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?

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.


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


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


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

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

Jessie Reyez
Shawn Hook
Shawn Mendes
The Weeknd
Walk Off The Earth
Justin Bieber
Alessia Cara

Ruth B
Shania Twain
Gord Downie
Daniel Caesar

A Tribe Called Red
Arcade Fire
Broken Social Scene

Jessie Reyez
Virginia to Vegas
Allan Rayman
Charlotte Cardin

James Barker Band
The Beaches
The Dead South
The Franklin Electric
The Jerry Cans

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

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

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

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

Here & Now, Indian City
The Fight Within, Iskwé
Sedna, Kelly Fraser
Medicine Songs, Buffy Sainte-Marie
PowWowStep, DJ Shub

Christopher Mills
THE DRUGS – Mother Mother
Emma Higgins
VENUS FLY – Grimes
Grimes (Claire Boucher)
GATEKEEPER – Jessie Reyez
Peter Huang
Shane Cunningham & Mark Myers

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

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!


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


Ruth B
Tory Lanez
Andy Shauf
Jazz Cartier


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


 “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


Billy Talent
The Tragically Hip
Tegan and Sara
The Strumbellas


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


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


Sarah McLachlan

2017 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards – Winners

The 2017 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards took place April 1st from 6 p.m. ET in Ottawa. Koriass opened with a stellar performance. President and CEO of CARAS, Allan Reid, garbed in a kilt in honour of his Scottish ancestry, introduced the event that was hosted by Newfoundland’s Tom Power. Aaron Pritchett presented the first award, Electronic Album of the Year, won by Kaytranada who gets bonus points for accepting the award wearin’ a tuque. Jess Moskaluke gave a dynamite performance of her country hit “Dive My Away”. William Prince delivered a beautiful performance as well. Daniel Caesar impressed with his R&B pizzazz, Kardinal Offishall joined Neon Dreams in the final performance.

Interestingly, the Single of the Year Award, arguably the most prestigious next to the Album of the Year Award, was given out here rather than at the main gala. It was won by The Strumbellas for “Spirits”. Canadian actor Keifer Sutherland popped up to present the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award to Randy Lennox in a segment that took up a large chunk of the event time-wise. Another surprise stage presence was Chantal Kreviazuk who presented the Artist of the Year Award which went for sentimentality, as Leonard Cohen took it. Other notables on the stage were diamond artist Sarah McLachlan who won Adult Contemporary Album of the Year, looking ever so radiant. Jim Cuddy spoke about the work of MusiCounts. Bruce Cockburn presented the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award to Buffy Sainte-Marie.

At the main televised gala tomorrow night, awards will be presented in the seven categories of JUNO Fan Choice, Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Country Album of the Year, and Pop Album of the Year. As well, Sarah McLachlan will be inducted into the Music Hall of Fame.

The awards presented at the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards are as below – all nominees per category with winners bolded in red.

Treat You Better,  Shawn Mendes
One Dance, Drake
Wild Things, Alessia Cara
Starboy, The Weeknd
Spirits, The Strumbellas

This is Acting, Sia
ANTI, Rihanna
Made in the A.M., One Direction
A Head Full of Dreams, Coldplay
Dangerous Woman, Ariana Grande

Shawn Mendes
Alessia Cara
Leonard Cohen
The Weeknd

Cold Creek County
Bob Moses
The Zolas
The Dirty Nil

Quiet Nights, Matt Dusk & Florence K
You’ll Never Know, Heather Bambrick
I’m Still Learning, Barbra Lica
Bria, Bria Skonberg
Words, Amanda Tosoff

The Ridge, Sarah Neufeld
Flow, David Braid
Movements 1, Blitz//Berlin
Bird’s Nest, The Fretless
Everyone Knows Everyone, Pugs & Crows and Tony Wilson

Trente, Karim Ouellet
Le fantastique des astres, Yann Perreau
Ultramarr, Fred Fortin
Love Suprême, Koriass
XO, Laurence Nerbonne

