Changing Canada’s music industry is a key part of the conversation as the 2018 Juno Awards are presented in Vancouver Sunday night.
The annual party honouring achievements in Canadian music comes at a time when the industry is grappling with tough issues, from improving representation following #JunosSoMale to sexual misconduct allegations emerging from the #MeToo movement (including those facing Jacob Hoggard, frontman of past Juno-winner Hedley).
“A day of reckoning is coming to music,” Juno Awards president Allan Reid told CBC News.
“When all that happened around the Hedley [situation], it’s interesting talking to a lot of men in the business and how that rock ‘n’ roll cliché doesn’t wash anymore,” said Reid, who is also president of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) as well as MusicCounts, its music education charity.
The academy’s efforts to improve the music scene overall has shifted over the years, according to Reid.
After being called out for lack of female representation among Juno nominees, CARAS has worked over the past few years to diversify and boost its membership, he said. The group has also added four women to its board and, in Vancouver this week, has partnered with Good Night Out to address the issue of sexual harassment and assault at live music venues.
“The conversation has become different. I think men, women, everybody has to change their point of view,” said Reid.
“I think it is happening right now, for sure.”
Nominees and winners
Art rockers Arcade Fire, rising singer-songwriter stars Jessie Reyez, Daniel Caesar and Ruth B., rock troupe Arkells and the late Gord Downie are among the top nominees this year.
Dozens of trophies were handed out Saturday at the Juno gala dinner and awards at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Downie, Michael Bublé, Diana Krall and A Tribe Called Red, which won group of the year, were among the winners.
The event, hosted by CBC q‘s Tom Power, featured performances by 2018 nominees Clairmont The Second, IsKwé, James Barker Band and more.
Saturday’s festivities also included the presentation of this year’s special honours to Arcade Fire (International Achievement Award), Jim Cuddy (MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award), Denise Donlon (Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award) and Gary Slaight (Humanitarian Award).
‘A concert with 10 headliners’
Along with spotlighting new and established favourites, Sunday night’s Junos broadcast — hosted by crooner Michael Bublé — will honour earlier artists who paved the way.
The show will feature Dallas Green and Sarah Harmer’s musical tribute to Tragically Hip frontman Downie, while Rascalz, Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust and Choclair — who teamed up for the landmark hip hop single Northern Touch 20 years ago — will reunite to present this year’s Juno for rap recording of the year.
Another anticipated onstage reunion is that of Barenaked Ladies and Steven Page, who will perform for the first time since Page’s departure from the band in 2009. Rush’s Geddy Lee will induct the group into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Arcade Fire, Reyez, Caesar, Lights, Diana Krall, Shawn Hook and the Jerry Cans will also take the Junos stage at the Rogers Arena.
“Honestly, there’s nothing like this. Where can you take all the best in Canadian music [and] put it under one roof?” Reid said.
Other Canadian stars such as The Weeknd, Alessia Cara, Shawn Mendes, Drake and Justin Bieber are not expected to attend.
“This is a concert with 10 headliners and a live TV show to boot, so it’s a lot of fun.”
How to tune in:
ONLINE: The awards show will be livestreamed at cbcmusic.ca/junos beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Red carpet coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
ON RADIO: The Juno Awards Broadcast will air on CBC Radio One and CBC Music beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
ON TELEVISION: The Juno Awards Broadcast will air on CBC-TV beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.