Music in Motion Canada And the Winners Are…

Music in Motion Canada created its inaugural contest to provide the opportunity for artists to connect with industry professionals to adjudicate their music and provide advice on moving forward in their careers.

Awards and prizes were given to individuals who exceed in their originality, skill, and distinction. Prizes include branding, media marketing, consulting & mentoring, and promotion and distinction. 

“In order to foster the growth and advancement of musicians in their careers, EVERYONE who enters will be adjudicated by a panel of professionals in the music industry and gain valuable feedback, and receive a certificate of participation,  Founder Barb Keck explained.

It was a challenging contest for the adjudicators to pick the winners as they were all so talented.  

Here are the 3 Winners. Each one will be featured in upcoming Cashbox stories, so you can check out their websites and we will be posting exciting news updates soon.


Nick Hedden is a Windsor, Ontario native who has been immersed in the arts since elementary school.  From talent shows to school musicals, performing has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember.  

Nick began writing and playing shows professionally at the end of 2017. He released his debut EP “Ride This Wave” in April 2020. While his instrumentation might fall under the “traditional country” genre, Hedden’s voice adds elements of soul and pop.

The “aha” moment for Nick happened during his first writing session with seasoned writers from Nashville, TN.  During this write he and his co-writers wrote one of Nick’s favourite songs— in that moment he realized that he could do this for a living as well. 

 Nick has many influences that are rooted in his deep love for music.  These range from Motown to new contemporary artists.  Some of his major influences are Ray Charles, Garth Brooks, Luke Combs and Ed Sheeran.  Nick takes different aspects from each influence to craft his own unique sound.  

 Nick is currently working on new material for his next EP, and his winning category has garnered the attention of European-based Management and Label and the offer to sign a major contract.


Guelph’s CJ Cooper is certainly making a name for herself. Playing for companies like the National Bank Open, Sportsnet, TD Bank and the CFL. She has opened for Bif Naked at Canadian Music Week and performed at the London Music Hall.

 In recent years, CJ placed second in the Music In Motion Awards, has been awarded a “Community Hero Award”, voted “Top Local Musician” in Guelph and was a Microgrant Recipient in 2023, hosting a Women In Music charity show. 

She released her debut album “Look Ahead” in August 2018 and toured on the Toronto to Vancouver ViaRail train. She released her sophomore album “are we there yet?” May 2022 and is currently working on her third album and gigging full-time.

 Placing as a winner in the MiMc Contest has had the opportunity presented to her to work with a Canadian Marketing company that works on a global Level.

3rd Place Winner – Sharon Purdy

Darkened Skies grew out of the ashes of an Edmonton AB local cover band City Shadows.  Sharon Purdy (lead vocals) and her husband James Purdy (guitar) continued to write original material.  Along came Quinn G. (bass) and Andre Tellier (drums) and John Makrus (guitar), the pieces finally all came together. 

The goal in mind was to write progressive metal, but with Sharon’s soft haunting voice, they decided to move to a hard rock/progressive sound with hints of metal and harsh vocals. All members have multiple influences that inspire their sound such as Pink Floyd, Tool, TesseracT, Mastodon, Rush, Lacuna Coil, Fleetwood Mac, Meg Myers, The Ocean and Katatonia just to name a few. 

Sharon’s style of harmonies and thoughtful lyrics they make a new sound that all people and even dedicated rock / hard rock / metal fans can enjoy. For almost three years they have been working on a long overdue concept EP based on the book  and true story The Perfect Victim (The Girl in the Box) by Christine McGuire and Carla Norton. Sharon read this as a teenager and when the time came to write a new song, this book came to mind and she wanted to write about it. As the song came out, James came up with the idea to write a concept EP about the book.  Now that all 5 songs are written and recorded with local YEG studio Velveteen Music, DS can’t wait to showcase our EP “The Devil Sleeps Above Me”. 

Sharon Purdy’s focus is on her songwriting and developing a career path for her music.

Music in Motion Canada is also a Directory website full of contacts, information and guidance. For more on becoming a Member of MiMc please visit: