy of country music in British Columbia," Smith said.

"It is always exciting to come together for our country music community,” the president added, noting the team is working on a "fantastic show and celebration!"

Langley's own award-winning artist Karen Lee Batten is among those helping with the afternoon event, which will be held at the Clarke Theatre in Mission.

"It's so important to have a Hall of Fame show," said Batten, who will be joined in hosting duties by Country 107.1 radio program director Curtis Pope. "We're pretty stoked."

"There are so many people who have donated so much of their time, so much passion, so much of their art and creativity, who have been members of the B.C. country music industry for so long, that they do need to be recognized," Batten added, applauding Corscadden and the rest of the BCCMA for bringing back the show.

"The people who are nominated, they are a part of my entire industry. I grew up surrounded by them. These people have been with me along the way as mentors and colleagues of mine since I started in the country music industry. So, to see them get these awards that are so well deserved, it's going to be such a great night of honour for them, and I can't wait to be a part of that," said Batten. 

Among those set to be recognized are Langley's own Geoff Dueck, Nicole Hyette, as well as Corscadden, a long-time Langley resident who has relocated to Oliver.

Also set to be inducted are: One Horse Blue (mostly Vancouver residents), Alibi (Vancouver and Surrey residents), Jim Byrnes (Vancouver), Lisa Brokop (formerly Surrey, now Nashville), Patricia Conroy (formerly Vancouver, now Nashville), David Willis (Vancouver), Tony Rudner (Vancouver), The Cruzeros (Kelowna), and Rob Pattee (Vancouver).

"The contributions of this year’s inductees were, and are, paramount to the ongoing tradition and success in all areas of country music in B.C.,” said Corscadden.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring you a show honouring these pioneers and it’s going to be the best show yet.” 

The show, which will run from 3 to 5 p.m., will feature performances by some of the inductees, including Conroy, Byrnes, and Brokop. Doors open at 2.

Tickets for the BCCMA Hall of Fame Show are $45 each, are available online at

Background on the inductees:

Alibi – It was the 1980s, and Canadian bands like Bryan Adams and Glass Tiger were emerging to global success.

Enter Alibi.

Comprised of Dave Clow, the Soucy brothers (Steve and Shawn), John Redekop, Rob Steininger, Joseph Vorhes, and Reid Barton, Alibi scored four BCCMA group of the year wins, multiple CCMA nominations, and a #1 single at Canadian radio, as well as charting two U.S. singles in their nearly five-year life span.

As the band evolved into a vocal-heavy, modern country act, Alibi left a mark and set the stage for the many Canadian country artists to follow.

Brokop – 2024 heralds B.C.’s own Lisa Brokop’s 35th year in country music, but is by no means the finish line for this award-winning Canadian icon.

As a professional musician by age 15, Brokop has enjoyed a string of Canadian hits, including her certified gold album ‘Every Little Girl’s Dream.’ 

At 19, she landed the lead in the film ‘Harmony Cats,’ with Jim Byrnes, about a young artist pursuing a country music career in Nashville. A classic case of art imitating life, Brokop moved to Music City and never looked back.

Four U.S. record deals, an ACM nomination, and multiple hits later, her eocative voice and outstanding songwriting chops continue to define her evolution as an artist with an enduring career.

Byrnes – Born in St. Louis, the heart of blues country, Jim Byrnes was singing, and playing guitar by age 13.

In the ensuing 50 years, Byrnes has crooned, drawled, belted, and sweet-talked scores of songs into a microphone, and along the way has had the great fortune to appear with a “who’s who” of the blues. From Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to Taj Mahal and Robert Cray, Byrnes has been on the blues highway his whole career. 

His fame as an actor (‘Wiseguy’ and ‘Highlander’) rivals his legendary music standing.

With many award-winning albums to his credit, Byrnes released a much-decorated country album in 2012, cementing his status as a true Canadian arts icon.

Conroy – The quintessential singer/songwriter, Patricia Conroy has built a remarkable career as a Canadian country music artist who relocated to Nashville in 1993 to pursue her songwriting dreams and write with – and for – the best.  

Her career is studded with numerous accolades, a testament to her talent and determination. She has been honoured with the CCMA female vocalist of the year title three times, the 2021 songwriter of the year award, and her 2021 induction into the Hall of Fame.

As an established member of the Nashville songwriting community, Conroy’s success is further amplified by prestigious cuts with artists like Trisha Yearwood, Reba, and Lady A. Recently signing a publishing deal with Anthem Entertainment and Reservoir 416, she continues to flourish as a songwriting expat.

Corscadden –  As the longest-standing director of the BCCMA (and any other board across Canada), Linda Corscadden has developed a love for the industry that she helped to shape.

Starting as a BCCMA volunteer in the early 2000s, Corscadden worked her way through many roles including vice president, president, and executive director until her 2019 resignation.

This tireless country music advocate has also shared her prodigious skills with the Mountain Music Festival, the Rockin’ River Music Festival, and Music BC, working alongside artists and industry stakeholders in dozens of initiatives designed to advance the B.C. music industry.

