5 Exciting Off-Camera JUNO Award Wins

The Beaches

 

Breakthrough Group of the Year

The Breakthrough Group of the Year JUNO Award has been dished out since 2003, and an all-female group has never won … until now. The Beaches are four women who perform rock music. The outfit’s first full-length album The Late Show, under Universal Music, was produced by Metric’s Emily Haines and James Shaw.

Diana Krall

Producer of the Year

Diana Krall is the third female to win the Jack Richardson Producer of the Year JUNO Award in the past 15 years. In 2003, Alanis Morissette won for producing her songs “Hands Clean” and “So Unsexy”. In 2008, Joni Mitchell won for her tracks “Hana” and “Bad Dream”. But for the past decade, it has been all men. Things changed this year (2018) as the award went to jazz superstar Diana Krall for production on “L-O-V-E”, “Night and Day” and album Turn Up the Quiet. Diana also won the Vocal Jazz Album of the Year bringing her total JUNO wins up to 10. She hadn’t won a JUNO since 2007, and her first occurred in 2000.

Grimes

Video of the Year

This is Grimes’ second JUNO; she won Electronic Album of the Year in 2013 for Visions. “Venus Fly” is on the short list of 10 for the Prism Prize. It is probably the most eye-popping music video – and the best – we’ve ever seen. Vancouver’s Claire Boucher (her real name) is a Jackie of all trades – singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and visual artist. Whether she becomes a music video director/designer for other artists is a distinct possibility with talents like this. A very well-deserved award.

Nick Fiorucci

Dance Recording of the Year

Toronto’s Nick Fiorucci is an EDM DJ, songwriter, remixer, producer, and founder of record label Hi-Bias Records. He has done work for Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Celine Dion, Eiffel 65, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, Keshia Chanté, Laura Pausini, Michelle Branch, and Shania Twain to name a few. “Closer” is a gorgeously crafted dreamy thumper of an EDM track and features the exquisite vocals of North Vancouver’s Laurell.

Rezz

Electronic Album of the Year

Hailing from Niagara Falls, DJ and record producer Rezz is none other than Isabelle Rezazadeh. She is onboard deadmau5’s record label mau5trap. Mass Manipulation is her debut LP and won the JUNO Award for Electronic Album of the Year, a category in existence since only 2011. With over 100,000 Twitter followers, she is doing well.

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Our 5 Favourite Moments from the 2018 JUNO Gala

There were many great moments from the 2018 JUNO Awards gala and some disappointments which is always the case with award shows. We decided to pick our five favourite moments from the two-hour broadcast which we share below in no particular order.

LIGHTS Performs “Giants” with Backdrop of Women

With all the talk from CARAS of its taking the inclusion of women very seriously, the organization’s planned actions for the main face of its events – the televised JUNO Awards gala – did not deliver on the promise. Only one female artist received an award (besides Régine Chassagne as a member of Arcade Fire) – Jessie Reyez. Awards to a woman winning producer of the year (Diana Krall) and an all-female rock band breakthrough group of the year (The Beaches) were relegated to the untelevised JUNO dinner gala and awards the preceding evening. Apparently, the global broadcasting of these awards for which the women were on hand to accept them was less important than an absent male being announced a winner at the televised gala – Tory Lanez.

Moreover, the main gala’s female performers were all deemed to stand in need of a male artist accompanying them. Apparently, female artists are not good enough to deliver stand-alone performances without male help. The one exception to this was LIGHTS. Introduced by Video of the Year winner Grimes and Indigenous Album of the Year recipient Buffy Sainte-Marie (awards also demoted to the untelevised affair), LIGHTS performed her hit song “Giants” that closed out with a backdrop of illustrated renderings she herself drew of a dozen female nominees: Alessia Cara, Grimes, Régine Chassagne, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Shania Twain, Jessie Reyez, Tanya Tagaq, Diana Krall, Ria Mae, Charlotte Cardin, Molly Rankin, and Ruth B. Video below.

Andrea Bang and Mark McMorris Present

The JUNOs have been good at using Olympic champions and star athletes in general to present awards which is inspiring. There were many gold medalists at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, but it was a bronze medalist who took the stage. Why? Because just a year ago, Mark McMorris went snowboarding in the backcountry at Whistler BC and, in foggy conditions, drifted off course with his body smashing into a grove of trees. The next thing he knew, he was in a hospital’s ICU fighting for his life with fractures to his jaw, left arm, pelvis, and ribs; a ruptured spleen; and a collapsed left lung. One year later, he competed in Korea winning a bronze medal in slopestyle.

One of the television stars who made The Winter Olympics extra exciting to watch was Andrea Bang, actress from Canadian Screen Award winning TV series Kim’s Convenience. Andrea was featured in a number of mini-documentaries during the Olympics of her exploring the birth country of her parents. It was fascinating to watch her learn and discover various aspects of Korean culture. As Canadians of Asian descent make up 14.5% of our population, their inclusion in nationally televised events like the JUNOs, is a must.

A big stamp of approval for the McMorris-Bang team up and presentation of the R&B award.

Michael Bublé Sketches

Michael has become quite the master at doing skits. His opening piece was cartoonish, magical, and fun. Example: He grabs a bagel from a box held by a man, takes a bite, tosses the rest which hits a picture of a hockey goaltender on the wall who comes to life, gloves it, and slapsticks it back at the bagel man knocking the box out of his hands as the bagels go flying. In the middle of the show was another segment of Michael interviewing children about Canadian music with amusing results – see video below.

Shawn Hook Performs with the BC Youth Chinese Orchestra

Shawn Hook recently became a multiplatinum recording artist and finished a successful year via his collaborative single with Vanessa Hudgens – “Reminding Me”. He performed it, not with Vanessa, not with a standard symphony orchestra, but with The BC Youth Chinese Orchestra armed with traditional Chinese instruments like the erhu (pronounced are-who). As we mentioned earlier, the inclusion of Asian Canadians is of the utmost importance especially for Canada (Chinese were born on our soil prior to Confederation) and even more especially for Vancouver. This was very appropriate and really wonderful to see.

 

Barenaked Ladies’ w/ Steven Page Close Out Performance

For those hungry for a reunion of BNL with the Page or just for those who like to see Barenaked Ladies perform, the closeout of “One Week” followed by “If I Had a Million Dollars” was a great send off and salute to everything fantastic about Canadian music. Golden balloons rained down as did fake money, while other artists joined the group on stage to sing along. If there were any grievances through the evening about who didn’t win, who was absent, or who was excluded, the BNL jam left viewers with a good feeling in the belly.

