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I wanted to write this a bit earlier but with all the preparation of Kiwanis Festival for my students, I kept running out of time.

It was my first time experiencing the Juno in person – to be honest I have never watched them live on TV (lol I never watch any award shows actually) but rather have always watched the highlights on YouTube the next day. So it was quite interesting to experience both the actual award show on the Sunday and the pre-Juno events during the weekend.

I was super proud as an indi artist to hear that 60% of the artists that won Juno awards were independent artists …. This is just amazing news to me, as an indi artist and it really shows that turn of the tides of the industry – a wonderful change. Artists are controlling their own destinies. I also saw some incredible artists at the different pre-juno events around town – such great shows. The only show that I really wished I could have attended was the gala but sadly that didn’t work out.

So what did I think of the actual event on Sunday March 25th ….

Michael Buble did a wonderful job as MC but wished he had been the MC during commercial breaks as the gentleman that did it (not sure who he was and couldn’t find anything online — someone told me he was a rapper but that’s all I could find out) as he really did not understand the Vancouver demographic. I also was disappointed that Rogers arena didn’t make sure that all lights were turned off before the show started – it was rather comical to hear the 2nd MC yelling to turn off lights. Vancouver is a world class city so this could have been handled more tactically. I was also disappointed that the general audience wasn’t aware that the Juno was an opportunity to dress up. There was a huge range of outfits from evening gowns to folks who literally looked like they rolled out of bed (performers included) – I also read some comments on Facebook saying things such, “It isn’t the Oscars, so we don’t have dress up.” Discussing this with quite a few people, I got the general idea most Canadians feel that “it is just a Canadian award show” and therefore not important. As Canadian Artists, it is something that we all work towards and it is a huge accomplishment to receive a nomination or win an a Juno.  I really hope that we as Canadians will start to take our own award shows more seriously. I believe we’ve come a long way but we still have a long ways to go. I believe that as time goes by this will change.

A great way to eliminate the dress code issue would be to do something like the Vancouver Owl Awards did. They created a little video explaining the dress code. It would have been so classy if the whole of Roger’s Arena had been dressed up kinda like we all did for fashion week.

I enjoyed most of the performances at the event but was suprised that some artists’ numbers were so short were as some felt a little long. My favorite performances were Michael Buble and Diana Krall’s number L-O-V-E — such a great spin on an old number! I wish they had a bit longer time slot — especially for Diana’s piano solo.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios Athanassoulas on March 25th in Montreal (photo from Mr. Trudeau’s FB)

I was happy to see a lot more inclusivity, gender equality, and multiculturalism but we still have a long ways to go. For example as a Greek Canadian, it was disappointing that although the Juno Award’s show took place on Greek Independence Day and our own Prime Minister was able to find time to march in the Greek Independence Parade in Montreal – there was no mention of it at the Juno event. There are so many Canadian musicians of Greek descendent in Canada and if we are going to be true to our mandate of celebrating all cultures in Canada then we need to make sure that such things are acknowledged. Perhaps they weren’t aware but to many of us –it is such an important day that shapes our idenity as Canadians and musicians.

It is an exciting time for Canadian Artists – can’t wait to see the next 20 years.

 

 

 

 

 

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NPP