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JUNO Mania: The JUNO Awards Come to Ottawa

It's all about glitz and glamour on awards night. Photo credit: CARAS/iPhoto).

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.

Singers, such as Michael Bublé, vie for top honours at the 2012 JUNO Awards, which will be hosted by William Shatner.

Can’t make it to the awards show? There’s still lots to see and do at these signature JUNO Week events. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, July 29 to 31

Friday: It's your next-to-last chance to see Next to Normal (photo by Craig Schwartz)

Friday, July 29
Tony- and Pulizter Prize-winning musical Next to Normal offers its final weekend of shows at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Don’t miss this contemporary musical, which is sure to captivate all audiences.

Celebrate African culture as the weekend-long TD Irie Music Festival opens tonight. The festival highlights reggae, salsa, soul and gospel music, and also offers performances from spoken word artists, African dance troupes and film screenings.

Visit the Distillery Historic District for its bustling Distillery Art Market, which features a wide variety of exhibiting artists and craftspeople working in a range of media.

Saturday: Yuck it up with Daniel Tosh

Saturday, July 30
Laugh out loud with Daniel Tosh, who brings his stand-up routine to hallowed Massey Hall. The comedian’s “Tosh Tour On Ice” entertains with two scheduled shows tonight at 7 and 10 p.m.

March down to Exhibition Place and Lake Shore Boulevard to see the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival’s Grand Parade. The hugely popular annual extravaganza promises brightly colored costumes, festive calypso music and a lively celebration of Caribbean culture.

Watch in awe as LEGO hobbyists construct amazing creations with the colourful building blocks at Brickfete. Activities for the entire family include a LEGO robotics competition, LEGO mosaics and sculptures, and much more!

Sunday: Drake brings his friends to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre (photo by Anthony Mandler)

Sunday, July 31
Toronto’s own Drake brings his A-game to the Molson Canadian Ampitheatre tonight as part of his second annual OVO Fest. The hip-hop chart-topper headlines, but you’ll also want to catch performances by the likes of Rick Ross, The Weeknd and other special guests.

Practice your swing as the Street Golf Tour rolls into Yonge-Dundas Square. Here, event goers can take part in PGA simulators, certified coaching clinics, and experiment with new technology for beginners and advanced players.

Heat up your weekend with Island Soul at Harbourfront Centre. The festival celebrates the Caribbean through cultural music, dancing and yet another lively parade!

The 40th Annual Juno Awards Rock Toronto

Drake hosts the 40th Juno Awards on March 27 (photo by Anthony Mandler)

Canada’s prestigious music awards, the Junos, mark their 40th anniversary with a return home. To celebrate, Toronto-born rapper Drake leads a pack of award-winning artists from coast to coast for a harmonious tribute.

Superstars aren’t born everyday—nor is such a label freely given. But hip hop artist Drake is undeniably one, having been recognized not only by peers including mentor Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West, but also by fans who made his first studio album, Thank Me Later, a platinum-selling hit. Even non-fans are likely familiar with the artist for his role as Jimmy Brooks on the TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation, as well as for his life-meets-rap lyrics, which get plenty of airtime on mainstream radio. Among the Forest Hill-raised performer’s chart-topping songs is the swooning ballad “Find Your Love” and the rhythmic “Fancy.”

On March 27, Drake secures double time on the stage at the Air Canada Centre as both the host of the 40th edition of the Juno Awards and as a nominee—and potential winner. The rapper is nominated for several awards, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. (Drake was also nominated for four Grammy Awards including Best New Album.) Soon, Drake will release his sophomore album, Take Care. It will undoubtedly earn him Juno nominations next year.

The awards ceremony itself is only part of this month’s Juno celebrations. Read on after the jump for more music-related fun.