The 2018 JUNO Awards – Main Gala Winners

It’s a wrap on the 2018 JUNO awards, broadcast on CBC from Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Michael Bublé, more cautious on the comedy than when he hosted in Regina, opened the show flicking through an iPad selecting a room’s décor and furniture which magically decked the room with his choices. Part way through the show was a pre-recorded sketch of his interviews with children who thought Justin Bieber was a female and that Michael’s sleep-inducing music was the sort their dad would like.

Performances were in order: Arcade Fire (opener); The Jerry Cans from Nunavut; Shawn Hook with the BC Youth Chinese Orchestra; Lights (introduced by Grimes and Buffy Sainte-Marie); The Northern Touch Allstars; Daniel Caesar; Kevin Hearn, Sarah Harmer, and City & Colour in tributes to Gord Downie (introduced by Kevin Drew & Pearl Wenjack); Arkells; Diana Krall and Michael Bublé in duet; and Barenaked Ladies. Felix Cartal served as house DJ through the evening.

Rush frontman Geddy Lee presented Steven Page and Barenaked Ladies’ induction into the Music Hall of Fame, a definite highlight of the show. Other memorable moments were Michael Bublé’s announcement that his wife is pregnant with their third child. Light’s performance featured a backdrop of giant cartoon renderings she herself drew of her favourite Canadian female recording artists, like Shania Twain, Alessia Cara, and Molly Rankin.

Besides the Hall of Fame award, the final six were given out after last night’s 36. Television star Andrea Bang and Olympian Mark McMorris did the honours for R&B Recording of the Year which went to Daniel Caesar for Freudian. Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly and Weaves’ Jasmyn Burke announced Breakthrough Artist of the Year – Jessie Reyez. Both Caesar and Reyez were heavily promoted by the CBC last year. The rap collective Northern Touch Allstars could not present the trophy to Rap Recording of the Year victor Tory Lanez (Shooters) as he was not present. Jann Arden and Bob Rock declared an Album of the Year hat trick for Arcade Fire, as Everything Now is the group’s third disc to win the prize. Charlotte Cardin, Ruth B, and Scott Helman were on stage to reveal the winner of the JUNO Fan Choice Award – the absent Shawn Mendes. Ria Mae and Theory of a Deadman’s Tyler Connolly handed out the final trophy, as Gord Downie was named Artist of the Year.

We won’t offer too much of a critique of the show in this post except to say the following. While the JUNOs made a big deal about the inclusion of women, only one of the seven awards tonight went to one (not counting member of Arcade Fire Régine Chassagne). As Tory was absent, it may have been better to swap the Rap with the Pop or Producer award won by Lights and Diana Krall respectively last evening.

The nominees and winners (in bold, red typeface) from tonight’s gala are as below.

JUNO FAN CHOICE
Alessia Cara
Arkells
Jessie Reyez
Justin Bieber
Shawn Hook
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd
Theory
Walk Off the Earth

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Everything Now, Arcade Fire
Revival, Johnny Reid
Nobody but Me, Michael Bublé
Safe Haven, Ruth B,
Now, Shania Twain

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Daniel Caesar
Gord Downie
Lights
Ruth B
Shania Twain

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Allan Rayman
Charlotte Cardin
Jessie Reyez
NAV
Virginia to Vegas

RAP RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Mumble Rap, Belly
Lil Mont from the Ave, Clairmont The Second
001: Experiments, Lou Phelps
Coach Fresh, Maestro Fresh Wes
Shooters, Tory Lanez

R&B/SOUL RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Freudian, Daniel Caesar
Foreign Water, Jahkoy
Kiddo, Jessie Reyez
Human, Jhyve
Unbound 01, Keshia Chanté

CANADIAN MUSIC HALL OF FAME
Barenaked Ladies

2018 JUNO Gala Dinner and Awards Doles Out First Batch of Trophies

The 2018 JUNO Gala and Awards took place in Vancouver on March 24. James Barker Band opened things up with a live performance of “Chills”. CARAS president Allan Reid, in a spirit of unshakable enthusiasm, welcomed all to the awards pointing out that 191 artists had been nominated including 74 first timers. CEO of SOCAN Eric Baptiste’s salutations followed. Tom Power, host of CBC’s Q, then mounted the stage to begin the proceedings in a voice that sounded like Jack Black with a Newfie accent. Other performers through the evening included Clairmont the Second, Terra Lightfoot, Iskwe, and Caveboy.

Find below nominees in categories for which a trophy was given. Winners are in bold red type.

VOCAL JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR
With a Twist, Bria Skonberg
Turn Up the Quiet, Diana Krall
Come On, Kellylee Evans
Old School Yule!, Matt Dusk
No Filter, Michael Kaeshammer

ADULT CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Rooted, Alysha Brilla
Revival, Johnny Reid
Nobody but Me, Michael Bublé
The Grand Hustle, Nuela Charles
Christmas Together, The Tenors

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Brian Howes & Jason Van Poederooyen for Mother Mother
Diana Krall
Felix Cartal
Jordan Evans & Matthew Burnett for Daniel Caesar
Thomas “Tawgs” Salter for Scott Helman and Serena Ryder

GROUP OF THE YEAR
(Presented by Beaches)
A Tribe Called Red
Alvvays
Arcade Fire
Broken Social Scene

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: LARGE ENSEMBLE
Rebelles Baroques, Arion Orchestre Baroque
Beethoven & Schubert: Violin Concerto, James Ehnes w/ Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Chopin: Works for Piano & Orchestra, Jan Lisiecki with NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester
Elgar & Tchaikovsky, Johannes Moser with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
The Shaman & Arctic Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra & Nunavut Sivuniksavut Performers

HUMANITARIAN AWARD
(Presented by Kim Stockwood and a late k-os)
Gary Slaight

CONTEMPORARY ROOTS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Watershed, Amelia Curran
Bone on Bone, Bruce Cockburn
Medicine Songs, Buffy Sainte-Marie
Inuusiq, The Jerry Cans
The Weather Station, The Weather Station

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
(Presented by Maestro Fresh Wes)
Leaving the Table – Leonard Cohen (Christopher Mills)
The Drugs – Mother Mother (Emma Higgins)
Venus Fly – Grimes (Grimes, i.e. Claire Boucher)
Gatekeeper – Jessie Reyez (Peter Huang)
Knocking at the Door – Arkells (Shane Cunningham & Mark Myers)

REGGAE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
The Light, Ammoye
Hold Up Slow Down, Blessed
Neva Judge, Eyesus
Greater, Kirk Diamond
Love How You Whine, Kreesha Turner & K’Coneil

INTERNATIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
24K Magic, Bruno Mars
÷, Ed Sheeran
Damn, Kendrick Lamar
Stoney, Post Malone
Reputation, Taylor Swift

DANCE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Not Going Home ft. Gia Koka & CMC$, DVBBS
Get What You Give, Felix Cartal
Deeper, KAPRI
Closer ft. Laurell, Nick Fiorucci
Almost Home ft. Nadia Ali & Iro, Sultan + Shepard

