When Stan Dunford, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto-based entertainment company Republic Live, wants to compete, he brings his A game – and some luck. Prior to the first Boots and Hearts Music Festival at the Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in 2012, country music fans in Canada were mostly accustomed to getting their festival-fill south of the border. While Nashville’s best always come to The Great White North – usually when it’s a little more on the green side – during the course of their North American tours, it was rare outside the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alberta to see more than one big name on the same stage. Now in its sixth year, the Boots and Hearts Music Festival in Medonte, Ontario is Canada’s biggest country music festival and, next to the CMA Music Festival, the second biggest music festival in North America. For five years now the festival has featured the likes of Florida Georgia Line, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, and Luke Bryan. But what a lot of fans of this four- day country music and camping festival probably don’t know is that the three time winner of the Canadian Country Music Association’s ‘Festival of the Year’ Award wasn’t even meant to be what it is today. Mr. Dunford explained to Spotlight on Business Magazine that when he and his wife Eva first imagined a music festival that they had a different direction in mind almost entirely.



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