Nice Horse at a gallop before the Canadian Country Music Awards

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Nice Horse, consisting of Tara McLeod, Krista Wodelet and Brandi Sidoryk and Katie Rox, formed in 2016. Phil Crozier/Handout

All-female country music group Nice Horse is having a productive summer.

The Calgary-based band, which formed in 2016, has played events such as the Cavendish Beach Music Festival in Prince Edward Island and opened for Lindsay Ell in Nashville North during the Calgary Stampede. And Nice Horse recently landed five nominations at the Canadian Country Music Awards, including Video of the Year for their 2021 single. High school.

Brandi Sidoryk, who sings in the band and plays bass and keyboards, says she and bandmate Krista Wodelet (vocals and drums) designed and produced the video for High school during the end of pandemic restrictions, using community submissions of old high school photos to bring everything to life.

“Instead of just assuming we couldn’t make a video to share our music under the conditions created by the pandemic, we asked, ‘How can we do this?’ “says Ms. Sidoryk. “And then we did it.”

She says she’s proud of the video because she and Ms. Wodelet made their directorial debut, and grateful to be in a group of women who are willing to “learn new skills and try something different.” a little crazy”.

Each band member is also up for the Canadian Country Music Awards this year for their respective roles in the band.Codi McIvor/Document

Nice Horse, formed in 2016, also includes Tara McLeod (vocals and electric guitar) and Katie Rox (vocals, banjo and acoustic guitar). While most of the band members are based in Calgary, Ms. Rox lives in Vancouver, although she spends a lot of time there. Prior to reuniting in their four-piece state, the women had found success in their own rights in different pockets of the Canadian music industry.

The group has won eight Country Music Alberta Awards since 2019 and last year was named Country Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards.

Each band member is also up for the Canadian Country Music Awards this year for their respective roles in the band – Ms. Sidoryk for Bassist of the Year; Ms. Wodelet for drummer of the year; Ms. McLeod for Guitarist of the Year; and Ms. Rox for Specialized Instrumentalist of the Year.

The last time all band members were nominated this way was 31 years ago, when Toronto’s Prairie Oyster did the same. There has never been an all-female act to have five nominations in one year.

“It was a very special moment the feeling of which I simply cannot express when we first heard the news: shocked, humbled, delighted, proud,” Ms Rox said of the nominations.

Ms. Wodelet is the first female nominee in her award category. Katherine Colwell/Handout

Ms Wodelet is the first female nominee in her award category and hopes to see established and emerging drummers continue to be recognized on the road.

“There are a lot of amazing female drummers that I’ve seen as inspirations along the way, so it’s both humbling and exciting to think that I might be able to inspire more women to pick up the battery too,” Ms Wodelet said. .

Ms. McLeod cut her teeth in the industry over the years playing in the famous heavy metal band Kittie, as well as Fefe Dobson’s band. Ms. McLeod has found her footing in country music and is honored with her nomination in 2022.

She is also the first openly queer woman to be nominated in this category and she hopes her nomination will further increase the visibility of queer country music professionals.

“When I first started spending time in the country music community in Alberta, and especially after moving to Calgary, one of the first things I noticed was the support that artists and industry leaders have for each other. I think with a lot of women in music, people tend to focus on a mindset of scarcity — ‘there can only be one’ — and that creates an environment of competition,” says Mrs McLeod.

The group has won eight Country Music Alberta Awards since 2019 and last year was named Country Artist of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards.Codi McIvor/Document

Nice Horse aren’t the only Alberta band hoping to take home trophies when the CCMA Awards take place in Calgary from September 8-11. Edmonton’s Hailey Benedict is considered for both Interactive Artist and Rising Star of the Year, Alee – in addition to being an established singer – is nominated for Creative Director of the Year for the 2021 album cover feels like this.

Then there’s MacKenzie Porter vying for Female Artist of the Year alongside chart-topping Tenille Townes (equally), who leads with seven nominations, including Single of the Year and artist of the year.

Ms. Townes has won various awards over the years, both provincially through Country Music Alberta and nationally through the CCMA.

“I grew up playing on the family stage at the Big Valley Jamboree and having lunch at the Calgary Stampede and so many different events across Alberta that gave me a stage to stand on to start chasing my dream. Townes says. “Feeling the support of the provincial and national music communities here at home really means the world to me.”

Canadian Country Music Week begins on September 8 and the Canadian Country Music Awards will be presented on September 10 and 11.

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