The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) announced earlier this year that Dianne leigh and Campbell River’s own Elizabeth “Ma” Henning have been selected as the 2015 inductees into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.
“It is truly an honour to formally recognize these exceptional women who have paved the way for females in the Canadian country music industry today,” said Don Green, President of the Canadian Country Music Association. “Whether on the stage or behind the scenes, both Dianne Leigh and Elizabeth “Ma” Henning were leaders, trailblazers and forces to be reckoned with. The Hall of Fame Electors Committee could not have done a better job at selecting our inspirational inductees this year.”
Elizabeth “Ma” Henning was born in Russia prior to moving to Canada in 1950 and settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Throughout her career, Henning worked as a nurse, real estate agent and created a residential and commercial development firm, eventually owning and operating hotels in several cities in Manitoba. One of her many passions was country music.
Henning opened a country music room at The Down’s Hotel in Winnipeg which was affectionately dubbed, “Ma’s Corral”, in recognition of her loyal support and mentorship of Manitoba-based country music performers. A second venue, Trails West Inn, located in Brandon, has long been managed by her daughter.
Henning went on to further champion Manitoba-based artists by launching the Downs Record Label and Downs Publishing Company.
Henning was a director for the Canadian Country Music Association for many years and was CCMA President between 1985 and 1986. In 1986 she spearheaded the first televised production of the Canadian Country Music Association Awards aired on Global TV.
In 1990, she moved to Campbell River, where her and her family helped build the Oyster Bay Resort.
In 2008, she was the recipient of the CCMA Hank SmithAward of Excellence.
Henning passed away peacefully on June 1, 2009 at the age of 76. She will posthumously receive the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Stan Klees Builder Award.
“Our mother, known as Ma Henning to the country music community, was an extraordinary person who was so committed to everything she was involved in. We are thrilled and truly honoured that she will be inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, and know she would have been too,” say Harold, Heidi and Howard Henning.
Inductees of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame are chosen annually by a selected Hall of Fame Electors Committee, comprised of over seventy industry peers.
The three-stage voting process begins in January of each year.
The inductee in the Builder category receives the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Stan Klees Builder Award, established in recognition of RPM Magazine co-founder, Mr. Stan Klees, and his pioneering efforts in the creation of the CCMA Awards program.
The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at a private industry event held during Country Music Week, taking place next week in Halifax, NS.