Charts, Juno Nominations, Prism Prize Contenders

The Canadian Charts, February 7, 2017

Nothing terribly exciting on the charts this week. There were only 17 entries by a Canadians and no new Canuck entries. No domestic albums debuted in the Top 10. One highlight is that Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” becomes her first #1 hit at Hot AC radio.

JUNO Nominations


The JUNO Award nominations were announced at a press conference yesterday morning. The three amigos, Drake, The Weeknd, and Shawn Mendes lead with five each. The aforementioned Alessia Cara snapped up four as did the late Leonard Cohen. Up for Album of the Year are Starboy by The Weeknd, Illuminate by Shawn Mendes, You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen, Views by Drake, and Encore un Soir by Céline Dion. Single of the Year nominees are “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes, “One Dance” by Drake, “Wild Things” by Alessia Cara, “Starboy” by The Weeknd, and “Spirits” by The Strumbellas. You can find a full list of nominees here.

CARAS also announced a batch of performers at the main gala in Ottawa, April 2. In addition to the previously confirmed Shawn Mendes are A Tribe Called Red, Alessia Cara, Ruth B, and The Strumbellas.

We hope that the JUNOs, which have always been more progressive, do not veer towards Grammy style with excessive focus on roots and urban music and going with sentimental favourites.

Prism Prize Top 20

The good folks over at the Prism Prize have unveiled their 20 picks for the year’s best music video. The collective can now boast the highest cash prize award in the world for the year’s best music video which is now $15,000. The prize will be awarded May 14 after the 20 is pared down to 10 on March 28. The Top 20 in alphabetical order are as follows.

A Tribe Called Red feat. Black Bear – Stadium Pow Wow
Aidan Knight – What Light (Never Goes Dim)
Andy Shauf – The Magician
BADBADNOTGOOD feat. Kaytranada – Lavender
Braids – Companion
Dilly Dally – Snakehead
Grimes – Kill V. Maim
Harrison feat. Clairmont The Second – It’s Okay, I Promise
Holy F*** – Tom Tom
Jazz Cartier – Red Alert / 100 Roses
July Talk – Picturing Love
Kaytranada – Lite Spots
Lisa LeBlanc – Gold Diggin’ Hoedown
PUP – Sleep in the Heat
Ronley Teper’s Lipliners – Lucky and Finnegan
Somewhere Else feat. Majid Jordan – Move Together
SonReal – Can I Get a Witness
Tanya Tagaq – Retribution
Wintersleep – Amerika

By comparison, the five MVs up for JUNO Music Video of the Year are “Kill v Maim” – GRIMES (Claire Boucher), “Lite Spots” – KAYTRANADA (Martin C. Pariseau), “R.E.D.” ft. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear – A Tribe Called Red (Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman), “Killa” – WIWEK/SKRILLEX (Jodeb), and “The Stranger” – Gord Downie (Justin Stephenson).

2017 JUNO Fan Choice Nominees Announced

Voting is now open for the JUNO Fan Choice Award. The question is: who are the 10 up for the trophy this year? The answer is…


Alessia Cara (Brampton, ON R&B female soloist)
Belly (Ottawa rap male soloist)
Drake (Toronto rap male soloist)
Hedley (Abbotsford, BC pop rock group)
  Justin Bieber (Stratford, ON pop/R&B male soloist)
  Ruth B (Edmonton pop/R&B female soloist)
Shawn Mendes (Pickering, ON acoustic pop male soloist)
The Strumbellas (Lindsay, ON folk rock group)
The Weeknd (Toronto R&B male soloist)
Tory Lanez (Brampton, ON R&B male soloist)

CARAS states that eligibility for the award hinges on the following. “Artists who have one of the top 20 selling tracks and top 20 streamed tracks are given an individual rank for each. Those ranks are combined to determine the top 20 artists. Next, these artists are evaluated using Next Big Sound, through online music analytics to measure their growth and popularity across social networks and streaming services. All the results are reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Official Ballot Accountants of The JUNO Awards. Finally, each artist receives a rank after combining sales, streams and online buzz to determine the top 10 artists – The 2017 JUNO Fan Choice Award nominees!”

Past winners of the award, which was introduced in 2003, are Shania Twain, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Simple Plan, Nelly Furtado, Michael Bublé, and Justin Bieber. The JUNOs do not disqualify an artist who has won from future eligibility whether permanently or for X number of years meaning that artists can win the special prize multiple times. Nickelback has won the JUNO Fan Choice award twice, Michael Bublé thrice, and Justin Bieber five times. Participants can vote as many times as they want simply by clicking the vote button and refreshing the page with an F5.

Vote here:

Michael Bublé Returns to Host the 2017 JUNOs


The JUNO Awards are set to go down April 2, 2017 in the nation’s capital. The extravaganza of the year will be broadcast on the country’s number one private broadcaster, CTV, from Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre. Yes, the arena is currently named for Stephen Wetmore’s company. The year 2017 will mark Canada’s 150th birthday, as confederation came to be in 1867. CTV and The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) confirmed today that the host of the 2017 JUNOs will be none other than Michael Bublé. The diamond recording artist from British Columbia previously hosted the gala from Regina in 2013 which garnered him a Canadian Screen Award for Best Host. Michael will also be emceeing the 2017 BRIT awards, the UK’s equivalent of the JUNOs. The king of swing recently released his 9th studio album, Nobody but Me, which debuted on the Canadian and Australian charts at #3 and the UK and US charts at #2. Tickets for the 2017 JUNO broadcast, starting at $39, go on sale Saturday, Nov. 5 at Ticketmaster hopefully for fans only and not brokers and bots. One dollar from every ticket will be donated to MusiCounts, helping to ensure that children and youth across Canada have access to musical instruments. Additional performer and presenter announcements and the nominations for the JUNOs will be released in the coming months.