A fourteen-time BCCMA award-winner, Corscadden remains involved with the BCCMA as part of the Hall of Fame committee and advisory board.

Cruzeros – One of the most successful bands to emerge from the dynamic Okanagan music scene, The Cruzeros was founded by Barry Mathers and Curtis Tulman in 1985.

Kickstarted with a FACTOR-funded album produced by Bill Buckingham, the self-titled debut album was released to critical acclaim in 1996, earning the band a JUNO nomination for country group of the year.

An impressive 13-year run ensued, producing three albums, 20 top 40 releases, and dozens of awards, including Canadian Indie country album of the year.

Touring Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and Europe earned The Cruzeros their reputation as one of the hardest-working indie bands, and its former members continue to build musical legacies in other projects.

Dueck – Beginning his professional relationship with the BCCMA in 1986 and considered a true veteran, Geoff Dueck spent multiple terms as a director and served on many advisory and nomination committees. 

Dueck acted as house soundman at Gabby’s Cabaret for more than 20 years.

He was instrumental in producing showcases, award shows, and fundraising events for the BCCMA and other industry stakeholders, benefiting established and emerging BC artists.

He continues to bring his production and entertainment coordinator skills to community fairs, festivals, and corporate events, where he hires and promotes B.C. country artists at every opportunity. Dueck's 40 years of comprehensive industry knowledge remain a valuable resource to the BCCMA.

Hyette – For more than a quarter of her life, Nicole Hyette has dedicated herself to the BCCMA and its mandate to support BC country music.

During her 12-year tenure, Hyette served the organization in many ways, including as vice president, executive director, and special events coordinator on the Vancouver CCMA committee.

This much-loved industry cheerleader's commitment to B.C. country music has been recognized five times through her country music person of the year awards.

Some of Hyette's proudest BCCMA achievements include the Hall of Fame Project/Show, the Music Rules in Schools program, her development of the BCCMA website and the revival of the Boot & Spur Newsletter.

She has left an indelible imprint on the BCCMA.

One Horse Blue – Prolific country-rock band One Horse Blue saw two distinct entities: the 1977 Edmonton-based version with Winston Quelch, Bob Burghardt, Randy Lloyd, Rocko Vaugeois, Ian Oscar, Michael Shellard, and Mavis McCauley, and the reformed Vancouver band with new members Gord Maxwell, Larry Pink, and Andreas Schuld.

Across two provinces and decades, One Horse Blue released four albums and, in 1993, signed with Brian Ferryman of Savannah Records (sight unseen and based strictly on a handful of rough mixes).

The resulting album produced five top 10 singles, with ‘Hopeless Love’ the first indie single to score a number one.

As a Juno nominee and multiple award recipient, One Horse Blue was part of the 1990's new country movement, and remains an iconic Canadian band. 

Pattee – Manager, agent, talent buyer, music educator, and advocate Rob Pattee has spent 42 years in the music industry breaking acts and handling their career trajectory.

Even within an unpredictable music industry, Vancouver-based Pattee is considered something of a certified star maker with golden ears and a Midas touch.

In his earlier years, he scouted for talent as a Feldman agent and was responsible for discovering many hit artists, including Nickelback and Daniel Powter.

As the owner of RPM Music Services, Patee’s steady hand has guided award-winning Crystal Shawanda’s career to impressive heights. He also serves as agent to blues guitarist Sue Foley and The Steadies.

Pattee's proven relationships and credibility throughout the Canadian music industry speak to his longstanding commitment to advancing the careers of both emerging and established artists.

Rudner – South African-born Tony Rudner built a thriving career as a producer and songwriter after he arrived in Vancouver in 1992.

Several fortuitous relationships – among them a pivotal one with Jerry Leiske, manager of Farmer’s Daughter – led to Tony’s production of the group’s debut album, and the rest is history.

As a testament to his talent,  Rudner was a multiple BCCMA award recipient and a CCMA 2000 nominee for producer of the year.

His success was not limited to the Canadian music scene, as he also made a name for himself as a staff writer for Nashville-based Famous Music, Zomba Music, and BMG Music Publishing.

Rudner's contributions to the music industry have been recognized and celebrated, solidifying his position as a respected figure in the field.

Willis – David Wills, one of the B.C. country music community’s most illustrious and prolific members, has worn many hats.

His involvement in the BC Country Music Association itself runs deep: Willis acted as a board member from the mid-2000s on and was elected president in 2019.

Through the years, he has also engaged in the roles of music producer, musician, industry consultant, award-winning songwriter, and composer.

As an artist manager, Wills had a hand in shaping the careers of Higgins, AJ Woodworth, Langley's Robyn & Ryeligh, and Australia’s Jetty Road.

Wills is perhaps best known, however, as one of the West Coast’s most identifiable and favourite voices, fronting bands like David Wills and The Dynamics, as well as Stonebolt.

About the Author: Langley Advance Times Staff

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