Some thoughts about the 48th annual Juno Awards which were held last night at Budweiser Gardens.
- London did a fantastic job of hosting. I was in the city for a couple of days leading up to the awards and the city was electric with excitement. Most every event was sold out well in advance. Showcases and gigs were well attended.
- The Saturday night gala dinner, which is when 36 awards are handed out, almost achieved its goal of finishing in under three hours. That’s a major achievement.
- The host of the dinner was Billy Talent’s Ben Kowalewicz. He did a brilliant job. I can’t emphasize that enough. The gala dinner is a tough room, but he was cool and confident throughout.
- Compared to the always-dreary Grammy Awards, Sunday night’s CBC broadcast was a master class in how to produce an awards show. It was a nice, tight two hours and felt authentic and patriotic without being completely over the top. And damn, this country produces some incredible talent.
- I thought Sarah McLachlan was an excellent host.
- Nice touch having London’s Loud Luxury open the show.
- Good to see that Corey Hart has outgrown that pouty look he had back in the 80s. Nice to see him back on tour, too.
- David Foster’s plea for more Canadians to become organ donors was a powerful message. You did sign your donor card after that, right?
- Too bad about Shawn Mendes not being there. In addition to sweeping a bunch of awards Saturday night, he was also the big winner Sunday. CARAS needs to make sure that our biggest stars are actually at the Junos.
- The diversity of the broadcast was excellent: Men, women, black, brown, English, French, First Nations, a variety of genres represented in the performances–everything that the Grammys are not. It was very respectful and inclusive. And fun, too.
Bottom line? Canada does it better.
Next year will see the Junos return to Saskatoon. Where will the 50th anniversary event go? We’ll soon find out.
All the winners can be found here.