The Bublé Mansion

Besides having surgery on his vocal cords, Michael Bublé has been in the news recently regarding the 2,566-square metre mansion (27,625 square feet) he is having built in his hometown of Burnaby, BC. There are all kinds of ironies surrounding it. In his Christmas in Hollywood special last year, Michael told the following joke after pointing out that his family is from Canada and his wife’s is from Argentina. “… if Donald Trump wins, neither of them are going to get to cross the border.” It was a reference to the U.S. salesman turned politician who has proposed building walls along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. In a Facebook live session, Bublé stated that he was flabbergasted by the backlash that the joke elicited. In an interesting twist, Michael Bublé himself is having a wall built around his new home. Multiple rezoning applications had to be made to allow for the new property. These included combining lots into a 0.93-hectare space and erecting a 24-decimetre plus wall when city by-laws allow only a fence at 10 decimetres. This is happening while Burnaby City Council is planning to evict and render homeless an estimated 6,000 people (including pregnant women, children, and seniors) from rental units in the Metrotown District (which has already begun) as it prepares to sign away rezoning permits to allow developers to knock down the buildings and erect condo towers in their places. The buildings on death row represent 1/4 of all rental units in the city which has less than a 1% vacancy rate. Yes, United Nations-condemned gentrification is taking place right in Michael Bublé’s backyard! Once completed, the Bublé residence will have a swimming pool, tennis court, two driveways, and an ice rink. It is being built across from the elementary school Michael attended. The wall is being built for “security purposes”. As one would expect, opinions on the mansion are split.

2016 JUNO Awards Attract an Average 1.4 Million Viewers

bryan adams

The numbers are in. And while online Billboard magazine relegated any articles about the JUNO Awards to their back-page classified section while putting every other award show known and unknown to man on their front page, the JUNOs that celebrated some of the most successful artists of the year on the Billboard charts attracted an average viewership of 1.4 million reaching 5.2 million overall in a country of 36. In fact, the blockbuster broadcast saw increases in all demographics since last year. The juiciest number was a 42% increase in those within the 18-34 age bracket. Also impressive was that the overall increase came during a very competitive night of television. You can watch the JUNOs online here.

2016 JUNO Awards Gala Synopsis

gilda jason junos

Handsome married couple Gilda and Jason were just two of the thousands of Canadian music fans who were thrilled to attend the JUNO Awards gala Sunday, April 3 at Calgary’s Saddledome. In a city heavily dependent on petroleum with plans to diversify its economy, including a much bigger investment in music and the arts, the city of Calgary was arguably the biggest winner at the annual flagship of Canadian music award ceremonies. Early estimates are that the JUNOs brought 10 to 15 million dollars in economic activity to the denizens straddling the Bow River. The gala gave pride to the attendees, not only owing to the quality of music being made by Canadian recording artists but also to the talent emerging from their hometown and province. When Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger (from Hanna, Alberta) stood on the stage and addressed the crowd with “hello fellow Albertans”, the arena shook with the deafening cheers that ensued.

Brampton, Ontario teen star Alessia Cara opened the show by performing her hits “Here” (platinum) and “Wild Things” (currently Top 20). She took home the JUNO for Breakthrough Artist of the Year as announced later in the program by the Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly and Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle.

Shawn Hook with Alessia Cara backstage at the JUNOs 2016 in Calgary.

Above: Shawn Hook with Alessia Cara backstage at the JUNOs 2016 in Calgary.

Multiplatinum recording artist Jann Arden from Calgary and Olympic gold medalist (skeleton) Jon Montgomery from Manitoba co-hosted the event. In their opening prologue, Jann joked that she accepted the job in order to increase the number of her Canadian Twitter followers.

Toronto’s Scott Helman performed his gold single “Bungalow” before announcing the winner of the Group of the Year award which went to Burlington, Ontario group Walk Off the Earth.

Legendary Canadian artist Buffy Sainte-Marie who had won 2 JUNOs at the untelevised event the night before, during which all but six of the JUNOs were handed out, performed an inspiring spoken word piece. Buffy has been making music for over half a century. She presented the Single of the Year JUNO to Toronto’s The Weeknd for his #1 hit “Can’t Feel My Face”. The Weeknd was the undeniable champion of the 2016 JUNOs collecting five trophies in all.

buffy sainte-marie

With impressive fingers on the piano, Shawn Hook performed his platinum hit “Sound of Your Heart”. He returned later in the evening to join Jann Arden for a rendition of Burton Cummings’ classic “Break It to Them Gently”. Shawn’s fellow British Columbian Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench spoke about the work of organization MusiCounts to help keep music programs in schools and put expensive musical instruments into the hands of children and youth whose parents find them unaffordable. It was announced that TD Canada Trust had donated a cool million to the organization. Following up with this, electropop superstar LIGHTS introduced one of those recipients, Sam Spensley. The two performed LIGHTS’ song “Running with the Boys” on acoustic guitars.