Nouvelle Journée, Lorraine Klaasen
Subcontinental Drift, Sultans of String
Okavango African Orchestra, Okavango African Orchestra
Nazar, Turkwaz
Dance of the Infidels, Nomadica

I Believe in Little Things, Diana Panton
Owl Singalong, Raffi
Big Yellow Tunes, Splash‘N Boots
De Tombouctou à Bombay, Kattam
Wordplay, Will Stroet

Schubert: Sonatas and Impromptus, Janina Fialkowska
Overtures to Bach, Matt Haimovitz
Brahms: String Quartets, Op. 51 NOS. 1 & 2, New Orford String Quartet
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, OP. 71 TH14, Stewart Goodyear
Beethoven, Enescu & Chopin: Works for Piano (Live), Charles Richard-Hamelin

Encore un soir, Céline Dion
Hard Sail, Chantal Kreviazuk
Beating Heart, Mark Masri
Wonderland, Sarah McLachlan
A Fine Line, Heather Rankin

The Northern South Vol. 1, Whitehorse
Ride the One, Paul Reddick
Rich in Love, Colin Linden
Blue Highways, Colin James
Monkey Brain, Sean Pinchin

Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir
Poulenc: Piano Concertos & Aubade, Louis Lortie, Hélène Mercier, BBC Philharmonic
Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, Steve Wood and the Northern Cree Singers, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Schumann, Jan Lisiecki, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Vivaldi: Concertos, Les Violons du Roy & Mathieu Lussier

L’Aiglon, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Kent Nagano
Dark Star Requiem, Tapestry Opera, Gryphon Trio, Elmer Iseler Singers
Handel Messiah, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Sir Andrew Davis
Bach: Magnificat BWV 243, Arion Baroque Orchestre, Alexandre Weimann
Four Thousand Winter, Daniel Taylor, The Trinity Choir

Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation, Christos Hatzis
The Debrecen Passion, Kati Agócs
Immersion, Jordan Nobles
And I need a room to receive five thousand people with raised glasses…or…what a glorious day, the birds are singing “halleluia”, Ana Sokolović
Dark Star Requiem, Andrew Staniland

Limitless ft. Delaney Jane, Adventure Club
Northern Lights, Zeds Dead
Let You Get Away ft. Ashe, Shaun Frank
Off the Ground ft. Shae Jacobs, Bit Funk
You Can’t Deny, Jacques Greene

“Afraid of Heights” AFRAID OF HEIGHTS – Billy Talent Warner, “Don’t Tell Me How to Live” SITTIN’ HEAVY – Monster Truck: Eric Ratz
“Treat You Better”, “Don’t Be A Fool” ILLUMINATE – Shawn Mendes: George Seara
“The Magician”, “To You” THE PARTY – Andy Shauf: Andy Shauf
“Shine A Light” BANNERS EP – BANNERS, “Armageddon” ARMAGEDDON – Michelle Treacy: Matty Green
“Push + Pull”, “Beck + Call” TOUCH – July Talk: Jason Dufour

Sorry, Ammoye
Cry Every Day, Blessed
Roll ‘Dem ft. Gappy Ranks, Dubmatix
Siren, Exco Levi
Who Feels It Knows, Jay Kartier

Someday the Heart Will Trouble the Mind, The High Bar Gang
Gathering, Maria Dunn
The Original Jenny Whiteley, Jenny Whiteley
Auprès du poêle, Ten Strings And A Goat Skin
Secret Victory, The East Pointers

Blue Canvas, Brandi Disterheft
Written in the Rocks, Renee Rosnes
Momentum, Shirantha Beddage
Superconductor, Seamus Blake
Nudging Forever, Mike Janzen

The Family Album, Matthew Barber & Jill Barber
Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?, Lisa LeBlanc
Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams, Corin Raymond
Earthly Days, William Prince
Strange Country, Kacy & Clayton

