Last updated: April 25, 2012 2:20 pm
Canadian music's sorry state
Audiences and artists need to take the JUNOs more seriously
OTTAWA (CUP) —The JUNOs have come and gone another year. Awards have been handed out — some artists have been left snubbed and others left with shining trophies. But one thing that seemed to trail behind the glitz and glamour of the awards ceremony was the music itself.
As I found myself waiting to take my seat in the press box at Scotiabank Place on April 1, I couldn’t help but notice some major absentees from the list.
Justin Bieber, Drake, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, The Sheepdogs and many other big-shot Canadian celebs were missing at both the JUNO Awards broadcast and gala dinner. This is quite perplexing seeing as they were all up for the “important” awards of the evening, like Single of the Year, Best Album and Fan Choice.
While some of these artists were touring, it’s strange that most would ignore recognition in its highest form here on their home turf. Were the Biebs or Drizzy absent from the Grammys? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
It’s appalling that these Canadians didn’t think it was necessary to attend an award ceremony honouring their music in Canada. How else is Canadian music going to grow and continue to flourish if it doesn’t get the support from its own top artists?
The blame can’t be directed completely at the musicians. The heads behind the JUNOs need to be held responsible as well.
Take the Album of the Year award, for example. This is arguably the most coveted prize of the night, and which artist got top honours? Michael Bublé, for his album Christmas. That’s right — a freaking Christmas CD got the Album of the Year award, and like Deadmau5 said, “That better be one hell of a Christmas [record].”
This is insulting to other musicians who made an actual body of work in 2011 and not some compilation of popular Christmas songs.
Last year’s JUNOs weren’t any different. When Drake hosted the show just one year ago, he was up for two awards, but left the ceremony empty-handed. Yet this year, with no Drake in sight, the Young Money Cash Money Billionaire rapper found himself one JUNO richer. What’s up with that?
This isn’t the first time some JUNO nominee didn’t win when they attended the awards show, but did when they didn’t. It seems as if the JUNOs ceremony has a way of alienating its attendees and making them want to conveniently book tours and other gigs during this time of year.
It was a slightly pathetic showing at this year’s JUNOs and the only way it’ll change is if we take pride in our music. That means musicians should do their part and show up — really, it’s the least they can do with such a big honour bestowed upon them — and JUNO heads should give awards to people that deserve them. No Christmas records for Album of the Year, please — that’s just offensive to all of Canadian music, nominated or not.
For the JUNOs and Canadian music to grow, we need to take it more seriously. Simply put, audiences and artists should demand more from the award ceremony and not be complacent with mediocrity. More big name artists should show up and awards should go to deserving recipients — no offense, Bublé. If we want to celebrate the JUNOs for another 41 years, we need to take the award show seriously and not view them as an afterthought to the Grammys or the Brits.