Boots and Hearts Country Festival Reveals Shortlist for Influential Emerging Artist Showcase

The finalists for the showcase will compete for main stage spots at the Republic Live-produced festival, aiming to follow in the footsteps of previous Emerging Artist Showcase winners like Owen Riegling, Josh Ross and The Reklaws.

Boots and Hearts Festival

Boots and Hearts Festival

Courtesy Photo

Eight new artists will be breaking out their boots this summer to perform on an influential stage.

Republic Live's premiere country festival, Boots and Hearts, has revealed the shortlist for its Emerging Artist Showcase. The list consists of seven finalists, as well as three wildcard contestants. Voting is now open for the wildcard winner, who will join the other seven finalists in performing at the festival's Front Porch stage on August 8.

A panel of judges will select two finalists to perform on the high-profile Main Stage on August 11, to determine the winner. The showcase winner will get to return to the festival for a slot at the 2025 Kick-Off Party, as well as receiving the opportunity to release a single through Universal Music Canada.


Since 2012, the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase has become a premiere platform for launching Canadian country artists, with past winners going on to successful careers across the country and beyond. 2022 winner Owen Riegling is now signed to UMC and has been charting this year with "Old Dirt Roads," while 2017 winner Josh Ross took home the 2023 CCMA Award for Breakthrough Artist.

Republic Live's Brooke Dunford was just named to Billboard Canada's Power Players list, with the Emerging Artist Showcase's impact playing a big part.

The showcase event keeps Boots and Hearts connected to rising Canadian talent, at the same time as the festival brings in superstar American acts to the Burl's Creek festival grounds like this year's headliners, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, and Cody Johnson.

Head to the festival website to vote in the wildcard competition, and find the full list of showcase finalists below.

The 2024 Boots and Hearts EAS finalists are:

Blue Ridge Band – Levis, QC

Spencer Burns – Toronto, ON

Cam Galloway, Bracebridge, ON

Alexa Goldie – Kingston, ON


Maddy McKenzie – London, ON

Erika Rollin – Montreal, QC

Sarah Vanderzon – Saint-Bruno-de-Montraville, QC

The 2024 Boots and Hearts EAS Wildcard contestants are:

The Band Caves – Guelph, ON

Bradley Hale – Heidelberg, ON

Lawrence Maxwell – Charlottetown, PEI

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services
Rb Hip Hop

Shaq’s Classic Song ‘You Can’t Stop the Reign’ Featuring Biggie Is Finally on Streaming Services

There's a more explicit Biggie verse in the vault, according to the NBA legend.

Shaq’s classic with Biggie is finally available on streaming services. The news was broken by FakeShoreDrive on X earlier this week, and the Hall of Fame big man confirmed the news Thursday afternoon (June 13).

The year is 1996 and Shaquille O’Neal and the Notorious B.I.G. are two of the biggest figures in their respective fields. Shaq was entering the last year of his deal with the Orlando Magic before he headed west to the Los Angeles Lakers at the end of the 1995-1996 season. Biggie was getting ready to release his sophomore album, Life After Death, while in the throws of a beef with 2Pac. Big name-dropped the NBA player on the song “Gimme the Loot” off his debut album, Ready to Die, and the two had a mutual respect for each other ever since.

keep readingShow less