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Three Finalists Announced for SiriusXM Top of the Country Competition

[![Andrew Hyatt](/content/images/2018/06/AndrewHyatt_2017Press2-300x223.jpg)](/content/images/2018/06/AndrewHyatt_2017Press2.jpg)Andrew Hyatt
With the votes cast, [SiriusXM Canada](http://www.siriusxm.ca/) has announced the three finalists as chosen by Canadians from coast-to-cost for the inaugural SiriusXM Top of the Country competition, in partnership with the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA). Each artist is competing to be crowned Canada’s next big country star, in addition to winning $25,000, a SOCAN songwriting camp in Pender Island, BC and more.

Whittled down from nine semi-finalists, the three 2018 SiriusXM Top of the Country finalists are:

**Western Canada- **Leaving Thomas (Hometown—Calgary, AB)

**Central Canada – **Andrew Hyatt (Hometown—Sudbury, ON)

**Eastern Canada – **Jason Benoit (Hometown—Fox Island River, NL)

[![Leaving Thomas](/content/images/2018/06/Leaving-Thomas-300x200.jpg)](/content/images/2018/06/Leaving-Thomas.jpg)Leaving Thomas
“We are so excited about the finalists for the first ever SiriusXM Top of the Country competition,” says Jeff Leake, Director of Music Programming for SiriusXM. “Everyone who participated was incredibly talented and to now have the top three ready to move on to huge live performances, a mentorship session with some of the biggest names in the industry and more is amazing.”

“This has been a fun few months,” said Tracy Martin, president of CCMA. “The talent in the first phase of Top of The Country was exceptional, it’s hard to believe that we are down to 3. Our finalists now have the opportunity to spotlight their talent on some very big stages this summer. We can’t wait to see them perform at the finale during Country Music Week.”

[![Jason Benoit](/content/images/2018/06/Jason-Benoit-2-300x200.jpg)](/content/images/2018/06/Jason-Benoit-2.jpg)Jason Benoit
This summer, the three Top of the Country finalists will participate in a week-long SOCAN songwriting trip to Nashville, TN, plus a two-day mentorship session in Toronto with major industry professionals, including Nashville-based hit songwriter** **J.T. Harding, who has written for such stars as Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and more.

In addition to the mentorship sessions, each finalist will get to perform at one of Canada’s three biggest country music festivals Big Valley Jamboree (Camrose, AB), Cavendish Beach Music Festival (Cavendish, PEI) or a SiriusXM-sponsored major festival in Ontario.

Finalists will compete on stage this September in an epic music performance battle before a headlining artist (to be announced) at the SiriusXM CCMA Top of the Country Finale, taking place during Country Music Week in Hamilton, ON and airing live on SiriusXM’s CBC Country. A judging panel of music industry professionals along with audience votes will determine the Grand Prize winner.

SiriusXM’s Top of the Country in partnership with CCMA is part of SiriusXM’s ongoing tradition of promoting and elevating the best in Canadian music. SiriusXM continues to offer a leading platform for Canadian artists through its significant financial contributions and North American-wide reach of over 55 million listeners.

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Mike Raine is the Senior editor of Canadian Musician.