Kardinal Offishall and YouTube comedian Jus Reign lightened the atmosphere by presenting the Country Album of the Year award, referencing their complexions as dead giveaways that they are huge fans of the genre (Offishall is Jamaican Canadian and Reign Indian Canadian). The award was given to Dean Brody for Gypsy Road. He performed his hit “Bring Down the House” later in the program. Jann Arden provided more comedy with a skit wherein she had to collect the JUNO statuettes along the roadside while entertaining her pet dog with Anne Murray’s song “Snowbird”.

Four successive performances ensued. The youngest of this year’s JUNO nominees, 17-year-old Shawn Mendes, performed a special string arrangement of his hit song “Stitches”, Hamilton roots duo Whitehorse “Tame As the Wild Ones”, The Weeknd “Acquainted” and “Might Not” (with a surprise appearance from rapper Belly), and electronic rock duo Dear Rouge “I Heard I Had”.

Nickelback mounted the stage to induct Burton Cummings into the Music Hall of Fame. While on the red carpet, Burton had commented that he recently met the post-grunge band for the first time. Preceding his call to the stage, a clip ran reviewing Burton’s successful music career from frontman of the Guess Who to scoring a slew of hits as a soloist. The Winnipegger seemed a little surprised, and very grateful, at the lengthy, enthusiastic standing ovation from the crowd.

Nickelback presents Burton Cummings with his Hall of Fame JUNO.

Above: Nickelback presents Burton Cummings with his Hall of Fame JUNO.

It was Jon Montgomery’s turn to be featured in a skit. Jann teased him for being an avid fan of teen star Shawn Mendes. A pre-recorded video showed him taking a selfie with the superstar and doing gleeful backflips and couch jumping after Mendes left the room.

Veteran Canadian rocker Bryan Adams performed next with “Go Down Rockin'” before LETTERKENNY stars Jared Keeso and Nathan Dales took the stage to announce the results of JUNO Fan Choice. They pointed out that there was a record 6 million votes cast. Winner Justin Bieber, currently on tour, was not in attendance but sent a video of his acceptance. Bieber’s Purpose won the JUNO for Pop Album of the Year, announced at the untelevised gala.

The final and possibly most coveted JUNO award, Album of the Year, was announced by Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi and local country superstar Paul Brandt. The award went to The Weeknd for Beauty Behind the Madness. The gala closed with tribute performances for Burton Cummings. The man with the iconic moustache himself joined band The Carpet Frogs for “My Own Way to Rock”. The Tenors covered Burton’s song “Stand Tall”.

The 2017 JUNO Awards will be held in Ottawa in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

You can find more photos at the JUNO Website here and videos of the show at the JUNOs YouTube channel here.

2016 JUNO Award Winners, Part 2

juno awards dinner

JUNO Fan Choice Award

Walk Off The Earth
The Weeknd
Shawn Hook
Shawn Mendes
Justin Bieber
Dean Brody
Cœur de pirate
Carly Rae Jepsen
Alessia Cara

Single of the Year

Can’t Feel My Face, The Weeknd
Clothes Off, Ria Mae
What Do You Mean?, Justin Bieber
Hotline Bling, Drake
Here, Alessia Cara

Album of the Year

Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd
Handwritten, Shawn Mendes
Purpose, Justin Bieber
À Paradis City, Jean Leloup
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake

Group of the Year

Walk Off The Earth
Three Days Grace
Marianas Trench

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Tobias Jesso Jr.
Scott Helman
Francesco Yates
Coleman Hell
Alessia Cara

Country Album of the Year

Frontier, Paul Brandt
County Line, High Valley
Gypsy Road, Dean Brody
Pick Me Up, Brett Kissel
Anchor, Autumn Hill

Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Burton Cummings

Random Star Pics, JUNO Weekend 2016

To get you stoked for the 2016 JUNO Awards, below are some random pics of the stars at JUNO weekend.

chavril in calgary copy

Avril Lavigne and Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger step foot onto the Calgary tarmac. Nickelback formed in Hanna, Alberta which is northeast of Calgary. With expertise on the province, he no doubt gave Avril some tips on what not to wear, like an Oilers jersey in Calgary.

beard guy

Walk off the Earth’s Beard Guy all laced up for the JUNO Cup, ready to take on those pesky NHLers.

lights potato chips

LIGHTS stocking up on ripple potato chips. She may have a case of nervous knee twitching, as she will be seated amidst some handsome men at the JUNO gala — in front of Shawn Hook, behind Shawn Mendes, and beside Bryan Adams!

Ria Mae JUNO Fan Fare

Ria Mae busy signing autographs at the JUNO Fan Fare event at Chinook Centre, Calgary’s largest shopping mall. Let’s hope she didn’t leave her choice hmv bottle behind.

shawn hook

Shawn Hook getting all spiffied up for the JUNO gala dinner and awards. He’s even got a reliable wristwatch he can keep glancing at during the long acceptance speeches.

2016 JUNO Awards

Buffy Sainte-Marie accepts one of two awards she won at the JUNO dinner and awards Saturday night, just one less won by The Weeknd.

shawn mendes lexi strate

A lo-res grainy selfie is better than none at all. Rising pop star Lexi Strate was super stoked to get one with Shawn Mendes, but we think he’s the one who is lucky!

