The JUNO Awards celebrate the best of the best in Canadian music, and after eight years away the celebrations are back in Ottawa with a week of events that run March 26 to April 1. As musicians from around the country descend on the city, we highlight some of the hip happenings taking place around town. By Misa Kobayashi.
Roll out the red carpet! Taking place on April 1 at Scotiabank Place, the awards show will be broadcast live on CTV. With William Shatner hosting and big name nominees such as Michael Bublé, Justin Bieber, Drake, Arcade Fire, Hedley, Avril Lavigne, and The Sheepdogs vying for top honours, it’s certain to be a night of glitz and glamour for the Canadian music industry. Also on the bill are performances by JUNO Award winners City and Colour, Deadmau5, and Feist. Blue Rodeo will also take the stage and are being honoured as the Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees.
Can’t make it to the awards show? There’s still lots to see and do at these signature JUNO Week events.
JUNOFEST March 30 and 31
Canadian music hits the streets with a two-night festival featuring more than 100 bands at venues around the city. About half the participants will be local artists, shining the spotlight on Ottawa’s talented music scene. There will also be performances by more than 30 JUNO Award nominees and some of Canada’s national touring acts. Nightly line-ups will feature three or four acts per venue, with established and emerging artists sharing the stage.
JUNO CUP March 30
Two of Canada’s favourite pastimes — hockey and music — come together for an all-out clash of the titans during this celebrity hockey game in support of MusiCounts, a music education charity. The game sees former NHL stars compete against Canadian artists and celebrities for bragging rights. Blue Rodeo frontman and JUNO Cup veteran Jim Cuddy will be captain of the celebrity team, while Brad Marsh will lead their NHL counterpart.
JUNO FAN FARE March 31
This annual event is a fan favourite, with interviews, autograph sessions, giveaways, and even the chance to meet some of the JUNO Award nominees and other artists. Bonus — it’s free!
JUNO SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE April 1
This unique event brings together some of today’s most talented Canadian singer-songwriters and JUNO Award nominees, who will share songs and stories on stage in an intimate afternoon concert. They’ll talk songwriting inspirations, when and where they write music, the songwriting process, and more.
MORE JUNO-THEMED EVENTS
Head to the National Gallery of Canada for the “JUNO Tour of Canadian Art.” From March 26 to late October, gain a new and intimate perspective on some of the gallery’s works of art. Several JUNO Award nominees and winners will select pieces from the gallery’s Canadian collection that serve as personal or artistic inspiration. The musicians’ responses will be recorded and displayed in the gallery with their selected pieces for the next six months.
From March 16 to April 9, the Canadian Museum of Civilization will host two fascinating new exhibits. “JUNO Covers” is a celebration of the JUNO Award winners for “Recording Package of the Year” (otherwise known as album cover art) that spans from 1975 to present day. The “JUNO Photography Exhibition” is a stunning retrospective showcasing the past 40-plus years of Canadian music and the JUNO Awards. More than 40 photographs will be on display from the book Music from Far and Wide: Celebrating 40 Years of the JUNO Awards. There will also be never-before-seen photos taken by Canada’s foremost rock and roll photographers, including Barry Roden, Bruce Cole, Grant Martin, Tom Sandler, and more.
See www.junoawards.ca for full schedule, locations, ticket info, and a list of the nominees.