When Toronto’s Weeknd won the 2015 Juno Award for Artist Of The Year, beating out the likes of Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan and Leonard Cohen during the awards broadcast staged Sunday at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre and a gala awards ceremony staged Saturday at the Hamilton Convention Centre, you know it’s not your dad’s Junos.
Despite the fact that classic artists like the Tea Party, Moist, Big Wreck, Bryan Adams and Tom Cochrane and The Headstones all launched comebacks in 2014, it was a new wave of young artists who dominated the list of award winners and performances over both nights.
Calgary’s Kiesza was the big winner taking home three Junos for Breakthrough Artist, Best Dance Recording (“ Hideaway”) and Best Video (“Hideway” ) with Weekend taking home Best R&B Soul Recording (Often) to go along with his Artist of the Year win while Magic scored two Junos for Break Through Group Of The Year (`Don’t Kill The Magic`) and for Single Of The Year (“Rude”). Hamilton’s Arkells capture the spotlight winning for Top Group of the Year and Top Rock Group of the Year while the only other double winner was Toronto alt-folkie Bahamas (real name Afie Jurvanen) for his Best Alternative Album (‘Bahamas Is Afie’) and Top Songwriter Juno.
Other key Junos in the 35 awards handed out over two nights went to Toronto’s July Talk who won Top Alternative Album Of The Year for their self-titled release (even though it came out in 2012???), Light’s’ Little Machines’ took Best Pop Album, Natural Born Strangers took Best Rap Album (‘The Legends League Presents: Natural Born Strangers’), Vancouver’s Sarah McLachlan’s “Shine On” was named Adult Contemporary Album winner and Adam Messinger won Top Producer honors for his work with Iggy Azalea and Magic.
The solitary country award went to Dallas Smith for Best Country Music Album (‘Lifted’) and International honors went to Sam Smith whose’ In The Lonely Hour’ album took International Album Of The Year honors ahead of Kate Perry, Taylor Swift and One Direction.
The veteran guard were represented by Rush who won the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award on Saturday at the Gala Function and their manager, Ray Danniels was honoured with the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award. Michael Buble surprisingly won the Juno Fan Choice award ahead of the likes of Drake, Hedley and Magic and the ageless Leonard Cohen whose` Popular Problems’ record claimed Album Of The Year plaudits.
Sunday’s two-hour performance was your typical John Brunton polished affair with Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard providing a star turn as the show’s MC. Prime Minister Stephen Harper produced a cameo appearance (must be an election coming!) and there is probably some synergy in that the Trailer Park Boys were also present.
Performances by the likes of Hedley, Sam Roberts with Lights, The Arkells, Shawn Mendes, Magic, Kiesza, The Weeknd and deadMau5 with Coleen D’Agostino proved Canada’s new wave of talent will be a global force and the night’s climax was provided by Alanis Morissette’s induction into the Juno Hall Of Fame, her inductee was songwriter/produced Glenn Ballard who co-wrote and produced her monster hit record ‘Jagged Little Pill’. Morissette then wrapped up the night by performing “Uninvited” “You Oughta Know” and the appropriately-titled “Thank U” before Hoggard, alone on piano, reprised “Thank U” with a show-ending thank you to the show’s broadcasters and artists along with some well-placed jokes.
Photos from junoawards.ca