Dean Brody and Johnny Reid, who have dominated the country charts this year, are challenging veteran singer George Canyon in the race for 2011 Canadian Country Music Awards.

Canyon and his backup musicians lead nominations for the CCMAs released Tuesday, with 12. The Pictou County, N.S., singer, who now lives in Alberta, is among the contenders for fans' choice and for album of the year for his Better Be Home Soon.

 CCMA selected nominees
  Fans’ choice award
  • Dean Brody
  • George Canyon
  • Terri Clark
  • Doc Walker
  • Johnny Reid
 Female artist
  • Victoria Banks
  • Terri Clark
  • Carolyn Dawn Johnson
  • Tara Oram
  • Tenille
 Male artist
  • Gord Bamford
  • Dean Brody
  • George Canyon
  • Johnny Reid
  • Deric Ruttan
Best group
  • Doc Walker
  • Emerson Drive
  • The Heartbroken
  • Hey Romeo
  • High Valley
Best roots artist
  • Ridley Bent
  • Shane Chisholm
  • Kirsten Jones
  • Corb Lund
  • Jimmy Rankin

Reid is not far behind with 11 nominations, including fans' choice, the fan-voted award he took home last year. He also is in the running for male artist of the year and album of the year for A Place Called Love. Scottish-born, Ontario-based Reid, who won the male artist honours in 2008 and 2009, took home a Juno earlier this year for A Place Called Love.

Reid's song Today I'm Gonna Try and Change the World got CCMA recognition for best single, best songwriting and best video.

Brody, born in Smithers, B.C., and now based in Nova Scotia, is a newcomer to the fans' choice category and he has a total of eight CCMA nominations including best album and single for Trail in Life album.  In 2009, he took a best song CCMA in 2009 for his debut single, Brothers, and this year he has had four songs from  Trail in Life in the top 10 on country charts — Wildflower, Roll That Barrel Out, Trail In Life and People Know You By Your First Name.

Doc Walker, the Portage La Prairie, Man., band that's a perennial CCMA favourite, has seven nominations this year, including fans' choice, best group and best video for I'm Gonna Make You Love Me.

Shane Yellowbird's song Watching You Walk Away and Aaron Lines's album Sunday Afternoon also are in the running for the awards from the Canadian Country Music Academy.

The women of country made less of a splash on this year's nominations list.

Terri Clark, who was a big hitmaker and multiple CCMA winner in the 1990s, returns this year to the fans' choice and best female artist categories.

The other contenders for best female artist are Muskoka, Ont.'s Victoria Banks, Gander, N.L.'s Tara Oram, Grand Prairie, Alta.'s Tenille and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, whose Love Rules is in the running for album of the year.

Deric Ruttan — who went to high school with Banks — and Gord Bamford, a veteran songwriter now grabbing chart time with My Daughter's Father, are both in the race for best male artist.

The CCMA ceremony is set for Sept. 12 in Hamilton.