Ron Sakamoto | 2023 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award | | The JUNO Awards

Born and raised in Coaldale, Alberta, Ron’s lasting career as an accomplished concert promoter, manager, mentor and philanthropist within Canada’s country music landscape and beyond, has earned him close to 50 national and international accolades. Having worked with top recording artists like The Guess Who, Bryan Adams, Bee Gees, KISS, Keith Urban and so many more, Sakamoto’s success can be attributed to his continued drive and dedication to elevating Canadian entertainment. 

From a young age, Ron had a true entrepreneurial spirit and deep passion for entertainment. As a teenager, he opened his first club “Honeycomb-a-go-go” in Medicine Hat, Alberta and later operated a booking/management agency that afforded him his second club in Lethbridge, Alberta. Sakamoto hustled, working as an accountant during the week, while running his two clubs on the weekends. His love for live music propelled him to expand his operations and open his concert company Gold & Gold Productions Ltd., where Ron was truly the man behind the mask. From booking acts, to marketing, ticketing, producing and settling the shows, Ron did it all himself. He had the privilege of putting on Shania Twain’s first tour, “The Come on Over Tour” in 1998.

Back in 2013, Ron and his business partner Paul Biro opened the Sakamoto Agency, a booking and talent firm boasting a roster featuring some of Canada’s brightest stars. At the top of 2022, the Sakamoto Agency launched a record label, Sakamoto Music, proudly distributed by Warner Music Canada. After a huge year giving back to the community with over 300 free streamed concerts in 2020, the launch of the record label is yet another way Ron continues to show his passion for Canadian music. 

Sakamoto’s work goes beyond music. Over the years he has promoted broadway shows, rodeos, wrestling and monster truck events, horse racing and more. It is no surprise the music industry veteran took home the Canadian Country Music Awards’ Talent Buyer or Promoter of the Year Award for 17 consecutive years. 

Sakamoto has also made significant contributions to his community as a philanthropist. In 2010, he and his wife Joyce donated $200,000 to the University of Lethbridge to start the Joyce & Ron Sakamoto Scholarship for the new Digital Arts and Music program. This donation was matched by the government and today has helped many Albertans stay in their home province to pursue higher education. In 2013, he and his wife, Joyce donated 28 guitars to Gailbraith Elementary School in Lethbridge to help start their music program. A true hometown glory, his commitment to supporting Canadian entertainment is unmatched.

Most recently, Ron was presented with an honourary wall at the ENMAX Centre reflecting the impact he has made to the Lethbridge community over the years. The wall highlights Sakamoto’s career and his local, national and international accolades. Later this month, Ron is set to receive the Queen Elizabeth ll Platinum Jubilee medal from the Lieutenant Governor in Calgary.