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.

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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

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.

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

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

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Shawn Mendes
Drake
Alessia Cara
Leonard Cohen
The Weeknd

BREAKTHROUGH GROUP OF THE YEAR
Bleeker
Cold Creek County
Bob Moses
The Zolas
The Dirty Nil

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

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

FRANCOPHONE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Trente, Karim Ouellet
Le fantastique des astres, Yann Perreau
Ultramarr, Fred Fortin
Love Suprême, Koriass
XO, Laurence Nerbonne

WORLD MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Nouvelle Journée, Lorraine Klaasen
Subcontinental Drift, Sultans of String
Okavango African Orchestra, Okavango African Orchestra
Nazar, Turkwaz
Dance of the Infidels, Nomadica

CHILDREN’S ALBUM OF THE YEAR
I Believe in Little Things, Diana Panton
Owl Singalong, Raffi
Big Yellow Tunes, Splash‘N Boots
De Tombouctou à Bombay, Kattam
Wordplay, Will Stroet

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: SOLO OR CHAMBER ENSEMBLE
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

ADULT CONTEMPORARY ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Encore un soir, Céline Dion
Hard Sail, Chantal Kreviazuk
Beating Heart, Mark Masri
Wonderland, Sarah McLachlan
A Fine Line, Heather Rankin

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

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: LARGE ENSEMBLE OR SOLOIST(S) WITH LARGE ENSEMBLE ACCOMPANIMENT
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

CLASSICAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: VOCAL OR CHORAL PERFORMANCE
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

CLASSICAL COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR
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

DANCE RECORDING OF THE YEAR
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

RECORDING ENGINEER OF THE YEAR
“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

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

TRADITIONAL ROOTS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
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

JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR: SOLO
Blue Canvas, Brandi Disterheft
Written in the Rocks, Renee Rosnes
Momentum, Shirantha Beddage
Superconductor, Seamus Blake
Nudging Forever, Mike Janzen

CONTEMPORARY ROOTS ALBUM OF THE YEAR
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

CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN/GOSPEL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Eternally Grateful, Warren Dean Flandez
Hootenanny!, Tim Neufeld & the Glory Boys
Where the Good Way Lies, Steve Bell
Reborn, MANAFEST
Potter & Clay, Jaylene Johnson

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
“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

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
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
The Stranger – Gord Downie, Justin Stephenson

JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR: GROUP
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

RECORDING PACKAGE OF THE YEAR
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)

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

ELECTRONIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
99.9%, KAYTRANADA
Congrats, Holy Fuck
We Are the Halluci Nation, A Tribe Called Red
Days Gone By, Bob Moses
Checkpoint Titanium, Harrison

ALTERNATIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Touch, July Talk
Art Angels, Grimes
IV, Black Mountain
Weaves, Weaves
Sore, Dilly Dally

ADULT ALTERNATIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Good Advice, Basia Bulat
Secret Path, Gord Downie
The Great Detachment, Wintersleep
You Want It Darker, Leonard Cohen
The Party, Andy Shauf

METAL/HARD MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Transcendence, Devin Townsend Project
Pacific Myth, Protest the Hero
Beast, Despised Icon
Suicide Society, Annihilator
Coral Throne, Mandroid Echostar

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

R&B/SOUL RECORDING OF THE YEAR
Starboy, The Weeknd
Sept. 5th, Dvsn
Pilgrim’s Paradise, Daniel Caesar
Soul Run, Tanika Charles
 PartyNextDoor 3, PartyNextDoor

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

ALLAN WATERS HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Buffy Sainte-Marie

WALT GREALIS SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
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.

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

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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 – DVP
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…

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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: http://junoawards.ca/juno-fan-choice/

Michael Bublé Returns to Host the 2017 JUNOs

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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.