2016 JUNO Award Winners, Part 1

juno awards dinner

The first of the two JUNO galas, called “The JUNO Awards Gala Dinner”, took place in Calgary Saturday, April 2, emceed by Jessi Cruickshank. Most of the JUNO awards were given out at this gala which you can see bolded in red below among the nominees. The six categories of JUNO Fan Choice, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and Country Album of the Year, in addition to the Music Hall of Fame Inductee, will be presented at the main televised gala Sunday, April 3.

Highlights from tonight’s gala are that The Weeknd won three awards, including Artist of the Year, and Buffy Sainte-Marie a pair including Aboriginal Album of the Year. Jean Leloup won Francophone Album of the Year. Pop Album of the Year, announced by LIGHTS, went to Justin Bieber, Dance Recording to Keys N Krates, Alternative Album to Braids, and Rock Album to Death From Above 1979. Dear Rouge was named Breakthrough Group of the Year.

Songwriter of the Year

“When We Were Young” 25 – Adele | “Alive” Sia | “Without You” GOON – Tobias Jesso Jr.
Tobias Jesso Jr.

“Blood”, “Lover Come Back”, “Wasted Love” IF I SHOULD GO BEFORE YOU – City and Colour
Dallas Green

“Carry On”, “Crier tout bas”, “Oceans Brawl” ROSES – Cœur de Pirate
Béatrice Martin

“Farm In The Middle Of Nowhere”, “Ke Sakihitin Awasis (I Love You Baby)”, “Love Charms (Mojo Bijoux)” POWER IN THE BLOOD – Buffy Sainte-Marie
Buffy Sainte-Marie

“Can’t Feel My Face” – co-songwriters Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Peter Svensson, Ali Payami, “In The Night” – co-songwriters Ahmad Balshe, Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Peter Svensson, Ali Payami, “The Hills” – co-songwriters Ahmad Balshe, Emmanuel Nickerson, Carlo Mantagnese BEAUTY BEHIND THE MADNESS – The Weeknd
Abel Tesfaye

Contemporary Roots Album of the Year

Power In The Blood, Buffy Sainte-Marie
So Let’s Go, Alan Doyle
Beautiful Scars, LeE HaRVeY OsMOND
Indian Ocean, Frazey Ford
The Bliss, Fortunate Ones

Electronic Album of the Year

The Other Day, Pomo
Noontide, HUMANS
The Midas Touch, Discrete
Concubine, Concubine
A Life Well Lived, AM Static

Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance

Chansons Perpétuelles, Marie-Nicole Lemieux

Las Ciudades de Oro, L’Harmonie des Saisons

Peter-Anthony Togni: Responsio, Jeff Reilly with Andrea Ludwig, Charles Daniels, John Potter, and Suzie Leblanc

Sacred Reflections of Canada – A Canadian Mass, Canadian Chamber Choir

Vivaldi: Sacred Music, Vol. 4, Claire de Sévigné, Maria Soulis, and Aradia Ensemble

Jack Richardson Producer of the Year

“Bungalow” AUGUSTA – Scott Helman | “Rule The World” (co-producer Gianni Luminati) SING IT ALL AWAY – Walk Off The Earth
Thomas “Tawgs” Salter

“La Llorona”, “On a Clear Day” CLEAR DAY – Emilie-Claire Barlow
Steve Webster & Emilie-Claire Barlow

“Locked Away ft. Adam Levine” (co-producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke Gottwald) WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF – R. City | “Sugar” (co-producer Joshua “Ammo” Coleman) V – Maroon 5
Henry “Cirkut” Walter

(co-producer Karl Bareham) “Lover Come Back”, “Wasted Love” IF I SHOULD GO BEFORE YOU – City and Colour
Dallas Green

“Honey Honey”, “What Love Is All About” WHAT LOVE IS ALL ABOUT – Johnny Reid
Bob Ezrin

Dance Recording of the Year

Be Right There, Sleepy Tom & Diplo
Save Me ft. Katy B, Keys N Krates
Zero Gravity, Borgeous & Lights
Badman (Torro Torro Remix), Autoerotique & Max Styler
We All Fall Down ft. Jamie Lidell, A-Trak

Francophone Album of the Year

Si l’aurore, Marie-Pierre Arthur
Les grandes artères, Louis-Jean Cormier
À Paradis City, Jean Leloup
Zulu, Galaxie
22h22, Ariane Moffatt

Children’s Album of the Year

More Sheep, Less Sleep, The Swinging Belles
Songs from the Boot, Splash’N Boots
Forest Friends’ Nature Club Album, Ginalina
Dirty Feet, Bobs & LoLo
Greatest Hits, Big Block Singsong

International Album of the Year

Dream Your Life Away, Vance Joy
Four, One Direction
Title, Meghan Trainor
Hozier, Hozier
25, Adele

Reggae Recording of the Year

Escape from the Mongoose Gang, Lyndon John X
Sexy Gal ft. T.O.K., Kreesha Turner
Nah Complain ft. Daddy U Roy, Kafinal
Hello Mama, Exco Levi
The French Sessions, Dubmatix

Breakthrough Group of the Year

Young Empires
The Elwins
Milk & Bone
Half Moon Run
Dear Rouge

Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble

Franck & Strauss: Violin Sonatas, James Ehnes
Berlin Sonatas, Elinor Frey
Chamber Works by Jerzy Fitelberg, ARC Ensemble
Liszt: Piano Sonata & Sonnets, Angela Hewitt
Mendelssohn: Op. 44 nos. 1, 2, Cecilia String Quartet