Eternally Grateful, Warren Dean Flandez
Hootenanny!, Tim Neufeld & the Glory Boys
Where the Good Way Lies, Steve Bell
Potter & Clay, Jaylene Johnson

“Work” (Co-producer Charlotte Day Wilson) CDW – Charlotte Day Wilson, “High Five” (Co-producer Dan Kurtz) ROYAL BLUES – Dragonette: Howie Beck
“The Enforcer” (Co-producer Monster Truck) SITTIN’ HEAVY – Monster Truck, “Fever” DEALBREAKER – Royal Tusk: Eric Ratz
“R.E.D. ft. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear”, “Sila ft. Tanya Tagaq” WE ARE THE HALLUCI NATION – A Tribe Called Red: A Tribe Called Red
“One Dance”, “Too Good” VIEWS – Drake: Nineteen85
“Afraid of Heights”, “Rabbit Down the Hole” AFRAID OF HEIGHTS – Billy Talent:
Ian D’Sa

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
The Stranger – Gord Downie, Justin Stephenson

Real Enemies, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
One Way Up, Dave Young Quintet
Twenty, Metalwood
Flux, Quinsin Nachoff’s FLUX
Sweet Canadiana, Order of Canada Band

OOBOPOPOP – Valaire: Karim Charlebois-Zariffa (Art Director, Designer), Olivier Charland (Illustrator), Scottie Cameron (Photographer)
L’HEPTADE – Harmonium: John Wellman, Chris Shepherd, Joshua Gearey (Art Directors)
SECRET PATH – Gord Downie: Jonathan Shedletzky (Art Director), Isis Essery (Designer), Jeff Lemire (Illustrator)
LIVE AT COPPS – Alexisonfire: Justin Ellsworth (Art Director, Designer), Dustin Rabin (Photographer)
ART ANGELS – Grimes: Claire Boucher (Art Director, Designer, Illustrator), Rankin (Photographer)

Another Day in Paradise, Belly
Views, Drake
I Told You, Tory Lanez
Hotel Paranoia, Jazz Cartier
Die Every Day, Tasha the Amazon

Congrats, Holy Fuck
We Are the Halluci Nation, A Tribe Called Red
Days Gone By, Bob Moses
Checkpoint Titanium, Harrison

Touch, July Talk
Art Angels, Grimes
IV, Black Mountain
Weaves, Weaves
Sore, Dilly Dally

Good Advice, Basia Bulat
Secret Path, Gord Downie
The Great Detachment, Wintersleep
You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen
The Party, Andy Shauf

Transcendence, Devin Townsend Project
Pacific Myth, Protest the Hero
Beast, Despised Icon
Suicide Society, Annihilator
Coral Throne, Mandroid Echostar

Fish Out of Water, Crystal Shawanda
Round Dance & Beats (Powwow), Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie
Tiny Hands, Quantum Tangle
Debut, Silla + Rise
Earthly Days, William Prince

Starboy, The Weeknd
Sept. 5th, Dvsn
Pilgrim’s Paradise, Daniel Caesar
Soul Run, Tanika Charles
 PartyNextDoor 3, PartyNextDoor

Morning Report, Arkells
Afraid of Heights, Billy Talent
Sittin’ Heavy, Monster Truck
TerraForm, Sam Roberts Band
Man Machine Poem, The Tragically Hip

Buffy Sainte-Marie

Randy Lennox

Chart and JUNO News: March 28, 2017

The JUNO awards are getting feisty. In this case, we’re talkin’ (Leslie) Feist. Question: how may JUNO Awards has Feist won? One? Two? Three? Four? The answer might surprise you. She’s won 10 trophies! The multiplatinum, eclectic artist from Calgary will apply her scratchy vocals in a JUNO gala tribute to the late, great Leonard Cohen. Organizers have also announced that Buffy Sainte-Marie, Chantal Kreviazuk, Jazz Cartier, Jim Cuddy, and Sam Roberts Band will be among the presenters at the 2.5-hour broadcast from Ottawa April 2, i.e. this Sunday! Yes, time flies.

