While mainstream Canadian media likes to stretch its necks out like ducks to view the goings on in the 50-state Republic, especially with regard to music awards galas, we like to think for ourselves. The world’s sixth largest music industry (of roughly 200 countries) is holding its flagship awards ceremony on Wednesday, and it promises to be quite the spectacle. Yes, we’re talking about our Commonwealth sister nation of Australia. The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards will celebrate its 30th anniversary at the annual gala November 23, 2016. Performing at the Australian JUNOs will be Bernard Fanning, Crowded House, Flume, Illy, Jessica Mauboy, Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham, Missy Higgins, The Veronicas, Troye Sivan, Vera Blue, and Violent Soho. Some international stars will be in attendance at the spectacle in Sydney (The Star)—Robbie Williams and Tove Lo.
Like Canada’s JUNO Awards, the ARIA gala nominates local artists in a variety of categories, and it has one category dedicated to international artists, Best International Artist, in which there are 10 nominees. This year, three of these are Canadian acts: The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, and Drake. Rounding out the 10 are Adele, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Meghan Trainor, One Direction, Taylor Swift, and Twenty One Pilots. Aussie band Crowded House will be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
The 2015 ARIA Awards had increased ratings and was the #1 show for 16-39 year olds on the night. Although Australia has a significantly lower population than Canada, the land down under ranks 6th to our 7th for its music market. This is because per capita spending on music is much higher in Australia, the average Aussie spending $20 USD per year with the average Canuck dishing out only $12 USD. Australians have shown a very positive and enthusiastic attitude towards music and are very supportive of their own artists.