Paul Biro, left, and Ron Sakamoto, right, were recognized at the 2020 CCMA Awards. With them is Joelle May of Sakamoto Agency. Biro also received a CCMA award in 2019, when this picture was taken. (Photo by KOJI)

Paul Biro, left, and Ron Sakamoto, right, were recognized at the 2020 CCMA Awards. With them is Joelle May of Sakamoto Agency. Biro also received a CCMA award in 2019, when this picture was taken. (Photo by KOJI)

Summerland music promoter wins national award

Paul Biro and Sakamoto Agency receive recognition at 2020 CCMA Awards

For the second year in a row, a Summerland music promoter has been recognized at the Canadian Country Music Association’s annual awards.

Paul Biro received the association’s Ron Sakamoto Talent Buyer or Promoter of the Year at the 2020 CCMA Awards. The Sakamoto Agency, where Biro is operating partner and vice-president, received the Booking Agency of the Year award for the first time.

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Biro has been involved in the country music industry for nearly 30 years. He was first nominated for an award around 2000. He said the two awards this year are a great honour for him and for the agency.

He added that the agency award is an important recognition, since the Sakamoto Agency was competing against some huge international music agencies for the award.

The Sakamoto Agency was founded by Ron Sakamoto, who has been in the music for more than 50 years.

Sakamoto has won the CCMA’s promoter of the year award many times, and the talent buyer of the year award is now named in his honour.

“We’re just keeping on doing what we do,” he said.

Biro said the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the country music industry. Since mid-March, concerts and music festivals have been cancelled as the pandemic continues.

However, he added that artists are continuing to record and release new music.

“The music is as good as it’s ever been. It’s a lyrical medium that touches people’s hearts.”

He expects the changes in the music industry will be temporary, with concerts and festivals returning once a COVID-19 vaccine has been tested and approved for the public.

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