Jim Cressman is no stranger to the Canadian Country Music Association Awards.
With dapper attire and A-list country music stars, it’s a far cry from the cattle ranch outside of Stettler, Alta. where he used to name the artists and every song on the radio while riding the tractor with his dad.
From those humble beginnings, Cressman is now president of the multi-faceted Invictus Entertainment, up for Agency of the Year, Management Company of the Year and Cressman himself is up for the Ron Sakamoto Talent Buyer or Promoter of the Year and for the first time he’s up for Record Company Person of the Year.
“It’s a little odd,” Cressman laughed. “I don’t consider myself to be someone who performs at high levels in that realm in our industry. I’m thankful for the nomination and appreciate it. Not to sound like I’m being falsley humble I just don’t feel like I punch at the same weight as a lot of the men and women in the record industry day-to-day do.”
On Friday, the CCMA announced winners of the first of three awards ceremonies set to take place over the coming days as part of Country Music Week 2016. Invictus won the Booking Agency of the Year and Management Company of the Year.
His cattle-ranch origins and love of live music are what inspired Invictus’ mandate.
“Unfortunately, there wasn’t a live music scene,” Cressman said. “Other than making a living at Invictus our mandate is to drive arts, culture and economic impact into cities and towns that are starving for them.
“I’ve always found you need a purpose bigger than yourself if you truly want to make a difference and feel like you’re contributing to the greater good.”
He said it’s ironic he’s become the most prolific promoter in Alaska as a Canadian, getting acts like Carrie Underwood into the northernmost state. As well, Cressman is taking a small role in Beatles history, bringing Ringo Starr to Hawaii, making him the first Beatle to perform there on Nov. 8.
“It feels pretty cool to be a farm kid from the middle of nowhere who gets the opportunity to work with artists of this magnitude,” Cressman said.
He notes that Invictus is proof you can run a multi-national company out of somewhere like Penticton.
“Very proud to be based here. We tell the story to a lot of peers in the music industry letting them know that you can be a very successful company on a worldwide basis and be based and live in a place where you have the opportunity to put your lifestyle and your family first,” Cressman said.
The Canadian Country Music Association Awards show takes place Sept. 11 in London, Ont.