Staff

Laurie Brown
Executive Director - Laurie Brown

Laurie Brown is the Executive Director of Country Music Alberta, stepping into the position in 2019 after serving on the Board of Directors for 3 years. In addition to her Country Music Alberta duties, Laurie is also the owner of Porch Swing Entertainment, an Alberta based artist management and consulting company, where she handles day-to-day career management responsibilities for multi-award-winning, triple JUNO nominated singer-songwriter Don Amero, much acclaimed singer-songwriter-pianist Jeffery Straker, charming folk duo Flint & Feather, and Celtic Americana duo The Doll Sisters.  Laurie also currently holds a position on the Board of Directors for Music Managers Forum (MMF) Canada and is often called upon as a speaker on music industry panels, as a workshop facilitator and as a juror/judge for music industry and grant funding organizations.

Laurie is an alumni of the Berklee College of Music "Music Business - Artist Management" Program and Canada's Music Incubator's Artist Manager Program.  She brings a wealth of industry knowledge, funding and showcasing experience, and organizational skills to Country Music Alberta.

Board of Directors

Bill Hanson 2
President - Bill Hanson

Bill Hanson has been a member of Country Music Alberta since its inception and has been a board member for the past 2 years. He has been in the music industry for 38 years. Bill began as a lead vocalist/bass player for numerous touring bands including 15 years with the band Kidd Country. He has continued in the industry as a manager, tour manager, sound tech, merch salesman, and almost everything in between. He is currently the Owner/CEO of H Factor Productions (formally known as Hanson Productions) and has been running the company full time for the last 16 years. He is also a proud father of 4 fabulous children, Jesse, Billie, Brett and Camryn. Bill continues to play with 3 of his children in The Hanson Jeans.

Jenn Dalen-Gordon
Vice President - Jenn Dalen

Jenn Dalen is a born and raised Albertan who a little while ago landed a career in radio. This crazy career path most recently moved her to Central Alberta where she is the Regional Program Director for Red Deer, Rural Alberta, Kelowna, and Kamloops for Stingray. 

Jenn loves Alberta and Canadian country music! She has been a Country Music Alberta member for the past 5 years, and on the Country Music Alberta Board of Directors for the past 4 years. She is also a CCMA Board Member.

When she‘s not busy programming radio stations or supporting the Alberta and Canadian country music scene, you'll find her on the slopes (even in May!)

Chard Morrison
Treasurer & Secretary - Chard Morrison

Creative, committed, focused, and passionate are a few words to summarize Chard’s dedication to the country music industry over his career as a professional songwriter.  Being a songwriter, he has developed unique talents in being able to orchestrate the process details from song idea to marketing strategy, and also collaborate with and learn from all levels of music the industry from established Icons to the newest independent artists. Chard’s range of creative and business experience has qualified him to become one of Western Canada’s most sought after consultants for numerous boards both in the music industry and private sector in governance and strategy. He prides himself on being accountable and serving as a translator between all sectors and experience levels involved in a project or initiative all while on the lookout for the next perfect rhyme.

Angie Morris
Director - Angie Morris

Angie Morris has been involved in the music industry for numerous years. Starting as a venue owner in a venue with seating of only 100 people, Angie not only supported local talent, but also booked some of Canada’s top country talent including Beverley Mahood, Aaron Pritchett, Gil Grand, and Johnny Reid, amongst others. With the limited seating, these shows were unique as they exposed the audience to the artists in an up close and personal setting.  With the venue doing well, Angie expanded her portfolio, booking several classic rock acts such as Trooper, Headpins, Harlequin and more into her venue and larger venues in her community.

Having invested five years developing other artists with another entertainment company, it was time to pursue other options. Angie had built a solid base in the music business, and with her industry relationships developing, she started a new venture, Sirroma Entertainment. With the focus on artist development, Angie’s initial signing was Alberta artist Drew Gregory. Gregory has received several Country Music Alberta Award nominations and in 2013, released his sophomore album “The Way I Was Raised”. Angie continues to work with Drew and in 2014 expanded her roster to include Alberta group Renegade Station. This group has also garnered several Country Music Alberta Award nominations and awards. Late in 2018, the team brought on Jordyn Pollard, a talented artist based out of Saskatchewan, adding to the roster.

Angie was a principal in the creation of “Diamonds in the Rough” a performance platform, which is featured during Canadian Country Music week. This stage has allowed numerous artists an opportunity to perform for their peers and other industry professionals during the week. Canada has a huge amount of talent and not everyone has the opportunity to be heard, this stage gives them this chance. Over the past seven years, the stage has grown immensely with many looking forward to the event.

She has been an active Country Music Alberta board member for the last 4 years and has enjoyed being part of the growth of this organization to what it is today. Over the last couple of years, we have been diligently creating opportunities and working behind the scenes to grow Country Music Alberta. Every artist given the correct tools and opportunities will achieve individual success!

Angie looks forward to continuing in assisting with the growth of Country Music Alberta and the talented artists that form its membership.