BREAKTHROUGH GROUP OF THE YEAR
(Presented by Meghan Symsyk and Melanie Joly)
James Barker Band
The Beaches
The Dead South
The Franklin Electric
The Jerry Cans

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: SOLO OR CHAMBER
Chamber Works by Szymon Laks, ARC Ensemble
Stravinsky & Prokofiev: Transcriptions pour piano, David Jalbert
Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 6 & 9 ‘Kreutzer’, James Ehnes with Andrew Armstrong
Chopin Recital 3, Janina Fialkowska
Louis Lortie Plays Chopin, Vol. 5, Louis Lortie

INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Stubborn Persistent Illusions, Do Make Say Think
Sweat, Five Alarm Funk
Cuphead, Kristofer Maddigan
Hapax, Oktopus
Peregrine Falls, Peregrine Falls

COMEDY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
(Presented by Jeff Leake)
Fatherland, Charlie Demers
[Indistinct Chatter], DJ Demers
I Wanted to Be A Dinosaur, Ivan Decker
Sorry! (A Canadian Album), K. Trevor Wilson
In Living Kohler, Rebecca Kohler

CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN/GOSPEL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
We Are Free, Jon Neufeld
These Are the Days, Love & The Outcome
Stones, Manafest
Echoes, Matt Maher
First Day of My Life, The Color

METAL/HARD MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Voice of the Void, Anciients
Relentless Mutation, Archspire
II: Vanishing, Longhouse
Strange Peace, Metz
Striker, Striker

MUSICOUNTS INSPIRED MINDS AMBASSADOR AWARD
(Presented by Sherry MacDonald and Kristy Fletcher)
Jim Cuddy

CLASSICAL COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR
Cœur à Cœur, Alice Ping Yee Ho
Phi, Caelestis, Andrew Staniland
Breathe, James Rolfe
My Name is Amanda Todd, Jocelyn Morlock
The Shaman, Vincent Ho

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: VOCAL OR CHORAL
Crazy Girl Crazy, Barbara Hannigan with Ludwig Orchestra
The Tree of Life, Daniel Taylor with The Trinity Choir
In the Stream of Life: Songs by Sibelius, Gerald Finley with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Mother of Light: Armenian hymns & chants in praise of Mary, Isabel Bayrakdarian with Coro Vox Aeterna
Schubert Sessions: Lieder with Guitar, Philippe Sly & John Charles Britton

WORLD MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Meter, Autorickshaw
La Migra, Battle of Santiago
A New Tradition Vol. 2: Return of the KUISi, Beny Esguerra and New Tradition
Femme, Briga
Where the Galleon Sank, Kobo Town

RECORDING ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
Ben Kaplan for Five Alarm Funk and Ninjaspy
Eric Ratz for Arkells and Danko Jones
Gus van Go for Terra Lightfoot and Whitehorse
Riley Bell for Daniel Caesar
Shawn Everett for Perfume Genius and The War on Drugs

BLUES ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Better the Devil You Know, Big Dave McLean
Something I’ve Done, Downchild
Time to Roll, MonkeyJunk
No Time Like Now, Steve Strongman
Big City, Back Country Blues, Williams, Wayne and Isaak

INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Arcade Fire

ADULT ALTERNATIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Introduce Yerself, Gord Downie
Twin Solitude, Leif Vollebekk
New Mistakes, Terra Lightfoot
Sincerely, Future Pollution, Timber Timbre
Panther in the Dollhouse, Whitehorse

CHILDREN’S ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Greatest Hits, Vol. 3, Big Block Singsong
Blue Skies, Bobs & LoLo
Hear the Music, Fred Penner
Love, Kisses and Hugs, Splash’N Boots
The Moblees, The Moblees

TRADITIONAL ROOTS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Willow Collection, Cassie and Maggie
Rove, Còig
Jayme Stone’s Folklife, Jayme Stone
Illusion & Doubt, The Dead South
What We Leave Behind, The East Pointers

JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR: SOLO
The Tide Turns, Brad Cheeseman
Rich in Symbols, Chet Doxas
Contumbao, Hilario Durán
Root Structure, Mike Downes
Ralph Bowen, Ralph Bowen

ALBUM ARTWORK OF THE YEAR
Catherine Lepage & Simon Rivest for Arcade Fire’s Everything Now
Geneviève Lapointe & Martin Tremblay for The Lost Fingers’ Coconut Christmas
Jean-Sébastien Denis & Ian Ilavsky for Esmerine’s Mechanics of Dominion
Keavan Yazdani, Sean Brown & Eric Lachance for Daniel Caesar’s Freudian
Marianne Collins, Ian Ilavsky & Steve Farmer for Do Make Think Say’s Stubborn Persistent Illusions

JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR: GROUP
Otterville, Andrew Downing’s Otterville
Murphy, Carn Davidson 9
Infinitude, Christine Jensen & Ingrid Jensen
The North, David Braid, Mike Murley, Anders Mogensen & Johnny Aman
Rev, Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop

ELECTRONIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Tenderness, Blue Hawaii
Someone Else, CRi
Two Hearts, Dabin
Music To Draw To: Satellite, Kid Koala ft. Emilíana Torrini
Mass Manipulation, Rezz

WALT GREALIS SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
(Presented by Jann Arden)
Denise Donlon

ALTERNATIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
(Presented by Theory of a Deadman)
Antisocialites, Alvvays
Everything Now, Arcade Fire
Life After Youth, Land of Talk
Retribution, Tanya Tagaq
Wide Open, Weaves

INDIGENOUS MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Medicine Songs, Buffy Sainte-Marie
PowWowStep, DJ Shub
Here & Now, Indian City
The Fight Within, Iskwé
Sedna, Kelly Fraser

FRANCOPHONE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Nos Eldorados, Alex Nevsky
Paloma, Daniel Bélanger
L’étoile thoracique, Klȏ Pelgag
Almanach, Patrice Michaud
La science du cœur, Pierre Lapointe

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
(Presented by Ruth B and Michael McCarty)
Amelia Curran
Charlotte Cardin
Gord Downie & Kevin Drew
Rose Cousins
Scott Helman

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
(Presented by High Valley)
How Far I’ll Go, Alessia Cara
Everything Now, Arcade Fire
Knocking at the Door, Arkells
I Feel It Coming, The Weeknd
There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back, Shawn Mendes

ROCK ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Grace Street, Big Wreck
Outrage! Is Now, Death from Above 1979
Feed the Machine, Nickelback
Young Beauties and Fools, The Glorious Sons
Wake Up Call, Theory of a Deadman

COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Beautiful Freakshow, Dean Brody
Dear Life, High Valley
Game On, James Barker Band
Past the Past, Jess Moskaluke
Shake These Walls, Tim Hicks

POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Skin & Earth, Lights
My Love, Ria Mae
Safe Haven, Ruth B
Hȏtel de Ville, Scott Helman

JUNO News and New Releases March 23, 2018: Yoan, Final State…

It’s JUNO weekend! Before we get to the new releases this week, let’s talk about the JUNO presenters and how you can watch the broadcast if not attending.

