Meet the Speakers: What Country Music Radio Stations Want to Hear

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What Country Music Radio Stations Want to Hear

We’re excited to partner with the Manitoba Country Music Association for a panel discussion on radio readiness for country artists! Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at what country radio stations are looking for and get some helpful tips followed by a Q+A. Stick around for some snacks, networking, and great conversation followed by MCMA’s country music showcase.

Get to know our speakers a bit better...



Aaron Pritchett
Recording Artist

He’s been a household name in Canadian Country music for 20 years, but when Aaron Pritchett hits the stage, he does so with the energy and intensity of an artist fresh on the scene. Yet despite being known for his dynamic, even raucous, live shows, it’s the classically country gentleman inside of Pritchett that’s made him a fan favourite – and staying force in Canadian country – for more than two decades.

With 13 Top Ten hits under hits under his belt [buckle], Pritchett has made a career of seamlessly moving from good ol’ boy anthems like “Hold My Beer” to pop-tinged party pleasers like “Worth a Shot” to heart-string pulling ballads like “Warm Safe Place”. He could have stopped when he had enough to fill a Greatest Hits album – which he did in 2015 – but instead he followed it up with several more including his 2019 #1 single, “Better When I Do”. Throughout it, Pritchett has racked up more than 30 Juno, CCMA, WCMA and BCCMA nominations including multiple wins for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and a CCMA SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award.


Alex DeVries
730 CKDM

An experienced Announcer with a demonstrated history of working in the broadcast media industry. Skilled in Adobe Audition, Sound, Broadcasting, Audio Editing, and Voice Acting. Strong media and communication professional with a Certificate in Broadcast Media focused in Radio and Television from Academy of Broadcasting.

David McLeod
NCI FM & Indigenous Music Countdown

David McLeod is a member of the Pine Creek First Nation. He is the CEO of Native Communications Incorporated (NCI-FM), which owns and operates a Manitoba wide radio network, including the Winnipeg station NOW Country 104.7 FM. He is also the Executive Producer and host of the multiple-award winning Indigenous Music Countdown (IMC) which is heard across Canada and on SiriusXM. He sits on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and the Winnipeg Folk Festival board. He also co-chairs the Indigenous Music Advisory Committee for the National Music Centre based in Calgary. In the spring of 2019 he curated the “Speak-Up” exhibition which highlights ten ground-breaking Indigenous artists who utilize their voices to speak for their community during the period of the late 60s until today. David studied media at SAIT in Calgary and television at Ryerson University in Toronto. He has appeared in two music documentaries and hosted “Our Songs” a six-part music series on APTN. He is an avid Indigenous vinyl collector who has spoken at colleges and universities on the history of Indigenous music.

Desiree Dorion
Recording Artist

Desiree Dorion’s sixth studio album, “That’s How I Know” cracked the top 10 on iTunes in its first week of release and was nominated for “Album of the Year” at Manitoba Country Music Awards. Desiree has had multiple songs reach the top 100 on the Canadian Country music charts as well as the top spot on the Indigenous Music Countdown. She has toured coast to coast in Canada and as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. In June, 2021, she hosted the Achimotak series with the Canadian Country Music Association and is an artist ambassador with the Downie Wenjack Foundation. The JUNO nominee is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.

Naomi Kay
On-air host / Music programmer / Social media coordinator
NCI & Now Country 104.7

Born and raised in Winnipeg, I attended Herzing College to further my career in 2020 and started out as an intern in non-profit radio before making my way to the NCI/Now Country family. Now I use my free time to listen to music, and focus on other hobbies as well as spending time with family and friends.

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais
Indigenous Music Development Coordinator
Indigenous Music / Manitoba Music

Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais is a multi-award-winning former journalist/broadcaster who’s been on Canada’s media scene for two decades. Over the years she’s worked at CTV News Winnipeg where her stories have aired on CTV Newsnet/News Channel, CTV National News, and CNN. She also worked for many years as a correspondent at APTN National News and garnered attention for her award-winning series about The Sacred Sundance. She is very proud of her final work with the network, Breaching the Sacred—a 22-minute piece showcasing the tragic reality of Indigenous women living with addictions and using while pregnant. She was honoured to win first place for the Canadian Aboriginal Writing Challenge in 2008 for her play, Notay Kiskintamowin “Wanting to Know”, the same year she was named a National Aboriginal Role Model by the Governor General of Canada and graduated from the University of Winnipeg where she has been recognized as Notable Alumni and founded the Indigenous Course Requirement.

Shaneen is well known across the country and abroad and is dedicated to promoting Indigenous talent. A highly sought master of ceremonies, event planner, promoter, writer, advocate, volunteer, marriage commissioner and speaker, Shaneen loves to keep busy in the community and has sat on many boards including Cancer Care Manitoba, and Canadian Blood Services. She is proud to currently sit on the board of directors for The Canadian Folk Music Awards and on the Board of Bear Clan Patrol Inc. Shaneen has showcased Indigenous artists and their music throughout her career and is proud to be the Indigenous Music Development Coordinator for Manitoba Music. She aspires to continue working with Indigenous Elders, youth, women, and artists and continue to share information that should be of importance to all Canadians. Shaneen’s most important role in life is at home with her husband Martin and their three sons-Sampson, Marrick and Miller.

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