Do you have your PVR set to CBC for 8pm EST this Sunday, March 25? If not, you definitely should – it’s the 2018 Juno Awards people! No cable? No problem. You can also stream the show on CBC Music, or via Facebook and YouTube. Michael Bublé, who presented the 2013 awards, is back to host the 2018 broadcast. Whether or not you like his music, Bublé is a great entertainer and his style of self-deprecating Canadian humour is usually spot on. Especially with this year’s awards being held in Michael Bublé’s home town of Vancouver, BC, he’ll likely be looking to impress. Hey, if his opening monologue includes another cameo from Gerard Butler, I am ALL for it.
True North. Strong Chords.
Often thought of as the less sophisticated cousin to major music awards shows broadcast from south of the border, the Junos are unapolegetically Canadian and offer a more diverse representation of musical genres than the pop-domination awards shows are usually known for. Canadian music royalty Geddy Lee and Buffy Sainte-Marie will make appearances on stage. I can’t remember watching a Junos broadcast where Buffy wasn’t on stage performing or at the very least presenting. Juno Week includes a series of concerts performed by both mainstream acts and indie bands; the obligatory “awards before the awards” gala and of course, the Juno cup – you guessed it: a hockey game!
Hockey …Because Canada
What major Canadian event would be complete unless there’s hockey involved?? Every year during Juno Week, musicians face off against former NHLers, Canadian Women’s hockey stars and other athletes. This year, Olympic medalists Mark McMorris and Kaillie Humphries will trade in the tools of their own sports for skates and sticks. NHL playoffs haven’t even started yet, so we are definitely still in prime hockey season here.
Honouring and Supporting Women In Music
In the era of Times Up, it is quite fitting that the prestigious Walt Grealis Special Achievement award will be presented to A WOMAN! This year’s recipient Denise Donlon has held more high profile roles in the Canadian music industry than there are flavours of timbits. Along with three other special achievement awards due to be given out, the presentation of the Walt Grealis award to Donlon will happen at the Saturday night dinner and gala. While the gala won’t be properly televised like the main show, you can tune in via cbcmusic.ca. Not only is one of the major awards of this year’s Junos going to a woman, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) is also leading the way in terms of opportunities for women. Check out COO Jackie Dean’s message about the organization’s commitment to creating an environment of empowerment, diversity and inclusion in all facets of the Canadian music industry.
A Tribute for Gord
The passing of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie in October 2017 is still a fresh wound on the hearts of Canadians, so of course a Juno tribute is in order. Over the years, The Tragically Hip has received 16 Juno awards. City and Colour will team up with Sarah Harmer for a special performance honouring Gord. There likely won’t be a dry eye in the Rogers Arena or in living rooms across the country.
A Little Bit of Pop and a Good Dose of Rock
Internationally acclaimed pop acts Justin Bieber, Alessia Cara, The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes round out many of the award nominations, but the scheduled performances will include two legit Canadian rock acts Arcade Fire and Arkells which is what we’re all craving right now, RIGHT?!
The Barenaked Ladies WITH Steven Page!
Barenaked Ladies will celebrate its 30th anniversary as a band with an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. The best part is that BNL will reunite with band co-founder and former vocalist Page for a two-song performance. Any thoughts as to what those songs might be? Click here to watch separate interviews with BNL and Page on what they’re feeling in anticipation of Sunday’s performance.
Are You Convinced Yet?
Those are the anticipated highlights in a nutshell. Do your music-loving self a favour and watch the 2018 Juno Awards on Sunday. Embrace and reacquaint yourself with Canadian music – and follow along with our Geeks and Beats Juno Awards Twitter party: #GnBJunos.