JUNO Presenters

The presenters at the main televised gala Sunday night include Kim’s Convenience star Andrea Bang, legendary record producer Bob Rock, veteran singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, rising singing sensation Charlotte Cardin, electronic recording artist Grimes, multiplatinum superstar Jann Arden, Jasmyn Burke of alternative group Weaves, Olympic bronze medalist snowboarder Mark McMorris, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly, rappers of the “Northern Touch” project (Rascalz, Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, and Choclair), Atlantic Canadian Ria Mae, multiplatinum Edmontonian Ruth B., Toronto pop ace Scott Helman, and post-grunge group Theory of a Deadman’s Tyler Connolly.

Furthermore, Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene and Pearl Wenjack (sister of Secret Path subject Chanie Wenjack) will introduce a tribute performance honouring Gord Downie. Rush frontman Geddy Lee will induct Barenaked Ladies and Steven Page into the Music Hall of Fame.

Viewing the JUNOs

Saturday’s dinner and gala where most of the awards will be presented can be live streamed 6 p.m. Pacific / 9 p.m. Eastern via CBCMusic.ca/JUNOS and CBC Music’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

Sunday’s main gala with host Michael Bublé will be aired on CBC television, CBC Radio, and globally online at cbcmusic.ca/junos, 5 p.m. Pacific / 8 p.m. Eastern.

This Week’s New Releases

The long wait is over! Vocal wonder Yoan is back with country-rock album Depuis longtemps, followup to his eponymous platinum certified debut which sold like hotcakes in 2015. The new album is loads and loads of fun – not to be missed.

Pop group Final State delivers a self-titled LP crafted with solid tunes. The band is a Billboard Hot 100 charting one.

Calgary’s JUNO nominated group Viet Cong has re-christened itself, as many felt the name was in poor taste. The talent remains as strong under the Preoccupations moniker. New Material is a disc of new wave and quite a good one.

R&B slayer Keshia Chanté, JUNO winner and gold certified, serves up killer album Unbound 02 containing pop hit “Lights Out” among other treats.

Jordan Officer makes music not quite categorizable – it’s jazz, blues, some country, you name it. Graced with a JUNO nomination as a featured artist, Officer is back in top form on Three Rivers.

For the adventurous, we have Dirt from JUNO nominated Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. Synth pop is done right on Ocean Electro from BC’s Kellarissa, and beautifully written songs shine in the pop-rock field on Impossible To Hold from Nova Scotia’s Christina Martin.

A couple of EPs are out including Conversations from Jhyve who is nominated in the R&B category at this year’s JUNO Awards.

Find a table below with all the new Canadian artist releases this week after which a brand new MV and two new hit singles..

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Le boss e le Hitman Ruffneck & Buzzy Bwoy Rap
Brille Brille Brille Marjorie Fiset S-S
Depuis longtemps Yoan Country Rock
Dirt Yamantaka // Sonic Titan Alternative
Final State Final State Pop
Impossible To Hold Christina Martin Pop-Rock
Limboland The Stanfields Alternative
New Material Preoccupations Alternative
Nos chansons Marc Hervieux Jazz
Ocean Electro Kellarissa Alternative
Plaza Simon Kingsbury Rock
The Record Collector The Foreign Films Alternative
Samedi soir de semaine Simon Laganière Alternative
Three Rivers Jordan Officer Jazz
Unbound 02
Keshia Chanté R&B
Conversations (EP) Jhyve R&B
Moon Machine (EP) Beat Market Eletronic

We cannot round up the new releases this week without mentioning two new singles from teen marvel Shawn Mendes; “In My Blood” and “Lost in Japan” are currently #1 and #2 at iTunes respectively.

Finally, excellent Canadian R&B singer Jenna Nation has released a music video for her choice song “Can’t Get Over You” which we embed below.

Enjoy the new music.

Who’s on the Final Roster of 2018 JUNO Award Performers?

CARAS announced today the final batch of performers at the 2018 JUNO awards. They will join the already announced:

  • BRIT and Grammy award winning group Arcade Fire.
  • 4x JUNO winning band Arkells.
  • Barenaked Ladies + Steven Page in celebration of their induction into the Music Hall of Fame.
  • City and Colour + Sarah Harmer in a tribute performance for Gord Downie.
  • Gold-certified R&B ace Daniel Caesar.
  • Billboard Hot 100 charting newcomer Jessie Reyez.
  • Platinum electropop star LIGHTS.

Joining this bunch are the following slayers:

  • Diana Krall, one of the best-selling jazz recording artists of all time worldwide.
  • EDM specialist and record producer Felix Cartal.
  • Nunavut folk collective The Jerry Cans.
  • Multiplatinum boy wonder Shawn Hook.

It is also quite possible that host Michael Bublé will sing during the broadcast. If not, no worries, his jokes are often as good as his singing.

What’s Happening with the 2018 JUNO Fan Fare Event?

Do you want to take a selfie with your favourite Canadian recording artist? Tickets have sold out for some of them, so make haste! At the largest mall in British Columbia – Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, Saturday March 24 – there are three blocks of time featuring six different groups of artists. They are as follows:

From Noon to 1 p.m.

Group 1: Dallas Smith, Theory & Tim Hicks
Group 2: Marianas Trench, Ria Mae & Virginia to Vegas

From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Group 3: Arkells, Lights & Scott Helman
Group 4: Aaron Pritchett, James Barker Band & Jess Moskaluke

From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Group 5: Chad Brownlee, Dan Davidson & High Valley
Group 6: Daniel Caesar, Ruth B. & Shawn Hook

Check for ticket availability at the JUNO website here.

The event will feature live performances by Jess Moskaluke, High Valley, Ria Mae, Scott Helman, and Tim Hicks!

More JUNO Performers Added to the Bill

Platinum recording artist and double JUNO winner Lights will be onstage to perform at the 2018 JUNO awards as announced by CARAS today. Hamilton group Arkells with four JUNO trophies to boast will do the honours as well. In a special tribute to Gord Downie, the Tragically Hip frontman who succumbed to glioblastoma last year, Dallas Green (a.k.a. City and Colour) and Sarah Harmer will sing together.

These slayers join the lineup along with previously announced Arcade Fire, Daniel Caesar, and Jessie Reyez.

