London, Ont. super-fan to present award on stage at CCMA's after winning nationwide contest
While fans were lining up to get their picture with Canadian Country Music stars, Londoner Annette Dawm waited patiently to get her moment with Male Artist of the Year nominee Jade Eagleson.
The 30-year-old, originally from Chesley Ont. has an all-access pass this week, after winning the Canadian Country Music Awards (CCMA) ultimate fan experience contest presented by TD Bank.
"It's really exciting just because I've been going to concerts since I was 17 so that's a lot of concerts," says Dawm, who is in a wheelchair after being born with Cerebral Palsy.
"This brings it together into one weekend and see all my favorite artists at once, that's pretty exciting."
Dawm kicked off her weekend with a concert Friday night. She'll have brunch at Covent Garden Market, attend Sunday's Gala dinner, and Monday's live award's show.
Saturday, she attended Fan Fest, and was sticking around for a free concert at CCMA House with big artists like Tim Hicks, Dallas Smith and Jess Moskaluke.
Dawm became friends with a number of artists over the past five years, after meeting them the last time the CCMA's were in London, Ont. in 2016. A few of them encouraged her to start a blog, and it has taken off with over 700,000 views.
"My goal with my blog is to interview as many creative people as possible," says Dawm.
"I don't just interview country artists, but that's obviously my favorite, and I try to interview as many people that I can."
Being a super-fan and interacting with stars over social media can be tricky.
"Sometimes, I don't want to bother them,' says Dawm.
"I feel like sometimes people can go overboard and it's kind of creepy, so I I try not to do that."
It's fans like her, that keep the artists performing.
"It's really great to be back and seeing people again and then performing it's really a huge blessing," says Eagleson, who was meeting fans Saturday.
"You take a lot for granted, so now that we have it back it's pretty great."
Rising country star Nate Haller says being back in a venue and meeting fans in person has been uplifting.
"I've only been able to do social media interaction with people during COVID, so it's cool to be able to fist-bump from afar and thank them for supporting my music, it's awesome."
After being given VIP treatment at the Hilton Double-Tree hotel this weekend, Dawm will be on stage Monday, but doesn't expect to be nervous.
"I'm just really excited to be able to go to a concert," says Dawm.
"To have it be this really big concert and to be part of it and be on stage and get to see everyone that I think that's my favorite part. I'm co-presenting with an artist, and I don't know if I'm allowed to say who it is, but you will find out when you watch the show."