Alternative Album of the Year

Viet Cong, Viet Cong
Half Free, U.S. Girls
Are You Alone?, Majical Cloudz
Poison Season, Destroyer
Deep in the Iris, BRAIDS

Jazz Album of the Year: Group

Sheer Tyranny of Will, Peripheral Vision
Stealing From My Youth, Mark Kelso & The Jazz Exiles
What I Hear Now, Jerry Granelli Trio
Over My Head, Brad Turner Quartet
Forest Grove, Allison Au Quartet

Artist of the Year

The Weeknd
Shawn Mendes
Justin Bieber
City and Colour

Traditional Roots Album of the Year

Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project, Jayme Stone
The Chance, J.P. Cormier
Songs In The Dark, The Wainwright Sisters
A Wanderer I’ll Stay, Pharis and Jason Romero
Domestic Eccentric, Old Man Luedecke

Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award

Rosalie Trombley

Video of the Year

Hello – ADELE
Xavier Dolan

Philip Sportel

For the Town – SONREAL
Peter Huang

Dark Days – PUP
Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux, Chandler Levack

Virgins – DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
Eva Michon

Rap Recording of the Year

Kardi Gras Vol. 1: The Clash, Kardinal Offishall
Can’t Fly Without Gravity, k-os
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake
Sour Soul, BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah
For The Town, SonReal

Jazz Album of the Year: Solo

Duets, Tara Davidson
Movin’ Forward, Robi Botos
Abeng, Rich Brown
Dialectics, Curtis Nowosad
It’s About Time, Al Muirhead

Adult Contemporary Album of the Year

Under One Sky, The Tenors
What Love Is All About, Johnny Reid
A Jann Arden Christmas, Jann Arden
Refined, Don Amero
Wallflower, Diana Krall

Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year

TREES – Chapter 2, Tim Neufeld
We Are, The City Harmonic
Saints & Sinners, Matt Maher
Where The Light Is, Dan Bremnes
Brave New World, Amanda Cook

Adult Alternative Album of the Year

Leave No Bridge Unburned, Whitehorse
Tobias Jesso Jr., Goon
In My Dreams, Mo Kenney
The Park Avenue Sobriety Test, Joel Plaskett
If I’ve Only One Time Askin’, Daniel Romano

World Music Album of the Year

Resistance, The Souljazz Orchestra
Moorka, Lemon Bucket Orkestra
Revuelta Danza Party, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra
Neo-Reconquista, Boogat
Healer, Alex Cuba

Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment

Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos 2 & 3; Stewart Goodyear with the Czech National Symphony

Tomasi, Desenclos, Jolivet: French Trumpet Concertos; Paul Merkelo, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal

Symphony and New Works for Organ and Orchestra; Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal with Olivier Latry and Jean-Willy Kunz

Mahler 10; Orchestre Métropolitain

Vivaldi: Four Seasons; James Ehnes with the Sydney Symphony

R&B/Soul Recording of the Year

Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd
Butchy’s Son, Patrick Lehman
Déjà Vu, Dru
The Fall Out, August Rigo
Four Pink Walls, Alessia Cara

MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award

Don Bossé

Recording Engineer of the Year

“Can’t Feel My Face”, “In The Night” BEAUTY BEHIND THE MADNESS – The Weeknd
Serban Ghenea

“Jungle”, “Know Yourself” IF YOU’RE READING THIS IT’S TOO LATE – Drake
Noah “40” Shebib

“Celebrate”, “The Governess” PAGANS IN VEGAS – Metric
Liam O’Neil

“Downtown”, “Sweet Disaster” LEAVE NO BRIDGE UNBURNED – Whitehorse
Gus Van Go

“Don’t Wanna Fight”, “Gimme All Your Love” SOUND & COLOUR – Alabama Shakes Maple
Shawn Everett

Vocal Jazz Album of the Year

Some Version of the Truth, Tara Kannangara
This Bitter Earth, Jaclyn Guillou
Clear Day, Emilie-Claire Barlow
Live from the Cellar, Dan Brubeck Quartet
New, Alex Pangman

Heavy Metal Album of the Year

Success, KEN mode
Of Ghosts and Gods, Kataklysm
Desire Will Rot, F*** the Facts
Never Wanna Die, Diemonds
Searching for Zero, Cancer Bats

Classical Composition of the Year

Bookburners, Nicole Lizée
Centennials, Michael Oesterle
The Afar, Jordan Pal
Piano Quartet, John Burge
Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems, Dinuk Wijeratne

Allan Waters Humanitarian Award

Arcade Fire

Instrumental Album of the Year

Legacy Live, Jens Lindemann and Tommy Banks
Lost Voices, Esmerine
Orchestral Powwow, Cris Derksen
Never Were The Way She Was, Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld
Spin Cycle, Afiara Quartet and Skratch Bastid

Recording Package of the Year

LES GRANDES ARTÈRES – Louis-Jean Cormier
Sarah Marcotte-Boislard (Art Director)

WEST TRAINZ – West Trainz
Erik West Milette (Art Director)

ELEMENTS – Long Distance Runners
Duncan Major (Art Director/Designer), Joel Upshall (Photographer)

