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Lacombe country star Gord Bamford up for CCMAs

Bamford will be hosting his charity golf classic this August in Lacombe

Lacombe native Gord Bamford has landed several nominations for this year’s Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA), including Apple Music Fans’ Choice, Male Artist of the Year and Record Producer (s) of the Year.

The 2018 CCMA Awards, which will air live from Hamilton on Sept. 9th, is part of the ongoing successful continuity of Bamford’s album Neon Smoke, which was released early this year.

Bamford said earlier this year that with this being his eighth album, it has him feeling old and young at the same time.

“It is probably my most successful album yet,” he said. “It is selling well and the songs have been great. My new single Dive Bar is streaming like crazy.

“After all the years of making records, you always try to make your best one and this one seems to be taking off for me.”

The album’s debut single, Livin’ On Summertime, broke the Top 10 on the Canadian Country music charts, while the follow up single Ain’t it Grand saw Bamford joining Blue Rodeo’s frontman Jim Cuddy.

Bamford attributed the success of the album in part to his return to Alberta, having recently just moved into a new home on Buffalo Lake.

“Being familiar from where you come from is a big part of what is going on,” he said. “We enjoyed Nashville and the States but everyone is excited to be back.”

Being back in Alberta has allowed Bamford to be closer to his charity, the Gord Bamford Foundation, which has raised over $3.1 million through its principle event — the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic, which is now in its 11th year.

“We are looking for a great, successful golf event this year where we raise a bunch of money and give back,” Bamford said. “We have been able to keep it in Lacombe. It has grown so big that we could take it elsewhere, but we like to keep it local and the golf course has done a lot of great things for us.”

The Charity Golf Classic will again be held at the Sheraton Hotel Exhibition Hall in Red Deer on Aug. 15th and at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club on Aug. 16th.

The private, invitation-only Gala evening will see more than 700 people take in an Old Wild West themed evening including world-class country music, two-stepping, exciting auction items, a celebrity auction, and gourmet food.

“It’s hard to believe that we are rolling into our second decade of working on the event. We have developed a wonderful event with our generous sponsors, volunteers and committee members. We’ve also established great partnerships with worthwhile charities. I love supporting organizations in the community that I grew up in and am happy that the Foundations’ success has also allowed us to reach charities all across Canada,” said Bamford.

Last August the event raised $393,534 and it carries a goal of surpassing that total this year which went to a number of youth-serving charities like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District, MusiCounts, Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart, and the Hockey Alberta Foundation to name a few.

Bamford said he is involved with the choice and everyone in the Foundation is geared towards supporting youth initiatives.

“We try to give back in areas that have impacted my life along the way,” he said. “It is 95 per cent youth and children that benefit from it and that has been really great.

“The golf event is one of the biggest events in all of Canada when it comes to charity events. It is a beast that has a life of its own and it is pretty cool to watch how it turned out.”

Following the tournament, Bamford will continue to tour, which by the end of the year, will be well over 100 shows, almost doubling Bamford’s yearly average.

“It has been busy, but that has been part of the key to the success of this record,” he said, adding that the record is up for the CCMA Fan’s Choice Award.

“The support from the local community in Lacombe would be great. You can go on the website and vote. That is a bucket list one for me,” he said.

todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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