Our 'INDUSTRY PERSON' for the month of June isn't always be visible but that's because she's working extremely hard behind the scenes managing her artists. Carmen Choney has had an amazing career so far in Canadian Country Music, working with some of the industry’s biggest stars. Her events career has spanned more than two decades as Tour Manager, Publicist and Management professional. She holds an impressive diploma in Management Studies from Grant MacEwan College and has also earned a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge.
She started her music career over 20 years ago but her career took a huge turn when she was hired by Mike Denny the president of MDM Recordings. She was hired to do Tour & Road Management and Artist Representation. She also does live show logistics, Publicity and Promotions. Her duties also include Merchandise management and purchasing for the recording company.
Carmen's work ethic, knowledge of the music industry and industry contacts have proved invaluable in pushing the MDM Recordings brand out to the masses. As previous Tour Manager for Chad Brownlee Music and Co-Manager of Jess Moskaluke, she has had the great fortune of traveling this country working not only with directly the artists and their bands but also promoters, buyers and media. Her point of view of the business takes into account the overall well being of the artist, both on stage and off and she provides a fair assessment through experience of what the audience is hoping for in the show. She not only works on the business side of the music but is still a fan of great music, both recorded and live.
Not only that but she is also so invested in the fans of Canadian country music. We met her personally at CCMA Fan Village in Hamilton in 2018 and observed how wonderful and fun she was with the fans who seemed to flock to talk to her. We watched as she went around and handed out personal invitations to the fans for a private MDM party during that weekend. She personally made a lot of fans of her own just doing that kind jesture!
As if she weren't busy enough with her responsibilites at MDM Recordings, Carmen has worked on, and volunteered for some of North America’s largest events and music festivals including the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver for NBC which was a huge undertaking and has rounded out her resume with a yearly position as stage manager for the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, AB.
If you want something done in the Canadian country music business, Carm gets it done! She has earned herself huge staying power in a tough industry with her genuine kindheartedness and incredible organizational skills. As one of the most likeable people in the industry she's going to be around for a very long time!
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If you're a fan of Canadian country music you'd had to be in hiding not to know who our featured May 'INDUSTRY PERSON' of the month is. This beautiful lady and country music seem to just go together! Shannon Ella is not only the midday host on London's Pure Country 93 out of London Ontario and Fredericton's Pure Country 103.5's host out of Fredericton Nova Scotia but the National midday host for all 13 Pure Country stations across Canada! She is also a regular country music host and contributor on iHeartRadio Canada. And if that wasn't enough she is also a host & content Editor/Producer for Warner Music Canada’s Complete Country.
At the young age of 5 years old Shannon was given a Shania Twain album and Sony CD Walkman for Christmas and the rest was history. ‘From that moment on’ she was absolutely hooked on country music because even at a young age she felt she could relate to it. Since discovering Shania, country music has been a huge part of her life.Along with loving country music, Shannon grew up training and competing in horse shows across North America. She vividly remembers spending a lot time in the barn being surrounded by horses, which naturally became her safe haven. Her love for horses brought her to Kentucky, a place she had visited with her Dad. It was at that point she knew the rolling pastures and horse farms of the bluegrass state would eventually become her new home. When she told her parents that one day she was going to live in Kentucky her parents laughed it off. It was no joke because when she turned 18 she decided to pursue her dream and move there much to her parents disapproval at first.
After moving to Lexington Kentucky for four years and studying communications at the Bluegrass Community & Technical College Foundation for 2 years she returned to Canada to pursue a career in broadcast and country music. But not before she held the position of Canadian Sales and Marketing Coordinator for The International Racehorse Magazine from 2013-2016. She then left there to pursue a job at Durham Radio with KX947 as their Community Event's Coordinator & On-Air Personality. What an opportunity as Shannon has recently joined PURE COUNTRY as host of a nationally syndicated midday show, airing across all 13 PURE COUNTRY stations so you can now hear her voice right across Canada! There she plays all the biggest country hits, keeping listeners up-to-date on the latest music news and gets to chat with some of country music’s biggest artists!
Shannon has lived every country girl’s dream, travelling to some of the biggest country music festivals, concerts, and award shows, and interviewing some of the hottest country artists including her idol Shania. At the 2018 CCMA Awards in Hamilton she remembered thinking when they said she was coming to her next "Am I really about to talk to Shania Twain?" “I panicked because I thought all my words had escaped my brain, but when she came up she was so kind, calm, and humble. It was like I’d talked to her a million times.”
As if her life wasn't sweet enough, she and her boyfriend Canadian country music artist and Grammy award songwriter Steven Lee Olsen announced their recent engagement in March of 2020. He refers to her as "the light of my life. My ride or die." As if he hasn't had big enough success in Canada, he has an incredible songwriter resume as he co-wrote Keith Urban’s double-platinum hit “Blue Ain’t Your Color” which in 2017 was named the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) Song of the Year and crowned “Single of the Year” at the CMA Awards, in addition to being nominated for “Best Country Song” and “Best Country Solo Performance” at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, and “Song of the Year” at the ACM Awards. Olsen also penned Kip Moore’s #1 hit “More Girls Like You” and co-wrote Dallas Smith’s #1 Platinum hit “Drop” as well as numerous cuts for other stars including Garth Brooks, Billy Currington, Rascal Flatts, Emerson Drive and more.Together this power couple will be unstoppable in the Canadian country music industry!
Her favourite thing to do outside of work other than spending time with Steven is to cuddle with her dog Phoebe and binge watch ‘Friends’. And if it involves cold beer, a boat, country music and sunshine, she's IN! With a motto of "aways living, always learning and always looking to improve" there is no doubt you're going to be hearing the name Shannon Ella for many more years to come in country music!