They don’t call it Canada’s biggest night in music for no reason.
The 51st Annual JUNO Awards made its return to Toronto, live and in-person, for a truly exhilarating show on May 15, 2022. Leading up to the big finale, local showcases took over the city highlighting Canadian talent as part of JUNO Week Events. We were thrilled to take part in the whole process, celebrate Canadian music, and kick-off festival season with a bang.
Charlotte Cardin performs a pop-up set at Union Station
Our JUNO Week experience kicked off with an acoustic set from Charlotte Cardin who went on to win four JUNOS in total for Album of the Year Presented by Music Canada, Single of the Year Presented by Live Nation Canada, Artist of the Year Presented by SiriusXM Canada and Pop Album of the Year. Her performance included a stripped-back set featuring many of the songs from the JUNO Award-winning album Phoenix.
Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class Showcase Presented by SiriusXM Canada shines a spotlight on emerging talent
On May 13, 2022, we headed to The Lounge at Live Nation to see the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class artists take the stage. Jhyve (CBC’s 2021 Searchlight winner), RIELL, Sebastian Gaskin, and Jesse Gold all delivered unforgettable performances. If you’re looking for your next favourite artist, look no further. Each of these artists brought something different to the stage and proved they’re ones to watch as they continue moving forward in their careers.
JUNO Opening Night Awards Presented by Ontario Creates
The JUNO Opening Night Awards honoured artists and industry leaders on May 14, 2022, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Co-hosted by Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe (CBC Music’s The Block) and Ann Pornel (The Great Canadian Baking Show), the event included the presentation of 41 JUNO Awards, along with The Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award, the Humanitarian Award Presented by Music Canada and the MusiCounts Inspired Minds Ambassador Award Presented by Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation.
We were on the red carpet documenting the talent and jaw-dropping looks from the evening. Check out some of our favourite looks in the gallery below!
A big highlight of the evening included support for emerging talent with 24 first-time winners being awarded. The list included Allison Russell (Contemporary Roots Album of the Year), Afrikana Soul Sister (Global Music Album of the Year), Andrea Jin 金玉琪 (Comedy Album of the Year Presented by SiriusXM Canada), Charmaine (Rap Single of the Year Presented by ADVANCE, Canada’s Black Music Business Collective), DJ Shub (Contemporary Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year Presented by Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada), Fawn Wood (Traditional Indigenous Artist or Group of the Year), Hill Kourkoutis (Recording Engineer of the Year), HNTR (Underground Dance Single of the Year), Kairo McLean (Reggae Recording of the Year), MONOWHALES (Breakthrough Group of the Year Presented by FACTOR, The Government of Canada and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters), Mustafa (Alternative Album of the Year Presented by CBC Music), TOR (Electronic Album of the Year), and more. See the full list of winners here.
The 51st Annual JUNO Awards Broadcast
For the first time since 2019, the JUNO Awards put on a real live show, and it may have been one of the best shows yet. Host-with-the-most Simu Liu showed off his multiple talents through song, dance, and comedy. Canadian rock idol Avril Lavigne performed a medley of hits including Complicated, Girlfriend, I’m With You, and more. Godfather of PowWowStep and 2022 JUNO Award Winner DJ Shub and JUNO nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids put on an unforgettable live performance. Charlotte Cardin sang an impactful rendition of her single Meaningless.
Diversity and support for emerging artists become key themes at the awards show
Haviah Mighty became the first woman in history to win Best Rap Album/EP of the Year. “There’s the inclination to critique something that you’re unfamiliar with, but a large part of why I write the music I do is to break down the narratives of ignorance based on unfamiliarity,” said Haviah, “I think it’s very important that when you’re the first to do anything, is to be celebrating that for that individual and for how that can shift the journeys of all of us.”
On stage, and in the awards list, there was a larger Indigenous presence than in previous years. Snotty Nose Rez Kids performed a politicized medley of War Club, Uncle Rico, and Rebirth with DJ Shub. “For us, as hip hop artists, our voice is our weapon. We’re fighting the system with our voice, our weapon, and our words. So, that’s our war club,” said Snotty Nose Rez Kids in an interview.
Hill Kourkoutis became the first woman to win Recording Engineer of the Year, a win that the entire crowd celebrated along with her. Kourkoutis humbly and excitedly accepted the honour, but reminded us there is still work to be done towards gender parity, “I hope that in 10 years from now, we’re no longer saying ‘woman engineer’ or ‘woman producer’ and just saying ‘producer,'” said Kourkoutis.
New categories like Underground Dance Single of the Year presented more opportunities for emerging artists. HNTR, the first winner in this new category, spoke about the importance of representation for independent, underground artists.
See the full list of JUNO Award Winners here.
Banner image courtesy of CARAS/iPhoto