LOST VOICES – Esmerine
Clyde Henry Productions: Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Art Directors/Designers/Illustrators/Photographers), Constellation: Ian Ilavsky (Designer)

CLUB MEDS – Dan Mangan + Blacksmith
Cam Dales (Art Director/Designer), Ben Clarkson (Art Director/Illustrator)

Aboriginal Album of the Year

Refined, Don Amero
Rumble, Derek Miller
Power In The Blood, Buffy Sainte-Marie
Come and Get Your Love: The Tribe Session, Black Bear
The One, Armond Duck Chief

Blues Album of the Year

Sliding Delta, Michael Jerome Browne
This Is From Here, Harrison Kennedy
Vicksburg Call, David Gogo
Brothers In This World, Blackburn
Faded But Not Gone, Big Dave McLean

Pop Album of the Year

Sing It All Away, Walk Off The Earth
Handwritten, Shawn Mendes
Augusta, Scott Helman
Purpose, Justin Bieber
Hello, Hedley

Rock Album of the Year

Future Nostalgia, The Sheepdogs
No Fixed Address, Nickelback
Chaotic Neutral, Matthew Good
The Physical World, Death From Above 1979
Get Up, Bryan Adams

JUNO Fan Fare Rocks Calgary’s Chinook Centre

Chinook Centre, Calgary’s largest enclosed shopping mall at over a quarter million square metres, played host this afternoon to the 2016 JUNO Fan Fare event. It was sponsored by hmv Canada and emceed by E! and Much personalities Liz Trinnear and Tyrone Edwards. Associated with the JUNO Awards the annual shindig offers music fans an opportunity to meet and greet the stars, obtain autographs, and ask questions. Liz and Tyrone facilitated interviews with the artists, live performances, and prize giveaways. Some of the prizes were tickets to the JUNO gala to take place Sunday at the Saddledome or passes to the red carpet. Record chain hmv set up a photo booth where fans could receive photos of themselves holding props like JUNO themed guitars.

Stars in attendance at the event were Alessia Cara, Autumn Hill, Brett Kissel, Chad Brownlee, Dean Brody, Dear Rouge, Francesco Yates, George Canyon, Marianas Trench, Ria Mae, Scott Helman, Shawn Hook, and Walk off the Earth. Check out some photos below. Find more from CARAS/iPhoto and higher res at the JUNOs website here.

    MTrenchhmv PHOTOboothWOTE12016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards 2016 JUNO Awards

2016 JUNO Awards Quiz

juno-awards bannerTest your knowledge of the 2016 JUNO Awards with 11 questions below. The letters corresponding to the correct answers will spell out a secret message. To help you, check out the JUNO Awards website here.

1. The 2016 JUNO Awards will be held in which city?

M. Calgary
N. Ottawa
O. Sydney
P. Vancouver

2. The name of the venue where the JUNO gala is being held is…

R. Crowchild Theatre
S. McMahon Stadium
T. Rogers Arena
U. The Saddledome

3. The artist nominated for the most JUNO Awards this year is…

P. Justin Bieber
Q. Kiesza
R. Tegan and Sara
S. The Weeknd

4. The co-hosts of this year’s gala are…

H. Ellen Page and Sidney Crosby
I. Jann Arden and Jon Montgomery
J. Mike Myers and Rachel McAdams
K. Nikki Yanofsky and Ryan Gosling

5. Among this year’s performers are…

C. Alessia Cara, Bryan Adams, and Dear Rouge
D. Carly Rae Jepsen, Scott Helman, and The Weeknd
E. Coleman Hell, Dean Brody, and Justin Bieber
F. Shawn Desman, Shawn Hook, and Shawn Mendes

6. The percentage of nominations who are first-time nominees is…

G. 0.9%
H. 19%
I. 49%
J. 99%

7. The following Francophone work is nominated for Album of the Year:

S. À Paradis City by Jean Leloup
T. Si l’aurore by Marie-Pierre Arthur
U. 22H22 by Ariane Moffat
V. Zulu by Galaxie

8. The following Aboriginal work is nominated for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year

J. The One by Armond Duck Chief
K. Power in the Blood by Buffy Sainte-Marie
L. Refined by Don Amero
M. Rumble by Derek Miller

9. Which of the following presenters is the mayor of the host city?

F. Alan Doyle
G. Josh Ramsay
H. Mélanie Joly
I. Naheed Nenshi

10. Which three nominees for JUNO Fan Choice grew up in British Columbia?

E. Alessia Cara, Dean Brody, and Hedley
F. Carly Rae Jepsen, Dean Brody, and Shawn Hook
G. Carly Rae Jepsen, Hedley, and Shawn Hook
H. Justin Bieber, Hedley, and Marianas Trench

11. This year’s youngest JUNO nominee is…

B. Alessia Cara
C. Coeur de Pirate
D. Scott Helman
E. Shawn Mendes


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JUNO Presenters and More Performers Announced

lights naheed buffy copy

CARAS has unveiled a list of presenters for the 2016 JUNO Awards in Calgary at the Saddledome gala on Sunday night. They are…

Alan Doyle, Nickelback, Paul Brandt, Kardinal Offishall, Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench, LETTERKENNY stars Jared Keeso and Nathan Dales, Jus Reign; Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi; and the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Mélanie Joly.

