Photo: Tammy Lo, flickr
TORONTO—The 2014 Juno Awards nominees were announced this week. The list came as a surprise to nobody.
All the usual suspects litter the roster of Canada’s best musicians. Hedley? Yep. Michael Buble? Uh-huh. Arcade Fire? Six times yes!
Drake, Celine Dion and Monster Truck also made the cut as international superstars. Here in Canada, we know them as wheelchair Jimmy from Degrassi: The Next Generation, the Quebec crooner who married her much-older manager and the new Nickelback. The rest of the world knows them as the Canadian rapper, the woman who sang the Titanic ballad and Nickelback.
Tribe Called Red is nominated for Breakthrough Group of the Year. But the only reason we recognize the band is because we’re forced to sit through Cineplex Backstage Pass at the movie theatre. The segment, hosted by Andreanne Sasseville from SiriusXM, features unproven Canadian talent. Miss Sasseville is better known as “that chick who talks to musicians before the movie starts”.
Toronto singer-songwriter Serena Ryder’s “Harmony” is up for Album of the Year. The same album won Adult Alternative Album of the Year in 2013. What? Is there such a dearth of good music in this nation that we have to nominate the same album two years in a row? The rules for eligibility are really lax. Case in point: Robin Thicke is nominated for Artist of the Year due to his father’s Canadian citizenship.
The categories of Jazz, Instrumental, Francophone, Classical, Blues, Contemporary Christian/Gospel, etc. remain a wasteland of artists and producers unknown to the average Canadian. Although, the odd person may recognize a name from the Adult Alternative or Reggae categories and impress their friends.
In another predictable move, Bachman-Turner Overdrive will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. BTO will coast into the history books on the power of their relentless 40-year-old anthem “Taking Care of Business”. The band recently performed the career-defining song for the 143,562nd time.
Winnipeg will play host city to this year’s Junos, broadcast live on CTV March 30. No announcement has been made yet regarding who will act as emcee. But given the awards’ love of redundancy, previous hosts Burton Cummings (four times), Russell Peters (two times) or last year’s host Michael Buble are all good bets.