Country artists Jade Eagleson and Tenille Townes toast of CCMA Awards in Hamilton with 3 wins each

The Canadian Country Music Awards took place at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ont., on Saturday, where Burlington's Josh Ross took home the Breakthrough Artist of the Year award.

Hamilton's Josh Ross brought home Breakthrough Artist of the Year

A man with a purple blazer and a black cowboy hat smiles and holds out an award.
Jade Eagleson accepts the award for Entertainer of the Year during the Canadian Country Music Association Awards in Hamilton on Saturday. (Nick Iwanyshyn/The Canadian Press)

Canadian stars Jade Eagleson and Tenille Townes added three trophies each to their growing collections at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards on Saturday.

Both tied as the top winners at this year's celebration of homegrown country music, with Eagleson landing both the entertainer and male artist of the year on the broadcast. He picked up another industry award at a gala held on Friday.

Townes made history by winning the female artist prize for the fifth consecutive year.

"I feel so much joy," Townes exclaimed backstage at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton.

"I love these nights. I love seeing everybody; I love celebrating a year of so much Canadian music."

Earlier, Townes won songwriter of the year and country music program as host of a Christmas TV special.

Meanwhile, Josh Ross, the Burlington, Ont., singer-songwriter whose hit single "Trouble" helped catapult him to fame, was named breakthrough artist.

Sibling duo the Reklaws kicked off the night as hosts by challenging viewers to a drinking game.

"Any time you hear the word beer take a big ol' sip, because all you country fans want to hear is songs about beer," said Jenna Walker, who alongside her brother sings the sudsy hits "11 Beers" and "Can't Help Myself."

The Reklaws then jumped into a performance of a song about beer written specifically for the show.

Beer came up a bunch more times. Dallas Smith gave viewers another opportunity to chug when he performed his track "Singing in a Beer" and Tyler Joe Miller sang "Never Met a Beer."

Other big winners at the show include James Barker Band of Woodville, Ont., who took home best group or duo, as well as the fan choice award.

A few pop-country duets ignited the show, including newcomer Sacha who joined Tyler Shaw on their track "Confident," before Shaw wandered to a piano to play his own track "Love You Still."

A woman in a sparkly pink dress stares out the window at the cars below.
Sacha, a country artist, was in Hamilton this weekend for the Canadian Country Music Association Awards. (Eva Salinas/CBC)

Townes brought on stage Pat Monahan of the pop-rock band Train to perform their new single "I Know." Then the pair took on a rendition of "Drive By," a 2012 radio hit by the band also known for the hit "Drops of Jupiter."

Lindsay Ell picked up single of the year for "Right on Time" a moment that left the stunned Calgary singer collecting herself on stage.

"This is the first time I've gotten to accept an award on TV and I'm holding it upside down," she laughed.

The 34-year-old thanked many of the people who helped her succeed, including rock legend Randy Bachman. The "Takin' Care of Business" songwriter met Ell at 13 years old and helped foster her early career.

Backstage, Ell broke into tears as the moment settled in.

"For the longest time, I thought I was an artist who didn't win awards and I could just congratulate all my friends doing incredible things," she said. But she added this win, in particular, has offered perspective on the road to success:

"A lot of times that journey looks a lot different than you think it should," she said.

"There's a beauty in accepting the order that things fall into place."