By Julia Wallace
Tonight at the 44th Annual Juno Awards in Hamilton, Ontario, the final six Awards were given away during the televised portion of the show, hosted by Hedley’s unpredictable yet charismatic frontman, Jacob Hoggard.
And yes, you read that correctly. They’ve brought the televised portion of the show down to a mere six awards–which is a pretty clever move if you’re trying to increase the size of your television audience. The awards given out during the televised broadcast included:
• Rock Album of the Year – Arkells, High Noon
• Breakthrough Artist of the year – Kiesza
• Artist of the Year – The Weeknd
• Album of the Year – Leonard Cohen, Popular Problems
• Single of the Year – Magic!, “Rude”
• JUNO Fan Choice Award – Michael Bublé
Hamilton’s pride and joy, the Arkells, were awarded the trophy for Rock Album of the Year for their third full length release, High Noon. It was the second Juno win of the weekend for the band, who took home the Group of the Year Award last night. Frontman Max Kermran called their wins an “embarrassment of riches,” and joked about how the group had peaked and would be calling it quits at the end of the night–or at least threaten to do so á la Broken Social Scene. And what does Kerman believe makes the band so unique to Hamilton? The fact that they can have audiences in Calgary singing about “Oakville moms sticking up their noses.” Good to know that Golden Horseshoe stereotypes are alive and well.
Kiesza, Canada’s latest sensation who has the entire world talking, claimed that she only ever expected her Facebook friends to see her video as she accepted the award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year (one of the night’s easiest wins to predict). When asked what advice she’d offer artists hoping to have the same impact, she responded, “You learn from other artists, you mimic them as you’re learning, then suddenly you have all these tools… Don’t be afraid to have your own voice.”
The night’s big honour went to Alanis Morissette, who was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame twenty years after the release of her groundbreaking album, Jagged Little Pill. It was clear that Morissette was honoured by the win and truly proud of her heritage. “As a country we are very socially considerate and politically aware,” she explained. “It’s the only country in the world where it’s a rite of passage to spend a year or two before college and travel the world.”
All these years later, she still doesn’t quite understand why Jagged Little Pill resonated with people the way it did. “I happened to be on the crest of a wave that was already happening, I just grabbed my surfboard and went for it.”
The JUNOs will never be the GRAMMY Awards. Not even close. But artists like the Arkells, Kiesza, Shawn Mendes, the Arcade Fire, and so many other nominees prove that this country truly is blowing up the goddamn world. But we aren’t just hot right now–we’ve always been a hotbed of talent. To borrow from Kiesza, “I’m really proud of Canada.”