The problem with the Junos


They’re unreachable for grassroots talent but irrelevant to the biggest stars

Kiesza is presented an award at the 2015 JUNO Awards.
(Sonia Recchia/Getty Images)


by Josh O’Kane

March 17, 2015

The glitz and glamour of the Juno Awards have eclipsed the awards themselves. Only six awards were presented at the 2015 Juno broadcast on Sunday in Hamilton, Ont., out of a total 42 categories. The rest were awarded at an untelevised gala dinner the night before. Sunday night’s event was a celebration, but an empty one: all pomp, no circumstance, a graduation where only the prettiest valedictorians were allowed to grace the stage. As a result, the annual televised event celebrated profoundly little of the music it purported to.

This is a tradition that stretches far back into Juno history. It would be impossible, or at least graceless, to cram more than 40 awards into a two-hour broadcast. Instead, most winners are listed off quickly after commercial breaks. But as technology continues to expand the borders of artistic communities far beyond previous physical ones, the sheer volume of omissions at the Canadian music industry’s biggest night is more glaring than ever.

From show-stealing Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee Alanis Morissette to new Juno winners like July Talk and Dallas Smith, more than a dozen Canadian artists told The Globe and Mail Sunday in Hamilton that the annual Junos broadcast does a poor job of representing the vast talent making Canadian music today.

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