Added to the lineup of performers are Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Carpet Frogs, Jann Arden, LIGHTS, and The Tenors. They will join the previously announced Alessia Cara, Bryan Adams, Coleman Hell, Dean Brody, Dear Rouge, Scott Helman, Shawn Hook, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, and Whitehorse. Some of the performers will be involved in a special tribute to Hall of Fame inductee Burton Cummings and some will perform in support of MusiCounts. Regarding the latter, it was just announced that Sirius XM Canada has donated $100,000 to the organization that supports music programs in schools and puts musical instruments into the hands of students. This 2015/16 school term MusiCounts is awarding $675,000 worth of instruments to 77 schools across Canada.

Another amazing announcement is that this year’s JUNO telecast will be the first music awards show ever in all of North America to be broadcast in 4K. This is the latest hi-tech wizardry when it comes to television with enhanced motion detail, increased screen pixel counts, and greater brightness range. This ultra HD resolution will give viewers a very realistic stadium experience from the comfort of their own homes.

Batch #2 of JUNO Performers Announced

juno performers batch 2 copy

CARAS has announced a second batch of performers at the April 3 JUNO Awards in Calgary. Joining previously announced Alessia Cara, Bryan Adams, Dean Brody, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd will be double platinum neo-trad maven Coleman Hell, electronic rock duo Dear Rouge, gold-certified youth Scott Helman, platinum pop marvel Shawn Hook, and folk-rock duo Whitehorse.

While none of the acts can claim hometown status in Calgary (the city’s Jann Arden will be co-hosting), Dear Rouge’s lead singer Danielle McTaggart is from Red Deer, Alberta, which is nested roughly 140 clicks north of Calgary. The Canadian Screen Awards recently crowned The JUNOs 2015 as the Best Live Entertainment Special of the year.

Montgarden to Host the 2016 JUNO Awards

jann and jon juno hosts

She is a multiplatinum recording artist, an 8-time JUNO winner, and a native of Calgary. He is a Manitoban Olympic gold medalist (skeleton) and host of The Amazing Race Canada. Together, they will co-host the 2016 JUNO Awards in Calgary on April 3. Yes, it is Jann Arden and Jon Montgomery. Jann previously hosted the JUNOs in Hamilton in 1997 while Jon was one of the presenters at the 2010 gala in St. John’s. The two beloved Canadian hosers will fill the evening with wit and class as they host an impressive list of performers including teen heartthrob Alessia Cara, rock icon Bryan Adams, country superstar Dean Brody, acoustic pop charmer Shawn Mendes, and Grammy winning R&B crooner The Weeknd.

“Jann and Jon are going to knock out JUNO viewers and the crowd in Calgary with their charisma, comedy, and great sense of fun,” says John Brunton, Executive Producer of the event. The 2016 JUNO awards airs live from Calgary on CTV April 3, at 7 p.m. ET. Watch the two hosts below with the announcement from CTV’s lovely Marci Ien.

Arcade Fire to Receive the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award

2011 Juno Awards.

The JUNO Awards announced today that this year’s recipient of the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award is Montreal group Arcade Fire. The award “recognizes outstanding Canadian artists whose contributions have positively enhanced the social fabric of Canada”. The alternative rock group has six members somewhat led by Canada’s Régine Chassagne and her American husband Win Butler. The band has won 8 JUNO awards since its formation in 2001, 2 BRITs (U.K.), and 1 Grammy (U.S.).

A standout among Arcade Fire’s humanitarian work involves Haiti, considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere. The JUNOs explain: “The members of Arcade Fire have developed long-term partnerships with organizations that help in breaking the cycle of poverty, giving Haitians the strength to stand up on their own. … The band has traveled to Haiti several times to experience the nation’s extreme poverty firsthand. To date, Arcade Fire has not only raised and donated over $4 million, but has also trained thousands of outreach volunteers and engaged over 500,000 fans in the fight for the people of Haiti.”

Arcade Fire will receive the award during the 2016 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on Saturday, April 2, 2016, in the fine city of Calgary.

JUNOs in Focus: Francophone Album of the Year Nominees


From the 2011 census, 22% of Canadians have the French language as their mother tongue. If it is also true that 22% of the music being made in Canada is in French, then we can rightfully ask why so little of the music nominated at the JUNOs is Franco. Does it have more to do with a lack of submissions or with bias of the judges towards Anglo music? It seems to us to be mere tokenism that one of the roughly 40 categories is devoted to Franco music: Francophone Album of the Year, and Franco works seldom get nominated in other categories. Also, note that, though a national event, performances at the JUNO Awards gala are normally all Anglophone ones.


Canadian Anglophones have demonstrated over the years that they are more than happy to listen to and purchase music in various Allophone languages: “Gangnam Style”, “Sleepy Maggie”, “Der Kommissar”, etc. But when it comes to the other official language, the music is not embraced. It is also interesting that when an international artist uses French in a song, for example Peter Gabriel in “Games Without Frontiers”, no one raises a hand. When a Canadian artist does, watch the nasty “I can’t understand” comments pour in (and from people who are supposed to be learning French in school). Can we even understand the supposedly English lyrics American rappers dish out? But no complaints there. No complaints and no lack of radio spins when Madonna puts Spanish into “La Isla Bonita”. We think all of this is due to prejudice, and nothing would give us more pleasure than seeing it take a hike. In the immortal words of Howard Cunningham to the Fonz, however, “Prejudice is stronger than cool.”

