Cam Hayden has had a lifelong love of music. After graduating the Television Stage and Radio Arts program at SAIT in 1978 he headed back home to Edmonton to begin working as a full time announcer and producer at Canada’s oldest public broadcaster, The CKUA Radio Network. He worked there full time until the fall of 2001, doing every shift imaginable, programming all kinds of music and producing documentaries. He continues to host the Friday Night Blues Party, a three hour blues extravaganza now in its 278th year.
Check it out every Friday, 9 to midnight, MDT:
Friday Night Blues Party on CKUA.com
Cam was heavily involved in running Edmonton’s legendary City Media Club, (a vital venue for blues and beyond) serving as talent booker, president, volunteer bartender, and occasional door person. In the early 90’s he began putting on shows through Wingtip Productions and in 1998 was a founding member of Blues International, the production company that started The Edmonton Blues Festival, and put on the first event, in 1999.
In 2008, the festival was the first Canadian blues festival to receive a “Keeping the Blues Alive” award from the Blues Foundation, based in Memphis. Cam was honoured by the Calgary Blues Music Association with a “Lifetime Achievement” award in 2012 and inducted into the Edmonton Blues Hall of Fame in 2015 in the “Builder” category. January 2016 saw Cam receive the “Blues Booster of the Year” award at the Maple Blues Awards, Canada’s celebration of the blues. In 2018 the festival received a special proclamation from the city of Nashville, congratulating it on providing 20 years of great blues entertainment to the citizens of Edmonton and beyond!
Cam has helped create this vibrant community for blues lovers but it takes 250 volunteers, our sponsors and YOU, the Blues Hounds to make it happen. Be it your first time here, 19th, or somehwere in between, we thank you for your support and pledge to make each year a true slice of “Blues Heaven”.
“It’s all about the music” says Cam, “and I feel so fortunate to have been able to share my love of music with so many people and be part of this incredible musical community. Keep diggin’ the Blues!”