New Releases – Feb 23, 2018: Dumas and OLP

Canadian Athletes Set New Winter Olympic Record

Canada’s Winter Olympic medals haul has smashed all records, the previous number being 26. We’re up to 29 with potentially a few more medals by the closing of the games this weekend. There may have been some disappointments, especially with the hockey and curling, but athletes in other departments made up for it. Here is a list of all 29 medals won by Team Canada:

Sebastien Toutant – Gold – Snowboard: Men’s Big Air
Team Canada – Bronze – Ice Hockey: Men
Brittany Phelan – Silver – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Cross
Kelsey Serwa – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Cross
Kaetlyn Osmond – Bronze – Figure Skating: Ladies Single Skating
Team Canada – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Men’s 5,000m Relay
Kim Boutin – Silver – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 1,000m
Team Canada – Silver – Ice Hockey: Women
Brady Leman – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Ski Cross
Team Canada – Bronze – Bobsleigh: Women
Alex Beaulieu-Marchand – Bronze – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Ski Slopestyle
Team Canada – Gold – Bobsleigh: 2-man
Cassie Sharpe – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Ski Halfpipe
Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir – Gold – Figure Skating: Ice Dance
Kim Boutin – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 1,500m
Samuel Girard – Gold – Short Track Speed Skating: Men’s 1,000m
Justine Dufour-Lapointe – Silver – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Moguls
Max Parrot – Silver – Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
Mark McMorris – Bronze – Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
Ted-Jan Bloemen – Silver – Speed Skating: Men’s 5,000m
Team Canada – Gold – Figure Skating: Team Event
Mikael Kingsbury – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Moguls
Laurie Blouin – Silver – Snowboard: Ladies’ Slopestyle
Team Canada – Gold – Curling: Mixed Doubles
Alex Gough – Bronze – Luge – Women’s Singles
Kim Boutin – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 500m
Team Canada – Bronze – Figure Skating: Pair Skating
Team Canada – Silver – Luge: Team Relay
Ted-Jan Bloemen – Gold – Speed Skating: Men’s 10,000m

Kim Boutin to Carry the Flag for Canada

Sherbrooke’s Kim Boutin has been selected as Canada’s flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. While she did not earn a gold medal, the short-track speed skater outshone the other athletes by winning three – one silver (1,000m) and two bronze (1,500m and 500m). Kim was a sentimental favourite as well, having to put up with online vitriol and death threats, being blamed for the disqualification of a Korean skating ace in the 500m. Boutin was in a position to win a fourth medal, as Team Canada had snagged bronze in the 3,000m relay but later disqualified in a ruling of impeding other skaters on the track.

Arkells in Concert for Team Canada

“Giants” by Lights became somewhat of an unofficial anthem for Canadian athletes at the games, and now Canadian music is coming in person to the athletes thanks to Virtue and Moir’s invitation of their favourite act Arkells to perform for Team Canada. The Hamilton band has nabbed three gold certified albums, two gold singles, and won four JUNO Awards. Members are excited, as it is their first time to visit Asia. The group says it will include a cover of an Alanis Morissette song in its set.

Arcade Fire to Perform at JUNO Gala

Speaking of performances, a third act has been confirmed to perform at the JUNO Awards gala on March 25 – Arcade Fire. The Montreal collective is up for four awards this year – Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Group of the Year, and Alternative Album of the Year. Its disc is also up for the Album Artwork of the Year trophy. For AF’s global success (the group has for example won both Grammy and BRIT awards), the JUNOs will also be presenting the band with the 2018 International Achievement Award. As the JUNO Awards have dropped Hedley from the bill, Arcade Fire will join the presently short roster which also consists of new acts Jessie Reyez and Daniel Caesar.

New Releases Include OLP and Dumas

We’re back to a strong showing for new Canadian artist releases. Find a table of 24 below. Highlights include Somethingness from diamond certified quadruple JUNO winning group Our Lady Peace, containing the catchiest songs the band has written in years. Slightly outselling the album on the current iTunes chart is Nos idéaux from gold certified talent Dumas – bursting with choice flavours including some electropop. We also like Coffee and Jam by alternative group Grounders (which we previously reviewed), Chrome by dance floor shaker Debbie Tebbs, Sauvignon and a Kimono (EP) by pop slayer DYLYN, and Stone Woman by critically acclaimed R&B specialist Charlotte Day Wilson. Below the table, check out a brand new Canadian artist MV from guess who?

TITLE ARTIST GENRE
Alive and Well Big Little Lions S-S/Folk
Basic Behaviour Frigs Alt
Chrome Debbie Tebbs Pop
Coffee and Jam Grounders   Alt
Daiva Stephane Moraille World
Echos Joshua Hyslop S-S/Folk
La femme taupe Victime Alt
The Game Ronley Teper Alt
Imitation Gold Louize Alt
In a State Shy Kids Alt
Lost Touch We Were Sharks Punk
Mon herbier du monde entier Ponctuation Alt
Nos ideaux Dumas Pop
People Person Everett Bird Alt
Realm of Human Illusions Necrotic Mutation Metal
Skip Land Mayhemingways  S-S/Folk
Somethingness Our Lady Peace Rock
Teach Me to Love Beams Alt
Tempus Fugit Marc-André Pépin Classical
These Flowers Are for You ChessClub Rap
O La Si (EP) Carine Au Micro World
Sauvignon and a Kimono (EP) DYLYN Pop
Six In 6/8 (EP) David Leask Country
Stone Woman (EP) Charlotte Day Wilson R&B

“I Don’t Wanna Know” Tugs at the Heartstrings

We leave you with the brand new MV for Kira Isabella‘s beautiful heartbreaking acoustic guitar ballad “I Don’t Wanna Know” below. Feel the stings to the heart in lines like, “I’m wearing that dress from our first date, and you don’t notice”.

Hedley Dropped from List of JUNO Performers

At Canadian Music Blog, we’re loving these Olympics.

Last off, we had 10 Olympic medalists as follows:

Justine Dufour-Lapointe – Silver – Freestyle Skiing: Ladies’ Moguls
Max Parrot – Silver – Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
Mark McMorris – Bronze – Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
Ted-Jan Bloemen – Silver – Speed Skating: Men’s 5,000m
Team Canada – Gold – Figure Skating: Team Event
Mikael Kingsbury – Gold – Freestyle Skiing: Men’s Moguls
Laurie Blouin – Silver – Snowboard: Ladies’ Slopestyle
Team Canada – Gold – Curling: Mixed Doubles
Alex Gough – Bronze – Luge – Women’s Singles
Kim Boutin – Bronze – Short Track Speed Skating: Ladies’ 500m

We can now add three more:

Team Canada – Bronze – Figure Skating: Pair Skating
Team Canada – Silver – Luge: Team Relay
Ted-Jan Bloemen – Gold – Speed Skating: Men’s 10,000m

Last night in women’s hockey, Team Canada took on the USA and beat them 2-1 despite being outshot 45-23 and stopping cold a penalty shot. During the CBC broadcast, Michael Bublé appeared in a live interview to voice support of our athletes, reminisce a little on performing at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, and promote the upcoming JUNO awards which he will be hosting.

