On the afternoon of Saturday, March 14, 2015 Limeridge Mall was filled with excited crowds. The commotion was not for any fantastic sale, but rather for anticipation of some of the best Canadian musical talent arriving for photo ops and autograph sessions. JUNO FanFare, the most popular event of JUNO Award week, was hosted by MuchMusic VJ Liz Trinnear and host of E! Tyrone Edwards, both of whom kept up with the frenzied energy of the music fans, if not exceeding it.
The event, presented by HMV Canada gave numerous fans the chance to meet, greet, and take selfies with some of their favourite artists. The sessions were split in two, with fans being able to get free tickets from the junoawards.ca website. However, a personal search for tickets about a month ago fell short with all sessions already completely booked. Fans could chose from a set of their favourite artists within either session, set up at two different tables which allowed for a more organized and fluid event.
Shortly after noon, Liz and Tyrone got the crowds riled up by offering prize giveaways and announcing all the stars of session #1. One lucky audience member, who joined the crowd of curious onlookers not participating in the autograph sessions, won a pass to join the hosts on the red carpet at the JUNO Award Show on Sunday, March 15. A performance by the Hamilton based Arkells was met with much fanfare as they sang their own hits as well as a number one hit by Shawn Mendes, another artist present for the signing. Other artists who showed up included Sam Roberts Band, Nikki Yanofsky, JRDN, and Melanie Durrant all of whom are up for 2015 JUNO nominees. Undoubtedly, based on the roaring screams and cheers from the fans, as well as the numerous signs dedicated to him, 16 year old and new hit sensation Shawn Mendes was the highlight of the first session.
After a short break the second session began at 2 p.m. with a performance by Kira Isabella. Liz and Tyrone kept the high energy of the event going with even more giveaways, LIGHTS was in attendance along with Kiesza, Glenn Morrison & Trevor Guthrie, Dallas Smith, Kira Isabella, MacKenzie Porter, Paul Brandt & The Road Hammers.
The stars all entered the main stage by descending the stair case in front of Old Navy and Forever 21. This made their entrance visible by all and formed almost a statement that the artists were leaving their heightened status as popular Canadian stars, descending upon their fans, and mingling with them in an easygoing, fun and interactive photo op and autograph session.
[Photography by Thorsten Suljic]