The charts are out this week. The big news is that Drake’s new album More Life is #1 and supplies a batch of songs that have infiltrated the Hot 100, including “Passionfruit” at #2. Vincent Vallières’ Le temps des vivants debuts on the albums chart at #10. Besides the usual players, three newbies find themselves burrowing into the emerging artists chart: Jahkoy’s “California Heaven” #27, River Town Saints’ “Bonfire” #28, and James Barker Band’s “Chills” #29. Nielsen features Saskatchewan country artist Samara Yung for single “Scared Enough” in its artist spotlight this week.

Marching Forward with Chart and JUNO News

Not much activity on the Canadian charts this week. “I Feel It Coming” by The Weeknd is now the top Canadian artist entry on the Hot 100 and a new Top 10 hit (#10). The Beauty and the Beast soundtrack which includes song “How Does a Moment Last Forever” from Céline Dion debuts on the albums chart at #7. The Road Hammers’ “Crazy About You” debuts at #49 on Country Airplay and Walk Off the Earth floats onto AC with “Fire in My Soul” (#34).

For those who remember the hit (I’ve got) “The Power” from German group Snap Circa 1990, the JUNO dinner and awards preceding the big televised gala the following night, can claim some power. During this SOCAN-sponsored off-camera affair, 34 of the trophies will be given out, interspersed with performances by Daniel Caesar, Jess Moskaluke, Koriass, William Prince, and Neon Dreams. Funny lady Jessie Crookshank is taking a break from emcee duties this year to celebrate April Fools Day; the event will be hosted by CBC Q man Tom Power. It will be live-streamed online April 1.

JUNOs Expand to 2.5 Hours; New Performers Announced

The 2017 JUNO awards main gala April 2 has been upgraded from the standard 2-hour affair to 2.5 hours (for the first time in five years). Let’s hope it’s not so CTV can add more commercials to the broadcast. Three new acts have been confirmed to perform. They are punk band Billy Talent, country superstar Dallas Smith, and indie rock group July Talk. They join already confirmed stage acts of alternative rock band Arkells, EDM collective A Tribe Called Red, R&B sweetheart Alessia Cara, adult contemporary storyteller Ruth B., singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, acoustic pop star Shawn Mendes, and folk rock group The Strumbellas. According to CARAS, additional performers are to be announced later. The 2017 show will be co-hosted by icon Bryan Adams and comic Russell Peters and kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET from Peace Tower City.

Adams and Peters to Co-Host the 2017 JUNO Awards

If Michael Bublé’s stepping down from hosting the JUNO Awards to focus on family cuts like a knife, then perhaps who’s stepping into his shoes feels so right. Yes, that’s … right, as many of you have heard by now, Bryan Adams will be co-hosting the big gala in Ottawa April 2. Joining him will be internationally famous Canadian comic Russell Peters. This will be the latter’s third time hosting the event.

Bryan Adams, an officer of the Order of Canada, born in Kingston, Ontario (not too far from Ottawa) launched his music career from his home base in North Vancouver. He has the distinction of being the first Canadian artist to score a diamond album (Reckless). His “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” from the blockbuster film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner and the late great Alan Rickman was the biggest song of 1991 throughout the English-speaking world.

Adams and Russell will trudge the stage to introduce a slate of great Canadian performers including A Tribe Called Red, Alessia Cara, Arkells, Ruth B, Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Mendes, and The Strumbellas.

Bryan says, “I’m honoured to be co-hosting this year’s JUNO AWARDS alongside Russell Peters. We have an incredible music community in Canada and this is the night we celebrate its success.”

As for Russell Peters, the man who gets large crowds in stitches with his jokes, accents, and keen observations of various cultures, he won a Gemini award for his hosting of the Calgary show in 2008 in which he commented that people of Indian descent now claim a high demographic in Canada and that Calgarians better watch out because pretty soon their cowboys are going to be Indians. Peters was recently named in Rolling Stone’s list of the 50 Best Stand Up Comedians of All Time.