The JUNOs announced yesterday that pop group Hedley, one of a few thus far booked to perform at the gala next month, has been scratched from the bill. The band, currently on tour, has been hit with allegations concerning unseemly conduct with female minors. Coincidentally, a joke about this kind of conduct from last year’s JUNO host drew criticism prompting an apology from organizers.

Hedley penned a Facebook statement calling the allegations “unsubstantiated” acknowledging that in the past members engaged in “a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock ‘n’ roll cliches,” but added “there was always a line that we would never cross.”

Hedley is nominated for JUNO Fan Choice, Pop Album of the Year, and Group of the Year.

Quebec Group Arcade Fire Leads 2018 JUNO Nominations

With five nods, American-led, Montreal-based alternative group Arcade Fire leads the pack in the 2018 JUNO awards nominations which were announced this morning. The band is nominated for Album of the Year, Alternative Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Group of the Year, and Album Artwork of the Year.

With four nominations is novice Jessie Reyez from Toronto. The squeaky, fingernails down a chalkboard singer made the Hot 100 last year with “Figures” which peaked outside the Top 40 at #58 and went platinum. She’s up for Video of the Year, JUNO Fan Choice, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year.

Though it failed to make the Canadian Hot 100, “Get You” by Oshawan newcomer Daniel Caesar was certified a gold single helping to secure for him three nominations – R&B/Soul Recording of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Album Artwork of the Year. For their work on his music, Daniel’s personnel are nominated for Producer of the Year and Recording Engineer of the Year.

Notably absent from the nominations is Drake whose album More Life was the only 2017 Canadian artist album to be certified multiplatinum by the end of the year. As with the U.S. Grammy Awards, Drake did not submit the album for contention.

Find nominations below in selected categories. You can view them all at the JUNO Awards website here.

THE 2018 JUNO AWARDS

Where:  Vancouver
When:  March 25
Host:  Michael Bublé
Performers:  TBA

SPECIAL AWARDS

Music Hall of Fame:  Barenaked Ladies + Steven Page
Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award:  Denise Donlon

SELECTED NOMINATIONS

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Revival, Johnny Reid
Nobody But Me, Michael Bublé
Safe Haven, Ruth B
Now, Shania Twain
Everything Now, Arcade Fire

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back, Shawn Mendes
I Feel It Coming, The Weeknd
How Far I’ll Go, Alessia Cara
Knocking at the Door, Arkells
Everything Now, Arcade Fire

JUNO FAN CHOICE
Jessie Reyez
Shawn Hook
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd
Theory
Walk Off The Earth
Justin Bieber
Hedley
Arkells
Alessia Cara

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Ruth B
Shania Twain
Gord Downie
Daniel Caesar
Lights

GROUP OF THE YEAR
A Tribe Called Red
Arcade Fire
Alvvays
Broken Social Scene
Hedley

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Jessie Reyez
NAV
Virginia to Vegas
Allan Rayman
Charlotte Cardin

BREAKTHROUGH GROUP OF THE YEAR
James Barker Band
The Beaches
The Dead South
The Franklin Electric
The Jerry Cans

COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Game On, James Barker Band
Past the Past, Jess Moskaluke
Shake These Walls, Tim Hicks
Beautiful Freakshow, Dean Brody
Dear Life, High Valley

POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Skin & Earth, Lights
My Love, Ria Mae
Safe Haven, Ruth B
Hȏtel de Ville, Scott Helman
Cageless, Hedley

FRANCOPHONE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
L’étoile thoracique, Klȏ Pelgag
La science du Coeur, Pierre Lapointe
Almanach, Patrice Michaud
Nos Eldorados, Alex Nevsky
Paloma, Daniel Bélanger

DANCE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Deeper, KAPRI
Closer, Nick Fiorucci
Almost Home, Sultan + Shepard
Get What You Give, Felix Cartal
Not Going Home, DVBBS

INDIGENOUS MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Here & Now, Indian City
The Fight Within, Iskwé
Sedna, Kelly Fraser
Medicine Songs, Buffy Sainte-Marie
PowWowStep, DJ Shub

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
LEAVING THE TABLE – Leonard Cohen
Christopher Mills
THE DRUGS – Mother Mother
Emma Higgins
VENUS FLY – Grimes
Grimes (Claire Boucher)
GATEKEEPER – Jessie Reyez
Peter Huang
KNOCKING AT THE DOOR – Arkells
Shane Cunningham & Mark Myers

ELECTRONIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Music To Draw To: Satellite, Kid Koala
Mass Manipulation, Rezz
Tenderness, Blue Hawaii
Someone Else, CRi
Two Hearts, Dabin

ADULT CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Revival, Johnny Reid
Nobody But Me, Michael Bublé
The Grand Hustle, Nuela Charles
Christmas Together, The Tenors
Rooted, Alysha Brilla

The JUNOs Head Back to CBC

The JUNO Awards have completed the song and dance with Canada’s leading private television network CTV and in 2018 will return to the public broadcaster CBC.

Broadcast rights to the Junos were transferred from CBC to CTV for the 2002 gala and continued through 2017. Viewership for the 2002 affair, hosted by Barenaked Ladies in St. John’s, was 1.4 million. Viewership was up and down over the years, stadiums were filled, hosts were judged, and stage sets with light panels augmented live performances. The least viewed broadcast (under a million) during the CTV era was the 2007 JUNOs held in Saskatoon. The low numbers were blamed on a shared time slot with a special two-hour episode of The Amazing Race at perhaps the reality show’s peak of popularity. The most viewed JUNOs, at 2.4 million, was the 2011 gala in Toronto hosted by Drake.

Vancouver 2018 will mark the first JUNO Awards broadcast on CBC since the 2001 spectacle in Hamilton. That one was hosted by Rick Mercer. The main gala will take place March 25. The plan is for CBC to broadcast for at least the next six years.

In terms of why the switch was made, Allan Reid, president and CEO of the JUNOs and CARAS, says, “The switch happened because of a conversation we had a few months back about being more than just an awards show,” adding that there is a “real excitement about coming to CBC and taking CARAS, which is more than just the Juno Awards, and showing sort of the full range of what we do as an organization.”

The first televised JUNO Awards was broadcast on CBC in 1975.

Reid expresses the hope, through CBC, to showcase JUNO and Canadian music-related programming year-round, and that it would include underscoring some of the genres with which people are less familiar and which the JUNOs award, like Canadian classical, jazz and roots music.

