Junos come to Ottawa…by Terina Ram…

Ottawa is gearing up for a STAR STUDDED weekend as we prepare to recognize the best of the best in music in Canada with the Juno Awards!

While many Canadian’s watch the JUNO’s every year, many don’t know the history or importance of behind these awards. Since the JUNO’s are in Ottawa this year, we thought now was a good time to brush up on our JUNO’s knowledge.  So, here is everything you need to know about the JUNO Awards!

How the JUNO Awards Came to Be

Before the JUNO Awards came along, RPM – a Canadian music industry publication, polled readers to determine who the best bands, singers were within Canada. The magazine would then publish the results of these polls for the delight of Canadians.

However, the music industry wasn’t satisfied with this being the only celebration of Canadian music. Therefore, Record label owner Stan Klees met with RPM founder Walt Grealis to create a ceremony to commemorate Canadian artists.  The ceremony eventually titled the JUNO Awards was then born in the late 1970’s.

Fun Facts

Let’s start with the name of the JUNO Awards, do you know how they ceremony originally called The Gold Leaf Awards got its name? Don’t worry we didn’t either! The JUNO’s got its name a year after the original ceremony as a tribute to Pierre Juneau, the first chairperson of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

On to the prize! You may be familiar with what the JUNO Statuette looks like now, but do you know what is looked like in 1970? The iconic statuette looks nothing like the original thanks to 6 makeovers during its lifetime.

You’ve probably heard of the CARAS, but if you’re like us you have just nodded along not knowing what the acronym stood for. Well in case you are in the same boat, the CARAS are the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.  Formed in 1975, to oversee the annual JUNO Awards ceremony, CARAS is the official voting body of the awards. Over the years CARAS has evolved to also become non-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the Canadian music industry and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards.

Juno’s Then

  • Initially, the JUNO Awards were a private event, officially being broadcast in 1975
  • In 1978, The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was introduced with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and band leader Guy Lombardo as the first inductees.
  • In 1979, Pierre Trudeau was the first Canadian Prime Minister to attend the JUNO’s, he was also a presenter
  • Due to scheduling mishap, the JUNO Awards were not held in 1988
  • For the first time, the JUNO Awards are hosted outside of Toronto and took place in Vancouver
  • The JUNO Awards celebrated 25 years since being televised in 1995
  • In 2001, the awards are last held by CBC being hosted by CTV the following year
  • 2006, marks the year the Allan Water Humanitarian Award was created to showcase a Canadian whose humanitarian contributions have had a positive impact on the social fabric of Canada
  • In 2011, The JUNO Awards celebrated their 40th anniversary by bringing the ceremony back to Toronto
  • Ottawa hosts the awards for the last time until this year, with William Shatner as host in 2012
  • Last year’s ceremony was broadcast from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, and featured performances by The Weekend, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes, and Bryan Adams!

JUNO Awards Now

Just in time for Ottawa2017 and in celebration for Canada150, the JUNO Awards are being brought back to the nations capital! The city has a buzz about it as the pre-events and JUNO Week are already in affect and the countdown to the show is on!

This year’s ceremony will be held at the Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday, April 2, with the show starting at 6:30. It’s sure to be a hoot with Canadian comedian Russell Peters and Canadian icon Bryan Adams hosting the event!

Hip Hop artists Drake and The Weekend along with up and coming pop singer Shawn Mendes lead the scoreboard with five nominations each!

The set list for evening is filled is sure to awe the crowds as Alessia Cara, Arkells, A Tribe Called Red, Billy Talent, Dallas Smith, July Talk, Ruth B., Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Mendes, and The Strumbellas all take the stage. In addition JUNO winner Feist will play special tribute performance to the legendary singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen.

On Friday the city will be hosting the JUNO Cup and JUNOfest as pre-events for the show. The city is going to be packed with activities and great Canadian artists, with many bars and restaurants staying open late this weekend!  We are READY!!! Bring on the party!