Andrea Nixon
Director - Andrea Nixon

Andrea Nixon is a prolific songwriter with a voice dipped in the well of the great traditional female country artists such as Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton and influenced by the great singer songwriters on the 1970s, like Emmylou Harris. She’s also influenced by harder edged sounds and the distinctive vocal stylings and empowered vocal delivery of artists such as Alanis Morisette, making "Diary of a Housewife" attractive to a wide range of fans of various generations and genres, including folk, pop, rock, blues as well as traditional country. Her songs touch on real issues found in everyday life, drawn from the lonesome landscape of the great Alberta Plains, told from the vantage point of a woman with a lot of life under her nails.

I’ve found this album terrifically enjoyable; Andrea Nixon is a superb storyteller with a fantastic voice and a gift for a clever turn of phrase.”

Great Dark Wonder.  February 7th, 2018

“Nixon exudes the pure country Loretta Lynn, Emmy Lou Harris, Reba McEntire, Dolly Parton, and Patsy Cline mixed with the alt-roots ballads of Corb Lund, punctuated with the '90s rock/ pop edge of Alanis Morissette.” Waterloo Region Record, February 2nd, 2018

Andrea Nixon is currently developing material for her next record, "Barbed Wire Dreams" for which she has already recorded two lead tracks with Producer Russell Broom. This next project remains true to Andrea's storytelling roots but has a decidedly modern sound. "Barbed Wire Dreams" explores the experiences of the artist, forging her own path within the Canadian music scene. The intent of this next project is to inspire other dream chasers to find their own path forward, in spite of the obstacles, as we each chase our own version of a barbed wire dream.

Stella Stevens
Director - Stella Stevens

Stella Stevens’ background is in the Radio Broadcasting industry having worked as an On-Air Host/Personality for more than 25 years. Working in various radio formats as AC/Soft Rock, Oldies, Top 40 and for the past 13 years in Country.  

“I’m going into my 13th year at 840 CFCW and was hosting the CFCW Afternoon Drive Show for 7 years before moving into my current role in the Morning Show.  Throughout my time at CFCW I’ve had the privilege of being involved in weekly music meetings, interviewing artists, MC’ing shows, and establishing relationships with not only artists and their Managers, but PR people and Record Reps.

"I am a proud supporter of emerging artists in our Alberta country music industry and feel fortunate to be in a position to help promote local talent."

Chris Melnychuk
Director - Chris Melnychuk

Chris Melnychuk is the Director of Festival Operations & Marketing at Trixstar Productions and has been involved in the events industry for almost 20 years with a large part of that time having been spent in the music festival side of things primarily at the Big Valley Jamboree.

"In working with the Country Music Alberta board, I hope to continue on the work to create more opportunities for all members while furthering the development of country music in  Alberta, and Canada for that matter, and showcasing it to the world, while bringing a unique perspective from a music festival background, along with other events.

"It is my belief that the the work of this organization provides tools and opportunities for all generations of Alberta artists that produce and promote music. This will, in turn, nurture the drive, determination, and undeniable talent that is present and demanded by the industry to continue to create a solid foundation to build a world class association with world class artists and talent."

Megan McKay crop
Director - Megan McKay

A life-long music lover, Megan McKay found her place at OCL Studios as the Studio Manager. After joining the team, Megan's new-found passion for the Canadian music industry led her to Toronto and the Canada's Music Incubator Manager program, which she completed in 2017. Always keen to learn, Megan can often be found at industry events around town and is a big supporter of the Alberta music industry. Megan is very proud to be part of the incredible team of creatives at OCL.

Joel Jelinski
Director - Joel Jeliniski

From an early age, Joel Jelinski started thinking like an entrepreneur. After graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Joel discovered a passion for business development and networking. Using the disciplines he acquired in university, Joel decided to start his own business in Calgary and grew his company to 18 full time employees within 3 years.  After securing a multi-million dollar licensing partnership with a major US whiskey brand and closing a successful deal on CBC’s Dragons Den, Joel sold his shares to his partners. Fueled by a passion to help other entrepreneurs, Joel set his sights on the music industry. Drawing on his past experience building an international brand & business, Joel started working with artists & organizations to develop a clear brand vision, to diversify & grow new revenue streams, to collaborate with like-minded brands & corporate sponsors, and to create an agile execution strategy that can be adjusted to new industry trends. By leveraging sponsorship deals, creating brand alignments and collaborating on a co-branded product line, Joel has positioned these artists and organizations to be uniquely introduced to a new fan demographic.

Krista Wodelet - credit Christina Woerns SQUARE
Director - Krista Wodelet

Krista Wodelet is the drummer for CCMA-nominated all-girl country band Nice Horse. A multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, Krista got her start in classical music, with degrees in orchestral wind playing from the University of Toronto (B.Mus.) and the University of Southern California (M.Mus.). Alongside a busy freelance career playing in orchestras such as the Calgary Philharmonic and the Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Santa Monica, and Okanagan Symphonies, she formed one half of electro-pop duo Sidney York, lending keys, bassoon, and vocals to the project. Krista’s diverse musical path has taken her to perform at major festivals around the world, including SXSW (Austin, TX), AmericanaFest (Nashville, TN), BIGSOUND (Australia), Music Matters (Singapore), Reeperbahn (Germany), and plenty at home in Canada - Boots & Hearts, the Calgary Stampede, Big Valley Jamboree, and more. She currently drums full-time as a core member of Nice Horse, who first made their mark in early 2017 touring as direct support for Canadian icon Tom Cochrane.