The JUNOs leave CTV on good terms. The broadcaster did not drop the awards show; in fact, the parties discussed renewing the show’s contract before CARAS decided to go with CBC for a change.

2017 JUNO Awards Result in Sales Spikes for Canadian Music

Harry Styles may be cleaning up at iTunes now after his fellow Englishman Ed Sheeran did the same, but sales and streaming spikes for Canadian music followed the broadcast of the 2017 JUNO Awards.

A wise artist will ensure his music is available for purchase when he receives a JUNO nomination. Following a win of a song or album, especially if the artist performs it at the big gala, the public acts on the excuse to burn off some iTunes credit or perhaps get a good quality CD. This has been true in the past, and it was certainly true for 2017. If an artist lands a win, and the album isn’t available for purchase, that’s a really big mistake, and it is probably time to get a new management team. In 2017, Jazz Cartier scored the biggest upset of the year beating out Drake for Rap Album of the Year (and upsets happen all the time). Incidentally, his album Hotel Paranoia is not available at iTunes. That was a huge opportunity completely blown. Another point is that this reality, especially in terms of sales spikes following performances broadcasted, is why it is of the utmost importance for national events, like the Grey Cup halftime show, to book Canadian acts to headline it. That hasn’t happened for the past three years.

Nielsen has provided us with percent increases comparing sales of particular works following the JUNO gala (April 2) with the day before. We have streaming comparisons as well.

Ruth B, who won Breakthrough Artist of the Year, was the champion. Pre-orders for her upcoming debut album Safe Haven rose by 875%, song sales 230%, and streaming for “Lost Boy,” which she performed at the gala, increased by 35%.

Alessia Cara who won Pop Album of the Year and performed two songs at the big gala saw sales of her album Know-It-All bounce up 140%. Her song sales vaulted up 72%. Streaming of “Scars to Your Beautiful” rose by 24%.

Billy Talent watched sales of “Afraid of Heights,” performed at the JUNOs, leap 255% with steaming up 31%.

Bryan Adams, who co-hosted and performed with other stars his 80s classic “Summer of ’69” witnessed its sales rise by 206%. Online streaming (which didn’t exist in the 80s) increased 24%.

Dallas Smith, following performance of “Side Effects,” saw its sales increase 137% and streaming 19%.

Leonard Cohen‘s Album of the Year winner, You Want It Darker, was up 118% in purchases and 46% in streaming.

And those are just a few examples. Significant increases in sales and streaming of Canadian music by artists nominated, performing, and winning at the 2017 JUNOs occurred in all corners.

2017 JUNO Awards Gala Honours Newbie Ruth B and Veteran Sarah McLachlan

The 2017 JUNO Awards gala, a 150-minute affair, displayed Canada’s diversity in the nation’s capital celebrating 150 years since Confederation. With most of the trophies toasting the year’s best in Canadian music given out the previous day at the untelevised dinner and awards gala, the main April 2 spectacle saw a sold-out crowd of 13,000, including the Governor General, in Ottawa applaud recipients of the several remaining awards and cheer on the dazzling performances amidst visually stunning display panels. The event was co-hosted by international comedic superstar Russell Peters and diamond rocker Bryan Adams (“Brussell”), both filling in for the initially booked Michael Bublé who pulled out to take care of his son who is going through cancer.

Opening the show was seasoned singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, recipient of this year’s Allan Waters Humanitarian Award. Her welcoming remarks were followed by performances by EDM trio A Tribe Called Red, accompanied by flashy dancers in indigenous outfits, and Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq.

Russell Peters took the stage for his opening monologue. He promised that the arena was full of Canada’s finest musical talent before apologetically correcting himself. “Well, not full of…Drake is on tour, The Weeknd is dating Bieber’s ex, and the Biebs is in Brazil.” Peters pointed out that Alessia Cara was in attendance to big cheers from the crowd. Both Peters and Cara are from the Ontarian city of Brampton which has churned out other significant names in music like Keshia Chanté, Johnny Reid, Lee Aaron, and Alyssa Reid. “Alessia Cara proves,” commented Peters, “that Brampton does not only have brown people, but it has Italians that look like brown people.” (Cara is of Italian ancestry and Peters Indian descent.)

More screams erupted when Peters pointed out that Shawn Mendes was present saying, “Let’s be honest folks, the only reason we got a big star like Shawn Mendes here tonight is because his name sounds too Mexican to get into The United States right now.” Anticipating the interjection that Mendes is of Portuguese descent, not Spanish, Peters proactively added, “We know he’s Portuguese, but America doesn’t care.” Russell, in tribute to originally booked host Michael Bublé, paid him the compliment that he can sing and is funny. Peters suggested he can cover the comedy, but if he sings he sounds like “someone getting kicked in the neck while they’re yawning.” From there, the comic welcomed to the stage co-host Bryan Adams but called him Michael by accident.

The first award of the evening – Breakthrough Artist of the Year – was presented by multiplatinum artist Coleman Hell. Among nominees Kaytranada, Ruth B, Tory Lanez, Andy Shauf, and Jazz Cartier, the trophy was bestowed upon Edmonton newcomer Ruth B after Hell jokingly stated, “the JUNO goes to La La Land.” Ruth has yet to release a full-length album but scored international hit “Lost Boy” from her EP, The Intro. Like Shawn Mendes, Ruth B started attracting attention through video platform Vine. Her piano ballad was a Top 40 hit in a number of European countries as well as The United States. In Canada, it peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified triple platinum by Music Canada. Her acceptance speech was followed by the first performance of the night, “Side Effects” by country star Dallas Smith.

Shawn Mendes gave a spirited delivery of “Mercy” before the JUNOs returned to country music by presenting the award for Country Album of the Year. The nominees were The Score, Aaron Pritchett; Hearts on Fire, Chad Brownlee; Side Effects, Dallas Smith; Tin Roof, Gord Bamford; and Kiss Me Quiet, Jess Moskaluke. The award went to the latter. This was the first time since 2012 that a female artist has been given the honours. Jess is from Saskatchewan, is now at platinum status, and has won the Canadian Country Music Association Awards’ Female Artist of the Year for the past three. This was her first JUNO award. Given that female vocalists receive only 7% of country radio spins, this win is a very significant achievement.

