The Juno Twain Pulls In
There’s a big question on everyone’s minds about Sunday night’s Juno telecast at the Corel Centre in Ottawa (8 p.m.-10 p.m., CTV).
What will host, performer and five-time nominee Shania Twain, wear when she opens the show?
Twain’s sexy outfits aside, the people who stage the Juno Awards — the Canadian Academy Of Recording Arts and Sciences — are hoping the pop-country singer’s star power will help draw viewers.
The event itself sold out the day tickets went on sale.
“She’s arguably the biggest Canadian artist in the world right now,” said CARAS chairman Ross Reynolds. “And she’s also proudly Canadian — living in Switzerland, mind you — but clearly very proud to be Canadian. You just look at her new video (for Up!) and she’s wearing a Canadiens sweater and waving the flag. It just seemed like a natural fit. The Ladies were the Ladies last year and they were wonderful. This year will be different, and that’s a good thing.”
There are, however, other performances worth tuning in to see on Sunday night, including those by six-time nominee Avril Lavigne, who goes up against her biggest rival Twain in three of those categories; four-time nominees Our Lady Peace, and Remy Shand; double nominees Swollen Members, Sam Roberts and Blue Rodeo, and Canadian Hall Of Famer Tom Cochrane.
“It’s funny, because everything has been about the Grammys, right?” said Shand, who was up for four Grammys earlier this year but went home empty-handed. (He didn’t get to attend because of an ear infection.)
“Really, probably, the most important thing is my Canadian identity, because I feel so strongly about it. Just growing up here and not wanting to move from Canada. It’s so awesome to be able have a career here and then jump into the States and do something,” Shand said.
Twain rehearses at the Corel Centre today while literally dozens of other Juno nominees — including Jane Bunnett, Ron Sexsmith, and Rascalz — are scheduled to board an Ottawa-bound train leaving from Toronto’s Union Station just after noon.
Snow will kick off the road trip with a performance in the Great Hall of Union Station.
“I was at the (Junos) in St. John’s, and in Vancouver one year, and there is this extra, added excitement — for the people of the towns too,” said Sexsmith, whose album, Cobblestone Runway, got him a best songwriting nod. “It fills people with this national pride that maybe they wouldn’t get so much if the awards were held just in Toronto every year.”
Twenty-eight Juno awards will be handed out on Saturday night at the Casino du Lac-Leamy in a non-televised ceremony before Sunday’s live broadcast at the Corel Centre where the remaining 11 trophies are presented.
Otherwise, Juno weekend is action-packed. “I think it’s really important this year that when we get to Ottawa, we show some solidarity as a country,” said Cochrane. “We’re in some interesting times. I think music is so important right now and some of these kids coming up are just phenomenal — Danko Jones, Remy Shand.
“Also a lot of cultural awards need to be emphasized. The jazz awards, the classical awards — we have to remember that it’s not just about pop success.”
The Juno telecast presenters include three-time nominees Alanis Morissette and K-OS, double nominees Danko Jones, Sarah Slean, Shawn Desman, and Jane Bunnett, and solo nominees Kathleen Edwards, Molly Johnson, Nickelback, Theory Of A Deadman, Glenn Lewis, Jully Black, Doc Walker and James Ehnes.
Also confirmed to present is Chantal Kreviazuk.
Notable no-shows this year will be four-time nominee Celine Dion, who is busy performing her new show in Las Vegas, and double nominee Diana Krall.
Along with Cochrane, Nettwerk Records founder and Lavigne’s manager Terry McBride will also be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame.
“The vibe is Ottawa. The excitement in Ottawa is beyond what we could have imagined,” said the telecast’s executive producer John Brunton. “And what we experienced last year in St. John’s was something that was truly magical. So I’m really excited about this trend to take the Junos from various cities across the country. I think it’s really paying off for the fans, it’s paying off for the musicians, it’s paying off for everybody.”
The Juno Twain Pulls In