With that off our chest, and not offered in a spirit of idle criticism but of “let’s make things better”, let us celebrate the five excellent albums nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the 2016 JUNOs.

Ariane Moffatt, 22h22

Ariane Moffatt - 22h22From Lévis, Quebec, Ariane Moffatt previously won a JUNO in 2009 for her album Tous les sens. Her debut album in 2002, Aquanaute, was certified platinum for sales of 100,000 units. Ariane’s 22h22 won Pop Album of the Year and she won Female Artist of the Year at the ADISQ gala in Quebec last year. The JUNOs state, “Since the release of her album Aquanaute in 2002, Ariane Moffatt’s name is forever closely associated with Montréal’s francophone scene. Three years after her bilingual MA (2012), an album that blends the sensual and the organic using high quality sampling (‘Mon corps,’ ‘Hôtel amour’) and whose live tour enjoyed great success across Québec and all the way to SXSW in Austin Texas, the singer-songwriter pushes her trajectory towards 22h22, a dreamlike pop record where intimacy meets great spaces. Produced alongside long-time collaborator Jean-Phi Goncalves, 22h22 is making its way into homes and hearts since March 2015 – without a key, without breaking in.”  iTunes

Galaxie, Zulu

Galaxie - ZuluThis is the first nomination for the Saint-Félicien, Quebec rock group. In the words of the JUNO Awards, “Galaxie is a francophone rock band formed in 2002, in Montréal, by Olivier Langevin. Formerly known as Galaxie 500, the band released two albums, Galaxie 500 (2002) and Le Temps au point mort (2006). Following the release of Le Temps au Point Mort, Galaxie was nominated for the Group of the Year award in the 10th annual MIMI (Montréal International Music Initiative) awards. The band released its third album, Tigre et diesel, in 2011, which was subsequently a shortlisted nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. On February 24, 2015, Galaxie released its fourth album Zulu. The band has since then been touring across Québec. Zulu won the Felix for Alternative Album of the Year at l’ADISQ 2015 and was also nominated for Critic’s Choice Album of the Year. Galaxie also won the Felix for Group of the Year, and performed their hit song ‘Dragon’ at the ceremony. … They were also chosen to open for the Rolling Stones at their show on Les Plaines d’Abraham, in Québec City in July.”  iTunes

Jean Leloup, À Paradis City

Jean Leloup - A paradis cityWe are overjoyed that this album is also nominated for Album of the Year. Jean Leloup and À Paradis City won five awards at the ADISQ gala last year. The work was one of the best-selling albums of the year in Canada in 2015. Leloup was nominated twice for JUNOs in the past. The JUNOs write, “Jean Leclerc is a [Canadian] singer-songwriter and author from Sainte-Foy, QC. He is popularly known as Jean Leloup (which he likes to translate to John the Wolf in English), a stage name he kept using until 2006, when he temporarily changed his name to Jean Leclerc, only to resurrect his wolf character in August 2008. He is known for his colourful personality and unique musical style in the francophone rock community. In 2015, he released À Paradis City, his eighth album of original songs, now certified platinum in Canada.”  iTunes

Louis-Jean Cormier, Les grandes artères

Louis-Jean Cormier - Les grandes arteresThis album is also nominated for Recording Package of the Year. Both Karkwa, the band he fronted, as well as Cormier as a soloist have won past JUNOs. Originally from Sept-Îles, Quebec, Cormier formed band Karkwa in Montreal before releasing solo works. The JUNOs explain, “Landing in Montréal as a 17 year old to study music at CÉGEP, he befriended four musicians with whom he would go on to form Karkwa, a group who created immediate attention. Across four albums that aligned critics and crowds alike, Karkwa became a leading light of the Québec independent rock scene and the first francophone group to win the Polaris Prize for Les Chemins de Verre (2010). He also produced the debut efforts of Marie-Pierre Arthur, David Marin, Lisa LeBlanc, and filled the coach’s chair on La Voix for a season. With a voice and sensibility affirmed, his debut solo album Le Treizième Étage emerged in 2012, winning Writer/Composer of the Year, Rock Album and Critics’ Choice at that year’s Felix Awards, followed in 2015 by his second solo album; Les Grandes Artères.”  iTunes

Marie-Pierre Arthur, Si l’aurore

Marie-Pierre Arthur - Si l'auroreThis album won a Felix for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year. Marie-Pierre was nominated once before at the JUNOs in this same category. More from the JUNOs: “A bassist trained in jazz singing, she accompanied many [Canadian] artists (Ariane Moffat, Stefie Shock, Mara Tremblay) before unveiling her own musical project in 2009, with a self-titled first album coproduced with François Lafontaine and Louis-Jean Cormier. The pretty Gaspésienne mastered the art of being a frontwoman and received several [honours]: the SPACQ’s André ‘Dédé’ Fortin Award for New Songwriter of the Year, the SOCAN’s Pop Song of the Year award for ‘Pourquoi’ as well as three ADISQ nominations in 2009. Same story for her second album, Aux alentours (2012 in [Canada] and in France on the Polydor label): critics gave it rave reviews and fans couldn’t get enough. A hushed, steamy atmosphere: bodies, voices and harmonies intertwine, curl up against each other, and cast a lasting spell. Marie-Pierre Arthur completely seduces us with her third opus, Si l’aurore, which was launched on February 16, 2015, in [Canada], on the Simone Records label.”  iTunes