Alternative rock band July Talk performed “Picturing Love” and folk-pop group The Strumbellas catchy hit “Spirits” before Bryan Adams kicked off Sarah McLachlan’s induction into the Music Hall of Fame. From Halifax, Sarah launched her career from Vancouver in the late 80s eventually scoring a diamond album and the number one song of the year 1997, “Building a Mystery”. Eventually selling 30 million records, McLachlan started up the Lilith Fair festivals to help bolster the image of women in music. In recent years, she has become known for her opening of schools of music for children and youth who are without access to music education. Following Adams’ remarks was a video of tributes paid to the remarkable Canadian recording artist by such notables as Tegan & Sara, James Taylor, Josh Groban, Sheryl Crow, and Diana Krall. Sarah McLachlan voiced a graceful acceptance speech commenting, “I have the best job in the world, and I have so much to be thankful for. … Because of music, my life has deeper meaning and a powerful sense of purpose. Music just makes our world so much better. … I’m grateful for the luck of geography, being born in a country where the rights of girls and women are respected. … So I am immensely proud to stand here tonight and say that I am Canadian.”

Fellow 90s icon Chantal Kreviazuk was this year’s gala advocate of MusiCounts and introduced arguably the most beautiful performance of the evening, Ruth B accompanied by OrKidstra. Hamilton group Arkells were next up with “Drake’s Dad”. Speaking of Drake, in perhaps the biggest upset of the year, his album Views failed to nab the JUNO for Rap Album of the Year (presented the preceding evening). That award was snatched by Jazz Cartier for album Hotel Paranoia. Jazz along with the aforementioned Jess Moskaluke presented the Pop Album of the Year award. Nominees were Know-It-All, Alessia Cara; Summerland, Coleman Hell; Astoria, Marianas Trench; Illuminate, Shawn Mendes; and Love You to Death, Tegan and Sara. The JUNO was awarded to Alessia Cara.

The R&B singer skyrocketed to international superstardom via her anti-party hit “Here” certified triple platinum. She quickly released an EP and then the LP that won the JUNO with further hits “Wild Things” “Scars to Your Beautiful”, and “Stay” with Zedd. Alessia sung “How Far I’ll Go” for animated Disney movie Moana starring the voice of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Bryan Adams performed next, his newer song “You Belong to Me,” and the JUNOs proceeded in a tribute to poet-songwriter Leonard Cohen who passed away last year. Feist performed a rendition of his 1967 song “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” originally performed by Judy Collins. This year’s Songwriter of the Year award, announced by Delaney Jane and Marianas Trench’s Josh Ramsay, went to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie over Leonard Cohen, Donovan Woods, Tegan & Sara, and Ruth B.

Getting the crowd pumped, Alessia Cara returned to the stage to perform her hits “Stay” (with Zedd) and “Scars to Your Beautiful” with a lively, expert delivery. Music industry ace Randy Lennox, former chief of Universal Music and now heading Bell Media, was honoured in a segment initiated by Sam Roberts and Tasha the Amazon. Randy won this year’s Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. A pre-recorded video featured accolades from Peter Gabriel, Gene Simmons (Kiss), Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, and U2. Gabriel stated, “I’ve been signed to other labels all around the world, but in Canada I just wanted to be on the label where Randy is.” Tasha and Sam then handed out the award to Group of the Year which went to The Tragically Hip who beat out Billy Talent, Arkells, Tegan and Sara, and The Strumbellas.

Nominee Billy Talent performed after the Jus Reign and Bob Moses announcement of the JUNO Fan Choice winner. Shawn Mendes took this one which is his first JUNO win. The JUNO Fan Choice is the only award voted on by the general public. The 18-year-old triumphed over nominees Hedley, Justin Bieber, Drake, Alessia Cara, Belly, Ruth B, The Weeknd, Tory Lanez, and The Strumbellas. The final award of the evening, Album of the Year, presented by Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo) and Buffy Sainte-Marie, went to Leonard Cohen for You Want It Darker. It is his second time to win the award in three years. The other nominated albums were Starboy, The Weeknd; Illuminate, Shawn Mendes; Views, Drake; and Encore un Soir, Céline Dion.

The co-hosts announced that the 2018 JUNOs would be held in Vancouver with the main gala happening March 25. The 2017 gala was capped off with a double bang: Sarah McLachlan performed “World on Fire” and then an all-star lineup of artists closed out the show with Bryan Adams’ 80s hit “Summer of ’69”.

2017 JUNO Awards Main Gala – Winners

The 2017 JUNO Awards main gala took place in Ottawa on April 2nd. The event was co-hosted by comedian Russell Peters and diamond rock superstar Bryan Adams. Performances ranged from Alessia Cara, Arkells, A Tribe Called Red, Billy Talent, Bryan Adams, Dallas Smith, July Talk, Ruth B, Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Mendes, and The Strumbellas. Feist gave a special tribute to the late, great Leonard Cohen. Most of the awards were given out at the Dinner and Awards on April 1, with the eight remaining trophies presented at the main gala. Seven categories (plus the Music Hall of Fame induction award) are below with the nominees and winners bolded in red and the official JUNO badge beneath.

The 2018 JUNO Awards will be held in … are you ready? … VANCOUVER!

POP ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Know-It-All, Alessia Cara
Summerland, Coleman Hell
Astoria, Marianas Trench
Illuminate, Shawn Mendes
Love You to Death, Tegan and Sara

BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Kaytranada
Ruth B
Tory Lanez
Andy Shauf
Jazz Cartier

COUNTRY ALBUM OF THE YEAR

The Score, Aaron Pritchett
Hearts on Fire, Chad Brownlee
Side Effects, Dallas Smith
Tin Roof, Gord Bamford
Kiss Me Quiet, Jess Moskaluke

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

 “Leaving Nashville” – co-songwriter Abe Stoklasa THE DRIVER – Charles Kelly Capitol*Universal “What Kind of Love is That” – co-songwriter Tom Douglas, “They Don’t Make Anything in That Town” HARD SETTLE, AIN’T TROUBLED – Donovan Woods: Donovan Woods

 “Boyfriend” – co-songwriter Greg Kurstin, “100x” – co-songwriter Jesse Shatkin, “Stop Desire” LOVE YOU TO DEATH – Tegan and Sara: Tegan Quin and Sara Quin

 “The Stranger”, The Only Place To Be”, “Son” SECRET PATH – Gord Downie: Gord Downie

 “You Want It Darker”, It Seemed the Better Way”, “Traveling Light” YOU WANT IT DARKER – Leonard Cohen: Leonard Cohen

 “Lost Boy”, “Superficial Love”, “2 Poor Kids” THE INTRO – Ruth B: Ruth Berhe

GROUP OF THE YEAR

Billy Talent
The Tragically Hip
Arkells
Tegan and Sara
The Strumbellas

JUNO FAN CHOICE AWARD

Hedley
Justin Bieber
Drake
Shawn Mendes
Alessia Cara
Belly
Ruth B
The Weeknd
Tory Lanez
The Strumbellas

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Starboy, The Weeknd
Illuminate, Shawn Mendes
You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen
Views, Drake
Encore un Soir, Céline Dion

CANADIAN MUSIC HALL OF FAME

Sarah McLachlan